The Hudson Valley college invests in the future of education through academic programming, student engagement, and experiential learning.
What will education look like for college students this fall semester? At St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) in Sparkill, students will arrive on campus for an enhanced experience that adapts to pandemic changes while providing them all the resources they need to succeed.
“I’m really excited about fall 2021,” enthuses President Ken Daly. “It will be the first post-COVID experience for a number of students, and it will feel much different, much more in-person. We’re making a bunch of investments now so when students come back we can really deliver the experience.”
When it comes to academics, St. Thomas Aquinas College looks to the future. Ahead of the fall semester, the school brings on new full-time faculty to instruct upon course material that students can tap into in their future careers. Fields like STEM, business, healthcare management, and education are a strong focus on campus since they resonate strongly when it comes to post-COVID careers. Environmental and sustainability-centered programs are also important and have expanded based upon student interests on campus.
Also born in response to student interests, the school’s Center for Social Justice and minor in justice studies make it possible for students to engage in a dialogue that resonates across the globe and aids them as they venture into careers to support others.
While strong academics are a critical part of the St. Thomas Aquinas College experience, so too is student engagement. Half of the students on campus are student athletes, and there are over 20 teams in total. Plus, for students who are not athletes, a fitness center, clubs, and upcoming movie nights with food trucks make the college experience extra-special.
“We want to be great educators, but we also want to prepare students for the future,” Daly says, adding “that has to start the first day of college, not the last day of college. If you get relevant experience in college, that will lead to relevant opportunities.”
To assist students with hands-on education, St. Thomas Aquinas College implements the co-op model, which allows students to go into the field and pursue work experiences to learn by doing. The program functions as a supplement to classes, with summer internships available for students who want to make the most of downtime between semesters as well.
On top of that, STAC will offer boot camps to provide students with real-world skills like resume writing, interviewing, spreadsheet-making, and presentations.
“They’re outside of the traditional classroom but meant to build up the skillsets of our students so they’re positioned for success,” Daly notes.
Plus, with the addition of a new admissions office, career services office, and student center, St. Thomas Aquinas College makes sure that when students do step foot on campus in the fall, they’ll be ready for an incredible semester at STAC.
St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Rte 340, Sparkill
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