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Benedictine College Adds Architecture Major
Benedictine College has announced that the college will add an Architecture major to its catalog in Fall 2016. The move was approved by both the college faculty and the board of directors in October, and a search is underway for instructors. Benedictine College Architecture’s pre-professional Bachelor program will prepare students for graduate school studies elsewhere to gain the accredited two-year Master of Architecture degree for jobs in private practice.
“Adding Architecture is a great development for us,” said President Stephen D. Minnis. “We are unique among our peer institutions in that we have both an Engineering Department and an Art Department. Architecture takes us another step forward.”
The development will make Benedictine College the only NAIA school with Engineering and Architecture. The combination will give the college’s degree a strong technical dimension.
To accommodate the program, the school will dedicate a beautiful historic loft space to the program and an innovative, fully restored classroom space in the school’s oldest building, Bishop Fink Hall. Plans also include an expanded computer lab for architecture students.
The program is being designed to give students a studio-based learning experience which prepares them for a professional graduate school program or an opportunity to work under architects in intern or junior designer positions.
The architecture curriculum will explore various formal, conceptual and technical considerations and how they interrelate in design. The ideas and experience students gain in the design studio will be reinforced and amplified by support courses.
“Connections to engineering, math, philosophy, theology, psychology, history and art will make our architecture students excellent models of the significance of a liberal arts education and how it can impact beyond the classroom,” said Christa Kagin, chair of the Art Department, where the program will be housed.
She said field trips will broaden and expand students’ understanding of architectural concepts and internships will offer real world experiences. Students will also benefit from the close student-to-teacher ratios and a true interdisciplinary learning environment.
“As we began exploring architecture as a new program, we were increasingly struck with the way this field of study is such a natural fit for our mission,” said Dr. Kimberly Shankman, dean of the college. “We seek to educate within a community of faith and scholarship; architecture is the study of how to give concrete expression to the idea of community.”
“We found that we already had the nuts and bolts for an architecture degree,” Kagin added. “Students who study architecture at Benedictine College will benefit from a solid foundation in faith and community, two aspects which will directly impact their understanding of human relationships. This knowledge will inform how humanity’s history and interactions with structures is critical to creating spaces for worship, living, working, and learning today.”
Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.