The final stop on the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) tour was Marian University in Indianapolis. Marian is a long-time mainstay of Indiana’s higher education system, but as we counselors learned on this in-depth visit, it’s enhancing a lot of key areas for students as it continues to evolve and move forward as an institution.
With an undergraduate population of around 2,300, the small Catholic university is getting a boost in their graduate and professional enrollment with the opening of their brand new medical school on campus. Other academic programs that have seen recent overhauls to propel them forward include the Byrum School of Business and the School of Math and Science. Career experts continue to tell students and their families that jobs in health care and STEM (science) fields are increasing and need people to fill them and it sounds as though Marian is on track to help produce those types of graduates.
The Byrum School of Business, notably, has taken an integrative approach to educating their students. Students enrolled begin working with real people on real-world business projects from their first day in the program, with a focus on building teamwork and communication skills, as well as approaches to problem solving. (In other words, at Marian, they’ve taken the 1960s model of teaching business and turned it completely on its head!) In fact, students in their first year area already faced with a major task in their “Significant Business Experience” (SBE) assignment, which is overseen by three faculty members.
Athletics are also a substantial part of Marian’s culture (which makes sense, considering that they were the 2012 NAIA football champions and also have their own cycling center on campus). In fact, the lines between academics and athletics are often merged – as demonstrated when the dean of the Byrum School described their program as a “business practice field.” This attention to the education and development of the mind, body, and spirit of the whole student is prevalent in all parts of the Marian educational system.
The Marian infrastructure is also quite impressive – on the hot June day when we visited, I was quick to notice that we went from the athletic center to the dining hall, then to several classrooms and the chapel through a maze of interior hallways. We never set foot outside in between any of the stops! (Winters in that part of Indiana are relatively mild, but it’s good to know that less hardy students have little to fear from the cold on some days!)
For equestrians, Marian doesn’t field any IHSA or IDA teams; however, their campus’s proximity (30 minutes) to the very horse-populated towns of Carmel and Zionsville (home of the Traders Point Charity Horse Show) means that there’s no need to hang up your tack if Marian’s approach to education turns out to be the right match for your academic (and athletic!) goals.
Could Marian be your perfect match? Contact me and we’ll find out!