California is not only home to super-stars and jaw dropping sites such as Yosemite Park and the Golden Gate Bridge, but also to beautiful colleges with sprawling scenery.
Among these Californian sites, Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) may be found. Located in Santa Paula California, Thomas Aquinas is home to many students with 14- 18 students per seminar. The college’s goal is to educate their students in Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, and they do this by studying the “Great Books”, which are the best works of the past 2,500 years.
Thomas Aquinas’s approach to teaching is the Socratic seminar method. All classes are discussion based and their program is very integrated. All classes relate to each other in some way in order to tie them all together, which helps a large percentage of students to learn more effectively.
TAC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and it offers a single program Bachelor Degree in Liberal Arts. This makes it unique when compared to other colleges which offer a variety of Degrees.
The tuition is a total of $32,000, but financial aid is available to most who apply. This demands that the student works at least 13 hours a week. After financial aid is applied, the entire student debt will be capped at $18,000.
“We are very Catholic!” This was the first thing Patrick Cross, Senior Admissions Counselor at TAC exclaimed about its unique experience. On campus, they have four Masses a day, one of which is offered in the Extraordinary Form. They also have confession twenty minutes before Mass and immediately after. All tutors take an oath of Fidelity to the Church, and, according to statistics, eleven percent of graduates enter into religious life. Although job placement statistics are not available, the four jobs most graduates enter into are medicine, law, education, and business.
A dress code is enforced in order to show respect to the material being taught. For classes and mealtimes, men and women both must be in respectable clothing. On the weekends, students are permitted to dress as they like as long as they are modest.
Becca Scheurer, a senior at Trivium School in Lancaster, Massachusetts, exclaims how excited she is to be going to TAC in the year of 2018. “My expectations are based on the summer program, except more work. A strong Catholic life, hard schoolwork, that is fun to learn despite the pain. The beginnings of great friendships, perhaps sleepless nights. Definitely a different life from what it is now, but a change for the better.”
Becca visited TAC in the summer of 2017 and participated in the Great Books Summer Program and everything she had to say about it was good. “Of course it was much more fun and games then a regular school week would be, but if a normal week is anywhere close to those two weeks in the summer, then TAC is the place to be!”
This college should be considered by students ready to start looking for colleges because its program is unique and it offers a true education. Patrick Cross says, “We are not here to get you a job.” This means that this college is not the place to be if you are only looking for a career after college. TAC teaches students how to think. One who goes to a liberal arts college will excel in whichever career is chosen after college because order and common sense are used in the thinking of a liberal arts student.
Information about Thomas Aquinas College is found online at the Cardinal Newman Society’s guide. It is a recommended college according to that site.