New RU Academies Offer New Students Immersive Rockhurst University Experiences

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Student Studying Science

For college students, the classroom experience is a big part of preparing for success after graduation.

But there’s a lot more to a fulfilling life after college than excelling in classroom work. This week, Rockhurst University announced the official launch of RU Academies, a new initiative that packages some of the University’s foundational experiences and activities to create new networks for students to meet, collaborate and enhance the work they do in the classroom with real-life experience.

Beginning in the fall 2017 semester, the program is offering five different academy experiences:

  • Emerging Leaders Academy: These courses, workshops and opportunities can help shape students from every discipline into ethical leaders in the Jesuit tradition.
  • Service Academy: Service opportunities both at home and abroad give students a chance to work and learn alongside people and organizations helping those in need across Kansas City and beyond.
  • Living Faith Academy: Students of all faith traditions are welcome in this academy, designed to explore in-depth spirituality in five key theme areas — Be, Connect, Grow, Serve, and Reflect.
  • Innovation Academy: Through participation in local entrepreneurial-focused events like 1 Million Cups and Techweek Kansas City, students will be steeped in the outside-the-box thinking that powers today’s (and tomorrow’s) innovative leaders.
  • Undergraduate Research and Creativity Academy: Featuring networking events with other students and faculty and avenues to present their own research, this academy fosters an appreciation for and the skills to excel in academic research.

Participation in the academies is not required, nor does it mean that students cannot still pick and choose other activities in which to participate. Matthew Ellis, associate vice president for enrollment, said the academies instead are designed as a deeper dive for new students into a particular area of University life at Rockhurst.

"During the college search students can be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of experiences and opportunities presented to them, and it can make all colleges seem to blur together. Then, when they arrive on campus there's a moment of ‘OK, now where do I start?’" he said. "The academies are designed to give them a map of experiences, events, and opportunities that run along a theme they’re interested in or passionate about. Like a starter kit for getting connected and involved, it changes the conversation from things they might do, into things they know they will do."

Find out more about the new RU Academies at