By Dr. Joseph DeFeo, Executive Director, Ignatian Colleagues Program
For the past eight years, AJCU’s Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP) has been providing an intensive educational and experiential learning program for college and university leaders to deepen their intellectual understanding and engagement of the Jesuit and Catholic mission on their campuses. In an effort to learn how the program has influenced them, the ICP Alumni Narrative Project was launched.
The ICP Alumni Narrative Project was created out of a series of discussions with ICP alumni who were preparing for the upcoming Cohort 8 & Alumni Summer Workshop (August 1-2, 2016) in Chicago. The workshop will center on a question offered by former Jesuit Superior General, Rev. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J.: “Who do our students become?” Committee members raised the idea of having ICP alumni reflect on who they had become as a result of their ICP experience. Beyond the summer workshop and future ICP assessments, the real gift of this project could serve as a powerful response to what Jesuit higher education offers its students, colleagues and academia.
ICP is an approximately eighteen-month program that includes a series of online learning workshops, each with 10-12 hours of preparation material. Participants also engage in teleconferences; international immersion trips; a silent Ignatian retreat; capstone projects and more. Nearly 400 administrators and faculty members have participated in ICP. Given these rich opportunities for learning and the many meaningful relationships that are formed among cohort members across our Jesuit institutions, the insights can be transformative.
These responses are providing windows for understanding key aspects that make up the Jesuit charism. Some reflect on the experience as a whole, while others share how one particular experience or moment has remained with them.
Since their participation in the program, many ICP alumni have taken leadership roles in areas related to mission at their institutions. These include leading new faculty at orientation, participating in conversations related to hiring for mission, and developing seminars and programs for students, faculty and staff. Combined with their particular area of expertise and/or discipline, ICP alumni are well poised to model and teach the Jesuit mission to the next generation of administrators, faculty, and students.
Nuevo Amanecer (New Dawn)