Holy Cross College is a private, coed, liberal arts school located just outside of South Bend, Indiana in what is technically known as Notre Dame on grounds adjacent to Notre Dame University and Saint Mary’s College. Founded in 1966 in the Roman Catholic tradition (one it still maintains today), it was stewarded by the Brother’s of the Holy Cross, a division within the Congregation of Holy Cross (called the CSC, which makes sense when you see the Spanish spelling) dedicated to “educating and sensitizing persons to the need of the world for justice and peace”. This led them to create a college to advance their mission, using higher education to help mold “competent minds and courageous hearts for leading purposeful lives”.
Originally a two year college that would help prepare students to advance to the academic rigors of Notre Dame (perhaps you remember it from the movie Rudy), this 150 acre campus now offers four year programs ending in Bachelor of Arts degrees to its student body of about 500. For a small school, they bring in students from all states and over 30 countries, many of whom are drawn in by the school’s unique requirements, including spending a “Global Immersion Experience” in a foreign country, a study abroad requirement for all graduates, with destinations from Mexico to Ghana. This need to encourage global perspectives and experiential learning also requires undergrads to intern and create a service learning project before graduation. In fact, the Holy Cross “core” education is built on five competencies instilled in all graduates regardless of major, ranging from Oral/Written Communication to Computer Savvy to Quantitative Reasoning. Through their liberal arts general education, they look to instill these skills that “will support and magnify your success”.
Distance learning isn’t offered at this time (apart from some online class components), as the school, is still a whisper next to the massive schools it abets. Currently, Holy Cross offers only 9 majors of study, as well as minors, leading to baccalaureate degrees, with popular choices being Business and Liberal Studies (in which they also offer an Associate degree). The small size creates a “community of learners”, and even the seemingly miniscule amount of faculty (around 40) helps perpetuate this feeling of closeness with those around you, all with the same educational goals, allowing a more personal learning environment.
Holy Cross College maintains their Catholic traditions with more than just a B.A. in Theology, still holding a mass on six days out of the week (on Saturday, they rest) and maintaining a ministry philosophy of “Distinctively Catholic, Open to All”.
Though still utilizing the resources of nearby juggernaut Notre Dame and the respected St Mary’s, Holy Cross has made a name for itself over the last few years by creating a college dedicate to what it has been doing since the start. It still prepares students for the next step, but now take the onus on itself and uses their unique liberal arts core and Catholic values to give students the tools ready to succeed in the real world, not just the next college.