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A Day at Seattle University’s Matteo Ricci College

on April 6, 2014 in Admissions Process

I recently attended a counselor information session on the Matteo Ricci program at Seattle University. Matteo Ricci is an experimental college at Seattle University with seminar-based learning, student-driven academics, and smaller classes. Teaching is in the round, facilitating conversation, as students learn how to learn. The program is applicable to multiple careers, with foundation development being central to the college. Most faculty members are active in research and work with students to facilitate their field research.


Matteo Ricci has consortium schools (mostly Catholic), where their courses are taught in high school. The BA in Humanities for Leadership includes a specialization in another major, excluding science or engineering. Two domestic internships are required, and international internships are also available. Students apply what they are learning about themselves and what makes them adaptable leaders, focusing on their strengths and weaknesses while learning to be competitive. Students also work with career services on interviews and resumes throughout the program.


Matteo Ricci also offers a four-year degree combining humanities and a teaching degree for a BA in Humanities for Teaching. This is a very successful program, front-loaded with course requirements. Students are required to participate in K-HS classroom training their freshman year, a schedule unique in Washington. This is critical because students find out early if they want to be a teacher.


Sophomores intern in Seattle classrooms three hours every morning writing lesson plans and teaching. They then spend five quarters in either a private, public, independent, or parochial school classroom; allowing them to develop a personal philosophy and then a specialty (art, music, etc.).


At the end of four years, while students have no teaching certificate (a graduate degree is needed), Seattle University offers a one-year masters program with guaranteed admission. Most Matteo Ricci students meet the minimum requirements.


To support the incoming class through junior year, peer advisors are assigned to groups of ten students. Students who are considering applying can spend a day with a freshman and attend a class. Teaching and leadership degrees are open to anyone, while the third degree in humanities is only offered to the Catholic consortium high school students.



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