The mission of the Division of Student Development, affirming the University’s mission, is to promote student growth by serving, educating, and developing students to become contributing members of the local and global community. By serving and partnering with students, the staff in this division of the University strives to represent and advocate for the needs of students, promote a community of respect to affirm the value of each individual, and provide and promote services and co-curricular activities which enhance student learning and University identified learning outcomes. The individual departments that make up this large division are described briefly below.
Athletic and Recreation Department
The Athletic and Recreation Department is responsible for the development and administration of an intercollegiate and recreational sports program that provides quality and competitive opportunities for students in a variety of fields. Avila offers intercollegiate women’s competition in basketball, cross country & track, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Intercollegiate opportunities for men’s competition include baseball, basketball, cross country & track, football, and soccer. In addition, Avila sponsors a spirit squad that includes performance and competitive dance and cheer teams.
The director of athletics and recreation, in conjunction with coaches and staff, coordinates recruitment of student athletes; promotes athletic and recreation programs; and manages all competitive events, athletic facilities, and equipment, including the Mabee Fieldhouse, the Pavilion, and the Zarda Sports Complex.
The Eagles compete within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and have a conference affiliation with the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
Avila students, faculty, and staff receive free admission to all home athletic contests with a valid Avila ID card.
For more information, please call the Athletic Department at (816) 501-3634.
Athletic and Recreational Facilities
Avila has outstanding athletic and recreational facilities available to students, faculty, and staff. Outdoor facilities include the Thomas R. Zarda Family Athletic Complex for baseball, football, soccer, softball, and recreational use, as well as practice football fields and the Santa Fe Trail. Indoor facilities within the Mabee Fieldhouse and Pavilion include a competition practice arena for basketball and volleyball, fitness center weight room, indoor batting and golf cage, and men’s and women’s locker rooms.
The campus bookstore operates to meet the needs for course textbooks. In addition, it sells school and office supplies, logo clothing, stamps, and miscellaneous gifts and merchandise. The bookstore is located in the lower level of Marian Center. For more information, please call the bookstore at (816) 501-3630 or access the bookstore page on the Avila website.
The bookstore also operates the mailroom from which all UPS, FedEx, and USPS letters and packages are received and shipped. All student mail will be picked up by the R.A.s of the various dorms and delivered to the respective students’ mailboxes. All packages are picked up by the student during open hours of the bookstore. A student ID is required for package pickup.
Campus Life Office
The Campus Life Office includes residence life, student activities and organizations, and new student programs. Drop by the Campus Life Office to arrange for a student activity van, obtain a residence hall contract, learn more about commuter meal plans, join a club, or for information on the Student Code of Conduct, parking regulations, or campus crime statistics. For more information, please call (816) 501-3660.
Campus Ministries views the development and exploration of “Spiritual Values” as an important part of ongoing and comprehensive formation at Avila. Students are invited to develop their spirituality through communal celebrations, liturgies, interfaith services, social justice awareness, community service, small communities for faith sharing, retreats, pastoral counseling, community nights, and spiritual direction. Student leadership and involvement is highly encouraged in the variety of ministries offered. Each year students from different religious traditions are chosen as the Campus Ministries Team who, with the Director of Campus Ministries and Assistant Director of Campus Ministries, comprises the leadership team. Whether on the leadership team or not, each of us is called to ministry by virtue of our faith. Although our University is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph, a community within the Roman Catholic tradition, we welcome all to participate as we explore our spiritual lives together. For more information please call (816) 501-2423.
Counseling & Career Services
Counseling and Career Services is staffed by mental health and career development professionals and graduate interns.
Personal counseling services include:
- Personal counseling dealing with a wide range of issues including: anxiety, depression, grief/loss and adjustment
- Support for those struggling with a personal crisis
- Referrals to outside agencies, as appropriate
- Workshops, information sessions, and small group sessions
Career services include:
- Major and career decision making assistance
- Advice and resources for gaining practical experience and building skills
- Job-readiness (résumé and cover letter preparation, networking, interview skills, and other aspects of the job search process)
- Online job posting for on and off-campus part-time and full-time jobs and internships
- Career/job fairs
- Career related programs and workshops
Appointments can be scheduled by contacting 816-501-2901 or stopping by Hodes Center. Walk-in appointments are available.
Counseling services are free, confidential, and available to all Avila students. Career services are free, confidential, and available to all Avila students and alumni.
Avila University welcomes students with disabilities who can be successful learners and contributors to the Avila community. To apply for accommodations in your learning environment (curricular and co-curricular), please contact Disability Services. The Disability Services staff welcomes questions, issues, and concerns. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Disability Services at (816) 501-3666, or see the Disability Services website at http://www.avila.edu/student-services/disability-services-1.
The University, through Great Western Dining Services, provides a variety of dining services for the campus. The primary dining facility on campus is the dining hall located in Marian Center.
All resident students select a meal plan option. Currently, resident students have the choice of three meal plan options. Complete plan details are available through the Campus Life Office at (816) 501-3660.
Dining room hours are subject to change and are posted outside of the dining hall main entrance. For menu details or operating hours, contact Great Western Dining Services at (816) 501-3755 or access the dining hall page on the Avila website.
Commuter students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to purchase commuter meal plans. Contracts and information for commuter student and employee plans are available through the Food Service Office.
The nurse-directed health center is staffed by registered nurses. Services include:
- minor illness/injury assessment
- treatment with non-prescriptive medications and medical supplies
- immunizations (some with a fee)
- blood pressure/weight monitoring
- emergency care
- referrals to campus resources or appropriate community health care resources
- individual health and wellness counseling
- student health insurance information
- group health and wellness programs or presentations
Appointments can be scheduled by contacting the Hodes Center office manager at 816-501-3666 or the nurse at 816-501-3668. Walk-in appointments are available. Health services are free, confidential, and available to all Avila students during the Fall and Spring semesters. Services are not available during breaks. For more information, see our website at http://www.avila.edu/student-services/health-services.
As part of our family-friendly environment, Avila University supports breastfeeding mothers by accommodating the mother who wishes to express breast milk during the day. The University provides a private lactation room on the lower level of Blasco Hall. The room is the Mother’s Lounge. The room is furnished with a table, two chairs, and electrical outlets. It also has a small refrigerator reserved for the specific storage of breast milk and a microwave.
Employees and students may use the Mother’s Lounge anytime during normal business hours. The room has signage for “Available” when it is not occupied or “Occupied” when in use. The Human Resources office also maintains a key for this room. Visitors who wish to use this room to express breast milk should be directed to the Human Resources office.
International Student Services
International Student Services (ISS) assists international students with their adjustment to both Avila and the U.S. In addition, students are helped with questions regarding student visa issues and requirements. For further details, contact the ISS Department at (816) 501- 3666.
One component of the International Student Services office is the Intensive Language and Culture Program (ILCP). ILCP is an ESL program administered through the Avila School of Education in partnership with the International Student Services Office. Students study twenty hours of English per week, which includes five hours in each language area: speaking and listening, reading and vocabulary, grammar (structure), and writing (composition). The program features several levels of instruction and small class sizes to ensure personalized attention. Additional English practice is available through one-on-one instruction tutors. Students may register for ESL classes and courses in their major during the same semester. Upon successful completion of the ESL program, students may study for a degree full time. In addition, students learn about American culture and the university system. For further details, contact the ILCP office at (816) 501-3771.
To ensure academic success, Avila encourages students to meet with a member of the Learning Services staff for support and advice. Together students and staff will explore such areas as writing, time management, note and test taking, study strategies, and other academic skills.
Peer and Professional Tutors are available to work with students on writing skills and a variety of content areas and to prepare for standardized exams such as MoGEA. Tutoring sessions are available in a variety of formats including individual tutoring, study groups, and small group sessions for test preparation and review.
Tutoring is offered during regular office hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) in the Hodes Center and is also available various evenings each week in the library during the fall and spring semesters. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the Learning Services Web site at http://www.avila.edu/student-services/learning-services. Evening and weekend appointments available if scheduled in advance by calling Learning Services at (816) 501-3666.
Orientation for New Students
New student orientation affirms the mission of Avila University by partnering with students, faculty, and staff to facilitate the transition of all new students into the Avila collegiate environment with an emphasis on educational, service, and social opportunities. For more information please call (816) 501-3660.
The campus is supported by professional campus safety officers 365 days a year, 24-hours a day. Campus safety officers can be reached immediately at (816) 985-6079.
If the situation calls for immediate emergency response from local authorities, call 911 (Campus phones - dial 9-911).
Officers are also available for escorts on campus, completing incident reports, crime statistics, and safety education. All campus crimes or incidents must be reported to the Campus Safety Office at (816) 985-6079.
Lost and Found items may be recovered from the Campus Safety Department located in Whitfield Center.
As an integral part of the Campus Life Office, the residence hall program strives to complement a student’s academic program through a community living experience. Along with the convenience of living on campus, living in the residence halls allows a student to interact with students of diverse backgrounds, cultural experiences, and lifestyles.
The residence halls consist of a fully air-conditioned environment, featuring student rooms to accommodate approximately four hundred students, professional live-in staff, and professionally trained student-staff. The residence hall complex contains Wi-Fi, TV and study lounges, kitchen facilities, and laundry facilities. Each student room comes complete with satellite television service, local telephone service if requested, and high-speed wired and Wi-Fi Internet services.
Additional information about the residence halls, including the community living standards, staff contact information, and processes and procedures, can be found in the Residence Life section of the Student Handbook. To find out how to become more involved in Residence Life, contact the Residence Life Office at (816) 501-2485.
Student Activities supports 42 student organizations that sponsor activities such as social events, speakers, entertainment, trips, service learning, recreation, films, leadership development, workshops, publications, and resource libraries. Our goal is to create leadership and involvement opportunities where students can enhance leadership skills and personal development. For more information please call (816) 501-3660.
For free tickets that may be available to Avila students, contact the Campus Life Office at (816) 501-3660.
Upward Bound provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. The Upward Bound program serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education. The Upward Bound program is a TRIO Program funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Education. Upward Bound provides year round tutoring, academic workshops, campus visits, cultural and social events, community service, assistance with the financial aid and admission process, and a six-week residential component during the summer. Avila University’s Upward Bound program serves students at Ruskin High School and Grandview High School. For more information please call (816) 501-2438.
Student Development Activities
Getting involved in organizations and activities is an important part of the University’s total educational experience. As participants, students develop such skills as interpersonal communication, organization, budgeting, time management, delegation, motivation, and the art of compromise. Avila University supports 42 student organizations, which provide leadership and involvement opportunities for all students. Listed below are brief mission statements of these student organizations. For further information about any of the groups listed, please go to https://www.avila.edu/avila-life/student-experience/student-organizations-1 or stop by the Campus Life Office in Marian Center.
THE ACTIVITIES TEAM (THE A TEAM) - Plans and promotes a variety of social, cultural, recreational, and educational events and activities to meet the co-curricular needs of the entire student body.
ALPHA EPSILON DELTA (AED) - Is a national honor society for prehealth students that provides them with professional development as well as service and social opportunities.
AMERICAN RED CROSS CLUB - A student organization that focuses directly with the University’s mission of serving the dear neighbor. Students contribute to the American Red Cross blood drives in order to serve a constant need for blood donation in the Kansas City region. The club also provides community service opportunities that help students involved consider the potential of a future career in health and science.
AVILA AMBASSADORS - Promotes Avila University and its values as official representatives of the Admission Office. Ambassadors provide tours to prospective students and participate in special University events.
AVILA ATHLETIC BANDS - The Athletic Bands play a vital role on campus infusing events with pride and energy through musical performance. Students in the Athletic Bands are chosen through the Performance Grant audition process and serve the Avila community at a variety of events providing both aesthetic and artistic vitality and enthusiasm.
AVILA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (AEA) - Provides opportunities for professional growth, professional networking, community service, civic engagement, and social networking to teachers, pre-service teachers, and international educators and advocates at Avila University.
AVILA MICROCINEMA - Provides opportunities to be involved in Film and Digital Media production and networking with industry professionals by sponsoring film screenings and guest lectures with film directors, actors and producers; it also sponsors an annual high school film festival.
AVILA SINGERS - Is a non-auditioned choral ensemble intended for preparation and participation in public performances of sacred and secular choral music. The ensemble performs one major choral work each semester on campus. Past performances include Handel’s Messiah and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. The ensemble is open to all students, faculty, and alumni who wish to participate. Performance grants are available; for more information, contact the Music Department Chair at (816) 501-3651.
AVILA STUDENT NURSES ORGANIZATION (ASNO) - To cohesively contribute to nursing education, to represent professional interests and concerns, and to aid in the development of the whole person and his/her responsibility for the health care of others.
AVILA UNIVERSITY THEATRE COMPANY - Exists to encourage and develop interest in the theatre arts by promoting ensemble - participating in and learning more about the craft of theatre in the spirit of togetherness and friendliness. Open to all regardless of major.
BETA BETA BETA HONOR SOCIETY - Honor society for the biological sciences, affiliated with ALPHA EPSILON DELTA.
BLACK STUDENT UNIONS (BSU) - Provides Avila University with programming that promotes cultural diversity to “Build Stronger Unity.”
CHORAL ENSEMBLES - University Singers is an auditioned choral ensemble performing challenging, eclectic literature. University Singers performs both on and off campus for special events and scheduled concerts. Members of the ensemble serve as ambassadors for the university, touring each spring and performing in high schools and other venues across the Midwest. A portion of each tour is dedicated to the Sisters of St. Joseph in locations such as Minnesota, New York, California, and St. Louis. Future plans include competitions culminating in additional performances across the United States and Europe.
Any student is welcome to audition for University Singers. Students auditioning for the ensemble should be prepared to sight-read pitches and rhythms. Selection for the ensemble will be based on tone quality, intonation, sight-reading ability, and musicianship. Performance grants are available to reward talent and participation. For more information, contact the Music Department Chair at (816) 501-3651.
COLLEGES AGAINST CANCER - Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) is a nationwide collaboration of college students, faculty, and staff dedicated to eliminating cancer by working to implement the programs and mission of the American Cancer Society.
COMPUTER SCIENCE CLUB - Promotes the sharing of knowledge and information about computer science courses offered in the Avila University Department of Computer Science and understanding through various activities under the Avila University umbrella.
ENGLISH CLUB - Promotes a mastery of written expression, encourages worthwhile reading, and fosters a spirit of good fellowship among students of the English language and literature.
GRADUATE PSYCHOLOGY ASSOCIATION - The Graduate Psychology Club is designed to provide support, information, and networking opportunities for students involved in a Master’s level study of Psychology.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATORS (IABC) - Enables a global network of communicators working in diverse industries and disciplines to identify, share and apply the world’s most effective communication practices. Exists to promote relationships and opportunities between students and communication professionals.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORGANIZATION (ISO) - Increases interaction among students from numerous cultural backgrounds.
JEAN PIERRE MÉDAILLE HONOR SOCIETY - An undergraduate, interdisciplinary honor society for Avila University students recognizing academic achievement and promoting student leadership.
KAPPA DELTA PI - Is an International Honor Society for students majoring or minoring in education or international advocacy.
KINESIOLOGY CLUB - The Kinesiology Club works to make a positive difference on campus and within the community. They work with other groups to facilitate recreational and fitness activities on campus (ie: i-Fit Club and AU “Biggest Losers” programs). Our activities are designed to promote development and networking opportunities related to Kinesiology.
LAMBDA NU - The Alpha chapter of Lambda Nu is the national honor society for radiologic science students.
MU SIGMA PI - Avila Music Department’s student led organization fosters musicianship, artistry and unity through formal and informal performances and activities.
THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF LEADERSHIP AND SUCCESS - Helps students create the lives they desire by helping them discover what they truly want to do and giving them support, motivation, and tools to achieve their goals.
OFFICE OF MINISTRY, SPIRITUALITY, AND ACTION - Promotes the communication of Avila University values to the campus community. Provides opportunities for fellowship and spiritual exploration and understanding.
PEERS EDUCATING AVILA ABOUT COUNSELING AND HEALTH (PEACH) - Promotes emotional and physical wellness through programming and activities intended to enhance the lives of members of the Avila community. PEACH members collaborate to present such topics as: stress relief, nutrition, healthy relationships and healthy lifestyles.
PHI ALPHA HONOR SOCIETY, Xi Lambda chapter - National social work academic honor society for social work majors promoting social work scholarship and achievement.
PRE-LAW ORGANIZATION - A student run group with the sole purpose of preparing students to be successful in law school and legal careers. The organization visits law schools, hosts guest speakers, and even sets up internships. It focuses on professional development and building resumes for law school and beyond. Every member in the organization has a voice in deciding what the next course of action will be.
PROUD2BME - Partners with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA). Its purpose is to promote body positivity and bring awareness to eating disorders. It will also educate Avila’s students on the importance of a positive self-image and prevention, warning signs, and resources related to eating disorders.
PSYCHOLOGY CLUB & PSI CHI HONOR SOCIETY - Promotes educational and social opportunities for students interested in psychology. Psi Chi Honor Society is the national honor society for psychology majors, affiliated with the Psychology Club.
RESIDENCE HALL ASSOCIATION (RHA) - Integrates the ideals of the residence halls to promote leadership in the residence halls.
SAUDI ARABIAN STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (SASA) - Shares Saudi Arabian tradition, culture, and perception within the Avila and Kansas City communities and promotes cross-cultural communication and understanding through various activities under the Avila University umbrella.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION DIVERSITY ALLIANCE (SODA) - Established for students, faculty, and staff to encourage understanding of the complexities, dangers, and pervasiveness of homophobia heterosexism.
SOCIETY OF LATINOS (SOL) - The Society of Latinos serves the Kansas City community by providing support to elementary and secondary school students. In working with local students, SOL aims to instill the tools, leadership and motivation to help them achieve their academic and professional goals. SOL provides the Avila University community with educational and recreational events to share the culture and traditions of diverse Hispanic/Latino nationalities.
SOUND AND FURY -The Avila University literary magazine.
STUDENT SENATE - Avila Student Senate promotes a spirit of unity among all members of the Avila University community, acts as a means of communication between students, faculty, staff and administration with respect to campus issues, helps solves campus problems in cooperation with the administration, faculty, and staff, and initiates, promotes and helps supervise general campus activities.
STUDENT SOCIAL WORK ASSOCIATION - Plans and promotes discussion of social issues, community involvement, and opportunities to learn about different practice areas of social work.
STUDENTS WORKING TO ACHIEVE GLOBAL AWARENESS AND ACTION (SWAGAA) - A group dedicated to motivating Avila’s student body to become active participants in the global society. SWAGAA works to achieve social justice by calling Avila students to develop a sensitivity and an awareness of human rights issues and cultural and ethnic diversity.
THE TALON STUDENT MEDIA NETWORK - Avila University’s student media network which includes the Talon News Magazine, The Talon Online, Talon TV, Talon Ureport, Talon podcasts, web streaming and other interactive publications, including Facebook and Twitter pages. www.thetalon-online.org and www.avila.edu/talon
UNITED NATIONS AMBASSADORS - UNA-USA campus chapters are ambassadors for the UN in their local communities. They educate themselves and others in the vital work of the UN and advocate to their elected leaders about the importance of a strong US-UN relationship. This organization will inspire Avila students to identify and advocate for global issues (i.e., energy, climate, women’s issues, health, peace, security). Students will build leadership skills that will help them make a difference in the world. They will learn how to meet with elected officials to talk about the issues that matter.
WELLNESS - Programming is designed to promote wellness, enhance health awareness, and encourage development of healthy choices that affect both physical and mental health.
Other Co-curricular Opportunities
The Sound and the Fury, Avila’s literary magazine, is published at the end of each spring semester. Students comprise the entire editorial staff under the guidance of The Sound and Fury’s advisor. The magazine publishes the best prose, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction the university has to offer. Submissions are open to all Avila students, faculty, and staff, and awards are offered for the best work in each genre.
Avila Singers is a non-auditioned choral ensemble intended for preparation and participation in public performances of sacred and secular choral music. The ensemble performs one major choral work each semester on campus. Past performances include Handel’s Messiah and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. The ensemble is open to all students, faculty, and alumni who wish to participate. Performance grants are available; for more information, contact the Music Department chair at (816) 501-3651.
Theatre is both an academic and co-curricular activity at Avila. Students in both programs have the opportunity to work with theatre professors and some of the finest professional talent in the region. Students are encouraged to apply for theatre performance grants that reward talent and services to the four main-stage productions. Students may participate in backstage assignments, acting, or house management and publicity. Students who major or minor in theatre may concentrate in acting, directing/producing, technical theatre, or musical theatre. Contact the Director of Performance Studies at (816) 501-2405 for more information.
Since 1978, the Thornhill Gallery, located in the Dallavis Center, has presented art exhibits by contemporary regional and national artists to educate and enrich the students of Avila University as well as the greater Kansas City community. The gallery usually hosts six to seven shows a year, concluding with the annual Senior Exhibit for Art Majors in May.
All students admitted and enrolled for credit at Avila University are members of the Avila University Student body and represented by the Student Senate. Student representatives, elected annually in the spring, make up the Student Senate. Senators or senate appointees serve on committees of the University and encourage student viewpoints and participation in the operation of the University. Contact the Dean of Students at (816) 501-3660 for information.
The Avila Medal of Honor is an honor conferred by the president. The award is presented on qualifications of character, service, and loyalty.
The Ariston Award is presented to one outstanding member of the senior class. The award considers academic merit, leadership, service, and is awarded to the senior who best represents the mission, values, and characteristics upon which Avila University is founded.
Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges is a nationally recognized award conferred upon graduating seniors who have shown outstanding merit and accomplishment in academic and co-curricular areas.
The St. Catherine’s Medal is presented annually through Kappa Gamma Pi to the sophomore woman who has the best record of progressive achievement for her class at the University.
The St. Thomas More Medal is presented annually by the Avila University faculty to the sophomore man who has the best record of progressive achievement for his class at the University.