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Program Design

 Learn More About the Program Design


A First-Year Seminar Program

  • Each student will experience a small seminar style class of about 16 students in both the fall and spring semesters of the student’s first year.
  • Professors teaching the Fall and Spring seminar courses will collaborate with one another and with a professional campus administrator and a student peer leader to provide continuity in course themes and student learning.
  • At least one of the two Messina seminars will fulfill a requirement of Loyola’s core curriculum.
  • Integrating the instructor/advisor roles, the students' core academic advisor will be one of their Messina seminar instructors.  

Course and Program Themes

  • The paired seminars will be keyed to a broader theme that will not only invite interdisciplinary conversations between those courses but also provide connections to the other professors and students participating in this theme. 
  • To encourage intellectual exchange outside the classroom, students will be housed according to the theme that they choose. Commuter students will be assigned specific residence hall affiliations in order to speed their transition to Loyola University.
  • Students, both residential and commuter would participate in extra- and co-curricular activities sponsored by faculty, residence hall staff, student development offices, campus ministry and the Center for Community, Service, and Justice that highlight the particular theme of the residential community as well as issues that typically impact first year students. 

An Emphasis on Discernment and Community

  • Consistent with Loyola’s aim to create “men and women for and with others,” each student is encouraged to become increasingly self-aware of their development  personally and as a member of Loyola’s community.
  • Pursuant to the Jesuit principle of cura personalis and Loyola’s aim to “educate the whole person,” the program seeks to have each student integrate his or her intellectual life with his or her social life in ways that promote the ability to make well thought out decisions based on careful reflection and discernment.
  • Through unity of purpose and close collaboration, faculty, campus administrators, and student leaders will seek to illuminate, refine, and reinforce these aims of personal development, community, and discernment in class discussions, residence hall activities and extra- and co-curricular events.

Learn more about Messina by viewing the Messina & Your First Year video!