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What Makes a Catholic College Education Unique?

Catholic colleges are unique communities that foster intellectualism and personal growth with a focus on the humanities. Learn more from an expert here!

Julie McCulloh  Julie McCulloh
 Vice Provost for Enrollment Management
 Gonzaga University
Founded on the belief that all people have something worthwhile to contribute to society, Catholic colleges and universities provide a well-rounded education to prepare graduates for lives of service. They do this by fostering intellectualism and personal growth while providing an experience that speaks directly to those practicing the Catholic faith. These institutions are committed to values such as conscience, charity, compassion, and integrity. You'll find many educational traditions within the structure of Catholic higher education, each with its own unique set of values and practices. Though connected by a common ancestry, the different educational sects each bring something distinctive and diverse to the Catholic educational landscape. Some examples include the Augustinian, Benedictine, Diocesan, Dominican, Franciscan, Holy Cross, Jesuit, Lasallian, Marianist, Sisters of Mercy, and Vincentian heritages.

With its commitment to the worth of each individual, Catholic higher education encourages both spiritual and intellectual growth. While academic disciplines are numerous, a focus upon the humanities is essential. The humanities serve as the foundation for understanding the arts and sciences as well as business and industry. Further, the humanities engender within students a healthy respect for the contributions of all disciplines. Regardless of the degrees students earn at Catholic institutions, they leave with a strong ethical foundation and the ability to write well, think critically, and communicate effectively.

While the humanities provide a strong ethical foundation and instill a desire for lifelong learning, the Catholic intellectual tradition demands the pursuit of all disciplines: science and medicine, engineering and technology, education and business. Catholic college graduates obtain placement in top-tier graduate programs and professional schools, and they secure employment through their well-rounded education and superior training.

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