History of the Loretto Academy

Twentieth Century Curriculum

List of courses offered
List of courses offered at the Academy from a 20th century bulletin

As the times changed, so did the curriculum at the Loretto Academy. The twentieth century curriculum began to include classes in commercial skills. These courses included typing, shorthand (in both English and Spanish), and bookkeeping. There were additional courses in business spelling, business correspondence, and a review of grammar, spelling and arithmetic. This department was very popular and gave the female students skills which they could use to earn their own money after graduation.

The girls did not have chores, however, on Saturdays they practiced mending on their own clothes. Learning was thoroughly organized and systematically directed. If a student failed a test, the Sisters would give it to her again. Everything about an assignment was graded. Not only did the answer have to be right, but the penmanship, spelling, and punctuation had to be perfect as well. The students learned very quickly to be meticulous and never sloppy.

Although expectations remained that female students would work only until marriage, the establishment of a commercial department in the mid-1930s indicated that women's opportunities had expanded, and the Academy of the Visitation had recognized these changes and adjusted their curriculum to help their students take advantage of these new opportunities.


Information based on the thesis The Sisters of Loretto in Las Cruces: The Education and "Americanization" of a Frontier Community, 1870-1943 by Wendy C. Simpson.