Silver Lake College of the Holy Family traces its educational foundations to 1885 when the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity established the College’s forerunner institution on Silver Lake near Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Its purpose was to prepare young women who entered the Religious Community for the apostolic work of teaching.
When many states in the 1920’s were requiring state education certificates or a degree, the Sisters were sent to teachers’ colleges to pursue academic degrees. With the Depression of the 1930’s continued education at these colleges became financially prohibited. Therefore, the Superior of the Community, Mother Generose Cahill, proceeded to have a wing constructed at Holy Family Convent—a college. The Sisters who had attained college degrees would be the core educators of this new foundation. In 1935 Holy Family College was established.
Before lay women were admitted in 1957, nursing students from Holy Family Hospital School of Nursing attended the College by special arrangements. By the end of the decade the College admitted its first male students and became coeducational in 1969.
In 1960, a new structure was built on a 36-acre tract of land adjacent to Holy Family Convent. Becoming a separate corporation in 1972, its name was changed to Silver Lake College of the Holy Family.
As professional needs changed, programs of studies expanded: business and computer science programs, degree-completion programs, and, off campus, professional development coursework. Today a new competency-driven Liberal Arts Program, The Franciscan Way of Knowing, is bringing the Franciscan heritage to the forefront.
Graduate-level programs are offered in four areas: Master of Arts in Education with focus on Teacher Leadership or Administrator Leadership, Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior, Master of Music in Music Education with focus on Kodály, and Master of Arts in Special Education.
To learn more about the ministries supported by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, view this 10 minute video, Heritage of Hope.