The "Grad at Grad" and Jesuit Schools

Today was awards day, the day that my school -- Xavier College Preparatory High School, in Palm Desert, CA -- honors our students based on the criteria of the Graduate at Graduation, or as Jesuit faculty call it, the "Grad at Grad." 

I don't think many readers know about these criteria. The Grad at Grad is a list of five characteristics that all Jesuit high schools hope their graduates will embody. More than that, for many schools they function (in the language of accreditation) as "ESLRS": the expected schoolwide learning results, aka the things we hope to do, the overall goals of our academic, athletic and spiritual programs.

Advertisement

In introducing the five themes of the Grad at Grad (in 1980), the authors of the original profile noted:

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. . . . In describing the graduate under five general categories, we chose the qualities that seem most desirable not only for this threshold period, but those which seem most desirable for adult life. 

These are the five characteristics:

  • Open to Growth
  • Intellectually Competent
  • Religious
  • Loving
  • Committed to Doing Justice

When representatives of Jesuit secondary institutions gather at colloquia or symposia, many of the activities and presentations are focused on the Grad at Grad or some component of it. A fuller description of each can be found at the Jesuit Secondary Education Association web site. 

For readers: What do you make of this list? If you had to develop your own grad at grad, what qualities would you list? What qualities would be most suitable for this "threshold period" and for a mature Christian life?

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

So what does it matter what a celibate woman thinks about contraception?
Helena BurnsJuly 20, 2018
Former US President Barack Obama gestures to the crowd, during an event in Kogelo, Kisumu, Kenya, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo Brian Inganga)
In Johannesburg, Obama gave what some commentators consider his most important speech since he vacated the Oval Office.
Anthony EganJuly 20, 2018
With his "Mass," Leonard Bernstein uses liturgy to give voice to political unease.
Kevin McCabeJuly 20, 2018
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, arrives for the Jan. 6 installation Mass of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Women often “bring up the voice of those who are the most vulnerable in our society,” says Hans Zollner, S.J., who heads the Centre for Child Protection in Rome.