When one thinks of Catholic colleges and universities, one typically imagines an institution with a strong liberal arts base and bachelor’s and advanced degrees in white-collar professions.

While that remains the case, a few Catholic colleges are looking at the stagnant economy and how they can respond to it. These schools have adapted their course offerings to include programs for careers not commonly associated with Catholic higher education.

At Trocaire College in Buffalo, N.Y., students can study massage therapy and hospitality management, among other subjects.
At the Ursuline-run College of New Rochelle, which has campuses throughout the New York metropolitan area -- including at a union hall -- school officials received a $250,000 New York state grant to offer scholarships to economically disadvantaged students who lack a high school diploma or its GED equivalent.

A Benedictine-run school, the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., has satellite campuses throughout the more populous southern part of the state, including Minneapolis, St. Paul and Rochester, to make education more accessible to working adults.