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Magis: Always Seeking Excellence

A Transformational Experience

We believe that engagement is an essential part of the student development experience, and a key ingredient in developing future leaders. In 2011-12, over three hundred and ninety students took part in leadership programs sponsored by the University's Center for Student Engagement.  These programs include the Scranton Emerging Leaders program, the Ignite Student Leadership Conference, Royal Summit, Student Transitional Summit, and a number of leadership-focused internships. In 2012, over eighty-eight percent of graduating seniors indicated that they believed their leadership abilities were much stronger or stronger as a result of their undergraduate education, according to the College Senior Survey. In the Weinberg Memorial Library, two faculty members, Kristen Yarmey and Sheli McHugh, were named American Library Association Emerging Leaders


This commitment to engagement also permeates the way the University has crafted and supports its online programs. By design, the University infuses the principles of "responsibility, social justice, and sustainability...three factors [that are] either implicitly or explicitly infused in every class these students take online. That whole philosophy of Jesuit ethics is there," according to Dr. W. Jeffrey Welsh, Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE).   In this past year, the University's online MBA program was ranked first and its online education program was ranked second in the category of Teaching Practices and Student Engagement by the inaugural U.S. News and World Report national rankings of the growing field of online offerings in higher education.  In 2011, the CGCE launched a new orientation program for graduate students, with particular focus on engaging non-campus based graduate students in understanding the University's Jesuit mission.

Over the last several years, the University has invested heavily in its athletics programs, hiring seven full-time members of the coaching staff and a new assistant director of sports information in 2011-12. Student athletes found new opportunities to engage with the launch of the Faculty Mentor Program, and through the initiatives of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.  The Office of Athletics launched a new web site in 2012. These efforts are paying off. in 2011-12, the University finished 4th overall in the Landmark Conference All Sports Cup standings, just six tenths of a point away from first place.

Inquiry, Engagement & Scholarship

The University remains committed to being a center for inquiry, study and learning within our region, particularly for conferences and events which engage members of our community and others in collaborative conversations.  In 2011, the University hosted the 10th Annual Northeastern Conference on disAbility, a forum for students, faculty, and professionals to discuss the topic of "Transition Planning: In School, To Work, for Life." And, the University hosted the second the second annual northeastern Pennsylvania Conference on Aging and the 31st National Convocation of Jail and Prison Ministry. The Ignite Leadership Conference hosted college students from throughout the region in February 2012, and this past summer, the University opened its campus to students from ages 8 to eighteen interested in exploring the arts through the inagural Summer Theatre Program. The University's Schemel Forum continues to serve as a venue for robust cultural discussion in our community.  Schemel Forum Director, Sondra Myers, was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Commission on Presidential Scholars. The University serves as a gathering space for a number of community activities and events; in 2011-12, the University hosted 516 non-University events on its campus.


Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships

In 2011-12, the University welcomed two visiting Fulbright Scholars, and three Fulbright foreign language teaching assistants to its campus. Continuing the University's long history of educating students of exceptional ability to go on to achieve prestigious scholarships, in 2011-12, five Scranton students were awarded Fulbright Fellowships; seven students were finalists for these coveted opportunities. The University also graduated its tenth Goldwater Scholar in ten years. Nine Scranton students were recipients of the President's Fellowship for Summer Research Awards in 2012. In 2011-12, 60 University students presented their scholarship and research at the annual Celebration of Student Scholars. In 2011-12, 116 students took part in the University's Faculty-Student Research Program, cultivating student scholarly activities.


Innovative Programs and Relationships

Over the last two years, the University has been carefully examining the living and learning components of the freshman experience. Following extensive review by University faculty and academic and student services leadership, a new freshman seminar was piloted in fall 2011.  The new program is designed to welcome freshman fully into the academic life of the University, introducing them to our Ignatian heritage and mission, with a focus on Jesuit pedagogy involving context, experience, reflection, action, and evaluation. Following the success of this pilot program, the new First Year Seminar will officially commence with the incoming fall 2012 class.

In the Panuska College of Professional Studies (PCPS), a new four-year professional development program for students, called TAPESTRY, has been developed. This program is designed to engage PCPS students in reflective and developmental activities across the four years of their undergraduate study, addressing Ignatian concepts of magis (excellence), discernment, service to others, and ongoing personal and professional reflection.  The program seeks to ensure that graduates of PCPS programs are prepared not only in theory and clinical practice, but in the interpersonal skills and habits that will enable them to serve the needs of others in their professional roles.  The program will begin with the fall 2012 freshman class.

In 2011, the Kania School of Management introduced several new programs: a new MS/MBA program, a new program in Finance, and the launch of a new Entrepreneurship minor. A new freshman year program for Kania students is being piloted in 2012, which will also be the inaugural year for the reconstituted Kania Center for Practical Learning, a program designed to offer students in the college real-world learning opportunities through simulated laboratory case studies and actual work situations, and co-curricular and mentoring programs that focus on the needs of each individual student. 

In fall 2011, the University entered into an exciting new relationship with The Taiwan Academy, becoming the first charter member and chief point of contact for the Academy in the United States. This articulation agreement will expand the already growing number of collaborative ventures between the University and the Taiwanese government and educational groups.


Strategic Indicators

  • Applications to the University of Scranton for fall 2012 increased by 7% from the previous year.  
  • 89.9% of the undergraduate class of 2011 was either employed or pursuing additional education full-time.
  • 66% of those in the class of 2012 who applied to medical, dental, and other professional schools were accepted.  
  • 4th place finish in the Landmark athletics conference President's Cup for all-sports athletic excellence.
  • 129 University students studied abroad during the 2011-12 academic year.
  • An additional 84 students took part in faculty-led courses abroad in intersession and summer 2011-2012. 
  • 20 new full-time faculty were hired in 2011-12.
  • Nearly $700,000 invested in faculty development 
  • 167 students completed for-credit internships in 2011-12.
  • Over 283,000 hours of experiential learning activities completed in the Panuska College in 2011-12.
  • A record number of graduate degrees - 59 doctoral and 762 master's degrees - were awarded in 2011-12.

Additional Indicators

  • Successful re-accreditation visits for the University's Nursing and Health Administration programs took place in 2011-2012.