Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Loyola Chicago to Open Junior College

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Loyola Chicago to Open Junior College

Article excerpt

A few years ago, Jesuit Fr. Michael Garanzini, president of Loyola University Chicago, had an idea to start a junior college at the university as a way to create access and affordability for Chicago-area high school students who might not otherwise find their way into college. In August 2015, Arrupe College will open its doors to a group of 100 students.

The college is named after the Jesuits' 28th superior general, Pedro Arrupe (1907-91), who challenged society to think of new ways to educate young people. NCR spoke with Jesuit Fr. Stephen Katsouros, Arrupe College's dean and executive director, about this new initiative.

NCR: How did Arrupe College come about and what has been the response by the university's board of trustees and other important stakeholders?

Katsouros: Fr. Garanzini ... tested his idea [of a junior college] with leaders of Catholic, charter and public high schools in Chicago, and the answer was an overwhelming "Yes, this option is timely and necessary"

Jesuit colleges and universities have achieved much success over the years, but with this success is the risk of becoming "elitist," at least from the cost perspective, and this leaves some potential students out. Fr. Garanzini and his leadership team came up with a financial model to make this junior college option viable, especially by deploying the resources of the university

In June 2014, the board of trustees approved of the new college with great receptivity. They are very positive about this.

Where does Arrupe College fit within the university and how does the financial model work?

I report to both the president and provost and serve on the Council of Deans and as a member of the president's cabinet. Unlike the other deans, the current thinking for now is that this initiative needs to be connected to both Fr. Garanzini and the provost, Dr. John Pelissero.

One of the key aspects of Arrupe College is that a building on campus has become available. The business school is going to be moving to a new facility, and this allowed Arrupe College to use three floors of an existing five-story building.

Our students will all be commuters, who also qualify for Pell Grants and state aid due to financial eligibility Each student will receive a small scholarship from the university The university will cover the overhead and the college will be able to get assistance from different parts of the university, like the admissions office, security the health and wellness group, and so on.

We expect that the students will work at a job for 20-25 hours a week and they will contribute $1,700-$1,800 towards their tuition. In addition, we are seeking grants and gifts from foundations and individuals.

In 2015, we will have 100 students, and in five years we expect to have 400 students total, or 200 per academic year.

Arrupe College has a board of advisers and is receiving wonderful support from many people connected to the university

One of the key characteristics of Arrupe College is that it's going to be a very structured, holistic learning experience and with a very engaged faculty. Will you explain how the academic delivery methods will work in the college?

Our first and foremost mission is to serve well and offer choices for students without many [higher education] choices. We've really relied on the expertise by experts like Paul Tough, who wrote the book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, Dr. David Yeager of the University of Texas at Austin; and others in developing our program.

We will be hiring an associate dean for academic affairs. This person will focus on, among other things, educational technology It may turn out that we have a hybrid model of hard copy books and e-books. We have to be aware that some of our students may not have access to Wi-Fi.

We are recruiting faculty who will be outstanding in their academic competencies, content areas. …

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