As a mathematics teacher, I liked to include an essay question on tests asking students to describe how to solve a problem, rather than just solving it in mathematical form. If a student could verbalize the process, I knew she understood it.
This was one of the goals in mind when Mercy Education developed the Core Values and Profile of the Graduate. These materials – created with broad participation from stakeholder groups including school board members, administrators, faculty and staff, parents, students and alumni – help to articulate Mercy charism for students and equip them to live intentionally merciful lives even after they leave our schools.
Within the Profile of the Graduate, the Student Attributes and Curricula + Experiences columns offer so much opportunity to our schools. Student Attributes are traits “intentionally formed within our curricula and the entire Mercy experience. Students continue to nurture these qualities throughout their lives.” What a dynamic, hopeful statement! It speaks to the heart of our mission, to “nurture highly competent and deeply compassionate leaders ready to serve a vulnerable world.”
Within Curricula + Experiences is where schools put their own stamp. While our goals are common, the student experience at each Mercy school is unique. Capstone projects on the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy help students embody the Core Value of Compelled By Mercy with its attributes: compassion, empathy and a responsibility to serve. A novel assigned in a literature class may lead to discussions about how society treats persons who are marginalized, enabling students to make connections to Catholic Social Teaching. This helps them to articulate another Core Value, A Voice for Dignity and Respect, along with its attributes: grace, advocacy and inclusivity.
Mercy students are committed to doing the Works of Mercy. The number of service-learning projects, food collections, toy drives, and other service experiences at this time of year is testament to this. The Profile of the Graduate challenges schools to take the next step, helping students articulate the attributes they are exhibiting through service. How do we do this? Display the Mercy Education Core Values. Customize the third column of the Profile of the Graduate, Curricula + Experiences, to reflect the student experience at your Mercy school. Highlight these materials in the curriculum and clubs. Share them in marketing and admissions. These steps will complement the work you are already doing to develop graduates who are lifelong promoters of Mercy values.
Please contact Lauren Albright if you have questions about the branding materials mentioned in this article.
This is the seventh installment in the “Charism Corner” series written by Sister Regina Ward, RSM, Associate Director for Mission for Mercy Education. Catch up on all the columns here.