Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Jesuit Universities—a Great Choice for Social Justice Oriented Students

This week I visited Santa Clara University for an in-depth look at a Jesuit university.  Santa Clara is one of three Jesuit institutions in California along with Loyola Marymount and the University of San Francisco. 

The Jesuits, an order of Catholics, have been known for their dedication to the education of the whole person.  Contrary to what some students might assume, a student at Santa Clara or another Jesuit University does not need to be Catholic or even Christian to attend. 

Santa Clara’s curriculum reflects the Jesuit approach to develop well-rounded individuals through broad and deep studies of many disciplines.
Santa Clara University Library

Key elements include:
--a core curriculum that features the liberal arts
--emphasis on global citizenship and service learning
--community engagement

Here are a few highlights of what I learned during my tour:

*Santa Clara was founded in 1851, the older higher education institution in California. It houses three undergraduate/graduate schools: Arts and Sciences, Business and Engineering.
University Residence Hall

*Current enrollment is 5,400 undergraduates.  In 2014 over 15,000 applications were submitted.

*The fastest growing major at Santa Clara is environmental studies.  There is a strong pre-med program with excellent medical school placement.

*The university offer many internship opportunities in high technology companies.

*In 2003 the Global Social Benefit Institute was founded to help solve international poverty through a sustainable impact business model.

*Multiple immersion trip opportunities give students the chance to encounter challenging situations within a safe environment.

*Santa Clara boasts a 97% retention rate from freshman to sophomore year.

While Santa Clara is not a smaller Stanford, it does offer rigorous and stimulating academics in a similar Silicon Valley environment.  For students with an international perspective who want to make a positive impact on the world it’s worth a careful consideration for the college list.

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