‘Issues 2014′ radio interview

Listen to my April 14 interview with KNSS reporter Steve McIntosh for the “Issues 2014″ radio program.

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Newman University is proud to be in Western Kansas

Below is a letter sent to several newspapers in Western Kansas responding to some recent articles. As of May 6, the letter was published by newspapers in Hays and Hutchinson.

Recent articles in various outlets have highlighted possible four-year higher education options coming to Western Kansas. It seems a good time, actually, to reintroduce the region to Newman University, your undergraduate and graduate school option.

Newman University has offered courses for the region through our Western Kansas Center in Dodge City since 1992, when Newman responded to the higher education void created with the closing of Saint Mary of the Plains College. Since its inception, Newman’s Western Kansas Center has continued to grow and offers programs at both the undergraduate and the graduate level.

Newman offers students in Western Kansas undergraduate degree programs in Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Pastoral Ministry, Nursing (online), Business Studies (online or face to face), and Early Childhood Unified Education. We also offer master’s degrees in Theology (online) and Social Work (occasional cohorts). Our ESOL endorsement program has provided five course certificates to hundreds of teachers in Western Kansas to teach English to speakers of other languages. Many of these teachers stay on to complete their Master of Science in Education degrees.

One of our most popular programs is the Teacher Education Program (TEP), which allows students to earn a teaching degree without having to travel to another part of the state. The program features evening classes for greater convenience and can be completed in just 16 months. A partnership with several area community colleges (Dodge City and Garden City included), allows community college associate degree graduates to enter Newman’s TEP to pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary or secondary education. In addition, $3,000 scholarships are available to TEP students who complete their community college associate degree. Since 1992, more than 800 students have graduated from the TEP in Western Kansas without having to move from the area. For those students pursuing other degrees, articulation agreements with area community colleges provide a seamless and affordable transition, and, upon completion of their associate degree, a $1,500 renewable scholarship to Newman University.

In partnership with the Diocese of Dodge City, we established an Interactive Television (ITV) Network in 1997 to bring higher education to several remote communities in Western and Central Kansas including Liberal, Ulysses, Great Bend, Garden City, Goodland, Hutchinson, Syracuse, Sharon, Pratt and others. This system has proven so effective that Newman University and the Diocese recently invested $200,000 for HDTV upgrades.

Newman University has proven itself to be a quality four-year degree provider, and our alumni from the area are proof. Our graduates are respected in the business community by employers who need well-trained workers. In addition, many of the region’s school children benefit from Newman-trained teachers and administrators. And speaking of teachers, a recent study shows that 75 percent of Newman’s teacher education graduates are still teaching in the classrooms five years after graduation – well above the state and national average of 50 percent.

With our well-established presence in the community at 236 San Jose, Dodge City, we are front and center to offer students direct help on course work, access to computers, and a personal approach to learning that only Newman provides. We value our Western Kansas alums and are proud of our longtime partnership with the region. When considering your higher education options in Western Kansas, remember a longtime partner with solid roots in the area and a solid reputation for quality, private education.

Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D.
Newman University

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As Lent Begins

Today is Ash Wednesday, and we begin the Lenten season. Let us all take time for prayer and reflection during these weeks. Pope Francis’ Lenten message provides a powerful beginning:


Blessings to all,

Noreen Carrocci




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Student Debt Not “Crippling” for Most

The Wichita Eagle kindly published my latest commentary recently. Here it is. I welcome comments.


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Be Skeptical!

The Wichita Eagle published this Op-Ed piece the other day:


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Hyperbole! Hyperbole!

Today I submitted a Huffington Post blog trying to highlight the differences among types of higher education institutions, and their varying costs, loan debt, and default rates.  Here it is:



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A New Venture

The Huffington Post recently invited me to post blogs with them from time to time on issues in higher education. Yesterday, I posted my first. Here is a link:



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Congratulations, Everyone!

During this run-up to Commencement May 12, 2012 I have remarked to several people that the school year seems to go by faster as I get older.  But it’s not just me, I was reminded, when I had lunch with three sophomores today who can’t believe they will be juniors already in the fall.  Two of them were in freshmen seminar with me in fall 2010, and I marvel at how they’ve changed and grown these past two years.  Our faculty and staff do such a wonderful job of challenging and supporting our students – undergraduate and graduate – so that during the two, three, or four years they are here they are truly transformed.  

Among those who will graduate on Saturday will be some who have served the homeless and hungry at the Lord’s Diner, others who have traveled to Guatemala and served with Sisters Adorers in their school or clinic and later studied Spanish for several weeks.  Nearly all will have done some service in the local, regional or international community. Many student athletes will graduate having excelled academically and in their sports – e.g., a tennis player graduating summa cum laude, our women’s national champion bowler receiving her Master’s in Theological Studies degree.  And we will send 10 graduates to medical school in the fall, and several others to pharmacy, dental, physical therapy, mathematics, law and other graduate programs!  Our pass rate of 96% on the national Nursing board test is the highest of 34 programs in the state of Kansas for 2011.  One graduate is discerning a vocation with our sponsors, The Adorers. Although we don’t have any current students entering the seminary that we know of yet, we still have seven young men with Newman “roots” in various stages of study for the priesthood.

Year after year we can see our core values exemplified in our students and graduates – Catholic, Academic Excellence, Culture of Service, and Global Perspective. Yes, they are transformed while at Newman as we work toward our mission of empowering our graduates to transform society no matter what their chosen graduate schools and/or career choices.  And our annual alumnae/i awardees each year demonstrate such dedication – e.g., this year’s Ami Angell (’99) who works to rehabilitate terrorists, our Dr. John Pyles (’76) who volunteers medical service in distaster areas such as Haiti. 

And so at Commencement Saturday morning, we will celebrate our honorary degree recipients for their modeling our Core Values of Catholic (Bishop Michael O. Jackels) and Culture of Service (Alice & Dale Wiggins) – great examples for our graduates.  We will celebrate 350+ associates, bachelors, and masters degree graduates, and commission them to work to transform society, and admonish them to continue to live by the Newman code for they will always be part of the Newman family:
The Newman Code
As a member of the Newman community, 
I pledge to live in the spirit of critical consciousness
by respecting the dignity of every person,
honoring both personal and institutional integrity,
and striving to embrace all humanity.
Congratulations, graduates, faculty, and staff for jobs well-done!
Noreen M. Carrocci

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Kansas Private College Week!

The governor, Sam Brownback, has declared April 16-22 to be Kansas Private College Week!  I am delighted that the Wichita Eagle helped us to celebrate by publishing the piece below:






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Holy Week & Easter Blessings

During this holiest of weeks, I am mindful of the incredibly generous sacrifice made for all of us by our Redeemer.  I am mindful, too, of the sacrifices faculty and staff make daily here at NewmanUniversity on behalf of our students and our mission.  Finally, I am aware of the sacrifices made by students and their families to secure their education here at Newman University.

The book, Heart to Heart:  A Cardinal Newman Prayer Book is a compilation of Blessed Newman’s writings (by Daniel O’Connell, SJ). It was first published in 1938, and then reprinted in 2011 by Ave Maria Press after his beatification. The book is a treasure for prayer and meditation.  I share just two with you below. 

 May your Holy Week be a good time of reflection, and may your Easter season bring joy and blessings to you and your families.


Noreen M. Carrocci

One Name That Lives

There is just one Name in the whole world that lives; it is the Name of One who passed His years in obscurity, and who died a malefactor’s death….Amid the most various nations, under the most diversified circumstances, in the most cultivated, in the rudest races and intellects, in all classes of society, the Owner of that great Name reigns.  High and low, rich and poor, acknowledge Him.  Millions of souls are conversing with Him, are venturing at His word, are looking for His presence….Here, then, is One who is not a mere name; He is no empty fiction, He is a substance; He is dead and gone, but still He lives – as the living, energetic thought of successive generations, and as the awful motive power of a thousand great events….O my own Savior, now in the tomb but soon to arise, Thou has paid the price; it is done – consummatum est – it is secured.  O fulfil Thy resurrection in us, and as Thou hast purchased us, claim us, take possession of us, make us Thine. Amen.

Immediately following this prayer is a poem that seems just right for Easter Sunday:

Splendor Paternae Gloriae

Of the Father Effluence bright,
Out of Light evolving light,
Light from Light, unfailing Ray,
Day creative of the day:

Truest Sun, upon us stream
With Thy calm perpetual beam,
In the Spirit’s still sunshine
Making sense and thought divine.

Seek we too the Father’s face,
Father of almighty grace,
And of majesty excelling,
Who can purge our tainted dwelling;

Who can aid us, who can break
Teeth of envious foes, and make
Hours of loss and pain succeed,
Guiding safe each duteous deed,

And infusing self-control,
Fragrant chastity of soul,
Faith’s keen flame to soar on high,
Incorrupt simplicity.

Christ Himself for food be given,
Faith become the cup of Heaven,
Out of which the joy is quaff’d
Of the Spirit’s sobering draught.

With that joy replenished,
Morn shall glow with modest red,
Noon with beaming faith be bright,
Eve be soft without twilight.

It has dawn’d; – upon our way,
Father in Thy Word this day
In Thy Father Word Divine,
From Thy cloudy pillar shine.

To the Father, and the Son,
And the Spirit, Three and One,
As of old, and as in heaven,
Now and here be glory given.

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