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College Spotlight: Salve Regina

February 1st, 2024
A building of Salve Regina University

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College Spotlight: Salve Regina

Salve Regina University Gates

Salve Regina University is located in Newport, RI.

Salve Regina University sits on 80 acres in historic Newport, Rhode Island; the oceanside campus is famous for its 3.5-mile Cliff Walk, rocky shorelines, and architectural history. Students often take advantage of the mile walk to downtown Newport,  bustling with cafes, cozy shops, ice cream parlors, and tourists. Salve is an open campus, attracting many visitors. 

Dr. Kelli Armstrong, President of Salve, previously the Vice President for Planning and Assessment at Boston College, brought her strong institutional leadership and innovative spirit to Salve’s campus. She has transformed the University’s curriculum by introducing the Salve Compass Program: a four-year experiential framework of Foundation, Exploration, Immersion & Integration, intersecting liberal arts with pre-professional preparation.

Incoming first-year students participate in the First Year Studio Foundation course with a mid-year retreat that focuses on self-identity and self-assessment and is taught by an advisor. Sophomores enroll in the Exploration Studio, an experiential learning course to develop career readiness competencies. The sophomore year culminates in a project-based Summer Experience, which can be a week- or all-summer-long involvement. Students have interned or performed at the Newport Jazz Festival or worked at a nearby bird sanctuary. 

A building of Salve Regina University

One of President Armstrong’s major goals was to centralize all student services under one roof.

Juniors take the Immersion Studio to further hone their professional skills and are encouraged to participate in an internship or study abroad. This is the year for student teaching, completing nursing clinicals, or pursuing business internships. Seniors then Integrate their knowledge and experience and complete a capstone project, which they showcase during SRYou Day to peers, faculty, and community members.

One of President Armstrong’s major goals was to centralize all student services under one roof. The new center will be housed on the first floor of McKillop Library (opening in September) and will include the Academic Center for Excellence, Academic Advising, and Student Accessibility Services. Incoming students also participate in a week-long orientation to ease their transition to college life, learn about resources, and explore campus and community before classes begin.

Salve boasts of its strong nursing (direct entry), education, business, and psychology programs. Because of their strong connection to Newport Hospital, there is always a nurse practitioner and trained EMT on staff. During exams, nursing majors practice taking their peers’ blood pressure while students get to play with puppies in the fireplace lounge in Gerety Hall. There are three lecture halls on campus, but classes are capped at 35 students. 

There are many opportunities for students to explore their creative sides. While Salve has a small number of students pursuing Studio Art, the department is very well equipped, with a woodshop, clay room, and even a large gas kiln. There is a new broadcasting studio on campus and student-run musicals are quite popular too.

While there is no Greek Life, there is a lot of school spirit on campus: football and rugby games are very popular.

While there is no Greek Life, there is a lot of school spirit on campus: football and rugby games are very popular. Salve competes in Division III as part of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), joining as the 12th core member in July 2023. There are plenty of clubs and organizations on campus as well: Ping Pong Club is the largest campus club with over 200 participants.

Salve was founded by the Sisters of Mercy – the Sisters’ vow of service is deeply embedded in Salve’s mission. Catherine McAuley (founder of the Sisters of Mercy) is fondly referred to as Cathy by the students who celebrate her birthday each year with an official day off from classes. However, diversity is very important to Salve, welcoming students with all backgrounds and beliefs. Last year only 37% of incoming students were Catholic and 22% were underrepresented students. Salve is an LGBTQ+-friendly campus with a newly renovated LGBTQ+ Center.

Students at Salve can expect to be challenged academically with a supportive faculty, and plenty of opportunities to engage in hands-on experiences and community service. Salve’s mission is to ensure students become socially conscious, adaptive, resilient, and compassionate leaders. With nearby Newport, beautiful beaches, and a free food truck almost every Thursday, there are plenty of activities in and around Salve.

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