Student Services

  1. Academic Advising
  2. Financial Aid Counseling
  3. Academic Support Services
  4. Library Services
  5. Career Counseling
  6. Reentry Services

Academic Advising

All students in the BLA program will receive regular academic advising from the BLA administrative staff. Upon matriculation, students will receive a full orientation to the BLA program and the larger intellectual life and expectations of the University. In the first two years of the program, students will be invited to meet regularly with an assigned academic advisor to discuss their progress in the core curriculum and their developing intellectual interests. In the third year, students will be expected to meet with their advisor to declare one of the three interdisciplinary major programs, and in the fourth and fifth years students will enjoy the advising of both a member of the BLA administrative staff and a faculty director of their major program.

The BLA advising philosophy is informed by the Jesuit values of cura personalis and Educating the Whole Person. As such, significant emphasis is placed on individualized attention to the needs of our students, attentive to their unique circumstances and concerns, and their particular gifts and limitations, to encourage each person’s flourishing and the flourishing of the entire intellectual community.

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Financial Aid Counseling

Because Georgetown University has been designated as a Second Chance Pell experimental site by the U.S. Department of Education, students in the BLA program will be eligible to receive Pell grant funding and apply that to the cost of participation in the BLA program. The BLA administrative staff will assist all admitted students with FAFSA paperwork, issues related to Pell eligibility, and any other questions regarding their eligibility for financial aid and their ability to finance their education. Additional sources of tuition assistance are available to students who are not eligible for Pell funding.

In addition to counseling related to financial aid and educational costs, the BLA program will seek to provide students with comprehensive counseling related to financial literacy.

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Academic Support Services

The BLA administrative staff will collaborate with the University’s Academic Resource Center to provide comparable disability and academic support services to students in the BLA program. The BLA staff will work with students as necessary to identify disabilities and provide appropriate accommodations for documented disabilities. As on the main campus, the BLA program will partner with the Academic Resource Center to offer students a wide range of academic support services, including academic and study skills workshops, individual consultations, and tutoring services. The BLA program will utilize a network of undergraduate and graduate student tutors who will travel regularly to Patuxent, and the Director of the BLA Writing Program will also oversee a dedicated writing center offering comprehensive writing support.

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Library Services

Students in the BLA program will enjoy the same library privileges as main campus undergraduate students, including borrowing privileges from the extensive print collections at Lauinger Library and access to an extensive collections of electronic resources. The primary difference is that students in the BLA program will not have direct access to either of these resources, the physical collection or electronic resources. As such, the BLA program will utilize a network of main campus student research assistants who will serve as intermediaries and assist students in the BLA program with searches and research. Requested materials will be delivered on a regular (at least weekly) basis to students at Patuxent, and BLA faculty and staff will, in collaboration with the main campus library staff, seek to provide BLA students not only with the materials that they need to conduct their academic work but also with an experience that approximates that of direct, unmediated academic research. The BLA program will also schedule occasional orientation and training sessions with professional library staff from the main campus, and the program is committed to identifying other innovative solutions that allow BLA students more direct, unmediated access to research materials, including the acquisition of databases for accessible via a secure, offline server at Patuxent.

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Career Counseling

The BLA program will partner with colleagues in the Cawley Career Education Center on the main campus to offer students in the BLA program comprehensive career counseling services. Our career counseling program emphasizes both early intervention, beginning with exercises in self-inventory and career exploration for students in the early years of the degree program, and targeted career placement services for program alumni approaching release. PJI places special emphasis on building a network of program alumni throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, connecting them to community partners and employers with a demonstrated commitment to employment and other opportunities for formerly incarcerated people.

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Reentry Services

PJI has a dedicated Director of Reentry Services (DRS) on staff, and that person will be available to provide comprehensive reentry support to BLA program alumni as they (prepare to) return to their communities. The DRS will support returning citizens by helping them to identify relevant resources (housing, employment, mental health services, nutrition, etc.) and navigate complicated bureaucratic processes, and will also collaborate with program alumni on individualized reentry plans that include both short- and longer-term goals for successful reintegration into the community. The DRS will also be responsible for maintaining an alumni network of returning citizens for mutual support and connecting the alumni network with outside agencies and employers who actively seek to support formerly incarcerated people as part of their mission.

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