Jul 22, 2024  
2017-2018 Saint Joseph’s College Online 
2017-2018 Saint Joseph’s College Online [Archived Catalog]

General Information

Introduction & General Information

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History and Spirit

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Saint Joseph’s College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college for men and women of all faiths and ages, located on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine, on what was once a large estate owned by the Verrill family of Portland. The campus consists of 474 acres and offers views of the lake and the White Mountains in the distance.

Saint Joseph’s was founded by the Portland Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in 1912 and chartered by the Maine Legislature in 1915. Today, it is Maine’s only Catholic college. Saint Joseph’s College grants degrees in fulfillment of the educational ideals of the Sisters of Mercy, founded by Mary Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831.

From the time of the foundation of the Portland Regional Community in the Diocese of Portland in 1883, the Sisters of Mercy worked toward the establishment of a college.  From 1912 to 1956, the College was located on the grounds of the Motherhouse in the Deering district of Portland. In 1949, the name of the College was changed from Saint Joseph’s to The College of Our Lady of Mercy; but with the change of site to Sebago Lake, Standish, in 1956, the original name of “Saint Joseph’s” was reinstated.

In 1970, Saint Joseph’s became a coeducational institution. The College began offering distance education programs in 1976. Today, Saint Joseph’s College provides certificates as well as undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online program that operates in conjunction with the College’s Sebago Lake Campus.

With more than 100 years as a foundation, Saint Joseph’s College is determined to meet today’s and tomorrow’s opportunities for service to the local, state, national and global communities.

Statement of Mission

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Rooted in and professing fidelity to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines and heritage of the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Joseph’s College, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, is a liberal arts college that nurtures intellectual, spiritual, and social growth in students of all ages and all faiths within a value-centered environment.

In fulfillment of this Mission, Saint Joseph’s College will:

  • foster a strong academic community dedicated to the pursuit of truth through serious study, integration of knowledge, and an ongoing dialogue between faith and reason;
  • encourage all students to explore widely the arts and sciences while they also prepare to live ethical and meaningful lives;
  • provide a strong foundation for graduate study, professional service, and career advancement;
  • offer in an extension of its Mission to multiple areas of the world, both degree and non-degree programs through distance education;
  • enhance students’ awareness of human dignity and the meaning of life;
  • advocate for justice and peace in recognition of each person’s responsibility for the welfare of both humankind and the environment.

Core Values

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The Core Values of the College, rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and in the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, are the foundation for this educational mission. Taken to heart, these values exist at our very core; they are made visible in our daily interactions. They are:

FAITH — Rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, therefore, we respect diverse religious traditions and honor each individual’s religious beliefs. Through the curriculum, sacramental opportunities and co-curricular activities, we invite all members of the College community to develop their faith as an essential dimension of their lives.

EXCELLENCE — As a Catholic liberal arts college, we seek to combine faith with reason in the pursuit of academic excellence. We call all members of the College community to excel as individuals and as professionals within their specific roles.

INTEGRITY — Concerned for the common good as individuals and as a community, we commit ourselves to honesty in all relations with students, faculty, staff, and administration. Through our integrity, we maintain the trust of the surrounding community and of public and governmental agencies.

COMMUNITY — Informed by the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, we demonstrate our spirit of connectedness with one another through our expressions of hospitality, courtesy, inclusive relationships, shared values, and collaboration. We extend this value of community by reaching out to neighbors and to members of the broader civic and ecclesial communities.

RESPECT — Mindful of the achievements of the past, we value and respect the contribution of each member of the Saint Joseph’s College community to the advancement of our mission. We encourage and support each other as colleagues working together for the good of the whole institution.

COMPASSION — Inspired by the example of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, we open our hearts to those among us in physical, psychological, or spiritual need. We consciously reach out beyond our college boundaries to serve the needs of others with compassion and mercy.

JUSTICE — Recognizing the dignity of all persons, we seek to address instances of injustice both within and outside our College community from a stance of informed advocacy. We hold ourselves accountable to each other and endeavor to practice responsible stewardship of the resources available to us.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

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Saint Joseph’s College is committed to the development of every student through a process of lifelong learning. To that end, members of the College community are encouraged to pursue the following goals in accordance with the Mission of Saint Joseph’s College as a Catholic liberal arts college:

1.  Identify and apply the ethical and moral dimensions of their particular field of study.  
2.  Demonstrate effective communication skills in both written and oral formats.  
3.  Demonstrate competency in programmatic content and career preparation through applied and/or experiential learning opportunities.  
4.  Engage in responsible citizenship, social justice, and environmental stewardship.  
5.  Demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and evaluate information from diverse sources and perspectives.

Nondiscriminatory Policy

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Saint Joseph’s College admits students without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, age, or disability to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, age, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.

Saint Joseph’s College is also authorized under Federal Law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.

Saint Joseph’s College is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. The College recruits, hires, trains, and promotes persons in all job groups without regard to race, age, sex, national origin, veteran status or physical or mental disability.


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Saint Joseph’s College was established in 1915 pursuant to authority granted in the Articles of Incorporation under the laws of the State of Maine and is empowered by the State to grant collegiate honors and degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels of study.


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Saint Joseph’s College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., a nongovernmental, nationally recognized organization whose affiliated institutions include elementary schools through collegiate institutions offering postgraduate instruction.

Accreditation of an institution by the New England Association indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied through a peer group review process. An accredited school or college is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the New England Association is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of the quality of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Inquiries regarding the status of an institution’s accreditation by the New England Association should be directed to the administrative staff of the school or college. Individuals may also contact the Association:

New England Association of Schools & Colleges
209 Burlington Road
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730-1433
Telephone: 617-271-0022.

The Elementary Education and Physical Education majors and the Secondary Education minor are State of Maine approved programs.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master’s degree program in nursing at Saint Joseph’s College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791 .  The pre-licensure baccalaureate program is approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing.

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