The Catholic University of America

Aug. 19, 2009

Catholic University Back-to-School News

Students arriving at The Catholic University of America for the start of classes on Monday, Aug. 31, will find new academic programs and expanded study abroad opportunities.

The School of Engineering is offering an Alternative and Renewable Energy Track within the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the National Catholic School of Social Service is offering a new Bachelor of Social Work degree.

The School of Engineering's "green" track follows in the path of the School of Architecture and Planning, which last year began to offer two graduate programs focused on green design and improved planning: a Master of City and Regional Planning and a Master of Science in Sustainable Design.

TV crews seeking B-roll footage of new students on campus can get video by attending CUA's new student orientation, to be held Thursday, Aug. 27, through Sunday, Aug. 30. Parents and new students will attend educational sessions, mixers, skits and other events designed to help them make the high school-to-college transition. Students and their families will be able to learn more about the Brookland neighborhood, where CUA is located, by taking a trolley tour of the area. Families also will help students move into their residence halls during this time.

CUA admissions, housing, student life and orientation staff are available to comment for back-to-school stories. To arrange interviews or other coverage, call Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy at 202-319-5600.

Photo/Video Opportunities


CUA New Student Orientation: Aug. 27-Aug. 30, 2009
Students Move into Residence Halls: Aug. 27 (new students)
Aug. 29-30 (returning students)
CUA First Day of Classes: Aug. 31, 2008

Details of back-to-school news at CUA follow:

Alternative and Renewable Energy Track
Offered by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the new track allows students to earn a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree with a concentration on alternative and renewable energy systems. Students in the alternative energy track will take the first course offered this fall, "An Introduction to Alternative Energy," with a full curriculum expected to be in place by fall 2010.

Bachelor of Social Work
Starting this fall, the National Catholic School of Social Service will offer an undergraduate program awarding a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Until now, social work students have earned a Bachelor of Arts degree through CUA's School of Arts and Sciences or the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies.

The additional designation as an undergraduate degree program will create a greater professional identity among the approximately 50 undergraduate social work students, said Lynn Milgram Mayer, assistant professor and chair of the Undergraduate Social Work Program.

Ten New Study Abroad Destinations
Starting in spring 2010, Catholic University students will have more options for studying abroad that will include 10 non-traditional overseas destinations.

CUAbroad, the education abroad unit of Catholic University's Center for Global Education, is offering new programs in Argentina, Chile, Beijing and Shanghai in China, Ecuador, India, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand and South Africa. The deadline to apply for spring semester 2010 is Oct. 1.

Catholic University will host an Education Abroad Fair Wednesday, Sept. 9, for students. For more information, visit

Mass of the Holy Spirit
The university community will gather to celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit at 12:10 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Upper Church. CUA's president, Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., will serve as homilist.

This traditional opening Mass of the academic year regularly draws heavy attendance by students, faculty and staff. Following the Mass, CUA will hold its fourth annual University Picnic on the lawn and west patio of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. Classes will be cancelled between 12:10 and 3 p.m.

Theological College
On their way to becoming priests, 28 seminarians will begin classes at Theological College on Tuesday, Aug. 25, representing the largest class in recent times at CUA's national seminary. The new seminarians join 44 men who will return to their studies and formation for the priesthood Thursday, Aug. 27, at Theological College after a summer break.

In honor of the Church's "Year for Priests," Catholic University will host a symposium on Oct. 6 and 7 that will explore the mystery of the priesthood in light of the Church's theological and spiritual heritage.

Titled "Ministerial Priesthood in the Third Millennium: 'Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests' " the two-day symposium will feature talks by priests who are members of the CUA faculty, representatives of the Society of St. Sulpice and other clergy. The event also will include Q-and-A sessions and small-group discussions.

Co-sponsored by CUA's School of Theology and Religious Studies and Theological College, the national seminary of Catholic University, the symposium will celebrate the Year for Priests which started June 19, 2009, and runs through June 19, 2010.

For more information, visit Catholic University's Year for Priests Web site,

Catholic University, the International Shaw Society and the Washington Stage Guild this fall will present the 2009 International Shaw Conference. From Thursday, Oct. 15, to Sunday, Oct. 18, the university's Department of Drama will host George Bernard Shaw scholars from all over the world for a meeting with a theme aptly chosen for the nation's capital - Shaw & Politics.

For more information, visit or

Yellow Ribbon Program
Catholic University is pledging scholarship support for veterans and qualifying members of the military through participation in the Post-9/11 GI Bill's Yellow Ribbon Program. As a Yellow Ribbon school, CUA will provide assistance for up to 250 members of the military who will study at the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies.

Federal Grant for Emergency Preparedness
Catholic University will use a $491,681 Emergency Management for Higher Education Grant to enhance CUA's student-safety programs.

The grant will be used to review and update existing emergency plans, train those who would support the management of an emergency and improve safety awareness and emergency communications.

As CUA improves its emergency planning, it will pay particular attention to prevention of potential threats, including violence on campus, and to responses to potential threats, including infectious disease outbreaks. The university also will consider how to best meet the needs of people with disabilities and others with special requirements during an emergency.

CUA added an emergency communications tool - a state-of-the-art campus-wide public-address system - and a backup safety center in 2008. More than $900,000 was invested in safety upgrades at CUA in the aftermath of the April 16, 2007, shootings at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

MEDIA: For additional information, to arrange interviews or to attend the events referenced above, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.