Catholic Colleges Seek Support of Catholic School Colleagues to Spread the Good News of Catholic Higher Education

Article excerpt

Values that Matter Campaign survey shows that there is measurable value in values

In early 2007, the National Catholic College Admission Association (National CCAA) initiated a campaign to promote Catholic higher education in the United States and beyond. The campaign, called Values that Matter, is the first of its type.

The campaign encompasses themes that reflect Catholic higher education. It started with highlighting the results of the comparative Catholic college and university alumni outcomes survey, a major research project that compared the experience that graduates of Catholic colleges and universities have had versus benchmark data from a survey conducted among graduates of large public flagship colleges and universities.

The second theme reflected in the Values that Matter title is based on the experience that Catholic college students receive and on the belief that the investment in the tuition at Catholic colleges and universities is well worth it because there is exceptional value in Catholic education.

To date, only slightly more than 13 percent of college students who are Catholic attend Catholic colleges and universities. This is despite the research findings that people who attend Catholic colleges are more apt to be participants and leaders in the Catholic Church.

Catholic colleges and universities have experienced exceptional growth over the last 10 years and that enrollment is comprised of 60 to 95 percent Roman Catholic students. But of the 87 percent of Catholic students who are not at Catholic colleges, overwhelmingly most are at public universities.

There are many reasons for this, but two of the major reasons cited are that Catholic higher education is not perceived to be affordable and that the larger universities are better-or at least a better value. The cost issue is a reality for some and a misconception for others. Virtually all Catholic colleges and universities in the United States work hard to provide financial packages that make the education affordable without burdening students with a great deal of debt after graduation.

The second issue involves name recognition and the perception that "bigger is better." While students see definitive advantages at large state schools regarding facilities and a wider spectrum of programs, the comparative alumni study showed that the benefits of Catholic schools include more interaction with faculty, integration of faith and religion in classroom discussions and the promotion of values that are more meaningful after graduation in the development of work, family and church lives.

The underpinning of the Values that Matter Campaign is that there is measurable value in values!

During the 2007-2008 school year the National CCAA shared this information with Catholic secondary schools. …