the first institution of higher learning in the United States to be founded by
the Society of Jesus and bear the St. Ignatius of Loyola name, Loyola University
Maryland incorporates its spiritual and educational roots in all aspects of its
curriculum. This is evident through its mission, goals, and strategic plan.
Loyola has several core values including
academic excellence, service, and diversity. At Loyola, an eagerness for
learning, discovering, and researching is essential. Standing by its Jesuit traditions,
students are encouraged to be critical and creative in their coursework.
Students have access to facilities that stimulate authentic research and
methodology encouraging their education to go beyond the classroom. Loyola
seeks students who care about the world and humanity. When looking through
applications, admissions officers are eager to find open-minded perspective
students who have positively impacted their local communities and have made a
difference in society. Loyola has a strong commitment to service acting as a
collaborative partner in the Baltimore community. It pledges openness and
awareness for race, gender, age, religion and disabilities allowing for a
diverse student body and rich academic discussion.
Students are able to implement these core
values through the University’s programs and departments on campus. The Center
for Community Service and Justice encourages both students and faculty to get
involved in the Baltimore community through local schools and hospitals while
gaining hands-on experience. Students are able to help in local food banks and
become leaders at local volunteer organizations. Campus Ministry is another
department on campus where students are able to engage with their spiritual
faith and become leaders on campus. Campus Ministry also has a Mission Week in
March and hosts a variety of campus wide events to encourage a strong community
campus-wide. In addition, many students choose to engage in service
opportunities abroad through Loyola’s popular international programs.
Graduate students at Loyola are also
expected to uphold the University’s core principles. They are expected to serve as leaders living a
life of service both professionally and personally. The graduate program
challenges its students to apply their experiences to the classroom and to act
as mentors for the Loyola student body. Loyola believes in a rigorous core
curriculum for its undergraduate students with courses including philosophy,
foreign language, and social science. This core liberal arts curriculum encourages
well-rounded and open-minded thinkers prepared to enter a global society.
Regardless of major, all students are required to take the core curriculum and fulfill
their diversity core that focuses on domestic diversity, global diversity, or
justice awareness. Loyola’s goals for undergraduates include critical
understanding, thinking, and analyzing in all courses. Students are expected to
write effectively and to become competent in all aspects of communication.
Students shall put their faith into action through service and show sensitivity
towards others religions and cultures.
As part of the core curriculum, first
year students are required to complete Loyola’s unique Messina seminar, which
strengthens the bond between students and faculty. A faculty member is assigned
to a group of sixteen students to help them complete various projects, which
cover a variety of different topics relating to the core coursework. Messina
fulfills a core requirement for students and helps make the adjustment from
high school to college work easier while also introducing them to various
faculty members early on in their academic career.
Loyola University Maryland has a strong
four part strategic plan. The first two priorities including citizenship and
engagement reflecting their core values of making all students proactive people
through service in the global community and understanding their roles in
helping to improve society. The institution is planning to create a university-wide
retreat day inviting employees and students to take a break from work and
engage together off campus. The next pillar is educational innovation, helping
undergraduates link their core liberal arts curriculum with their future
careers. The university plans to grow its career services department by
inviting alumni to become active members in the university’s career planning efforts.
In recent years, Loyola has struggled to increase the number of students
majoring in arts and science due to a strong interest in business and
technology. In order to solve this problem, leadership and career services is
working together to better integrate the core curriculum into students’ major
coursework and to connect current students with alumni in those fields. The
final part of the strategic plan is Vitality and Sustainability, looking for
ways to become a more environmentally stable campus in addition to, finding
cost effective ways to lessen the financial burden on student tuition. Loyola
is constantly seeking ways to stabilize tuition to ensure that they continue to
attract a diverse student community without compromising campus-wide offerings.
It is evident that Loyola University
Maryland’s values are heavily reflected in all aspects of student life from
coursework to activities on campus. Both undergraduate and graduate students
are expected to uphold these ideals and carry them through graduation and into
their professional lives. While the University is small in terms of number of
students, it’s course offerings and plans for the future are vast.