Our Lady of the Holy Cross College Distance Learning

Our Lady of the Holy Cross College is a Roman Catholic college still guided by its connection to its founders, the Ministry of the Marianites of Holy Cross. Established first as a two year teacher’s college (“normal school”) for women, it has grown to offer both Bachelor and Master’s programs since its inception in 1916 (and began admitting men by 1967), though it has never abandoned its Catholic roots.

OLHCC is a “prophetic presence in an ever-changing world”, a “Catholic, comprehensive” college that balances “liberal arts, sciences, and nationally accredited professional programs” while still striving to “integrate the mind and heart in the Marianite tradition”.

The university’s home in New Orleans, Louisianan is on a small 16 acre plot in the Algiers area of town, alongside the mighty Mississippi River. They offer 53+ majors of study to a student body of 1300  graduate, undergraduate, and certificate seekers, taught by faulty who are over 70% terminally degreed in their field. For Bachelor seekers, recognized programs in Nursing, Education, and Theology offer hands on learning mixed with service/leadership opportunities in a rich academic environment that values experience as much as knowledge. Master seekers are offered a small number of degree options in key areas as well, with an MA in either Counseling, or Theology available, as well as a Master of Education (not surprising that a religious backed normal school should have graduate programs in theology and education).

Distance education is growing at OLHCC, with more online course for credit being added every year. Currently offering about 20 courses (organized and delivered through Blackboard), listings come from all departments and include Oceanography to Catholic Moral Principles. There is also one degree delivered online, a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science of Nursing program (as OLHCC is one of the top nursing programs in Louisiana) that comes in 3, 4, or 5 semester formats to suit any working nurses schedule. With generous credit transfer guidelines for this program, students can work toward their Bachelor without interrupting life.

There is a great PDF file that lists the benefits and drawbacks to online learning, including a list of qualities for a good distance learner (time organization, computer access, etc). Their library includes an automated catalogue allowing students to view the materials online, as well as access to the LOUISiana Digital Library, furthering connecting students with a host of the state’s libraries, museums, and archives.  Email, financial aid, and course registering are also available and offer PowerCAMPUS self-service, “designed to provide…an educational institution’s learning community with anytime, anywhere access to information services”.

Campus ministry programs are utilized often here with the goal of “engaging students to be a servant leader”, developing core OLHCC values like “compassion, truth, and goodness” as well as academic excellence. There are also numerous community and school activities from Habitat to Humanity to a Spring BBQ and Crawfish gala meant to bring that feeling of a family to all members of the college and surrounding New Orleans.

Bringing those Christ-like morals to bear on education in the hopes of creating stronger, more compassionate service leaders of tomorrow, Our Lady of the Holy Cross College educates the mind, body, and soul as a complete whole.

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