The Graduate at Graduation

Three seniors from the class of 2017 at graduation

Profile 2020: The Graduate at Graduation

The characteristics of the Profile below describe the St. Ignatius College Preparatory graduate from various perspectives. In a sense, the graduate is a threshold person: he or she is rapidly approaching young adulthood, and the world of childhood has been left behind definitively. In the four years of high school there have been joys and successes as well as failures and disappointments, experiences which have led to the graduate’s maturing. Granted that they are not fully developed in late adolescence, the qualities below describe the characteristics which seem most conducive to a desirable adult life. Some overlapping in the five categories is evident because many of these qualities are mutually related and intertwined. Jesuit education is, has been, and always will be focused on whole person education: mind, spirit, and body. Thus, the Profile always needs to be viewed within the context of the mission of Jesuit education and not merely as a list of achievable outcomes for the Jesuit high school graduate.

I. Open to Growth

A graduate of St. Ignatius has matured as a person – emotionally, intellectually, physically, socially, and religiously - and has developed an openness to the diversity of the surrounding world. On the way to becoming a life-long learner, the graduate is beginning to reach out, seeking opportunities to stretch his or her imagination and feelings.  At the time of graduation the St. Ignatius student will have:

  • contributed to and benefited from all areas of the school community (academic, spiritual and co-curricular);
  • demonstrated an openness to learning from different sources, a recognition of personal bias, and a willingness to engage in respectful dialogue with those who hold different views;
  • exercised cultural competence, showing an appreciation and respect for all individuals and diverse cultures ;
  • engaged in the practice of reflecting on experiences with the aim of informing future actions;
  • recognized the need for leisure, recreation, and aesthetic experiences, finding ways to budget appropriate time for those activities;
  • demonstrated a commitment to the pursuit of excellence, realizing that learning is an on-going process that often involves risk and discomfort, and that criticism and failure may lead to growth.

II. Intellectual

Through a four-year college preparatory curriculum, a graduate of St. Ignatius will develop intellectual skills that go beyond academic excellence and requirements for college entrance. The student is beginning to understand the value of curiosity that leads to scholarly contemplation and a life-long disposition to learn. At the time of graduation the St. Ignatius student will have:

  • demonstrated the ability to think critically and creatively to solve problems in a variety of disciplines and different situations with perseverance and adaptability;
  • demonstrated the ability to access, review, evaluate, and synthesize a variety of media resources, both individually and as a member of a group;
  • demonstrated effective written, oral, and technological communication skills;
  • demonstrated the ability to seek out diverse sources and use that information to evaluate issues of contemporary life in relation to our Gospel values;
  • gained the foundational knowledge necessary for pursuing an academic discipline in advanced education.

III. Religious

A graduate of St. Ignatius shows a basic knowledge of Scripture, doctrines, and practices of the Catholic Church.  Having been introduced to Ignatian spirituality, the graduate will examine his or her own religious feelings and beliefs with the aim of establishing a relationship with God within a religious community.  Always respectful of the conscience and religious background of students affiliated with other faith traditions, these goals apply to the non-Catholic graduate as well.  At the time of graduation the St. Ignatius student will have:

  • demonstrated an understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament, including the Church’s teaching about Jesus Christ and his mission as well as the sacramental expressions of that mission;
  • displayed an understanding of the relationship between faith in Jesus and being a person for and with others, which manifests itself in action based on the Church’s teaching on social justice;
  • become increasingly willing to develop a well-informed conscience and to let personal faith influence basic values, moral choices, and vocational interests;
  • been introduced to other religions and developed a respect for their beliefs;
  • grown in personal spirituality, being able to articulate personal faith and engage in various methods of prayer in private, during liturgy, and on retreat.

IV. Loving

A graduate of St. Ignatius has begun to establish his or her own identity and move beyond self-interest or self-centeredness by forming deeper relationships with others, valuing friendships, and recognizing one’s place in the global community.  The graduate is increasingly empathetic and able to share personal feelings with others.  At the time of graduation the St. Ignatius student will have:

  • demonstrated an awareness of God’s love by growing in self-acceptance and by extending that love to family, friends, and community;
  • demonstrated the ability to form healthy relationships, taking into account the feelings of others when acting, and realizing one’s role in a supportive community;
  • demonstrated the ability make healthy and mature lifestyle decisions, assuming responsibility for maintaining good personal health and being attentive to sources of stress and healthy strategies needed to maintain balance in one’s life;
  • overcome personal prejudices and stereotypes, showing the ability to communicate with others, especially persons of other ethnicities, genders, religions, nationalities, socio-economic backgrounds, or sexual identities;
  • demonstrated sensitivity to the beauty and fragility of the universe, exercising stewardship to maintain God’s creation;
  • acted as a person for and with others by serving people in greatest need. 

V. Committed to Justice

A graduate of St. Ignatius is aware of the many needs of local and global communities and is beginning to use his or her time and talents to work toward a just society in the context of Catholic Social Teaching. The graduate is developing an informed conscience and is preparing to take a place in the world as a competent, concerned, compassionate, and responsible member. At the time of graduation the St. Ignatius student will have:

  • moved beyond selfish tendencies to confront moral ambiguities in contemporary culture and to make decisions, based on Gospel values, which sometimes conflict with the values of a materialistic society;
  • demonstrated an understanding of the connection between personal faith and the need to work toward a just society, emphasizing the importance of justice along with charity in recognizing the needs of the marginalized members of society;
  • recognized the global and systemic nature of many current social problems, becoming aware of alternatives in public policy that might lead to social justice;
  • begun to understand the importance of civic engagement, recognizing how public opinion and voter influence affects public policy in local, regional, national, and international arenas;
  • recognized the need to protect the natural environment by practicing a sustainable lifestyle based on awareness of social, economic and environmental consequences of one’s actions.

VI. Called to Leadership

A graduate of St. Ignatius has become aware of and begun to practice basic skills of leadership and collaboration, having had experiences as both a follower and a leader.  The graduate has learned that some tasks are better accomplished individually while other projects are better undertaken by group actions coordinated by thoughtful leaders. The student has had opportunities to exercise leadership in the academic, co-curricular, and campus ministry domains. At the time of graduation the St. Ignatius student will have:

  • recognized that true leadership involves serving with and for others, acting with humility and love;
  • demonstrated basic leadership skills, including integrity, vision, creativity, a strong work ethic, and the ability to gain trust and inspire;
  • demonstrated an ability to influence others in a way that promotes justice and Gospel values, understanding that influence depends sometimes upon being the one in charge and at other times working effectively within a group and providing honest feedback;
  • maintained a focus guided by the ethical values derived from our Catholic and Ignatian heritage, willing to act and to speak independently with an informed conscience instead of conforming to a group mentality or the prevailing spirit of the time;
  • begun to seek challenges and responsibilities to further his or her knowledge and skills in activities of interest, seeking opportunities to organize and inspire others in these areas;
  • responded to criticism with emotional maturity, acknowledging that leadership involves risk-taking and challenging assumptions that can sometimes lead to negative repercussions.

The basis for this Profile is the Jesuit Secondary Association’s Profile of the Graduate at Graduation; much of the text above is taken directly from that document.  This profile provides the basis for the Integral Student Outcomes of St. Ignatius College Preparatory. Revised September 2012.

Philosophy of Education

Our purpose in education is to form men and women for (and with) others. The Society of Jesus has always sought to imbue students with values that transcend the goals of money, fame, and success. We want graduates who will be leaders concerned about society and the world in which they live. We want graduates who desire to eliminate hunger and conflict in the world and who are sensitive to the need for more equitable distribution of the world’s goods. We want graduates who seek to end discrimination and who are eager to share their faith with others. In short, we want our graduates to be leaders-in-service. That has been the goal of Jesuit education since the sixteenth century. It remains so today.

 – Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. Former Superior General of the Society of Jesus

As a Jesuit school, SI is sponsored by the Society of Jesus, a religious order whose commitment to education dates back to the 16th century. Following the directives of the most recent General Congregations of the Society of Jesus - which confirmed the importance of secondary education as a Jesuit apostolate - St. Ignatius College Prep challenges its students to transcend academic excellence by becoming "men and women with and for others." To attain these goals, we promote individual care and concern for each student; emphasize activity on the part of each student in the learning process; encourage a healthy knowledge, love, and acceptance of self; provide a realistic knowledge of the world; and prepare each student for active participation in the Church and in the community through service to others.

As a Catholic school, St. Ignatius College Prep strives to promote the Kingdom of God by helping its students grow in their knowledge of the faith and of the teachings of the Church. This characteristic emphasizes two dimensions: cognitive and formative. Accordingly, the school provides a comprehensive academic program in religious studies, while giving students an opportunity to deepen their religious convictions through liturgical celebrations and retreat programs. To further promote the formation of young women and men of conscience and compassion, the school requires the completion of a community service program before graduation.

As a college-preparatory school, St. Ignatius College Prep admits those students who give evidence of being able to handle a demanding academic program. The course of studies helps the student to develop the abilities to read and think critically, to write clearly, and to analyze situations and solve problems effectively. Both the curriculum and the school culture encourage our students to achieve these goals. In addition, a variety of co-curricular offerings provide for the student's spiritual, social, physical, aesthetic and intellectual development.

Each St. Ignatius graduate should have an ability to understand, live, and lead in the 21st century. His/her ambitions should be characterized by a desire to become involved in solving the most pressing challenges of the society in which we live and by an understanding of the need for global interdependence. As such, graduates integrate service into their lives and strive to be "men and women with and for others." Through St. Ignatius' service requirement, students are challenged to be leaders within our communities by helping to address important social needs through action. Their experiences foster clear values that guide them toward a stronger understanding of social justice while providing them with the opportunity to experience firsthand Christ's message to love our brothers and sisters in the world.

These characteristics - Jesuit, Catholic, college preparatory, as well as a commitment to diversity - provide the school with a challenge and a direction with which to engage in contemporary society. The SI curriculum emphasizes the dignity of the human person as a child of God. The Jesuit ideal commits our students to love of God and neighbor through service in the community, the Church, and the world. By remaining faithful to this tradition, we, the entire St. Ignatius College Prep community strive to pursue the Jesuit ideal, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, to do all things "For The Greater Glory of God."

Jesuit schools must go beyond the criteria of academic excellence, important as that is, to the far more challenging task of bringing about a true metanoia* in their students, that Jesuit schools must move vigorously toward participation in community affairs, that they must more honestly evaluate their efforts according to the criteria of both Christian reform in social structures and renewal of the Church.

– from The Preamble to the Constitution Jesuit Secondary Education Association 4

Father Arrupe described the purpose of a Jesuit school. It is, he said, to assist in the formation of “New Persons,” transformed by the message of Christ, who will be witnesses to His death and Resurrection in their own lives. Those who graduate from our schools should have acquired, in ways proportional to their age and maturity, a way of life that is in itself a proclamation of the charity of Christ, of the faith that comes from him and leads back to Him, and the justice which He announced.

—from Go Forth And Teach: The Characteristics of Jesuit Education by The International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education 

Non-Discriminatory Policy

St. Ignatius, mindful of its mission to be witness to the love of Christ for all, admits students of any race, color, and national and/or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded to or made available to students at the school St. Ignatius does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, and national and/or ethnic origin, age, sex or disability in the administration of educational policies, admissions policies, scholarships and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

A Top 60 School

In the 1980s, SI was named one of the top-60 private schools from among the 6,000 in the country. The award recognized SI’s commitment to excellence in education, supporting a diverse student body and the help it gave needy students through financial aid.

What we hope to accomplish

"We want graduates who will be leaders concerned about society and the world in which they live."

Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., 
former Jesuit Superior General

Who We Are

Graduates live out their commitment to excellence in diverse ways:

  • Laurence Yep ’66, a prolific writer of young adult fiction, is the author of the Newberry Honor book Dragonwings.
  • Rev. Peter Neely, S.J. ’67, is one of the founders of the Kino Border Initiative, ministering to those most in need of help in Nogales on both sides of the border.
  • Peter Casey ’68 wrote for Cheers and created Frasier, one of the most successful sitcoms in the history of television.
  • Dan Fouts ’69 led the San Diego Chargers for years, earning himself a place in the NFL Hall of Fame.
  • Gwendoline Yeo ’94 is a successful Hollywood actress who appeared in The Jane Austen Book Club.