In the process of seeking approval for a fully online undergraduate program, the following deficit was noted by the state of Connecticut:
“According to standard 7 of the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education, institutions must provide effective student and academic support to students enrolled in online offerings. Accordingly, the team requested that the College demonstrate its capacity to provide sufficient tutoring and career and placement counseling services to its online students. The response did not provide adequate evidence of this. Please revise your responses to demonstrate how the College is capable of providing these important services.”
As is highlighted, we were in need of tutoring and career placement and counseling services. Our solution was to create a Student Services Center and a Career Center within the Alumni Association. See the new pages in the navigation bar above.
Richard Birdsall, Director of the Career Center
Richard Birdsall, a fellow Holy Apostles alumnus, has accepted the position of Director of the Career Center in which he will serve as a Board Member of the Alumni Association. His goals are to:
- Maintain a populated list of potential employers.
- Query the potential employers routinely for job openings.
- Communicate job openings to the Alumni Association.
- Serve as liaison for students/alumni seeking employment and organizations seeking to fill jobs.
- Provide counsel on career management through the Alumni Association website.
Richard holds a M.A. in Philosophy from Holy Apostles College & Seminary, as well as a Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Florida. He is a retired computer systems manager with the Federal Aviation Administration. He is the founder and manager of the HACS online bookstore and currently is an instructor of philosophy and humanities at Florida State College at Jacksonville. Richard lives in Jacksonville with his wife of 39 years, Marian.
Laura Brown, Director of Student Services
Laura Brown, a fellow Holy Apostles alumna, has accepted the position of Director of Student Services in which she will serve as Board Member of the Alumni Association. Her goals are to:
- Maintain a populated list of potential tutors among the students and alumni.
- Query students and alumni routinely for possible interest in tutoring.
- Communicate new information about tutors to the Alumni Association.
- Serve as liaison for particular students seeking tutors and the tutors on the list.
- Provide counsel on student life through the Alumni Association website.
Laura earned a B.S. in Biology from Loyola University Chicago and worked as a research lab tech prior to making her first career change in 1996. After a fifteen-year career in marketing communications, culminating in her tenure as director of communications with Aquinas College in Nashville, she determined the time was right to attempt another career change. Having discovered Holy Apostles College & Seminary while conducting a peer institution assessment for Aquinas, Laura realized that the HACS Distance M.A. program would enable her to acquire the credentials needed to transform a long-cherished passion for the doctrine and history of the Catholic Church into a meaningful career. She stepped down from her position in 2011, returned to her hometown in the Chicago area, and worked as a freelance copywriter while pursuing a Master’s with a concentration in Dogmatic Theology. Laura graduated in May 2014 and is currently an archives intern with the Archdiocese of Chicago.
In addition to the transferable skills attending her marketing and communications career, Laura also brings direct experience in starting a tutoring program thanks to her work with Foster Angels of Arizona, a nonprofit organization that provided academic enrichment programs to youth in the foster care system of Maricopa County, Arizona (2004 to 2007). She intends to resume coursework at HACS this semester toward a second Master’s degree and says that she is “eternally grateful that HACS put advanced studies within the reach of nontraditional students like me.”
Both Richard and Laura will be posting shortly with more information as they begin to coordinate these services offered through the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Alumni Association. We are grateful for their commitment to help our online program grow.