The junior year is often described as the “year of transition”. This is the point in a student’s career which marks the beginning of preparing to leave Jesuit behind and prepare for the next challenge — college. On the academic side, the junior year curriculum is designed to aid and develop the student’s critical thinking skills. Whether it is in theology, history or physics, the question – why? – becomes more important than asking – what? – Students are encouraged to stretch their understanding of problems, themes and concepts in a more abstract direction.
PSAT, ACT and SAT preparation are integrated into each subject’s curriculum to help facilitate successful standardized testing with an emphasis on abstract thinking skills not simply test-taking practice.
The junior year is also the official beginning of the college admission process. Students are encouraged first semester to begin visualizing what sorts of colleges they might be interested in exploring based on size, location, possible major or other factors. Second semester they meet with their counselor to narrow those interest into a list of colleges they want to seriously consider. This helps them develop a strategy of how to approach standardized testing, resume building activities and academic achievement which will help them have the best chance to be able to choose the college they decide to go to after graduation.
The highlight of the year is the Junior Cross Mass which takes place the evening of the Junior Class Retreat. During this ceremony, the juniors receive their Senior Crosses which symbolize their acceptance of leadership of the whole Jesuit community next fall as a member of the senior class.