Saint Mary’s Announces New Student Advising System


Saint Mary’s College Announces New Student Advising System

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary’s College
(574) 284-4579

July 08, 2009—Saint Mary’s College announces an enhanced student-advising system debuting this fall that will help students navigate not only their majors, but who they are as individuals. The new Cross Currents Program integrates new and existing programs offered by the College’s Academic, Mission and Student Affairs divisions. Cross Currents will expand the opportunities available to each student over four years, providing her with a more robust approach to advising.

“A cross current in a river is where different currents converge into each other,” Dr. Patricia Fleming, senior vice president and dean of faculty, said of the program’s name. “Our students have always enjoyed a multitude of resources available to them from the three divisions, and the programs often flow into each other. Cross Currents recognizes the inter-connection of these resources and delivers them with a more systematic approach.”

As a college committed to the legacy of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, this new advising system focuses the student’s attention to her vocation or calling in life by considering four central questions. In the first year, students consider, “Who am I?” In the sophomore and junior years, students explore the answers to the questions “What is my passion?” and “To what am I called?” In the senior year, students will prepare to leave the College with some provisional answers to the question, “How can I make a positive difference in the world?”

“We are privileged to use these questions because we are a faith-based institution,” Fleming said. “Other secular institutions would have the student ask ‘What is my major?’ as a substitute for the questions ‘What is my passion?” and ‘To what am I called?’” The fourth question, Fleming points out, is consistent with the Sisters’ own commitment to social responsibility and reflects the philosophy of the Congregation’s founder Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau, that education should prepare students to make a difference in the world.

Over the next five years, the College will expand the programs it offers through Cross Currents, including a first year faculty advising program, a peer mentoring program (seniors chosen by first year faculty advisors to partner with them and first year students), an ePortfolio system, a career assessment program, an expanded internship program, a collegiate speaker series, a senior summit and other opportunities as they develop. The Cross Currents Program is funded partially by Lilly Endowment, Inc. under its Sustaining Grant for the Initiative to Promote Opportunity Through Educational Collaborations program.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering bachelor’s degrees in more than 30 major areas of study. The College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the nation's top liberal arts colleges in U.S. News & World Report's 2009 annual survey. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.