Saint John Fisher College

St. John Fisher College is a private liberal arts college located in Pittsford, New York, an eastern suburb of Rochester. Fisher is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the "Tier 1" Northern Master's Universities, while U.S News rates admissions to the College as "selective".


In 1948, through the combined efforts of civic leaders, the Rochester community at large, the Basilian Fathers, and the Most Reverend James Kearney, then Bishop of Rochester, St. John Fisher College was borne out of the community’s desire to provide its young men with a traditional education in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and business. The goal was to create an educational environment that would enable Fisher graduates to succeed in life, and to help strengthen the fabric of the Rochester community. The College became independent in 1968 and coeducational in 1971. The College remains true to its Basilian heritage and espouses the philosophy of the Basilian Fathers, "Teach me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge."


St. John Fisher College is made up of the following five (5) Schools:

  • The Bittner School of Business
  • The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education
  • The Wegmans School of Nursing
  • The School of Arts and Sciences
  • and The Wegmans School of Pharmacy.

Fisher offers 31 undergraduate majors, 11 master's programs, and two doctoral programs. Five (5) members of the St. John Fisher faculty have received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarships.

St. John Fisher College offers the combined degree programs in Pre-Engineering (3+2 programs with Clarkson University; Columbia University; Manhattan College; University of Buffalo), Pre-Environmental Science and Forestry (2+2 program) with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry), and a combined 3+4 Optometry program with Pennsylvania College of Optometry.

The five most popular majors at Fisher are as follows: 24% education; 23% business, management, marketing, and related support services; 11% communication/journalism and related programs; 8% psychology; and 6% social sciences.

Students at Fisher are offered study abroad opportunities in the following countries: Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; Chile; China; Costa Rica; Czech Republic; Dominican Republic; France; Ghana; Hungary; India; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Korea; Mexico; Netherlands; Poland; Russia; Senegal; South Africa; Spain; Taiwan; Thailand; Turkey; United Kingdom; and Vietnam.

The 2008 New York State budget provided St. John Fisher College with a $2,250,000 grant to explore the feasibility of opening a law school in downtown Rochester.

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education

The mission of the School of Education at St. John Fisher College is to provide a quality educational experience that prepares candidates for distinguished careers in their chosen profession and for leadership roles in a diverse, rapidly changing, and increasingly technological society. To this end, we seek to:

  • Prepare highly capable and ethically responsible professional educators who are committed

to improving educational conditions, opportunities and outcomes for all students.

  • Prepare candidates who share the belief that all students can and will learn.
  • Prepare candidates who understand educational theory, research, best practices and the

use of various technologies, and how to apply this knowledge in diverse school settings and communities.

  • Prepare candidates to meet college, state and national standards and requirements for

graduation and certification.

The school offers undergraduate degrees (BA or BS depending on content area) in Adolescence Education (7-12), Adolescence Education/Special Education (7-12), Childhood Education(1-6), and Childhood Education/Special Education (1-6). It also offers a Master's degree (MSEd.) and initial certification program for those four areas. Teachers already holding initial certification can earn graduate degrees (MSEd.) and professional certification in Literacy Education (B-6 and 5-12), Special Education, and Educational Leadership as well as an accelerated Doctorate in Executive Leadership(Ed.D.) from the School of Education. The school is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

The School of Education is active in numerous community outreach programs. Among these are a literacy center that provides tutoring and small group instruction in literacy for elementary through high school students. The School of Education works closely with local school districts including the Rochester City School District which hosts a number of Professional Development Sites (PDS) where practicing teachers and preservice teachers work alongside education faculty to develop best practices. The School of Education hosts Preschool College in which preschoolers and their parents are invited to a day of activities at the college in order to encourage families to see college as a viable option for their children.

The School of Education is named after Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., the founder, owner, and president of the NFL's Buffalo Bills. Mr. Wilson and his family have been long-time supporters of St. John Fisher College.

Bittner School of Business

The Bittner School of Business prepares professionally competent and ethically responsible graduates for careers as managers and professionals primarily for local and regional business. The school emphasizes excellence in teaching, close interaction with students, and recognizes that excellent teaching is informed by faculty actively engaged in research and scholarship. The faculty members produce research published in peer reviewed journals, and other recognized outlets for intellectual contribution that advances the scholarship of teaching, business practice and disciplinary knowledge.

The Bittner MBA Programs are designed for individuals with passion and focus. Individuals who know where they want to go, and can’t wait to get there. The Bittner School of Business offers two MBA programs, the One-Year MBA and the Flexible MBA.

Both programs examine real life problems that business executives grapple with on a daily basis, so that students are able to develop informed, creative, strategic and integrated perspectives necessary to take on a lifetime of leadership challenges.

Building on a strong liberal arts foundation, College’s accounting/finance/MIS and management/marketing departments have provided our students with a comprehensive and well-rounded education in their respective areas of specialization since the very beginning’s of the institution’s history.

A significant milestone in the history of Fisher’s business programs has been their accreditation by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business ("AACSB International") which is recognized as the hallmark of excellence in management education. At the time this accreditation was gained, all business programs at the College were brought together in 2003 to form St. John Fisher College’s first professional school which was named the Bittner School of Business.

School of Arts and Sciences

The school of Arts and Science is the largest school within St. John Fisher College and characterized by its ample degree programs and departments. It offers degrees and minors in 22 undergraduate academic disciplines:

along with interdisciplinary minors and MS degrees in International Studies and Mathematics/Science/Technology Education

The programs of the School of Arts and Sciences, serving both as a foundational component of the St. John Fisher College educational experience and as fields of specialized study, cultivate intellectual and ethical judgment and habits of thinking that prepare students to lead lives of integrity and thoughtful engagement in both the public and private spheres. The School is striving to provide an environment characterized by respect for individual potential, high expectations, and open and critical inquiry by applying the following guiding principles:

  • Study in the Arts and Sciences is both pragmatic and enlightening.
  • Engagement in the community and application of knowledge are essential to the development of the capacity for critical inquiry.
  • Faculty members and students are jointly responsible for the educational experience, a collaboration guided by the words of William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”
  • Teaching, scholarship, and learning are enriched in an environment that encourages intellectual curiosity and explores social justice.

The School of Arts and Sciences provides educational experiences that are rooted in the liberal arts and that prepare students to lead lives of intellectual professional and civic integrity. This is accomplished by:

  • providing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to develop proficiency in one or more of the major fields of study housed in the School
  • providing undergraduate students opportunities to develop in-depth knowledge in a field of study outside of the major through the pursuit of a minor
  • providing an educational foundation for all undergraduate students through a core curriculum that is intentional and reflective of the breadth of perspectives that characterizes the liberal arts at St John Fisher College
  • promoting the engagement of students, faculty members, and professional staff within a learning environment that creates high expectations along with the support for all to achieve their full potential.

Wegmans School of Pharmacy

The Wegmans School of Pharmacy is one of five pharmacy schools in New York State and is the first pharmacy school in the Greater Rochester community. The School of Pharmacy awards a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D.) to candidates who successfully complete four years of professional study. Two years (64 semester hours) of pre-professional education is required for admission, followed by four years of professional studies.

The School was made possible by a $5 million gift by the late Robert Wegman, who served for many years as president of Wegmans Food Markets. The Wegmans School of Pharmacy opened in fall 2006.

Wegmans School of Nursing

The Wegmans School of Nursing offers professional programs of study that prepare baccalaureate and master's degree graduates to positively influence health outcomes for culturally diverse individuals, families, and communities in a rapidly changing, highly complex health care environment.

Fisher’s nursing program is fully accredited by the New York State Education Department and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The Wegmans School of Nursing is also named after Robert Wegman, who contributed $8 million to the College to create the School of Nursing.


Nearly 95% of first-year students receive some form of financial assistance. The average offer to incoming students is $16,000. Need-based and merit-based scholarships, as well as grants, loans, and part-time employment, are available for eligible students.

St. John Fisher College also offers two unique scholarships to incoming freshman—the Service Scholarship and the First Generation Scholarship.

The Service Scholarship recognizes and rewards high school seniors who demonstrate an ongoing interest in serving the needs of others through a commitment to community service. Each year, up to 36 students receive the scholarship award, which equals one-third of the total yearly cost of Fisher’s tuition, fees, and room and board for four years.

The Fannie & Sam Constantino First Generation Scholarship Program is designed to provide financial assistance to students whose parents did not attend a post-secondary institution. Up to thirty-six (36) First Generation Scholarships are awarded each year.


St. John Fisher College competes at the NCAA Division III level, and is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the Empire 8. The College's mascot is the Cardinal.

Men compete at the varsity level in baseball, basketball, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and tennis. Women compete at the varsity level in basketball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.

Fisher offers some of the top athletic facilities in the state. Growney Stadium is home for Fisher's football, soccer and lacrosse teams. The stadium's all-weather playing field extends the outdoor sports season through the winter with lighting and a 2,100 seat grandstand. The student Life Center boasts a new 19,000 square foot addition, which houses team locker rooms training rooms and fitness facilities. The field house now has an all purpose floor with four module courts that can be used for a variety of sports. There are six remodeled racquetball courts, a sauna and a whirlpool in the Student Life Center, as well as the Varsity Gym, which features a new parquet floor. Dugan Yard is Fisher's new baseball field, which promises to be one of the finest collegiate facilities in the state. Other outdoor facilities include: four tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, a cross country course, two regulation sized practice fields which serve as the home rugby fields and a new softball diamond.

St. John Fisher College is a founding member of the Empire 8 Athletic Association and competes with other full member schools: Alfred University, Elmira College, Hartwick College, Ithaca College, Nazareth College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Utica College. The Empire 8 also has affiliate members in football (Norwich University and Springfield College) and field hockey (Washington & Jefferson College). Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ) was admitted to the conference as a full member effective fall 2007.

St. John Fisher's sports teams have been highly successful.

In 2006, Fisher's football team had the best season in the program's 20-year history. The Cardinals finished the season with a 12-2 record overall and shared the Empire 8 Conference title. Fisher received a large bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament, where they defeated Union College, Springfield College, and Rowan University to reach the national semifinals where they lost to the defending national champion Mount Union College by a score of 26-14.

In 2007, Fisher's men's basketball team won the Empire 8 Conference title for the 5th consecutive year and the 6th time in seven years. In 2006 Fisher advanced to the "Elite 8" of the NCAA Men's Division III Basketball Championship Tournament.

Fisher has long been a dominating force in NCAA Women's Division III basketball. Entering the 2006- 07 season, Fisher's women's coach Phil Kahler had posted a record of 771 wins with only 148 losses at the school which is the most wins ever by a Division III coach in any sport. Under Kahler the Fisher women have reached the NCAA Championship Tournament 14 times and played in the NCAA Women's Division III Basketball Championship game twice.

Fisher also offers the following other club sports: men's hockey, cheerleading, karate and rugby. Both the men's and women's rugby clubs have enjoyed success, with the men's rugby club earning a New York State Championship in 1999, and both teams having won numerous tournament titles. Most recently, the alumni of the Fisher Kings men's team have formed their own side, called the Fisher Alumni Touring Side (or F.A.T.S. for short). The F.A.T.S. are the current two-time defending champions of the Buffalo Sevens Winterfest Tournament.

Buffalo Bills Training Camp

Beginning in 2000, St. John Fisher College became the home to the Buffalo Bills' NFL Training Camp. Training camp at Fisher is considered one of the best in the NFL and attracts a wide range of fans from the northeast and Canada. In addition to the Bills players and coaches, the camp features numerous attractions including interactive areas, merchandise tents, autograph zones, concession stands, hospitality areas, appearances by Billy Buffalo and the Buffalo Jills, and other forms of entertainment for all ages. The camp is free and open to the public, except for night practices that occur on the turf of the college's Growney Stadium several times through the duration of training camp that require a ticket in advance (free, limit to six per person). In the past, the camp has been title sponsored by Wegmans Food Markets (2000), Bausch and Lomb (2001-06), and Verizon Wireless (beginning in 2007).

Student life

Students may choose from a wide range of campus clubs and organizations, including student government, music groups, language clubs, cultural organizations, student publications, and intramural sports. Many academic departments also sponsor clubs. Fisher students are also contribute to the community through a variety of service organizations. The club Students With a Vision (SWAV) hosts the yearly "Project Community Convergence," in which students and faculty work in several city school buildings to improve the physical facilities. In 2006 and 2007, a group of students and faculty traveled to New Orleans during Spring Break to assist in the city's reconstruction.

Notable alumni

See also


External links

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