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February 2021

Saint Joseph's College (Indiana), a Catholic college founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, pledges itself to a tradition of excellence and to a liberal education that is a united endeavor of intelligence and faith.

Graduate Spotlight: Micaela Benitez, MA

This month's graduate spotlight is about recent Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, Micaela Benitez.

Before pursuing her certification at Saint Joseph's College, Micaela was a manager at Victoria's Secret while pursuing her degree in Education. She says, "I realized right before graduation that I wasn't wholehearted in the education field, and knew I wanted to go back to school to work in the healthcare industry."

Micaela chose the certification program at Saint Joe because she was ecstatic to hear the College was offering classes again on campus. Micaela originally was a freshman at Saint Joe in 2015 pursuing Nursing.

Shortly after learning of the closing of campus, she transferred to Purdue University where she studied Education.

Micaela says, "I have always loved Saint Joe's campus and was so excited to hear they were offering certifications to the public again. It fell into place once I heard my store was closing and had the perfect opportunity to come back to school to complete the medical assistant program."

Micaela shares, "Hali Chapman is such a great instructor! I cannot express how thankful I was to have her as my instructor. She made class fun while giving real-life situations. I felt so prepared going into my first job after completing the certification. I would (and I have) recommended this certification to numerous people because the hands-on experience, as well as the class size, made it such a great opportunity to get one on one instruction."

Since completing her certification, Micaela has accepted a position at the Family Health Clinic where she works with a pediatric nurse practitioner. Micaela shares, "I absolutely love my job where I get to room for the best nurse practitioner, and I get to see all kinds of kiddos! I feel like I am learning something new every day and I am always on the go with these kiddos."


Saint Joseph's College Welcome House of Grace to Campus

Saint Joseph's College Trustees and staff are pleased to welcome The House of Grace to campus. The House of Grace is a nonprofit, faith-based organization established in 2017 in Thorntown, Indiana. They provide education, spiritual and emotional healing, and a safe environment where residents experience an at-home familiarity. The House of Grace, available for women who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, is a safe place for women coming out of jail or prison and is INARR (Indiana Affiliation of Recovery Residents) certified.

While on campus, the ladies have the opportunity to further their education through the various programs being offered and developed through the College. Tammy Tidd, Founder and Executive Director, states, "Taking these classes and completing the program is going to give them a chance to get a degree or license, get a good-paying job, and take care of themselves and their families. It will help them stay out of the pit of wondering how they are going to make it. It will build their self-esteem and confidence, which they may never have or lost while in the mess of things. Our hope is the ladies who complete the program will want to be part of helping lead the next lady into a better life."

Saint Joseph's College is grateful for the opportunity to partner with The House of Grace to establish a home in Rensselaer, which follows our mission of serving the underserved. The House of Grace currently occupies one apartment on campus.


Saint Joe Continues Pursuit in Higher Education

The goal of the Saint Joseph's College Board of Trustees continues to be bringing back higher education to the College campus. Unfortunately, it's not a sprint; it's a marathon. Acquiring accreditation takes years.

In the meantime, the College needs to produce revenue. To this end, certification courses in healthcare have been developed, which continue to grow and produce income for the College. So far, the College has graduated and certified nineteen medical assistants, six nursing assistants, and one phlebotomist, with additional classes taking place right now and more scheduled soon. New health care certification programs are in development for introduction in 2021. But the certification programs are not the finished product. The certification programs are the first step while working on other partnerships to bring back two and four-year degrees.

Saint Joseph's College continues its partnership with Marian University. As you know, Marian University created Saint Joseph's College of Marian University in Indianapolis, which is an innovative and mission-driven two-year college, which offers flexible class schedules that allow students to work, if they choose, while earning their associate degree. The College has been in discussions with Marian University regarding offering classes at SJC, but, at this point, they are unable to do so due to the current economic environment.

Meetings continue with local Rensselaer and Jasper County leadership to discuss partnerships and the needs of the community. Discussions have included how the College could help the agricultural community, how it can create opportunities for local high school students, and how it can partner with the Jasper County Airport. Additional meetings are being scheduled. Local leadership has been very supportive.

Discussions regarding partnerships with other higher education institutions are progressing. These types of partnerships take time, proposals, and Board approvals. They are not the type of news we can share until both organizations and their boards have approved agreements. Our goal continues to be to have students on campus working toward their associate or bachelor's degree, and we hope you will celebrate with us when that day is here.

For more questions or to share your ideas, please contact Beth Graf at

Contact Us

Saint Joseph’s College PO Box 300 Rensselaer, IN 47978

Beth Graf, Director of Communications and Development

Phone: 219-866-6000 ext 2014

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