Central to the mission of Walsh Jesuit and other Jesuit high schools is the document, The Graduate at Graduation. The five core characteristics that make up the Grad-at-Grad – Openness to Growth, Intellectual Competence, Religious, Loving, and a Commitment to Doing Justice – lie at the center of student formation.
The desire for a cohesive and communal approach to how students learn about, experience, and integrate the Grad-at-Grad characteristics into their own lives led Walsh Jesuit to create the Companions Program. The resulting endeavor is a four-year program that attempts to explicitly create symmetry between the school’s various mission-based activities and integrate the Grad-at-Grad into the lives and experiences of the students throughout their years as students and into the future.
Using advisory groups, Walsh Jesuit students engage the Grad-at-Grad characteristics alongside adult mentors throughout their four years as students. They are divided into groups of twenty and with the assistance of two faculty/staff members per group, meet six times each year to more fully explore what the Grad-at-Grad means in their lives. Faculty/staff facilitators remain with the same group of students over the course of four years to build community and increase the level of cura personalis (care for the whole person).
Walsh Jesuit implemented the Companions Program with the 2016-17 school year. In its first year, the curriculum was established for the freshman class only. The Program will gradually roll out a curriculum to a new grade level each year over four years, so that full implementation will occur with the 2019-20 school year.