The institution uses two instruments to evaluate success with respect to student achievement (Alumni Survey and the Theological Faculty Questionnaire). As stated by the Institutional Mission, “the fundamental purpose of St. John Vianney College Seminary is to provide undergraduate education and formation to those students whose stated objective is to discern a call to serve the Catholic Church as priests. The institution assumes, as its specific responsibility, the academic, spiritual, pastoral and human formation of college seminarians within a bilingual (English-Spanish) and multicultural setting.” Given the nature and mission of the institution, students at SJVCS are not only engaged in the pursuit of an undergraduate degree, they are also engaged in a journey of vocational discernment. After graduation from SJVCS, those students who after their period of discernment decide to continue on their path to the priesthood seek admission to a graduate theologate to continue their priestly formation.
When assessing the success of the college seminary’s program and the readiness of its graduates for theological studies, the institution not only looks at the rates of admission to a graduate theology program, or even at the number of students who decide to continue in priestly formation (it must be remembered that students at St. John Vianney are in a journey of discernment which may either confirm their vocation to the priesthood or help them decide on a different path) but also at the level of readiness of the graduates to undertake thenext stage of their vocational journey. For these reasons, the institution believes that the two instruments of assessment it uses (Alumni Survey and Alumni Assessment by Faculty at Theological Seminary) are adequate to assess and document its success with respect to student achievement. The two instruments complement each other in that together they give the institution valuable feedback in the four areas of its program of priestly formation (academic, spiritual, human and spiritual). The Alumni Survey provides feedback from the graduates themselves, whereas the TheologicalFaculty Questionnaire provides feedback from the faculty of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary which is the graduate theology program attended by the vast majority of graduates from St. John Vianney College Seminary.
The Alumni Survey assesses all four areas of the seminary's program of priestly formation. Students are asked to assess, a year after graduation, while they are engaged in graduate theological studies, not only the academic formation they received at SJVCS, but also the spiritual, human and apostolic formation so central to their future ministry as priests. The Survey has three sections. The first section of the Survey includes a set of 15 common General Questions for all graduates. The second section of the Survey, addressed only to graduates with a B.A., deals with 15 questions specific to the philosophy program. The third section of the Survey is specifically addressed to the assessment of the philosophy program by B.Phil graduates.
The Alumni Survey assesses the college seminary’s program(s) from the perspective of the students. The Theological Faculty Questionnaire, from the perspective of the theology faculty that guides their formation towards the priesthood once they graduate from St. John Vianney College Seminary. The instrument, which is given every other year, asks the faculty of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary to assess the readiness of SJVCS’s graduates not only for theological formation. The survey of 20 questions asks the faculty to assess the graduates’ readiness in all the areas relevant to priestly formation: academic, philosophical, spiritual, human and apostolic.