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About Us

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Saint Joseph's College

When you enter an accelerated certificate or specialized degree program here, online or in-person, you won’t be learning just to learn. You’ll be gaining better skills for the fast-growing profession of your choice. And you won’t be sitting still. With small classes and personalized attention, you'll be actively involved. Asking Questions. Challenging yourself. And preparing for your next adventure.

We have evolved our approach and programs around practical learning that can be applied to real-world work environments, with professional certifications and two-year degree programs offered. This progressive approach to higher education has enabled Saint Joe's to better reflect the needs and interests of modern learners, making our accelerated programs relevant, engaging, and attainable.

Our Journey

No journey ever follows a straight path, not even ours. With a history dating back to 1868, Saint Joe’s has evolved and adapted throughout the decades to best fit the needs of those we serve. Here is a quick overview of our long and
interesting journey to the career-focused college we are today.

2017 - Present

At the conclusion of the spring 2017 semester, Saint Joseph's College suspended operations. Since then, a small, dedicated team has continually worked towards implementing a new plan that focuses on the educational needs of the 21st century student and our community. Through prudent exploration and unique partnerships, our devoted Board of Trustees and staff have implemented prosperous and innovative educational programs through online and in-person settings, which have graduated over 200 new Pumas since the summer of 2020. Our educational offerings are ever evolving as we work to establish new partnerships and develop additional programs in diverse fields.

We continue to work diligently so the legacy and mission of our beloved College carries on. The mission is the driving force behind what we do and how we consider new opportunities. The priority of our time and efforts focus on programs that support today's community of learners with the understanding that sustainability of our campus and its ability to do its work for years to come are paramount.

1968 - 2016

Although women were allowed to take courses on campus since 1949, it wasn’t until 1968 before the first women were admitted as residential students. In 1969, our nationally recognized and acclaimed Core Program went into effect and remained as the College’s comprehensive general education program until 2017. In 1986, the College partnered with the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in Lafayette allowing us to offer nursing degrees on our campus which eventually became one of our most popular majors. In 1995, the Core Educational Center was constructed, which has transitioned into our current main academic building with 2 auditoriums, 10 classrooms, a computer center, conference rooms, and office space. 

1939 - 1967

Sports had already been played on campus grounds since 1895, first starting as intramural games then transitioning to intercollegiate. It wasn’t until 1939 when Saint Joe changed their varsity mascot to the Pumas from the Cardinals. In other fun athletic history, our campus served as the summer training grounds for the Chicago Bears for 30 years starting in 1944 and the movie Brian’s Song was filmed on our campus in 1971. The Saint Joseph’s Academy closed in 1948 and course offerings were then exclusively taught at a college level. In 1951, the Calumet Center Extension was established to offer educational courses to the Calumet Region and serve as a feeder for enrollment to our main Rensselaer campus. By 1973, this extension became independent of Saint Joe and renamed to Calumet College of Saint Joseph. It was also during these years that many of our campus buildings were constructed including the Alumni Fieldhouse, Raleigh Hall, Halleck Student Center, Schweitermann Hall, and 6 dorms.

1889 - 1936

In 1889, Saint Joseph’s College was chartered and by 1891, the first school year began with two distinct academic tracks: a Classical program for priesthood and a Commercial program for grade school teachers. Although known as a college, the students were at a high school level or lower. This high school division of the institution would become known as the Saint Joseph’s Academy. By 1896, college level programs were offered, establishing Saint Joe as a junior college. It wasn’t until 1936 that academic instruction expanded to include four-year college level courses. In 1909, the cornerstone of our Chapel was laid and construction completed in 1910.

1868 - 1888

In 1868, the Saint Joseph’s Orphan Asylum and Manual Training School opened on land that would eventually become known as our beloved Collegeville campus. Twenty years later, the Saint Joseph’s Indian School was open in the building that is now known as Drexel Hall. 

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