Since 2014, Christendom College has heavily promoted the idea that Christendom students should attend graduate school. The primary emphasis in this push is that with their graduate degree in hand, Christendom alumni can have an even better effect on society as they work to fulfill the college’s goal of restoring all things in Christ.
Some of the efforts made to achieve these goals have been greatly appreciated. The career office now reimburses students for taking the GRE, and pays for online GRE test preparation for interested students. The office has also partnered with a faculty committee focused on graduate school mentorship, getting students the guidance they need to find good colleges and excel at their applications.
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“Students are at an exciting point in their lives, and we want to ensure that they have the help they need to succeed,” says Matt Marcolini, director of career development.
If a student is interested in graduate school studies, Marcolini has a detailed graduate school information packet that details necessary test scores, the best graduate schools in the country for each career field, and more.
This personalized attention sets Christendom’s career development office apart from other colleges, making it easier for students to get all the advice and guidance they need before graduation.
“Throughout the year, I email the students, talk with them at lunch, and encourage them in passing to come see me so we can talk about what they want to do with their education. Rather than just standing in front of them all and delivering a talk, I want to meet one-on-one with each of them and get to know them. Forming this kind of connection with students is crucial, because it gives me the opportunity to get to know them and discover not only what they want to do, but also how I can personally help them achieve their goals,” says Marcolini.
Mathematics major Tom Anderson has benefitted from this personalized attention. After working with the career development office to prepare for the GRE, and working closely with a faculty mentor, Anderson has been accepted to the mathematics Ph.D. program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha this coming fall.
“Through the career development office, I was able to receive GRE preparation materials, which were invaluable to my studying for the GRE,” says Anderson. “I know that, without the help I received, I would not have had access to the high-quality preparation materials. My mathematics professor, Dr. Douglas Dailey, was instrumental with my application process as well. He knows the ‘lay of the land’ in mathematics and he was able to share with me the strengths and weaknesses of certain departments. He also was kind enough to review all of my application materials, which helped immensely. The career office and the faculty were key to my ability to get into graduate school.”
Anderson is not alone in this achievement. Luke Maschue and Jane Adams have both been accepted to multiple graduate schools, including the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the Catholic University of America. Maschue and Adams were both aided every step of the way by the career office and faculty advisors, as they took the GRE and went through the application process.
In Adams’ case, she was also a semi-finalist for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study abroad. After taking the GRE and discovering the scholarship, she worked with history professor Dr. Christopher Lane to prepare and compete for it. Lane is the Fulbright Program Advisor at Christendom, and spent many man-hours working with Adams and others on their applications.
Adams plans on pursuing her Ph.D. in medieval studies, with the hope of teaching eventually at the graduate level. Going forward, Lane believes that other students will be able to compete for the scholarship, thanks to their liberal arts background.
“The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is fundamentally designed as an opportunity for international exchange, wherein our country’s best young people serve as cultural and intellectual ambassadors to the world,” says Lane. “Christendom helps form young men and women for this task in a variety of ways. Our rigorous, extensive core curriculum and our Rome study abroad program expose them to a past and to a present far outside their own experience. The fact that our faculty gets to know our students on a personal level and in multiple courses has been a great resource for our ability to give the mentoring necessary for a strong Fulbright application and for well-informed letters of recommendation.”
These are just a few examples of the graduate school plans seniors have for after graduation. Others will be studying at St. Louis University and the University of Notre Dame, while still others have plans to study abroad. In any case, thanks to the time-tested liberal arts education, the personalized attention given by faculty mentors, and the remarkable efforts of the career development office, these seniors are most certainly on the road to success, daring to be great in all that they do.