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St. Thomas University Turning Out Ethical, Strong, Community-Based Leaders

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Part of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, internationally noted St. Thomas University graduates confident leaders in their field. Aside from their required coursework in their subject of study, all students must take six credits each in Philosophy and Religion graduating young adults who are ethical, strong, willing to help within their communities and ready to take on the world.

Studies encompass global entrepreneurship and undergraduate scientific research to divinity studies, liberal arts and intercultural human rights in various schools (such as law, business, sciences/technology/engineering). More specific academic specializations include justice, international business, sports administration, sciences and ministry. Vice President of University Advancement Hilda M. Fernandez tells us, "the personalized nature of our university experience is a differentiator, providing each student with the opportunity to be mentored by a faculty advisor, while being supported by an academic advisor."

Don't let the rigorous schooling fool you. Part of the out-of-classroom learning is sports. Yes, beach volleyball has arrived with the addition of new courts, but St. Thomas also has championship teams. Other non-classroom learning includes internships, studies abroad, service learning and student activities. "In keeping with our motto, 'Developing leaders for Life,' our students are provided meaningful opportunities to engage and learn to be ethical leaders, whether in athletics, clubs or other extracurricular activities," explains Fernandez of their philosophy.

Gaining admission to a university is rarely easy, but St. Thomas realizes that not all students' capacities to succeed are measured by standardized test scores or GPAs. Fernandez states, "The evaluation process considers the full portfolio of experiences (academic, extracurricular, etc) of our applicants when making admissions decisions, in addition to standard measures for consideration (GPA, SAT, etc.)." This allows all students to be weighted on a more even basis for entry."

As for their globally aware, multicultural students, Fernandez proudly states: "Our graduates tell us that the intimate, personalized environment at St. Thomas University allowed them to flourish intellectually, spiritually and socially. Here they are not a number, but an individual who is known by name and given the tools to succeed."

The school's motto is: "Developing leaders for life." Their small class sizes, mentoring program, well-rounded academics, focus on ethics and an overall understanding of what young adults need to be successful in all facets of life make this a stand-out university. Fernandez says, "Businesses are looking to hire employees that are not only credentialed, but also understand the value of honesty and integrity."

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