Grad-at-Grad

Profile of the Walsh Jesuit Graduate at Graduation

A Walsh Jesuit student is Open to Growth, Intellectually Competent, Religious, Loving, and Committed to Doing Justice


Introduction

In one sense, the graduate is a threshold person: he or she is on or rapidly approaching the threshold of young adulthood. The world of childhood has been left behind definitively. The movement from childhood toward adulthood has involved anxiety, awkward embarrassment, and fearful first steps into sexual identity, independence, first love, first job, and sometimes first lengthy stay away from home. It has also involved physical, emotional and mental development, which brought out strengths, abilities, and characteristics which adults and peers began to appreciate. The adolescent during those four or five years prior to graduation began to realize that he or she could do some things well, sometimes very well, like playing basketball, acting, writing, doing math, fixing or driving cars, making music or making money. There have also been failures and disappointments. Even these, however, have helped the student to move toward maturity.

Fluctuating between highs and lows of fear and confidence, love and loneliness, confusion and success, the Walsh Jesuit student at graduation has negotiated during these years many of the shoals of adolescence. On the other hand, the graduate has not reached the maturity of the college senior. During the last year of high school, especially, the senior is beginning to awaken to complexity, to discover many puzzling things about the adult world. He or she does not understand why adults break their promises, or how the economy “works,” or why there are wars, or what power is and how it ought to be used. Yet he or she is old enough to begin framing the questions. And so, as some of the inner turmoil of the past few years begins to settle, the graduate looks out on the adult world with a sense of wonderment, with a growing desire to enter that world, yet not quite able to make sense out of it. More and more confident with peers, knowing the territory, so to speak, of the youth culture, the graduate can more easily pick up the clues of that culture and what is expected in a given situation, and the graduate is independent enough to choose a value-based response. As for the adult world, however, the graduate is still a “threshold person,” one who is entering cautiously; an immigrant, eager to find the way.

In describing the graduate under five general categories, we chose those qualities that seem most desirable not only for this threshold period, but those which seem most desirable for adult life. These five general categories sum up the many aspects or areas of life most in accord with a full adult living of the Christ life. Whether one conceives of the desirable qualities of a graduate of Walsh Jesuit High School under the rubric of a “Person for Others” or as a “Vatican II person,” as an Insignis, or simply as a fully mature Christian, the qualities summed up under the five categories below appear to be the kind of qualities — granted that they are not fully developed in late adolescence — which cumulatively point in the direction of the kind of person who can live an adult Christian life in the late twentieth century. These categories are I. Open to Growth, II. Intellectually Competent, III. Religious, IV. Loving, and V. Committed to Doing Justice. Some specific elements under these categories in the Profile could have been placed under another of the five categories. Obviously, all of the characteristics described are in dynamic interaction. The division into the five categories simply provides a helpful way to analyze and describe the graduate. Some overlapping is evident because, in fact, many of these qualities are mutually related and intertwined.

 

Open to Growth

The Walsh Jesuit High School student at the time of graduation has matured as a person — emotionally, intellectually, physically, socially, religiously — to a level that reflects some intentional responsibility for one’s own growth. The graduate is beginning to reach out in his or her development, seeking opportunities to stretch one’s mind, imagination, feelings, and religious consciousness.

Although still very much in the process of developing, the graduate already:

  1. is beginning to take responsibility for growth as a person; desires integrity and excellence in multiple facets of one’s life.
  2. is learning how to accept self, both talents and limitations, with a sense of humility and gratitude.
  3. recognizes the need for leisure and recreation and budgets time for those activities.
  4. exercises regularly for physical fitness and health.
  5. understands principles of good nutrition and practices healthy eating habits.
  6. understands the dangers of and avoids the use of controlled substances.
  7. is more conscious of his or her feelings and is freer and more authentic in expressing them and managing one’s impulsive drives.
  8. is open to a variety of aesthetic experiences, and continues to develop a wide range of imaginative sensibilities.
  9. is becoming more flexible and open to other points of view; recognizes how much one learns from a careful listening to peers and significant others; and recognizes one’s biases, limitations, and thinking patterns.
  10. is developing a habit of reflection on experience which informs future actions.
  11. is beginning to seek new experiences, even those that involve some risk or the possibility of failure.
  12. is learning to view criticism and setbacks as interesting, challenging, and growth producing.
  13. beings to practice leadership skills, including vision, relating well and collaborating with others, and acting with integrity.
  14. sees leadership as an opportunity for service to others and the community.
  15. is developing a healthy and appropriate sense of humor.
  16. is exploring career and life-style choices within a framework of faith and values.
  17. is becoming more aware of choices and consequences relating to adult issues.
  18. understands the implications and hazards of technology-based activities, including issues of privacy, social isolation, access to pornography, and addictive use of technology itself.
  19. views emerging technology as potentially supportive to personal and professional growth.

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Intellectually Competent

By graduation the Walsh Jesuit High School student will exhibit a mastery of those academic requirements for advanced forms of education. While these requirements are broken down into departmental subject matter areas, the student will have developed many intellectual skills and understandings that cut across and go beyond academic requirements for college entrance. The student is also developing habits of intellectual inquiry, as well as a disposition towards life-long learning. The student is beginning to see the need for intellectual integrity in his or her personal quest for religious truth and in his or her response to issues of social justice. (Note: Although this section deals with intellectual competence, elements from other parts of this Profile clearly presume levels of intellectual understanding consistent with those highlighted in this section.)

By graduation the student already:

  1. has mastered those academic skills required for college (or for some other form of advanced education).
  2. is developing mastery of logic and critical thinking.
  3. is developing precision and creativity in oral and written expression within and across disciplines.
  4. is developing a curiosity to explore ideas and issues.
  5. is developing the ability to apply knowledge and skills to new situations.
  6. is developing problem solving skills.
  7. is able to learn in a variety of settings and through a variety of pedagogical approaches.
  8. is developing the ability to learn as an active member of a team.
  9. uses technology resources to support collaborative work for learning, problem solving, and communication.
  10. uses effectively a variety of media resources to acquire, create and process information.
  11. assesses media and content critically, attending, for example, to issues such as credibility of sources, values expressed or promoted, and civility and respect for persons.
  12. is developing an organized approach to learning tasks.
  13. can present a convincing argument in written and oral form that evidences sound analytical reasoning and convincing rhetoric.
  14. is taking pride and ownership in his or her school accomplishments and is beginning to enjoy intellectual and aesthetic pursuits.
  15. has begun to develop a knowledge of central ideas and methodologies of a variety of academic disciplines.
  16. has begun to relate current issues and perspectives to some of their historical antecedents.
  17. is growing in knowledge and understanding of his or her cultural heritage and of cultural complexities in one’s local community and in a global society.
  18. is beginning to understand the public policy implications of science and technology.
  19. is beginning to understand the interdependence of global economic policies.
  20. understands basic principles of personal finance and handles one’s own finances responsibly.
  21. is beginning to understand both rights and responsibilities as a citizen of one’s country.
  22. is beginning to understand one’s own government and other forms and practices of government around the world.
  23. understands the need for individual and community responsibility for stewardship of the earth’s resources.
  24. understands a variety of images of the human person through literature, biography, history, and the arts that lead to a greater appreciation of the variety of human experience.
  25. s beginning to develop that critical consciousness which enables one better to analyze the contemporary issues facing men and women and to seek and evaluate the various points of view on these issues from the standpoint of a man and woman for and with others.

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Religious

By graduation the Walsh Jesuit High School student will have a basic knowledge of the major doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church. Having been introduced to Ignatian spirituality, the graduate will also have examined his or her own religious feelings and beliefs with a view to choosing a fundamental orientation toward God and estab­lishing a relationship with a religious tradition and/or community. What is said here, respectful of the conscience and religious background of the individual, also applies to the non-Catholic grad­uate of a Jesuit high school. The level of theological understanding of the Jesuit high school graduate will naturally be limited by the student’s level of religious and human development.

By graduation the student already:

  1. has read the Gospels and encountered the person of Jesus Christ as He is presented in the New Testament
  2. has a basic understanding of the Church’s teaching about Jesus Christ and His redeeming mission, as well as the embodiment of that mission in and through the Church.
  3. has an understanding of the variety of the world’s religious traditions.
  4. is beginning to take more responsibility for exploring and affirming one’s own faith.
  5. is increasingly willing to let religious faith influence one’s basic values, lifestyle, and vocational interests.
  6. understands that being fully alive/human necessitates an active relationship with God.
  7. is aware/appreciates that human life is fundamentally spiritual.
  8. has experienced the presence of God (finding God in all things):
    • in private prayer
    • on a retreat
    • in liturgical prayer
    • in some other moments of grace
  9. is learning how to express self in various methods of prayer, especially those from the Spiritual Exercises.
  10. is forming a Christian conscience, evaluates moral choices, and reasons through moral issues with increasing clarity.
  11. appreciates the centrality of the Eucharist to a vibrant Christian community.
  12. is learning through his or her own sinfulness of the need for healing by and reconciliation with friends, family, Church, and the Lord.
  13. recognizes that any sin affects the entire human community.
  14. understands the relationship between faith in Jesus and being a “man or woman for and with others.”
  15. knows Church teachings on moral issues and social justice.

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Loving

By graduation, the Walsh Jesuit High School student is continuing to form his or her own identity. He or she is moving beyond self-interest or self-centeredness in close relationships. The graduate is beginning to be able to risk some deeper levels of relationship in which one can disclose self and accept the mystery of another person and cherish that person. Nonetheless, the graduate’s attempt at loving, while clearly beyond childhood, may not yet reflect the confidence and freedom of an adult.

By graduation the student already:

  1. is learning to trust friends, family, and adults in the school and wider community.
  2. has personally experienced God’s love.
  3. is growing in self-acceptance and in recognizing that he or she is loved by God and others..assumes responsibility for maintaining good personal health.
  4. is attentive to sources of stress and applies healthy strategies to maintain balance in one’s life.
  5. is alert to the signs of emotional and mental distress in others and follows appropriate referral measures.
  6. has begun to identify and work against personal prejudices and stereotypes; is open to and able to communicate with others, especially persons of another race, gender, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or sexual orientation.
  7. has personally experienced support from members of the school community.
  8. has made specific contributions to build school community.
  9. is becoming increasingly comfortable and mature in relating with persons of a different gender.
  10. is beginning to integrate sexuality into his or her personality.
  11. has begun to appreciate deeper personal friendships, while also learning that not all relationships are profound and long lasting.
  12. is beginning to appreciate the satisfaction of giving of oneself through service for and with others.
  13. is increasingly empathetic.
  14. takes into account and values the feelings of others when making decisions.
  15. is sensitive to the beauty and fragility of the created universe and exercises stewardship.
  16. cares deeply about preserving human life.

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Committed to Doing Justice

The Walsh Jesuit High School student at graduation has acquired considerable knowledge of the many needs of local, national, and global communities and is preparing for the day when he or she will take a place in these communities as a competent, concerned and responsible member. The graduate has been inspired to develop the awareness and skills necessary to live in a global society as a person for and with others. Although this commitment to doing justice will come to fruition in mature adulthood, some predispositions will have begun to manifest themselves earlier.

 By graduation the student already:

  1. is growing in awareness of selfish attitudes and tendencies which lead one to treat others unjustly; consciously seeking to be more understanding, accepting, and generous with others.
  2. is beginning to see that Christian faith implies a commitment to a just society.
  3. is growing in awareness of the global nature of many social problems such as human rights, population displacement, resource distribution, war/terrorism, etc., and their impact on human communities.
  4. practices a sustainable lifestyle based on awareness of social, economic and environmental consequences.
  5. is working to be environmentally responsible by limiting the use of non-renewable resources and maximizing sustainable resources.
  6. is beginning to engage in the public dialogue on environmental issues, practices, and solutions.
  7. is beginning to understand the structural roots of injustice in social institutions, attitudes and customs.
  8. is gaining, through experiences of and reflection on Christian service, an understanding of and solidarity with marginalized members of society.
  9. is developing, from reflection on experiences with the marginalized, a sense of compassion and a growing understanding of those social changes which will assist all in attaining their basic human rights.
  10. is becoming aware, through study and reflection, of alternatives in public policy that regulate services provided to segments of the community.
  11. has begun to reflect on social justice implications of future careers.
  12. is beginning to understand the justice implications inherent in Christ’s commandment to love one another.
  13. is beginning to recognize the importance of public opinion and voter influence on public policy in local, regional, national and international arenas.
  14. is beginning to understand the complexity of many social issues and the need for critical reading of diverse sources of information about them.
  15. is beginning to confront some of the moral ambiguities embedded in values promoted by Western culture.
  16. is beginning to make decisions, based on Gospel values, which sometimes conflict with the values of a materialistic society.

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