Contact: Deanna Howes Spiro, Vice President of Communications, AJCU
Jesuit business deans have long been leaders in collaboration. From launching the Global Jesuit Case Series for faculty, students and alumni, and the Jesuit MBA Network for transfer students, to sharing best practices in an array of academic journals, the deans have recognized the opportunities and benefits that arise through working together. A new initiative is taking their collaboration even further: the Jesuit Promise for Lifelong Learning.
This new program will enable alumni of participating Jesuit business school programs to audit classes offered by participating sister Jesuit colleges and universities, for free. Classes will be offered by seventeen institutions whose deans announced a public endorsement of the program this summer.
According to Joseph Eisenhauer, Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Detroit Mercy, “The idea originated more than three years ago with Kevin Stevens, Dean of the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago. In March 2018, as he prepared to host the Fall conference of the Jesuit Business Deans, Dr. Stevens proposed ‘a discussion of the viability of offering a lifetime, nationwide “warranty”’ that would allow graduates to continue their education at any participating Jesuit business school.”
Over the next three years, the deans fleshed out the idea over conversations during in-person and virtual meetings. The AJCU Chief Academic Officers were then consulted for a review of an agreement among the schools, which was finalized in June, and first publicized by the International Association of Jesuit Universities in July.
For Joseph DiAngelo, Dean of the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University, this initiative is another way that Jesuit colleges and universities can demonstrate their values. He said, “As part of the Jesuit mission of ‘care for the individual,’ we’ve always focused on taking care of the students even after they’ve graduated. We’ve had collaborative programs in this vein for a number of years and this is just another opportunity to provide options and services for our students and our alumni.”
Classes may be held online or in person, with capacity determined by the host institution. Auditing is permitted up to the level of a participant’s degree, i.e., undergraduate courses for Bachelor’s degree recipients; undergraduate and graduate courses for Master’s recipients; and courses at any level for doctoral recipients. Alumni must contact participating institutions to learn more about courses available for the next academic year.
Shari Plantz-Masters, Academic Dean for the Anderson College of Business and Computing at Regis University, believes that through the program, alumni will not only prepare themselves for future jobs, but continue to learn more about the breadth and scope of Jesuit education. She said, “Bringing our alumni back and reminding them of the foundation of a Jesuit education is one major benefit of this and one of the reasons we should be doing it. The employers of the future are requiring people to learn and if we’re not a part of that, as Jesuit institutions, we’re missing the opportunity to have that kind of influence, especially in business. That’s where I think that Jesuit education, and the values that all of our institutions bring, is crucial in continuing to make an impact on the world and in society.”
To learn more about the Jesuit Promise for Lifelong Learning (including a full list of participating institutions), please click here.