How Catholic Education has Evolved for the 21st Century

Catholic education has been a cornerstone of communities for centuries, and our tradition here in Olean, NY shares in that spirit. That’s exactly what Archbishop Walsh/Southern Tier Catholic School is and has been to our communities since breaking ground here in 1959 in the beautiful Enchanted Mountains of Western New York. 

Walsh/STCS has been here as an outstanding educational alternative for families who prize academic rigor and faith-based learning. But perhaps as importantly, we’ve proudly been a wholesome place to call home and lay a foundation for remarkable futures.

Of course, education in general has evolved through the decades. Catholic education has evolved with it to become a more effective, inclusive and compassionate place for learning and nurturing.

What’s New in Catholic Education? We’re Evolving in an Ever-Changing World

Catholic schools like ours are evolving to keep up with the times. That means so many different things in an increasingly interconnected world – a world directed by technology and defined by diversity.  

Here are just a few of the ways that Catholic education has changed to better meet the needs of students of today and tomorrow.

Embracing Technology

Catholic education is making use of technology in new and innovative ways, from digital textbooks to online learning platforms. In today’s world, students are expected to be tech-savvy and Catholic schools are rising to the challenge, ensuring that students have the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing job market.

Curriculum Updates

Catholic schools are updating their curricula to reflect the needs of students in the 21st century. From a more in-depth focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) subjects to a more comprehensive understanding of world religions and cultures, Catholic schools are preparing students for a world that demands multicultural cooperation and a mastery of core competencies.

Community Outreach

Faith doesn’t exist in a bubble. It’s meant to be shared and embraced as Christ intended: as a community. Catholic education is leading the charge with a greater emphasis on community outreach and service. Catholic schools encourage students to get involved in their local communities, to volunteer their time and skills, and to make a positive impact in the world. (Actually, here at Walsh/STCS, volunteer hours are required.) 

This not only reinforces the Catholic ethos of selflessness and service, but also gives students real-world experience and skills they can carry with them into their futures.


Catholic schools are becoming more inclusive and welcoming to students of all backgrounds and cultures. Here at Walsh/STCS, we’re inclusive of all faiths and even those who may not practice a particular faith.

This evolution in Catholic education means not only embracing diversity in the student body but also in the curriculum. We ensure all students have access to the same educational and nurturing resources, regardless of if we think and believe the same way. The Lord intends us all to sit at the same table, break bread together, and learn from one another.

Catholic Education is Committed to Changing for the Better

Indeed, it is. Walsh/STCS is so proud to be guided by our Catholic and Franciscan heritage. It has served our private Catholic school model well for decades, and it guides us now as we evolve for the 21st century.

The role of Catholic education today is to prepare students for a rapidly changing world. With a focus on technology, updated curricula, community outreach and inclusivity, Catholic schools are evolving to meet the needs of today’s students while still maintaining the core values and principles that have made Catholic education a foundation of communities for centuries.

Does this sound perfect for your student? Book a tour and let’s get to know each other!

Walsh/STCS: Your Home. Your Family.