Apr 01, 2023  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The University

The University

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Rivier University is named in honor of Blessed Anne-Marie Rivier, Foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. Established in 1933 in Hudson, New Hampshire, the University moved in 1941 to the present campus site in Nashua. The University was incorporated in 1935 under the laws of the State of New Hampshire, and through two separate charters was invested with th power to confer both graduate and undergraduate degrees.  Rivier is recognized for both on-campus and online porgrams that serve the needs of traditional-aged students as well as adult learners.

In conjunction with the bicentennial of the founding of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary in 1796, the University formally recommitted to Anne Marie Rivier’s mission of teaching and serving the poor by making social justice and service to others a special focus of its work.  the University’s core curriculum, Journeys of Transformation, educates students for lives as servant-leaders in an increasingly interdependent global community, where understanding and engaging with others is essential not only to individual success but also to a stable and sustainable world.

As part of its strategic plan, VISION 2020, Rivier has underscored its longstanding commitment to educating the whole person through a University-wide model of strengths-based well-being.  By focusing on what students do well, Rivier fosters positive self-concept, a sense of purpose, and an alignment of strengths with life goals and career opportunities. Rivier faculty and staff are focused on student success, providing transformative learning experiences both in and beyond the classroom.  Through service learning, faculty-led trips, study abroad, internships, student research, leadership activities, Rivier’s unique Employment Promise Program, and other high-impact educational practices, the University prepares students for meaningful lives and rewarding careers.

Rivier’s rich history of supporting the academic and personal success of all its student is reflected both in broad-based learning in the liberal arts and in programs of professional practice, including business, education, nursing, and professional psychology.   Having gained University status in 2012, Rivier now has over 70 undergraduate and graduate programs, including three doctoral programs, in education (Ed.D), nursing (DNP), and counseling and school psychology (PSY.D).

Accreditation and Memberships

Rivier University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by NEASC indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by NEASC is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Inquiries regarding the accreditation status by the New England Association should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:

Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
209 Burlington Road
Bedford, MA 01730-1433
(781) 271-0022
E-mail: cihe@neasc.org

All education programs are approved by the NH Department of Education, Division of Higher Education, Higher Education Commission. Furthermore, all collegiate programs of preparation for the education professions are approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education, Council for Teacher Education; all associate, bachelor’s and master’s nursing programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN). The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is a candidate for accreditation by ACEN.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 975-5000
Webpage: www.acenursing.org

Rivier is also a member of the following state and national organizations:

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
Campus Compact of New Hampshire
University Entrance Examination Board
Council of Independent Colleges
Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers
National Association of College and University Business Officers
National Collegiate Athletic Association
New Hampshire College and University Council

For the purpose of institutional cooperation, Rivier University is a member of the New Hampshire University and University Council, a consortium of 11 New Hampshire institutions of higher learning:

Colby-Sawyer College
Dartmouth College
Franklin Pierce University
Granite State College
Keene State College
New England College
Plymouth State University
Rivier University
St. Anselm College
Southern New Hampshire University
The University of New Hampshire

Students of member institutions are permitted to register for transfer credit at any of the member colleges except Dartmouth. See Academic Information, Student Exchange Courses for details.

Academic Goals

Undergraduate Academic Goals

Through its curriculum, Rivier University seeks to:

  • Develop Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World through study in
    • The sciences and mathematics
    • Social sciences
    • Humanities
    • History
    • Languages
    • The arts
      This study will be focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring.
  • Develop Intellectual and Practical Skills including
    • Inquiry and analysis
    • Critical and creative thinking
    • Written and oral communication
    • Quantitative literacy
    • Information literacy
    • Teamwork and problem solving
      These will be practiced extensively across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects and standards for performance.
  • Develop Personal and Social Responsibility including
    • Civic knowledge and engagement - local and global
    • Intercultural knowledge and competence
    • Ethical reasoning and action
    • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
      These will be anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.
  • Engage in Integrative and Applied Learning including
    • The synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies
      This will be demonstrated through the application of knowledge skills and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.
  • Foster a Sense of the Sacred and of the Dignity of the Human Person, particularly as expressed through the Catholic Tradition, including
    • Recognition of Catholicism’s contribution to the development of the whole person
    • Appreciation of the sacred meaning and purpose of life
    • Inquiry into the essence of authentic human community
    • Respect for the belief systems of others
      This will be developed by active engagement with intellectual traditions and living communities.

Academic Assessment

Academic assessment at Rivier University measures a student’s achievement of both specific course objectives and the University’s overall goals of fostering articulate and reflective individuals who have achieved the intellectual independence, critical judgment, grounding in values, and professional knowledge to contribute significantly to society.

Individual course grades reflect the instructor’s assessment of how well the student has achieved the objectives of the course, mastered its specific content, and demonstrated University-wide competencies at a level appropriate for that course and subject. These University-wide competencies include the following:

  • an understanding of course content-the information, concepts, theories, or skills required of the specific subject and discipline;
  • the ability to apply information, concepts, or skills from one part of the course to other areas and solve problems using this knowledge or these skills;
  • the ability to communicate one’s understanding and knowledge with clarity and persuasiveness- orally, visually, quantitatively and/or in writing;
  • the ability to think critically about course material in the light of other information, theories, or points of view, demonstrating an awareness of the implications and/or limitations of any one perspective or approach;
  • the ability to synthesize course material, discovering larger patterns or relationships, discriminating among multiple views, and/or viewing the subject within a cross-disciplinary or global perspective;
  • the ability to make and support value judgments about the social or ethical implications of course material or judge between competing solutions.

Academic Profile

Participation in Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

As a part of its stated mission regarding the pursuit of academic excellence, Rivier University is committed to assessing student attitudes, student achievement, student satisfaction, and career development.

Assessment activities may include standardized testing, departmental evaluations, course evaluations, placement tests, surveys, portfolios of student work, group or individual interviews, or classroom research.

The information obtained through these college-wide assessment activities is used primarily to improve students’ academic experiences, programs, courses, and quality of University services.

Philosophy of Undergraduate Studies

Rivier provides growth opportunities both in and beyond the classroom. The University offers a strong core curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences, which assists the student in developing the ability to analyze, communicate (orally and in writing), and reason (quantitatively and logically). Education at Rivier is viewed in a broader sense as preparation for an enlightened and productive life; students are expected to develop not only competence but also a spirit of cooperation and a willingness to expend talents and energies in improving the human condition. The University creates an environment which facilitates personal and professional growth of the individual who will contribute to the larger civic and global communities. Service to others is viewed as an integral part of a full life.

Goals of Undergraduate Studies

Flowing from the mission of Rivier University, the following goals guide the programs and activities of the School of Undergraduate Studies:

  • That Rivier University fulfill its educational mission guided by its Catholic heritage, which fosters principles and values;
  • By engaging in a liberal arts experience which integrates religious, scientific, and humanistic studies, all learners develop the skills and acquire the competencies necessary to live maturely, creatively, and generously;
  • Rivier faculty, students, staff, and administrators dedicate themselves to maintaining academic excellence;
  • That an enthusiastic pursuit of truth be at the heart of all scholarly efforts;
  • Education in its fullest sense is pursued both through classroom activity and through a life of involvement and service;

In the education of students for diverse careers and lives of service and leadership, there is included an awareness of global issues and a sense of urgency to work for greater social justice.

University Facilities

The Campus

The University is located on a 68-acre campus one mile from downtown Nashua in a quiet residential area. Easy access to Boston provides students with opportunities for intellectual, cultural, and social enrichment. Proximity to the seacoast and to the White Mountains of New Hampshire offers additional recreational advantages. The services of Logan and Manchester Airports, Boston railway stations, and local bus lines allow convenient travel to and from campus.

Regina Library

The Regina Library and the Cho Educational Resource Center are the resource libraries for students, faculty and staff. The library staff, in collaboration with the University faculty, serves the research needs of the community. To meet a diversified curriculum and the academic requirements of the Rivier University community, the libraries currently have more than 90,000 print volumes, subscribe to roughly 260 journal titles (of which about 180 are electronic), and patrons have online access through the library website to more than 150,000 electronic books and approximately 80 online journal research databases (which provide access to over 50,000 additional electronic journals). A reference librarian is available at the library for more than 95 hours each week. Students needing reference assistance may also contact a reference librarian from off-campus by telephone, text, e-mail or chat online. There are also a number of computers and printers for students to use in the library.

Interlibrary loan services are provided for students and faculty. Students can track, review, and retrieve their ILL requests through the RivILL portal, which is accessible through the Regina Library website. Books are delivered to the library for students to pick up.

Thanks to a major capital gift, Rivier expanded the Regina Library by approximately 12,000 square feet and renovated the existing library significantly. The highlights of the expansion and renovation include a new Reference Room, Electronic Classroom, Café with seating for 30 guests, a Quiet Study,  six Group Study rooms (three of which may be reserved)  and large open spaces for group collaborative work. Wireless access to the University network is available throughout the building.

Cho Educational Resource Center

The Cho Educational Resource Center (ERC) is a branch of the Regina Library and is located on the second floor of the Benoit Education Center. The ERC houses a unique collection of materials that support curriculum development and lesson planning for students in the majors of education and counseling. All students are welcome to use the ERC. The items available are those that could be found in a typical classroom, such as textbooks, instructional kits, games, and educational software. The ERC also has juvenile books, including picture books, easy readers, and non-fiction books. The Project Room overs a space for students to create cut-outs for bulletin board projects, games, etc.  Students may also submit materials for lamination if they wish. The open main room, tables, and group study room foster an environment of collaboration and discussion among students working on group or individual projects.

Landry Early Childhood Center

The Landry Early Childhood Center is a nationally-accredited laboratory school serving children aged six weeks through kindergarten. The ECC provides Rivier University education majors opportunities to observe and work with children under the direct supervision of cooperating teachers, and to develop skills for success in the field of early childhood education.

The Learning Commons

Rivier University’s newly created Learning Commons is a destination that fosters collaborative learning and student success. This 15,000-square-foot facility houses academic support services and provides opportunities for students to work in teams, use digital resources, receive assistance from peer mentors and tutors, and access career services. The Learning Center includes the Writing and Resource Center, Career Development Center, Disability Services, Counseling and Wellness Center, Service Learning, Student Success offices, and University Advancement and Alumni Relations. Assembling these services in one location has been shown to positively impact student learning outcomes.

 The Academic Support Center

Rivier’s Academic Support Center offers a number of services to all Rivier students. Staffed by professional writing consultants, graduate students, and peer tutors, the Center serves students of all abilities. Writing consultants assist students with their writing projects in any of their courses. Any Rivier student may take advantage of reserved appointments and drop-in services provided by writing consultants and content-specific peer tutors.

Academic Computer Center

The Academic Computer Center provides students with state-of-the-art hardware and software to facilitate coursework and research. The center houses a multimedia classroom, a general computer lab, and a specialized computer lab for advanced study. Three additional computer labs are located in other buildings. The Regina Library also has a classroom equipped with 25 PCs as well as many other high-speed computers that can be used for bibliographic research. All computers are connected to the Rivier University network and provide direct access to the Internet. Standard software includes Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer. Courses are taught using the latest industry and academic standard software applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, SPSS, Java, and C++.

Laboratories: Behavioral Science and Clinical Psychology Labs

Psychology students have access to a clinical laboratory which offers a room for mock therapy sessions, testing and assessment activities, and supervised clinical experiments. The facility is equipped with a one-way observation mirror and audio visual recording equipment. In addition the laboratory has a computer room and a separate instruction area and gathering space for student interaction. The department also has a behavioral science laboratory that offers space and instrumentation to design experiments, collect data, analyze, and interpret results obtained from original research studies conducted under the mentorship of Rivier faculty. The lab houses five computer stations equipped with Empirisoft MediaLab and DirectRT software packages, which allow for millisecond precision in measuring cognition and perception from human subjects and with SPSS for data analysis.

Laboratories: Nursing and Science Labs

Some of the best equipped nursing, biology and chemistry laboratories in the region are located in Mendel and Sylvia Trottier Halls.

A three-story addition to Sylvia Trottier Hall houses state-of-the-art laboratories for nursing. Please refer to the department section for detailed descriptions of these facilities.