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New Catholic College Aims to Teach Students a Trade at a Reasonable Price

New Catholic College Aims to Teach Students a Trade at a Reasonable Price

“The university’s goals include helping students avoid debt”

As a country, we need more of this. May a thousand schools like this bloom across the land.

The College Fix reports:

‘Learn a trade, earn a degree and graduate without crippling debt’: Catholic trade college launches

A new college is in the works that combines trade school with the Catholic intellectual tradition.

The College of St. Joseph will offer three tracks starting the 2023-24 school year, all of which combine theology with learning the trades. St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers and worked as a tekton, a skilled craftsman (sometimes erroneously translated as a carpenter).

The tagline of the Steubenville, Ohio university is “Learn a trade, earn a degree and graduate without crippling debt.”

“We will enroll 30 students for the inaugural class in the Fall of 2023,” spokesman Alex Renn told The College Fix via email on July 6.

“We are not accredited, yet, because part of the accreditation process is graduating a student, so we cannot become accredited until someone goes all the way through our program,” he stated in his email. “That said, we are of course working toward accreditation.”

Fundraising for the college is also off to a strong start, according to founder Jacob Imam.

“Thus far, we have raised approximately $3 million,” Imam told The Fix on July 6. “To reach maturity, we intend to raise an additional $9 million; but we have a sustainable model with the capital we currently have.”…

“It’s a big big problem in our modern society…we don’t really know what universities are for,” Imam told Catholic commentator Matt Fradd on his show recently. Fradd is on the advisory board for the new college.

The university’s goals include helping students avoid debt, according to Imam.

Imam said students are racking up an average of $29,000 of debt for their undergraduate degree alone.

“That is not just numbers, but it is really something that inhibits freedom, you know, the capacity to act as you creatively desire,” Imam said.

“This isn’t an either or…you get to come learn the liberal arts…while learning how to be a craftsman,” Fradd said.


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Smart idea.

    CellarDoor in reply to dr. frank. | July 12, 2022 at 11:39 am

    Welcome to the club. Europe has been doing this for decades. The USA is so behind when it comes to education. In France they test students and can adviser them if they are college material or or they go into a “trade track” instead. It’s the smarter way. Not every child is meant to be a lawyer. We need farmers more than lawyers.

One hurdle. Convince moms that college isn’t their trophy.

In my house, my wife forced my 34ACT kid to go to Alabama for biology when we have U-Memphis right next door to the promise land “St Jude”.

It let her brag, (kid couldn’t care less either way).

Fix that, make housing super easy for the kid attend, so the kid can literally leave home and be safe (as a high schooler). Let them take their buddy, easily, even if its probation. (Kids dont do anything without a pal).

Love the idea, but college is the trophy here. Fix that perception!

henrybowman | July 11, 2022 at 4:45 pm

It’s great, but now how about some of these for non-Catholics?

    SophieA in reply to henrybowman. | July 12, 2022 at 10:32 am

    State technical schools that offer Associate Degrees with a trade degree already exist. Within commuting distance from my location, I count five such schools. There maybe more. One Catholic trade school in Ohio shouldn’t threaten or displace non-religious people or those of different faith.

    There is not one thing wrong with Catholics opening a trade college that also teaches classic liberal arts and Catholic theology. If there is a market for more Catholic trade colleges, they will thrive and multiply.

    paracelsus in reply to henrybowman. | July 16, 2022 at 8:25 am

    Two of my relatives went to Catholic schools (in Hungary), one well before the turn of the 2oth, one shortly after. They received the high quality of education for which those schools were noted. Both were Jewish.