Positive updates from new blog

Madison Mcloughlin

In light of the recent town halls where students and faculty voiced concerns about communication within the Loyola community, Paul Pastorek, acting chief operating officer, and Maria Calzada, interim provost, created a blog where information about Loyola can be accessed.

In the first blog post, Calzada addressed the recent positive updates with Project Magis.

Academic Affairs and the offices of Enrollment Management and Marketing and Communications are continuously working to increase the fall 2018 class size to be larger than the 801 student class that came to Loyola in the fall of 2017, according to Calzada.

Calzada also commented on the status of current students and Loyola’s return and graduation rates.

According to Calzada, 77 percent of first-year students returned to campus as sophomores in the fall of 2016, and in Fall 2017, 79.9 percent of first-year students returned as sophomores, marking a nearly 3 percent increase in retention of first-year students.

In order to continue to raise the return rate of students to the goal of 84 percent, there were multiple programs implemented throughout the course of the 2017-2018 school year, according to Calzada.

These programs included student success coaching, a dedicated advising team, a new Pan-American Life Student Success Center, improved access to financial aid services and a Global Ambassador Scholarship that will enable students to study abroad during the summer of 2018.

In addition, the university launched several new online programs.

“We have built upon our existing online nursing programs and launched some of our traditional programs online in order to serve adult students who want to advance their educations and complete their degrees while meeting obligations in their personal and professional lives,” Calzada said. “Furthermore, the students in our new online programs believe that we are ‘light years ahead of other online programs’ in terms of our quality.”

Calzada also assured the Loyola community that the university is being smart in its spending and has been given a large sum of money in recent gifts.

“We are seeing immense support from our alumni and the broader New Orleans community,” Clazada said. “We recently had the most successful giving day in our history this year with 571 gifts in 24 hours.”

Overall, Calzada is confident in Loyola’s future.

“While there is still more work to be done, I would love for you to know and feel assured that Loyola New Orleans is not only here to stay but also is growing stronger,” she said.

Calzada and Pastorek also created a forum linked onto the Loyola home website that allows the Loyola community to voice their comments and concerns called Steer the Course.