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Jesuit colleges tour Spokane: Part I

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Cathy McMeekan

Recently a group of Jesuit college representatives came through Spokane on their annual Jesuit Excellence Tour (JET) to provide information to students, parents and counselors about the options for Jesuit higher education. There are 28 Jesuit colleges in the U.S. and although all the colleges have the common Jesuit mission, they offer distinctive programs. At the core Jesuit education is about educating men and women for others which includes attending to the intellectual, spiritual, and physical education of students.

Among the fifteen colleges that were represented on this portion of the nation-wide JET program was a wide geographic spread of institutions. They ranged in undergraduate student population from roughly 2,900 to 9,700 and had various special academic programs. Because service to others is a big theme in Jesuit education, many of the colleges offer nursing and other health care or social service programs. Listed below are the first seven of the participating schools and the highlights shared by their representatives.

College of the Holy Cross is located in Worcester, MA, only about 40 minutes from Boston. It is the only all undergraduate Jesuit college. Pre-med and pre-law are very popular programs with about 85 percent of students going on to advanced degrees. They offer a four year housing guarantee and because of that 93 percent of students live on campus.

Creighton University in Omaha, NE boasts a well-known reputation for education in the health sciences. They have a full complement of health related graduate programs as well, including schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and physical and occupational therapy. They offer a five semester co-curricular program at the undergraduate level to groom students for medical school admission and give preference to Creighton graduates in their graduate program admissions.

Fordham University is located in New York City and has two distinctive residential campuses. The Rose Hill campus has the traditional small liberal arts campus feel and is located in the Bronx. The other campus, Lincoln Center, has a more metropolitan feel and is located in the cultural heart of Manhattan. Because of the prime locations of their campuses Fordham is ranked in the top five nationally for their internship program with more than 2,600 opportunities for students.

Gonzaga University is our hometown Jesuit institution in Spokane. The Gonzaga students truly live the Jesuit mission of “men and women in service for others” as the college is ranked as the number one small size school in the country for students going into the Peace Corps. The new University Center will open in fall of 2015 and a new performing arts center is next on the slate to be built. Gonzaga has direct admission into nursing which is a popular campus program.

Loyola Marymount University is located on a hill overlooking both Los Angeles and the California coast. With the close proximity to the Greater Los Angeles area it is no surprise that internships play a major role in the LMU students’ academic careers. A new life sciences building will open in the summer of 2015.

Loyola University Chicago is another Jesuit school with several distinct campuses. The residential campus on the northern part of the city is just off Lake Michigan, and the downtown campus is located in the heart of Chicago. It is the largest of the Jesuit institutions and has a Medical Center in Maywood, IL along with additional campuses in Rome, Bejing and Vietnam.

Loyola University Maryland’s location in Baltimore provides students with a great campus setting but with access to many opportunities off campus. Washington DC is 45 minutes away and there are three major airports within an hour from campus providing student access to a variety of internship opportunities . There is a strong emphasis on study abroad and between 60 and 70 percent of juniors choose to study abroad. Most students have some international experience or an international focus in their academic program. Their admissions program is also test optional.

Next week Part 2 of this article will include information on Loyola University New Orleans, Marquette University, Regis University, Saint Louis University, Santa Clara University, Seattle University, University of San Francisco and Xavier University.

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