Established in 1895 and sponsored by the Community of Christ, Graceland University is a 125-year-old liberal arts institution comprised of passionate, caring, and dedicated individuals who put their relationships with students first. It is well-known for promoting opportunity, world peace, and justice through practical and visionary action.
The University envisions becoming a recognized educational leader, inspiring and empowering people for transformational service and leadership. Moreover, with a heavy focus on leadership development, the university places a great emphasis on developing well-rounded students and offers numerous opportunities for them.
Well-versed Programs and Campus
A degree from Graceland University empowers students from getting started on their careers, being accepted into the graduate school of their choice, to advancing in their respective professions. The University offers more than 40 majors at its residential undergraduate campus and provides graduate programs in nursing, data science, nutrition, etc.
Alongside the residential program, Graceland has been a pioneer in distance learning with decades of experience providing exceptional education in the comfort of students’ homes. In 2000, the university moved to a purely online delivery method for several programs. The university comprises of two main campuses including,
- Lamoni Campus
Graceland’s main residential campus is located in Lamoni, lowa. It is a beautiful and welcoming campus that spans 170 acres in the rolling hills of southern lowa. The campus has a sports complex that includes an artificial field-turf football field, an Olympics quality outdoor-track, and a best-in-the-conference soccer complex. The Helene Center for Visual Arts is the envy of other schools and the Resch Science and Technology Hall offers superb facilities and industry-standard equipment. Besides this, the campus also has a regional performing arts hub–the Shaw Center–which features a 500-seat auditorium, a 100-seat recital hall, a fully customizable black box theatre, a new lobby and atrium, and an outdoor amphitheater.
- Independence Campus
Located in Independence, Missouri, the Independence Campus (IC) is home to Graceland’s School of Nursing and Community of Christ Seminary. The online programs offered by the university are operated on the IC. The student-friendly, 55,000-square foot facility is equipped with cutting-edge learning tools and resources including a comprehensive wireless network, nursing skills lab fitted with cameras to record and playback demonstrations, and an award-winning nursing library. The IC also offers teacher education and business programs.
The Essential Education Program
Alongside the academic skills, essential education is necessary for students to inculcate the fundamental skills needed to thrive in any career. Graceland offers the Essential Education Program that encourages students to think outside the box, solve problems in new ways, and communicate effectively with intellectual flexibility. In this program, students have the opportunity to learn these concepts through one of five tracks with all coursework sharing common themes such as Equality & Peace, Innovation, and Sustainability.
Learning, Wholeness, and Community
Graceland’s culture is based on three core values—learning, wholeness, and community, and encourages the development of these values for the enrichment of lives and the betterment of the world. It educates students for advanced study, productive careers, and rich lives. Graceland’s student body is a targeted, yet diverse group of individuals of different ages, backgrounds, and national origins who share a commitment to learning. Moreover, its curriculum –firmly rooted in the liberal arts tradition and enhanced by carrier-oriented practical experiences –affirms different styles of learning and prepares students to become competent professionals. Alongside students, the university has qualified faculty that excels in teaching and engages in scholarly, creative, and professional activities. Together with the administration and staff, they take care of the students.
Graceland also offers a learning environment for residential as well as non-residential students that nurtures personal growth. The academic programs offered by the university emphasize on the joy of lifelong learning, the rigor of intellectual discipline, and the relationship of both to a satisfying professional and personal life. Its size fosters genuine concern for the individual while providing fellowship and a sense of belonging. Particularly for the residential students, Graceland’s rich co-curricular programs of interest groups, athletics, student government, residential life, and leisure activities provide an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills, relationships, creativity, and leadership.
Furthermore, based on the Christian values of human dignity, mutual respect, and social responsibility, Graceland welcomes people of all faiths. It actively supports the counsel of its sponsoring denomination–Community of Christ–to ‘seek learning even by study, and also by faith’ and offers a tangible expression of the church’s commitment to the open and free pursuit of knowledge through higher education. Upholding these vales, the university is on a mission to create learning communities where students develop their potential for meaningful and productive lives.
Graceland has taken several initiatives to support diversity on campus, including a Black Student Union, a LatinX Club, a club for differently able students, and strong support for LGBTQ+ students and community members. It offers a strong TRIO program for its first-generation students and has a robust student success studio. Graceland has a dedicated department for international students, where the university embraces and uplifts students of all racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds.
Response to the Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the educational institutions around the globe, pressing them to advance technologically faster. In these unprecedented times, Graceland’s faculty and staff members have adapted and managed to respond swiftly. The University leveraged HEERF and CARES act funds to help its students. It also instituted a trial period of going test-optional. “We are anxious to get back to the more traditional classroom, but technology has facilitated a positive learning environment for our students,” says Shane Adams (Director of Marketing and Communications at Graceland University).
The Ideal College
Shane graduated as an alumnus of Graceland and spent two decades working in the corporate world with several companies. However, two years ago, he returned to Graceland to give back some of what he had received from the institution. With the extensive experience under his belt, Shane out listed three things a student should consider while choosing a college including,
- Fit: Students should seek a college where they feel like themselves and can grow, learn, and be challenged.
- Caring Community: They should ensure that the college cares about them as a person instead of viewing them as a student only.
- Diversity: As the world becomes more diverse, understanding others is more important than ever. Shane believes that students should surround themselves with different students to learn about the world, how to be in relationships, and how to bring about change together.
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