May 19, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Development

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, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Intercollegiate opportunities for men’s competition include baseball, basketball, cross country & track, football, golf 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, promotion of athletic and recreation programs, and management of 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 & 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 which all UPS, FED X, and USPS letters and packages are received and shipped out. All student mail will be picked up by the R.A.’s of the various dorms and delivered to the respected student’s 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

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 & 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 professional 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)
  • On-line 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.

Disability Services

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 Web site at

Dining Services

The University, through Great Western, 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 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.

Health Services

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

Mother’s Lounge

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.

Learning Services

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 C-BASE. 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 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.

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

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 400 students, professional live-in staff and professionally trained student staff. The residence hall complex contains Wi-Fi, TV & study lounges, kitchen facilities, & laundry facilities. Each student room comes complete with satellite television service, local telephone service if requested and high-speed wired & 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

Student Activities supports 48 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

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, and assistance with the financial aid and admission process, and a 6 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 49 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 or stop by the Campus Life Office in Marian Center.

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 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.

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.

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 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 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 COLLEGE DEMOCRATS - Advocate for candidates and issues that enhance the Democratic Party. Promote civic engagement through bipartisan, co-sponsored activities on campus and in the greater Kansas City area.

AVILA UNIVERSITY STUDENT SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (SHRM) - Student chapter of SHRM provides opportunities for students to network on the local level by scheduling programs designed to help members learn more about HR and the real world of business.

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.”

CAMPUS MINISTRY - Promotes the communication of Avila University values to the campus community. Provides opportunities for fellowship and spiritual exploration and understanding.


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.

Cyrene Inspiration, the women’s auditioned choral ensemble, performs both on and off campus; their counterpart, Men’s Glee is an auditioned group of male singers performing a wide variety of musical styles and genres.

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.

DISABILITY ADVOCACY GROUP - Committed to increasing awareness and visibility of people with disabilities on the Avila campus. Seeks to educate the Avila community about issues that impact people with disabilities.

ENFUSE - Graphic Design student organization. Promotes programming, extracurricular education, membership and participation in professional organizations.

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.

GROUP ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMING (GAP) - 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

RADIOLOGIC SCIENCE CLUB - Meets the academic and social needs of students studying in the Radiologic Science Program.

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.

SEXUAL ORIENTATION DIVERSITY ALLIANCE (SODA) - Established for students, faculty, and staff to encourage understanding of the complexities, dangers, and pervasiveness of homophobia heterosexism.

SIGMA TAU DELTA - International Honor Society that promotes a mastery of written expression, encourages worthwhile reading, and fosters a spirit of good fellowship among students of the English language and literature. Affiliated with the English Club.

SISTERHEART - SisterHeart is an organization dedicated to providing a safe place for all women, regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or culture, to come together to learn how to support and embrace each other; forming the bonds of lasting friendship and stimulating social, as well as personal growth.

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 TODAY ALUMNI TOMORROW (STAT) - STAT stands for Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow. The purpose of STAT is to promote life-long beneficial relationships between Avila’s students, alumni, staff and faculty.

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. and

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.

VETERANS’ SERVICE ORGANIZATION - The Veterans’ Service Organization (VSO) will support a military fellowship that all veterans on the Avila University campus can enjoy and enlighten their own campus experience. The VSO will also work in support of veterans and non-veterans to create an outlet for all students to benefit from a healthy and vibrant student life on campus an in the community!

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 six to seven 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, elected in the annual 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.

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 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.