Boston College’s well-known commitment to student formation is manifest in service programs such as the Appalachia Volunteers, in religious and developmental retreats, and in special academic programs, such as “Faith, Peace, and Justice,” which combines academic inquiry into the nature of a just world and placements in programs that work with the poor and underprivileged.
So as to bring further coherence and quality to these programs and to the developmental experiences of undergraduate students generally, the University will establish a Center for Student Formation that will create campus-wide standards for formation programs, will offer grants to faculty and staff to develop formation initiatives, and that will bring in experts in student development from across the country to stimulate conversation on campus about “the education of the whole person.”
At the heart of student formation is an integration of intellectual endeavors and everyday life experiences, said Joseph Appleyard, S.J., the University’s vice president for mission and ministry, and the chief developer of a popular formation program called Intersections. Intersections brings students together at various times during their college years to consider their life’s “vocation,” construing the term in its broadest sense to mean their vocation to career, family, society, and personal enrichment.
“Intersection students look at three questions: What gives me joy? Am I good at this? and Does anyone need me to do it?” said Fr. Appleyard. “In other words: How do I best use my talents to make the world a better place? Our goal is to produce graduates of Boston College who have a clear sense of how their talents match the world’s needs.”
Appleyard, a scholar of the ways in which individuals engage with literature from childhood to maturity, believes that formation cannot be considered a discrete activity. “Never-ending conversation—in classrooms, dorm rooms, dining halls, faculty offices, casual encounters, and work settings” is the foundation for student formation, he said.
The Center for Student Formation will not only stimulate and fund this activity; it will also assess the effect of programs on undergraduates, and steer faculty and staff to develop initiatives to meet the shifting needs of students, now and into the future.
also in development
- Programming for graduate students
- Residential Learning Program