Our Lady of the Lake University is a Catholic sponsored school founded in 1895 (though college programs didn’t start until 1911) through the help of the Congregation of Divine Providence. Located in San Antonio, Texas, it still operates under the teachings of the Catholic church, striving to marry “quality in every academic program…service to the communities of which it is a part… and strong spirituality” to help develop a student to their fullest potential.
A student body of roughly 1500 undergraduate and 1200 graduate students attend OLLU, though some are involved in one of the distance degree or Weekend College programs. Degree programs are offered at all levels, with 33 Bachelor, 14 Master, and 2 doctoral programs, including area specific majors like Hispanic Marketing and Mariachi Music Education. Because of the regional population and “deep Hispanic roots”(highest percentage of Hispanics of any Catholic university), many programs are specifically tailored for the area including dual-language certifications in all undergraduate degree programs and Borderland Studies certification. There’s even a program in Computer Information and Security authorized by the NSA.
Pre-professional offerings are extensive (pre-med, pre-law, pre-pharmacy…almost a dozen total) and teacher certifications in just about every area are available.
Our Lady of the Lake has numerous Master’s level degrees available online for professionals too busy to stop and go back for further education, and even offers a Bachelor program for distance learners. For the undergraduate, the BS in Organizational Leadership (also offered through Weekend College and traditionally) is a degree for many occupations, engendering good management/leader qualities with concentrations/certificates in areas from Criminal Justice to Mexican American studies. There’s also an MS level degree in the same area, a 36 credit hour course that perfects the leadership skills espoused in the Bachelor program. Other Master’s level offerings online include a Master of Social Work, two more Master of Science degrees in Nonprofit Management or Information Systems and Securities, a Master of Education in School Counseling or for a Master Technology Teacher, and an MBA.
Online degrees run about 30-36 credit hours at the graduate level and are usually designed to be achieved in just two years, without any on campus work at all. Most programs are also offered through Weekend College, if the flexibility and self-dedication of an online course isn’t right for you, but you still are looking for degree options that don’t interfere with your working life. Some, like the education Masters, recommend additional certification, but all degrees are accredited the same as their traditional counterparts.
Weekend College was the area’s first weekend degree program, another sign of the school’s dedication to a history of “providing exceptional learning opportunities for women, Hispanic, and non-traditional students” that may not have the opportunity during the week to focus on education. It is offered at the main campus, as well as at satellites in Houston (Lone Star College) and Harlingen (Texas State Technical College) and operates every other weekend for students seeking Bachelors to PhDs (the PhD at Harlingen is the first).
With an eye on the Hispanic community, backed by the teachings and morals of the Catholic church, and offering a “top tier” education at every degree level, Our Lady of the Lake knows its place and time, and looks to pass that on along with a fine education to all students.