“The Hawk will never die.” I believe it to be true after spending two wonderful days on the St. Joe’s Philadelphia campus for a counselor fly-in (train-in for me) visit. From the second I stepped onto the picturesque St. Joseph’s campus, it was crystal clear that there is an abundance of school pride and a strong sense of community here.
St. Joe’s is a Jesuit University that does not just talk the talk but walks the walk as well. President Reed summarized the hallmarks of a Jesuit education: time tested, grounded in liberal arts, value based, and serve the greater good. Students who are a good fit for St. Joe’s are empathetic and service minded. While we were there students had just returned from the annual Spring Break Service Trip and were anxious to share their experiences with us. This trip is the hot ticket on campus. No joke! It was sold out for the third year in a row within an hour.
Academics are housed in two schools: the College of Arts and Sciences and the Haub School of Business. Students who are unsure of their major can apply undecided. All St. Joe students are required to take a general core curriculum designed to explore different areas of study and help students narrow down their interests.
Standout nationally recognized programs are Food Marketing and Insurance. St. Joe’s Food Marketing Program has a long storied history dating back to 1962. Graduates of the program are in high demand with nearly 100-percent employment placement within six months of graduation. Food marketing students have the option to complete a five-year co-op program or a traditional four-year program with required industry internships. We heard from students who had just returned from the Las Vegas Food show. All food-marketing students must complete a capstone. St. Joe’s insurance program has been consistently ranked high and is now tied at number one with U Penn. Other standout programs are Business Intelligence and Data Analytics and Sports Marketing. The Leadership Ethics and Organization program is the largest major in Haub. Students who combine this major with psychology, food marketing and other business majors say that LEO adds a new perspective and teaches them to think critically through an ethical lens.
My biggest take away from my visit is that SJU students, alum and faculty foster ties that bind for life. This was especially evident with the networking program “Talk with Hawks,” which connects students with industry leader alums looking to help their own.
Most of the nearly 5,000 undergraduates are from the Mid-Atlantic and New England. And, 65-percent of all students self identify as being Catholic. Students told me that it is not a suitcase school, however, it is not unusually for students who live within a two-hour drive to go home now and then on the weekends.
There is plenty to do on campus. Division I sports are played here. Basketball is the biggest spectator sport and the Holy War Basketball Game against Nova is the most anticipated game of the year. Students can buy $80 season tickets. Our tour guide told us that the student section is always packed. Greek life is small but mighty here. About 20-percent of all students join sororities and fraternities. Students told us that Greek life is not essential to have a full social life but it is very active on campus. Shuttles take students to bars, restaurants and downtown Philly.
Students Success Center
There are two summer jump-start programs for freshmen: the Passport Program, which is a conditional acceptance program and the Student Hawks, which is student selected. Supplemental instruction and peer tutoring is available to all students.
Each application is read holistically. St. Joe’s is test optional. Students who choose not to submit SAT or ACT need not send any additional materials. All students are reviewed for merit aid and the honors program. And, if you get a “Red Envelope” from admissions, it’s always good news!
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