Aquinas College (Tennessee)
|St. Cecilia Normal School (1928-1961)|
Aquinas Junior College
|Motto||Veritas et Caritas (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Truth and Charity|
|Type||Private Catholic Coeducational Higher education institution|
|Founder||Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation|
|Roman Catholic (Dominican)|
|President||Mary Agnes Greiffendorf|
4210 Harding Pike Nashville,
|Patron Saint||St. Thomas Aquinas|
Aquinas College was founded by the Dominican Order in 1928 as St. Cecilia Normal School as a school for religious sisters located at the St. Cecilia Motherhouse. In 1961, the school moved away from the Motherhouse, opened to the public, and became Aquinas Junior College. In 1994, the college was renamed Aquinas College when it began offering four-year degrees. Since that time, Aquinas College has grown to include four-year programs in Liberal Arts, Business, Nursing, and Teacher Education. And in 2012, the College began graduate studies in the School of Education and in the School of Nursing, and founded a residential life program and House Life program. Aquinas is part of the Dominican Campus, located approximately five miles (8 km) west of downtown Nashville. Also on the same plot of land are Overbrook School, a coeducational eight-grade Catholic primary school, and Saint Cecilia Academy, a Catholic girls' high school.
The addition of a third and fourth year collegiate curriculum caused a major change in the school's operation. It had previously been a major power in junior college athletics (notably baseball and basketball). However, the school's administration felt that continuing to play junior college athletics while operating as a four-year college, as was done for a period, misrepresented the school's true nature to the public and that competition at the four-year collegiate level of athletics would prove cost-prohibitive, so the institution currently sponsors no athletic programs.
In 2014, Aquinas College began the implementation of its Vision 2020: Truth & Charity strategic plan, which includes the reintroduction of intercollegiate athletics. The College promptly implemented three initiatives outlined in the strategic plan: the foundation of a perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel, the foundation of study abroad in Bracciano, Italy, and the implementation of a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.
The U.S. News & World Report has ranked Aquinas College as 14th in Best Regional Colleges in the South in its 2015 rankings, up from a ranking of 30th in the previous year. Contributing to the high ranking were the low class sizes and student-to-faculty ratio, high freshman retention rate, high test scores, a high graduation rate, and a high peer assessment score. The magazine also recognized Aquinas College for being 4th in Best Colleges for Veterans in the same regional college category, up from 7th in the previous year.
In addition to these higher ranking in national media, the Cardinal Newman Society has included Aquinas College every year in its The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for “commitment to providing a faithful Catholic education.”
In 2017, Aquinas College has announced plans to dramatically shrink its operations due to long-standing funding and enrollment issue and as a result about 60 of the college's 76 employees will likely lose their jobs and as many as 140 of Aquinas' 257 students will have to find another way to finish their degrees.
- "Vision 2020 Strategic Plan". aquinascollege.edu/. Aquinas College. Archived from the original on 2014-12-13. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Corpus Christi Perpetual Adoration Chapel Now Open". 25 October 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Students Travel to Italy to Help Found Study Abroad". 12 May 2014. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "New Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Receives Approval". 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Aquinas College Climbs to 14th in U.S. News and World Report's Best Regional Colleges in the South". 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Aquinas College cuts programs, up to 140 students must transfer". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2017-03-18.