Holy Family University is a large school with high expectations. A Catholic University founded by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 1954, this Philadelphia, PA school is located on three campuses in the area and bills itself as a “four year comprehensive” university, as they offer degrees to undergrads and graduates, as well as adult learners and certificate seekers.
Inspired by the Sisters’ beliefs of “respect for the individual” and “the dignity of the human person”, Holy Family operates off of a core system of 6 values meant to guide educators and students through their journey at the university. “Family, respect, integrity, service and responsibility, vision, and learning” are meant to be instilled in all who trod the school, an educational philosophy taken from the “values of the Judeo-Christian religion” and a blueprint for how to teach a “comprehensive” curriculum.
Currently offering 40+majors to their almost 3400 students (2100 undergrads, as well as another 1000 grad students and 250 accelerated learners), Holy Family combines the Catholic tradition with a strong liberal arts aspect in all its academic offerings. Conveniently located on multiple campuses, the main Northeast Philadelphia teaches traditional undergrads/grads, while the Newton Township campus focuses more on graduates and accelerated learning (though education undergrads classes are offered). The Woodhaven Campus, however, is specifically for adult learning and accelerated degrees, offering multiple programs and some distance learning.
Their majors of study range from Business to Nursing, with Bachelor’s, Master’s, certifications and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Professional Studies offered. Their distance learning for undergrads amounts to online access and a number of online and hybrid classes, but adult learners and accelerated degree students are allowed several options, though no fully degreeing programs offered solely online. Accelerated degree programs offer B.S. degrees in two divisions, as well as several MBA options with varying formats (including a “hybrid” format that has one Saturday meeting per month, but is otherwise online), and certifications. Most courses in the accelerated program meet once per week (either evenings or weekends) and require much of the learning to be placed on the student’s shoulders. Again, there is some mix of online work here, but no fully online program. Accelerated programs work with an adult’s busy schedule, with five or eight week classes that meet for intensive four hour classes only occasionally (weekly usually).
Holy Family looks to provide locations and tools to all learners in the vicinity, with a Center for Academic Enhancement, offering learning services at no cost to both day and evening students. Fully networked computers and online tutoring/learning aids are offered five days a week to “enrich the academic experience” and “uphold the University commitment to maintaining standards of academic excellence”.
The school also encourages internship programs and research projects in all its students, with a Cooperative Education program that combines their cores of Service&Responsibility with Learning to create an internship that is individually suited for the student. These programs are meant to give students “insight into their potential” and are valued for their ability to give that on the job experience that can help decide on a career while still earning college credit.
With a 12:1 faculty student ratio and class sizes averaging around 14 students ( a marvel for a college with so many enrolled), Holy Family manages to create a close knit community of learners on a massive scale, offering Christian based educational values at several convenient Philadelphia locations.