When students are learning about all of the different academic opportunities that the Manresa Scholars Program has to offer, many of them are aware of the Fall semester course selections. However, there is oftentimes some confusion regarding the “who, what, and when” of the Manresa classes.
First of all, who takes these special courses? The only students who are able to take these specific Manresa-sponsored courses are students who are in the Manresa program.
What are these classes typically about? We typically offer one theology and one philosophy, and next year we will have one psychology, one history, and one life science class offered as well. These classes are taught at a more advanced level than your usual Fordham classes and are taught by hand-picked professors, who were chosen to be a part of the program due to their exceptional teaching skills and wealth of knowledge in their fields.
When do you take this course? This question is the one that confuses students most often. Some of them assume that they take one of the Manresa courses each semester of their freshman year, while others assume that that they will take a course each semester of their college career until they have taken all of them. However, neither of these options are correct. Each student will take one, and only one, Manresa-specific course during his or her college career, and he or she will complete it during the fall of his or her freshman year.
In the spring, we offer another academic course for our Manresa scholars, but this time rather than it be a three-credit core requirement class, it is a one-credit symposium. Dean Parmach, the director of the Manresa Program, describes this symposium rather well on the course syllabus.
This one-credit (pass/fail) Manresa Symposium explores the relationship between the theoretical and practical experiences of Jesuit education and social justice. It grows out of the collaboration between Manresa faculty, Jesuit-in-residence house master, residential life staff, and the Office of University Mission and Ministry, and emphasizes respectful dialogue, reflection, and action in the Jesuit educational tradition.
The students also volunteer at the Bronx’s local Catholic school, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, five times during the semester. They tutor the older children after class, take part in recreational activities in the after school program, and spend time playing with the preschoolers. Through this service experience, students are able to use their “practical experiences of Jesuit education and social justice” and work to make a difference in other people’s lives one afternoon at a time.
Nicole Benevento, FCRH 2017
Manresa Scholars Program Intern, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016
In-House Academic Tutor, 2016-2017