SOPHIA Initiative - The SOPHIA (SOPHomore Initiative at Assumption College) program is specially designed to help students discover a deeper connection between their spiritual, personal, and professional lives.
- Audience: Sophomores
- When: Academic Year – yearlong commitment
- Frequency: In the fall, students attend a 3-day retreat, and all participants are required to take a common course. In the spring, students have an option to enroll in additional SOPHIA courses and co-curricular activities. Participants also live together in the Living and Learning Center and have faculty-led monthly discussions for 1.5 to 2 hours per group of 6 students throughout the year.
- Approximate Number of Participants: 24 participants
- Focus of Program: In the fall course, students are introduced to various ways of understanding vocation and reflect on how these notions relate to each of them by asking “the big questions” about their lives, their values, commitments, purpose, and responsibilities to the world. Once a month, a carefully selected faculty mentor meets with six SOPHIA collegians to reflect on their own vocational calling.
- Additional Information: During the capstone trip to Rome, students take part in a study tour of the city led by Dr. Francesco Cesareo, President of Assumption College and renowned historian. In the summer after the program is over, students may apply for a high impact grant to continue developing their vocational calling in one of three areas: Faith and Ministry, Community Engagement, and Life of the Mind.
Funding and Operations
The approximate program cost is $62,000 a year.
- External Support: The SOPHIA Initiative Program was made possible thanks to a substantial NetVUE Program Development Grant administered by the Council of Independent Colleges and generously supported by Lilly Endowment, Inc. We received this grant in January 2013 (application process started in 2012). The $50,000 NetVUE Development Grant we originally received was used for one-time initial program development that included a Faculty/Staff Seminar Workshop and funding for course development.