Core Curriculum

Experience–the first line on your resume: The Four Pillars and Senior Capstone at Holy Cross

Experience is what employers want most. It forms moral character and imagination. It develops self-confidence, courage, and leadership. It is what stays in your memory long after theorems, equations, and memorized facts have faded away. Holy Cross is unique in that, in order to graduate with a four-year degree, every student must complete our special experiential program that we call The Four Pillars and The Senior Capstone.

Pillar One — The Service Learning Experience:

At Holy Cross we do not count your hours, but instead put you on a team, give you a mentor, and then let you experience firsthand the exciting journey of service. You might be tutoring school kids, helping to serve meals to the poor, visiting the elderly, or even mentoring in a juvenile detention facility. Every Holy Cross graduate has a story to tell about how their team made a difference, and how much they learned—about themselves and society–from this emotionally moving, remarkable experience. LEARN MORE.

Pillar Two — The Global Experience:

Where in the world will you find yourself as a Holy Cross student? Following the footsteps of thousands of slaves in coastal towns of Elmina and Cape Coast in Ghana? Riding the rails of India’s infamous train system? Climbing the ruins in the Sacred Valley of Incas in Peru? Wandering the rainforests of the Amazon in Brazil? Ask anyone who has taken one of these excursions and they’ll tell amazing stories of their adventures living and working alongside the Brothers of Holy Cross in remote villages and major urban areas. It all begins with a four-credit global perspectives sequence that will give you a chance to explore the complexity of global issues locally and abroad, and ends with a short experience with an international community in the United States. More global perspectives experiences are a part of the Through the Eyes of Faith programs that are open to students through a competitive application process. Opportunities with other faculty-led short-term study abroad programs are available as well as semester study abroad programs in partnership with Saint Mary’s College. LEARN MORE.

Pillar Three — The Professional Internship:

Through the Career Development Center, you will have an opportunity to take a career for a “test drive” before you graduate. Holy Cross students have been placed in Washington DC as congressional aides, in large hospitals as health-care assistants, in multi-national corporations as marketing assistants, and in television stations as assistant producers. There is no better way to sharpen transferable skills and demonstrate your employability than to prove yourself in the real world. LEARN MORE.

Pillar Four — The Academic Experience:

We have small, professor-taught classes that challenge your mind and excite your spirit. Engage in soulful debates and discussions with professors and classmates during and after class. Our learning community is not confined to an hour class. Develop your expertise in an academic discipline and prepare yourself to be a leader in the global community. LEARN MORE.

The Capstone Presentation:

What have I learned? How have my experiences changed me? Where will I be going in life? These are some of the questions Holy Cross seniors reflect upon their Holy Cross Experience as they present their own 45-minute multi-media presentation. They will also prepare an electronic portfolio that captures and reflects upon their experiential learning. The Capstone may take many forms and include the topics of your choice. Listening to your experiences, your audience may be moved to tears, laughter, and every emotion in between, but when you have finished presenting yourself to an audience of peers, faculty, community business leaders, and family, you will know that you are fully prepared for graduation and your next step in life. LEARN MORE.