Jun 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Student Development

The mission of the Division of Student Development and Success, 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, bowling, soccer, softball, volleyball, and wrestling. Intercollegiate opportunities for men’s competition include baseball, basketball, bowling, football, soccer, and wrestling. 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 Kansas Collegiate 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) 501-3756.

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 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 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 Ministries

The Office of Ministry, Spirituality, and Action (OMSA) affirms the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, striving to assist and promote the spiritual development of members of the Avila community, especially students through unity prayer and service. The office promotes action and service as a way to build and manifest faith. We live our faith; we grow our faith. OMSA seeks to create a culture of faith as a lived experience. We live out our faith in relationship with God, self, others, and creation. Inspired by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, we seek to live the unifying love of God and the dear neighbor without distinctions that divide. Our profession of the love of God is lived through the ministries with all our students. Avila ministry grows through our ministry leaders who involve all students in service, prayer, and community. We facilitate hundreds of hours of service throughout the community each year. We come together to celebrate and pray through our liturgies, retreats, and other services. We build community through the offering of many events from community Easter egg hunts to picnics and our Advent Cocoa and Carols. For more information go to our web page https://www.avila.edu/avila-life/campus-ministry/, like us on Facebook, or call our offices at 816-501-0427.

Career Services

Career Services provides support and resources for job-seeking students. Students can receive assistance with the following:

  • Major/career exploration
  • Resume and cover letter assistance
  • Career/job preparation
  • Career coaching
  • Job and internship search
  • Interview preparation
  • Personal Assessments

Appointments can be scheduled via Navigate, emailing kyleigh.zoltek@avila.edu, or stopping by the Slepitza Center for Student Excellence in Hodes.

Counseling Services

Counseling Services is staffed by mental health professional Joshua R. Paszkiewicz, DHA, RN, PLPC, BCC.

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

Students may schedule an appointment online or by emailing joshua.paszkiewicz@avila.edu. Walk-in appointments are available, as needed. Counseling services are free, confidential, and available to all Avila students, faculty and staff. Students also have access with their Avila email addresses to virtual mental health services through BetterMynd.


Student Access Services

Avila University views disability as an important aspect of diversity, and is committed to providing equitable access to students with disabilities (e.g. mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, physical, etc.). If you are a student who has (or may have) a disability, please contact the Student Access Office to engage in a confidential conversation about the process for requesting reasonable accommodations. Students may contact the Student Access Office by email (DSO@Avila.edu), telephone (816-501-3666), or by stopping by our office located in the Slepitza Center for Student Excellence. Students may also learn more about the Student Access Office by visiting https://www.avila.edu/avila-life/student-success-center/student-access-office/.

TRIO Programs

TRIO programs are federally-funded programs designed to provide educational access and assistance to income-eligible, first-generation and/or students with a disability. TRIO programs are funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as TRIO programs because there were three original programs created. TRIO programs are required to serve a majority of students who meet an income guideline and are also first-generation college students (the first in their family to complete a four-year college degree).

There are over 1,000 colleges, universities and community agencies nationwide that host TRIO programs. All TRIO program hosts apply for funds through competitive grants with the Department of Education.

The mission of TRIO programs at Avila University is to empower students to advance their achievement in higher education. TRIO strives to increase academic success, college access, and graduation rates by using research-driven strategies to assist individuals in overcoming financial, academic, social, and cultural barriers to higher education.

Avila University hosts two TRIO programs that serve income-eligible and first-generation college students. All services are offered at no cost to participants.

Student Support Services (SSS)

SSS provides resources and services students need on their path to college graduation and whatever lies beyond. We achieve this by taking a holistic approach, meeting students at their level of need, providing intensive academic advising, advocating for and with them, developing a sense of educational responsibility within each student, and celebrating the milestones along the way. Students are provided opportunities for cultural exploration, developing and furthering knowledge, forming relationships, and personal growth.

Overcoming barriers and succeeding in post-secondary education is what SSS is all about. Committed to the success of each program participant, the staff creates a climate of support specifically designed to facilitate student learning and development, enabling the student access, persist and graduate from college.

Services provided at no cost to the student include peer tutoring, professional tutoring, academic advising, financial literacy workshops, federal student aid workshops, learning communities, graduate school test preparation, mentoring, graduate school visits, cultural/social activities, and grant aid.

Student Support Services

Provides services to students at Avila University

Funded to serve 150 students yearly

Contact: inspiredtoachieve@avila.edu or 816-501-2439

Upward Bound (Classic and Achieve)

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.

Services provided at no cost to the student include tutoring, academic workshops, ACT test prep, college campus visits, assistance with the FAFSA, assistance with applying to college, social/cultural activities, leadership development, community service, 6 week residential program, college credits, and scholarships.

Avila University hosts two Upward Bound Programs in the KC area. 

  • Classic Upward Bound

Provides services to students at Ruskin High School and Grandview High School
Funded to serve 74 students yearly
Contact: UpwardBound@avila.edu or 816-501-2438

  • Upward Bound Achieve

Provides services to students at Northeast High School and Central High School
Funded to serve 60 students yearly
Contact: UpwardBoundAchieve@avila.edu or 816-501-2488

Dining Services

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 Student Success Center 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.

Mother’s Lounge

As part of our family-friendly environment, Avila University supports breastfeeding mothers by accommodating a mother who wishes to express breast milk during the day. The University provides a private lactation room, the Mother’s Lounge, located in Whitfield Center. 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) 501-3636.

Academic Success and Tutoring Services

Academic Success and Tutoring Services provides academic coaching and tutoring in most major subjects as well as help with study skills, organization, and time management. The Writing Center offers support for any writing project, including course papers, application essays, resumes, and presentations. Academic Coaches and Writing Consultants offer the following services in the Willcox Writing and Tutoring Center in Avila’s Library and Learning Commons:

  • In-person academic coaching and writing support
  • Online academic coaching and writing support
  • Course-specific academic coaching and writing support
  • “Get it Done” sessions, study jams, and write-ins
  • Group study sessions

See the Academic Success and Tutoring and Writing Center websites or call (816) 501-3710 for more information, including courses covered, hours, and appointment scheduling.

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) 501-3754.

Campus Safety

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.

Residence Life

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, 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) 501-3748 or via email at generalresidencelife@avila.edu.

Student Activities

Student Activities supports 40 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) 501-3754.

Student Success

Avila students will find academic, personal, and holistic support designed to enhance student growth. The office promotes success through the coordination of the First Year Experience which includes FS 101 (First Year Seminar), the Common Reading Program, the Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture, and the First Year Publication. The office also promotes the success of transfer students through Transfer Orientation, Transfer Peer Mentors and other activities specifically designed for the transition of transfer students.  

Another area of support is Success Coaching. This coaching is a primary strategy encouraged as a result of Academic Progress Reports, Mid-Term Grades, Academic Probation and the promotion of Student Course Registration. Coaching can also be used to learn more about common skills needed for college such as time management and study strategies.

The Office of Student Success also coordinates the 15 to Finish program which promotes the successful completion of 15 credit hours each semester which puts a student on pace to graduate in four years. 

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 over 30 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 Student Success Center in Hodes.

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 ENSEMBLESUniversity 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.

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.

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.

HUMANITIES 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.

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.

KAPPA DELTA PI – An International Honor Society for students majoring or minoring in education.

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.

PRIDE ALLIANCE - creates an inclusive and welcoming community for folks who identify as LGBTQ+, and to advocate and work for the removal of systemic barriers faced by LGBTQ+ people at Avila.

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.

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 ASSOCIATION - 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.

Choral Ensembles

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.

Thornhill Gallery

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 four to five shows a year, concluding with the annual Senior Exhibit for Art Majors in May.

Student Senate

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 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 Vice President for Student Affairs at (816) 501-2465 or Alicia.murillo@avila.edu for more information.

Student Honors

The Avila Medal of Honor is an honor conferred by the president. The award is presented on qualifications of character, service, and loyalty.

The Jeanne Collins Thompson Ariston Award is presented to one outstanding member of the senior class. The award considers academic merit, leadership, and service and is awarded to the senior who best represents the mission, values, and characteristics upon which Avila University is founded.

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.