Graduates in Record Numbers

This academic year will have a record number of graduates from the University of St. Francis Graduate School. Currently we have 150 students anticipating the completion of their degree program by this coming August. Twenty-two have already completed in December, seventy-two have applied for a May completion, and another fifty-six plan to complete their curricular requirements in August.

If you are among those who are part of this year’s class, CONGRATULATIONS! Well done.

If you think you might be able to complete this year, and have not yet submitted an Application for Graduation, please see your academic advisor. The application can be found online at

Advent and Finals

I’m not sure if you have noticed, but it seems ironic that the start of the new year in the Church (Advent) comes at the same time as finals for the fall term classes. This is not unusual, it happens every year.

We all seem to be lost in the world of academics (finals, papers, presentations, etc.) and at the same time we are citizens of the Church world too. Even if we are not conscious of the advent season, the signs are all around us-carols, candle-lit services, nativity scenes-to remind us of the significance of the season.

Beginning and end; rush and reflection; exhaustion and exhaultation. As you experience all the emotions that come with the end of the semester, may you also find the peace that was promised long ago on the hills of Bethlehem.

Graduate Assistantships for Spring

It is beginning to look like we will have a couple of openings in spring 2014 for Gradaute Assistants. There are a few limited openings and we are currently taking applications. If you are interested in applying for a Graduate Assistantship, please follow that attached link and review the criteria and requirements. An application and reference forms are available at the site.

New Master of Organizational Leadership degree offered

The University of Saint Francis is pleased to announce a new degree program will be offered beginning January 2014. The Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) is the newest degree program to be offered through our Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, and will be part of the growing list of degrees offered in our Virtual Campus.

The degree consists of 36 credit hours and has four concentrations: For-profit, Not-for-profit, Healthcare, and Higher Education. Students will have a common core of 24 hours in the program, with 12 additional hours in their chosen concentration.

For more information and details about the program, please visit our website at 


Saving money on your graduate degree

In a time when tuition costs seem to be rising faster than your paycheck, it is good to keep in mind some basic guidelines for how you can save money and still get your degree. here are some basic prinicples that will help you as you plan:

  1. Be sure to check with our Financial Aid office to see if you qualify for loans, grants, etc. We have a very limited number of graduate scholarships, so do your homework and find out what you can get. (See below for the contact information.)
  2. Consider taking your degree online in our Virtual Campus The tuition for online degrees represents considerable savings over traditional, on-ground programs.
  3. Have you checked into our Graduate Assistanships? Each year we offer over 20 GA positions which can provide you with a significant stipend toward your tuition costs. To learn more about our GA program see 
  4. Finally, you might consider cutting back on your class load. If you work or have pressing family obligations, taking one class at a time might be the best option, both for your financial and emotional well-being.

The point is, graduate education is affordable. You should not put-off returning to school just because of the cost of tuition. Our staff in the Financial Aid office is waiting to assist you. Contact them at 260-399-8003 or 1-800-729-4732. If youo want more information, check out this site with all our Graduate schools contacts:

Peace and all good,

Midway through!

This week marks the mid-point of the fall term at the university. For those of you in the traditional classes, that probably means mid-term exams. Those in the virtual campus will find they have final papers due this week.

Either way, I pray you have a productive week, move closer to the completion of your degree, and have a sense of God’s leading in your life. In the midst of the pressure, I pray you know the Peace offered to all.

Dr. Barcalow

We are Franciscan

The University of Saint Francis is pleased to be part of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities. As noted in our mission statement, “The University of Saint Francis holds fast to the teachings and faith of the Roman Catholic Church, the liberal arts tradition, and the virtues of the wisdom tradition inspired by St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi: reverence the unique dignity of each person; encourage a trustful, prayerful community of learners; serve one another, society and the Church; foster peace and justice; respect creation.”

At USF, those are more than just words in our publicity brochures. They are the foundational priciples which guide us in all of our relationships with all of God’s creation. As you interact with faculty, walk around the campus, observe the buildings, and meet new friends, we trust the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare will be seen in every aspect of our lives here. We hope you see it too, and make those principles part of your life as well.

Peace, and all good.

Know Yourself

As we “settle-in” with the easy rhythm of the academic calendar, I would like to share a couple of thoughts regarding the purpose of your education. Many assume that the goal of higher education is to be better trained for a job “in the real world.” With the outside pressures being directed at higher education today, it would be easy to assume this is the primary focus of what a degree should bring: better trained workers earning better pay.

However, I would caution you to not allow your pursuit of a degree to become a competition woth higher pay as the goal. Instead, I would offer the words of Henri Nouwen as a balance to those voices. In his book Reaching Out, Nouwen describes the underlying purpose of an education with these words:

“The first task of any school should be to protect its privilege of offering free time–the Latin word schola means free time–to understand ourselves and our world a little better.” Did you catch that? Understand ourselves and our world a little better. It begins with an understanding of who I really am, and it is manifest in whether I care about learning or just trying to get a grade. Do I cheat to be the best or am i willing to help a classmate out, even if it means she might get a better grade? Am I trying to understand the material or simply trying to pass a class so I can “get on with life?” These are issues of the soul, and they reveal to each student who they are.

Hopefully as you pursue your degree, you will take the time to pause and learn not only the answers for the next quiz, but the person who will take the quiz. Peace!

Dr. Barcalow

Degree Audits

As students in a Graduate School degree program, all of you have had experience in meeting the curricular requirements for a degree before. Therefore, understanding the degree requirements should not be anything new to you, and between your careful planning and on-going consulting with your advisor, you should have no difficulty meeting the curricular requirements for your advanced degree.

However, just because you meet the degree requirements does not assure you of your degree. There is still the need for a degree audit before you have your degree conferred. As a vital part of this process there is the need for you to complete an Application for Graduation before you finish. The application will provide you an opportunity to review the courses remaining, and have the assurance that you are on-track to finish.

See your advisor or go to this link to get an application

Grad Students, we are here for you!

On this start to the new academic year, I want to remind you that the faculty and staff of the Graduate School are here to help you meet your academic goals. Whether it is additional help with a research project, finding the right form for the Registrar’s Office, or getting ready for graduation, we want to help make your time at Saint Francis a good experience. Listed below are some of the folks you should get to know. Here you will find connections to your program advisors, financial aid, and any other office.

Also, this link will take you to the Graduate School website, where you will find lots of other helpful resources. 

We are glad you have joined us, and I hope you have a terrific year!

Dr. Doug Barcalow, Director of the Graduate School


Welcome back!

The university campus is beginning to buzz with activity as faculty return from summer break, student athletes are busy with conditioning drills, and student leaders are oncampus preparing for Welcome Weekend.

For some, it does not seem like there was even a sumer break (depending on how many courses you took this summer) and for others, there is an excitment as you again return to the academic schedule of studies, conversations with colleagues, and writing papers. For some this is a new start after being out of school for a few years, and for others it is a continuation of their dream.

Whatever situation this year finds you, I want to welcome you to the Graduate School of the University of Saint Francis! Anytime you have a question about your courses, your schedule, or even your email access, please fell free to contact us and we will do what we can to help make your journey complete. For your convenience, here is the Graduate School website, with information on the folks who can assist you in a number of areas:

Mid-summer thoughts

Today is July 1, and we are officially mid-way through the so-called summer break. I say “so-called” because for many of our students and faculty there is little “break” during these months.

Last week our first summer term classes finished, this week our second summer term begins, and for our full-term summer classes, they are in the midst of mid-terms right now. Those faculty who are not teaching (and are rarely seen on campus) are busy revising courses and reading, taking trips, and spending time with family. Students not in classes are working and trying to earn money towards the cost of the coming academic year.

All too soon (in less than six weeks) the campus will again be busy with signs of life as students arrive in the campus housing, athletic teams return for their fall training, and faculty return to their offices. Until then, I wish you all safe travels, good experiences, and warm summer breezes for your evening readings.

Commencement Highlights

This past Saturday we celebrated the 2013 graduating class of the University of Saint Francis Graduate School. Over 125 students make up the list of those who earned their Masters from USF. Congratulations to our newest recipients of their degrees.

Here is a breakdown of the degrees by number: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)-33; Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MS)-24; Master of Science in Psychology/Mental Health Counseling (MS)-19; Master of Busisness Administration (MBA)-16; Master of Science in Education (MS ED)-16; Master of Science in Environmental Science (MS)-8; Master of Arts in Studio Arts (MA)-6; Master of Arts in Theology (MA)-2; Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)-2.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Graduate School at Saint Francis, visit our website at:

Finals Week!

Well, here we are. This is the week when professors are busy trying to get papers read and exams graded, students are cramming for that last formula they need for their exams, and graduates are making preparations for the celebrations to take place at Commencement services this weekend. It is a busy week around the university, and it signals the completion of another academic year.

Whatever your role during this coming week-faculty, student, or staff, I pray you have a week filled with a sense of peace in the midst of all going on around you. May you find moments of clarity and discover a sense of wonder around our campus. Take the time to notice the blooms on the trees, the turtles in Mirror Lake, the song of a robin in the early morning; and may these elements bring you a sense of completion to your year.

Blessings as you go forth into the next season of life,

Dr. B