Members of Christendom’s class of 2016 are busy making their post-graduation plans. Some are planning on entering the workforce immediately, while others are choosing to continue their educations. From studying in the Masters Program at Baylor University to enrolling in the accelerated nursing program at George Mason University, a number of this year’s graduating class are excelling beyond their peers and being accepted into some prestigious and competitive academic programs.
Over the past few years, Christendom has taken new steps to help interested students apply for graduate schools and other secondary education programs, from covering the high cost of GRE testing to helping students craft their detailed resumes. One of the newest initiatives undertaken by the college is the graduate school mentorship committee, which works individually with students who have expressed an interest in graduate school, then sets them up with a faculty mentor who helps them with every step of the application process.
Senior Jacob Hiserman was one of the first students to take advantage of this new academic resource. After receiving free GRE preparation and testing, Hiserman worked with Dr. Michael Kelly, the head of graduate school mentorship committee, and the rest of the history department on applying for graduate schools. They helped him narrow down his choices, wrote informal and formal recommendations for him, and critiqued his personal statement until his graduate school application was the best it could possibly be.
Hiserman was accepted to Baylor University this fall for their M.A. program in history, where he will be studying American Religious History and the History of American Higher Education. Hiserman credits his Christendom education, and the help from the mentorship committee, for this great achievement, believing his liberal arts background gave him an edge in the application and interview process.
“The liberal arts background I’ve received in the core curriculum and the philosophical habit of mind and other mental habits that flow from my studies here certainly made me articulate in presenting my case in my graduate school interview at Baylor. The encouragement of my history professors to gain a professional historical basis by writing papers on historiographical debates and critiquing historiographical schools permitted me to provide the graduate schools I applied to with evidence of my fluency in professional historical debates, built upon a broad liberal arts foundation,” says Hiserman.
Senior Catherine McFadden, who will graduate with a B.A. in philosophy this May, will be joining George Mason University’s accelerated nursing program this fall — one of only forty accepted students, beating out hundreds of other applicants for the coveted spots. If all goes as planned, she will earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in just 12 months.
McFadden began her application process for nursing school thanks to another academic resource at the college: the “Life on Tap” alumni networking series. The college’s career and leadership development office held a “Life on Tap” focused on the medical field, where McFadden was able to network with alumna Tess Sciscilo who earned her BSN after graduating from Christendom. Inspired by her story, McFadden enrolled in a community college for prerequisites the very next day, and began researching schools, writing her resume, submitting applications, and taking practice HESI nursing entrance exams soon after.
“The HESI primarily tests reading, comprehension, critical thinking, and the grasp of the English language, all of which are stressed at Christendom. Each of the schools I applied to emphasized a holistic approach when looking at applicants — they wanted a well-rounded person, not merely a high GPA and a background in science,” says McFadden. “Christendom helps you become the kind of person that graduate schools want to accept and companies want to hire — a well spoken, well written, well rounded individual who values serving others rather than themselves. My advice to all Christendom students is to take advantage of ‘Life on Tap’ and all the opportunities for leadership and experience offered here — it’s never too early to start thinking about life after Christendom.”
Alumni at Christendom have been successful in graduate school and other secondary education programs since the founding of the college, with approximately 18% of alumni attaining a graduate degree in the past forty years — 9% better then the national average. To find out more about where alumni have been accepted for graduate, nursing, and other programs, please visit christendom.edu.