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Our Lady of the Lake University originally opened as Our Lady of the Lake College when established in 1895. Colleges at the time often focused more on high school education than higher education, and a number of students graduated from high school at OLLC. The college later transitioned in 1911 to admit female students interested in earning a college degree. These first few programs were two-year programs that were similar to the community colleges of today. Within a few years after adding two-year programs, the college began adding traditional four-year programs that culminated with students earning bachelors degrees. It also added graduate courses in the 1940s and opened its doors to male students as well. The campus later became Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio and then Our Lady of the Lake University or OLLU.
Our Lady of the Lake University has ties to the Catholic Church and requires that students behave in an ethical manner. Though it does accept students of different faiths, all students must take religion courses during their studies. Despite growing significantly in recent years, the university still has the feel of a smaller college with just over 3,100 students enrolled. This includes nearly 1,600 graduate students.
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Our Lady of the Lake University Accreditation Details
Though there were other colleges in San Antonio at the time that OLLU opened, it became the first college in the state that sought accreditation from a higher organization. It gained accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1923. The CCSACS is one of several organizations of its kind that requires all colleges with accreditation apply for renewal and go through the accrediting process on a regular basis. CCASCA does this to ensure that the college continues meeting the requirements for accreditation and that it continues supporting its students. Accreditation from this organization applies to both online and offline programs.
Our Lady of the Lake University also has accreditation from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for its ASL program and the Council on Social Work Education for its undergraduate and graduate social work programs. Other types of accreditation held by OLLU include those from organizations, including
- Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs
- American Psychological Association
- Commission on Applied and Clinical Sociology
Our Lady of the Lake University Application Requirements
Students taking graduate courses at Our Lady of the Lake University must go through the admissions and application process first. Though the university does offer a number of graduate programs online, including its school counseling program, online students must go through the same application process. This starts when students create an online account that includes first and last name, date of birth and current address. They will also need to register an email address with the website and select a personal password. Once they have an account, they can fill in the application with information relating to their undergraduate studies.
OLLU requires that those applying for graduate admissions include the grade point average received in college, the degree they hold, the type of courses they took and the scores they received on the GRE or a similar graduate level exam. After filling out the online application, students must contact the GRE board to request that the board mail official copies of their scores to the university. They will also need to send in official transcripts from their college. Certain programs may ask for letters of recommendation as well that show the professional work the student did, and some programs require that students have a GPA of at least 3.0 in their major.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Our Lady of the Lake University charges the same rate per credit hour for online students as it charges for students living on campus. Graduate students pay $822 per credit hour. A full time student will generally take nine credit hours or more each semester, which brings the cost up to around $7,400 per semester. Students are also responsible for paying fees totaling around $500 each year they enroll in the university. OLLU also offers health insurance for students living on campus, and those students must also pay for a dorm room and a meal plan. Online students pay the same fees but do not need to pay for insurance or other costs associated with living on campus.
Students taking classes on campus can apply for assistant positions that pay their tuition costs and other fees, but online students do not have access to those positions. Online students will want to complete the FAFSA to find out what type of financial aid they can use for school. The most common type of aid is an unsubsidized government loan, which is only available to those taking a full course load. Those who need more financial aid and those who do not qualify for unsubsidized loans can apply for scholarships and private student loans.
Master of Education in School Counseling
The online Master of Education in School Counseling is a program offered by Our Lady of the Lake University that takes place entirely online and culminates in students earning an M.Ed. degree. The university created the program as a way to help students finish their studies in no more than two years, though part time students may find that they need an additional year to finish the program. It consists of 48 credit hours of work that prepares students for taking the Texas Examinations for Educator Standards. All school counselors must take and pass this test before working in a school in Texas. The program also helps prepare students for taking similar tests in other states.
This program includes courses on topics like counseling theories, methods of counseling, ethical issues that counselors face in the field, mental disorders and testing/assessment. Students in the school counseling program will also complete a practicum that includes 225 hours of work in the field with at least 125 hours of working with clients. OLLU helps online students find placements in their own areas to complete this requirement. Students entering the Master of Education in School Counseling program at Our Lady of the Lake University must also complete at least one upper level seminar that typically ends with the students completing a research project or writing an in-depth paper.