The Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program
The Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders program began in fall 2007 to form students in the Catholic intellectual tradition and leadership in order to develop a community of Catholic servants who live out their vocations with awareness of the needs of others and by responding through self-gift.
Through program coursework and by earning a Catholics Studies minor, students engage key thinkers and themes within the Catholic intellectual tradition. In discussions and activities outside the classroom, students grow in leadership skills and experience, and concentrate on bringing the principles of the Loras Catholic Identity Statement to life. Students who are selected for the Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program receive a yearly scholarship. Interested incoming first year students should inquire with the Admission and Financial Planning Offices as to admission requirements for the program and scholarship.
Continuing scholarship students must be full-time. Students are expected to successfully complete all components of the Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program; students’ progressive growth and continued membership in the program are evaluated through the Formation and Probation Policy.
Students are required to have a Loras GPA of at least 2.50 at the conclusion of J-term of their sophomore year for the program to pay the course costs associated with travel to Italy during their junior year.
For more information about participation, please contact Dr. Amanda Osheim.
Breitbach students are expected to complete a minor in Catholic Studies. In addition, they complete the following required courses:
First Year (fall): L.CTL 102 - Engaging Communities-FC
First Year (spring): L.CTL 230 - The Displaced Person-CT
Junior Year (fall): L.CTL 277 - Belief, Unbelief & the Good Life-VX
Junior Year (J-term): L.RST 228, L.RST 258, L.RST 268, L.CTL 263, or L.CTL 265 (Church in Italy)
Senior Year (fall): L.CTL 490 - Leadership Seminar for Social Justice
Sophomore Year: Leadership Formation and Project (Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 p.m.).
Sophomore Year: Urban Immersion weekend during fall free days
Senior Year: Senior Social Justice Project; Retreat Leadership
- Loras Leadership Formation
- Community Service (10 hours/semester)
- Sunday Night Dinner (once a month)
- Breitbach Retreat Weekend (February)
- Involvement in Spiritual Life
- Breitbach Buddy Meetings
- Leadership Coordinator Meetings (one per semester)
Loras College Honors Program
Honors Program Mission Statement
The Loras College Honors Program is dedicated to promoting in academically talented students the qualities of engaged global citizens, in particular the quest for understanding, creativity and problem-solving, conscientious reflection, and the search for meaning, equipping them to be responsible contributors in diverse professional, social, and religious roles.
Honors Program Learning Outcomes:
- Interdisciplinary Research: Students will research a problem from multiple disciplinary perspectives to understand the issue holistically.
- Community-Based Learning and Cultural Competency: Students will identify other interested groups in the larger community and work to understand and problem solve by applying cultural competency principles.
- Collaboration and Team-work: Students will develop and employ collaborative skills to identify challenges and propose a solution.
Honors courses offer:
- A high level of student engagement
- Strong learning communities
- Projects that require creative and original thinking
- Public presentations outside the classroom
- Community-and service-based experiential opportunities
- Conceptually challenging topics and resources
Honors Degree Requirements
Honors students may pursue an Honors Degree, in addition to a regular major. The Honors Degree requires:
- A minimum grade point average of 3.300 at the beginning of their second-to-last semester at the college and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.300 upon graduation
- Honors general education courses: Engaging Communities (FC), Engaging Differences (FD), Catholic Traditions (CT)
- Honors Inquiry - a three-year collaborative research project. Students must register for Honors Research Seminar each semester (L.HON 250, L.HON 350, L.HON 450). Students who study abroad, who graduate early, or who have other exceptional circumstances can work out special accommodations on an individual basis with the Honors Director
Note: Honors students are required to fulfill all Loras College general education requirements. Honors (HON) courses with a general education identifier fulfill the college general education requirements. Students in the Honors program will take HON sections of Engaging Communities (FC), Engaging Differences (FD), and Catholic Traditions (CT). Students also in the Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program do not take Honors sections of Engaging Communities (FC) or Catholic Traditions (CT). Students in the CTL Program must fulfill the same requirements for Honors Inquiry.
Interfaith Leaders Program
The Loras Interfaith Leaders Program strives to help students understand the human dimension of religious faith and practice; the Program seeks to help students discover in themselves those abilities that will assist them in their interactions with people of diverse religious backgrounds. The program hopes that, through careful study, self-reflection, and responsible service, students will learn to lead others toward a deeper, more informed fellowship.
The Human Dimension
Students who graduate as “Interfaith Leaders” will be able to demonstrate that they grasp the central role our shared humanity plays in thinking about and interacting with people of different faiths. Students will demonstrate this outcome when they are able to reflect critically on their own faith commitments, dialogue with others who hold fundamentally different worldviews, and explain in writing and through discussions how human experience provides a basis for interfaith scholarship.
Over time, students in the program will develop basic knowledge of the way religious traditions understand themselves and function within the world. They will demonstrate an ability to explain that knowledge and use it as they engage people of different religious beliefs and practices and analyze different religious and theological arguments.
Because the field of interfaith studies depends upon interaction with multiple faith traditions, students in the Interfaith Scholars program at Loras will demonstrate that they can apply to social situations what they discover about themselves and what they learn about other faiths.
Students who graduate from the Program for Interfaith Leaders will be prepared to continue their inquiry into religion in a world that is generating new ways of accessing information as it continues to change. They will be able to demonstrate abilities necessary to research issues and problems and to place what they learn in contexts designed to help them understand and explain new developments.
On their way to reaching these outcomes, these Interfaith Leaders will learn, practice, and demonstrate certain skills, including the skills to: engage people of other faiths in conversations; express what they learn in speech and in writing; analyze their own beliefs, practices, and experiences; compare and contrast the faith commitments of diverse groups of individuals and communities.
Students admitted into the program are expected to complete 10-12 credit-bearing requirements and participate in all co-curricular activities.
Credit-bearing, curricular requirements include:
9 required credits:
3 credits from the following electives:
Co-curricular requirements include:
- Full, active participation in community-building activities, which will include monthly gatherings for meals, speakers, and service
- Assistance as a discussion leader at 50% of all Children of Abraham Events
- Service as a volunteer with one Dubuque-area interfaith organization such as Children of Abraham, Dubuque Area Congregations United, outreach groups at individual worship sites, City of Dubuque Human Rights Office, etc.
Civic Leaders Program
The Civic Leaders program at Loras College strives to develop attributes students need to be lifelong responsible contributors in their communities. Civic Leaders serve with their own cohort of Loras students, and multiple cohorts across years, to learn about social justice issues and engage in action with non-profit and governmental organizations.
The Civic Leaders Program integrates learning that occurs inside and outside of the classroom. The program is developmental across all four years of the college experience. The program requires the completion of one course (a Civic Leaders designated section of LIB-102 Engaging Communities) and one significant experiential learning opportunity, such as an internship, study abroad or an in-depth service experience. Civic Leaders engage in on-campus and off-campus service while dedicating time to reflect about how experience informs learning. Civic Leaders also have the opportunity to lead by assisting with facilitation of various pieces of the program with peers.
St. Pius X Seminary Program
St. Pius X Seminary is associated with Loras College and operated under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The seminary provides a full undergraduate education and preparation for theological seminary. In addition, it provides a pre-theology program for participants who have already acquired a bachelor’s but do not have the academic background required for admission to a theological seminary (pre-theologians are eligible to earn a second undergraduate degree from Loras with the completion of the philosophy major). Both programs follow the guidelines set out by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Program of Priestly Formation, 6th ed. (2022). In the terminology of that document, St. Pius X Seminary is a collaborative diocesan seminary.
The seminary provides a coordinated program to meet the needs of participants in five principal areas: human formation, spiritual formation, intellectual formation, pastoral formation, and community life. All aspects of formation converge on a common mission: enabling candidates to reach an appropriate level of readiness to participate fruitfully and successfully in priestly formation at the theologate level.
A student who plans to enter major seminary after graduation from Loras is expected to include in his academic program 30 credits in Philosophy, including the following courses:
- Religious Studies and Theology:
- 12 cr. - Elective; selected with the advice of a seminary faculty member
A reading knowledge of Latin and Greek is not an entrance requirement for most theological seminaries. However, most do require such knowledge for all M.A. candidates and strongly suggest that these languages be studied at the undergraduate level.
3+2 Nursing Dual Degree Program
Loras College and Northeast Iowa Community College have a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly offer 3+2 Nursing Dual Degree Program. Under the MoU, Loras students complete coursework in general education and their academic major during the first three years at Loras. Also during this time period, students must successfully complete coursework in anatomy and physiology, nutrition, a January term course that qualifies them to take the Certified Nursing Assistant exam, followed by an online dosage calculation course to prepare them to take the Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) nursing admission exam.
In addition to achieving specific minimum course grades, students must receive a passing score on both exams to gain admission to the program. Students complete their nursing coursework at the NICC Peosta campus typically in their fourth and fifth years and complete their clinical rotations in Dubuque.
Upon successful completion of the fifth year, students are awarded their Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degree from Loras College, their Associate’s Degree in Nursing from NICC and will be eligible to write the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) to become a registered nurse with the added credential of a bachelor’s degree. The currently approved majors are Kinesiology and Spanish.
Entrance and Degree requirements are:
- Students will successfully complete the following requirements in order to gain admittance to the NICC - Loras Nursing Partnership Program:
- CNA course - must be taken at Loras College
- Dosage Calculation
- Anatomy & Physiology I & II
- Pass the HESI Exam
- Loras College students may register for courses at Northeast Iowa Community College provided they satisfy the prerequisite of the particular course or the admission criteria for a particular program of study. For example, a student cannot take PNN:183 Introduction to Nursing Concepts without being officially accepted into that program of study.
- Loras College students earn an Associate degree from Northeast Iowa Community College, while simultaneously earning credits toward their Bachelor’s degree at Loras College, so long as they satisfy these degree requirements:
- Completion of no less than 60 semester hours at Loras College.
- Completion of no less than 18 semester hours at Northeast Iowa Community College.
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.200 at Northeast Iowa Community College.
- Enrollment at Northeast Iowa Community College during the semester that the degree is anticipated.
- All students must complete the Degree requirements listed in this Bulletin, to include the major requirements for the approved majors for this program.
Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program
The mission of the Loras Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health program is to provide students who have already received their bachelor’s degree in a non-science discipline with the necessary undergraduate prerequisite science classes related to admission to health oriented professional programs like medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, physical therapy, physician assistant, or veterinary medicine. The program also provides individual advising, standardized exam guidance, and co-curricular opportunities that can be tailored to the individual student’s background and goals.
Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Program Goals:
- To provide students the opportunity to complete science classes commonly required for entrance to health profession schools within a 12-month period as a full-time student (an individualized plan to complete prerequisite courses with a longer time frame may be developed depending on the health profession school students wish to enter).
- To provide students with personal advising from the Program Director and faculty teaching in the program.
- To provide students with guidance in the application process for Health Profession Schools.
- To provide students with guidance in the preparation for Admission Tests (MCAT, DAT, DA-CAT, OAT, GRE).
- To facilitate shadowing of health professionals in a hospital and practice setting, as well as research and community volunteering opportunities.
- To provide a committee letter of evaluation for the professional program of choice.
- A bachelor’s degree by the time of enrollment, with no or only a few natural science lab or classes taken. (If student has taken some of the prerequisite classes already, the Program Director needs to be contacted to discuss eligibility).
- Strong academic ability, evidenced by a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.000. A holistic admission decision will be based on multiple factors, including ACT/SAT scores, motivation for becoming a physician (or other healthcare profession), work history, volunteer activities, and other extracurricular involvement. An admission committee consisting of several science faculty and the Program Director will make a decision about admission to the program.
- US citizen or permanent resident. (International students interested in specific coursework should please contact the Program Director).
Courses offered in the program:
All courses are held in-person on the Loras College campus. The 12-month program completion timeline can only be met when the student begins the program full-time in the Summer term. A longer personalized schedule may be possible for students beginning the program in the Fall or Spring term, depending on the future health professional program of choice of each student. Students are expected to successfully complete all courses during the program.
Courses in the program are:
Pre-Professional Programs and Advising
Students interested in preparing for professional degrees or graduate programs should consult with the chair of the division or the Director of Pre-Health Professions Advising. Loras College offers academic advising and coursework for the following areas:
All American Bar Association-accredited law schools require a baccalaureate degree and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA Approved Law Schools, published by the American Bar Association and the Law School Admission Council suggests students take courses that lend themselves to the creation of a context in which law may be better understood, courses that augment communication skills and courses that sharpen analytical skills. There is a common consensus that a broad-based academic experience well-grounded in the liberal arts provides the best preparation for law school. All majors offered at Loras College can offer such an experience. In addition, the St. Thomas More Society is a student-run organization that assists with pre-law advising and activities for students with an interest in the legal profession. Loras College sponsors a Moot Court Team for students interested in intercollegiate legal competition.
Students interested in health professional careers are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor and the Director of Pre-Health Professions Advising to determine an appropriate program of study to meet their career or graduate program goals. More detail regarding each of these programs is available on the Loras College website (loras.edu).
Military Science and ROTC Program
Military science courses and Army SROTC is available through cross-registration at the University of Dubuque. For more information, contact Registrar Scott Stran at Scott.Stran@loras.edu or 563-588-7779.
To meet specific educational goals, students may “individualize” their majors at Loras. Interested students must apply through their advisor. The advisor submits the student’s proposal to the most appropriate Division Chair. The Academic Council reviews each application to determine that:
- the proposed course of study does not duplicate a current major at Loras;
- Loras can support the proposed individualized major;
- the student who completes a proposed major will be able to demonstrate a proficiency in the liberal arts that compares well with students who graduate from Loras with a traditional major.