Mercy education rooted in the ministry of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy and her companions, has been a force of pastoral care in America since 1854. Growing up in an Irish society rampant with poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment, McAuley recognized that education is essential to the process of the betterment of both individuals and society. McAuley explained that the ministry of education is a work of Mercy that is a response to people’s learning, and the work of the Mercy educator is a potent expression of the love of God and others. Present-day Mercy educators are called to follow in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley and her Sisters, who wholeheartedly committed themselves to the pursuit of knowledge. As a Mercy School, Notre Dame is committed to meeting the needs of all students in the pursuit of learning. The McAuley Studies Program provides academic support and guides students to achieving their full potential at Notre Dame.
Incoming freshmen identified during the admissions process will be placed in the McAuley Studies Academic Coaching program. This program will begin with a two-week intensive jumpstart into academics at Notre Dame High School that will take place during the summer. During the school year, McAuley students will be assigned a learning coach, who will meet with them in small groups once a week during Activity period. These weekly meetings will focus on organization, communication, and academic support. Finally, McAuley students will be scheduled to have a lunch period during both Fall and Spring semester. The scheduling of a lunch period provides a reduced course load for students and ample opportunity for support during Activity Period.