Franciscans have been involved in education for hundreds of years. A few years after the founding of the Order of Friars Minor, the friars began teaching at the University of Paris (1219), at Oxford University (1224), and at Cambridge University (1230). They quickly became popular teachers of the arts, sciences, and theology because of their knowledgeable scholarship and their practical and matter-of-fact style of teaching.
This popularity was often the source of conflict with non-Franciscan faculty members who saw the friars taking away their students! There were even statutes in many universities that stated Deans of Theology could only be appointed from among the Franciscans. The popularity of Franciscans as educators spread throughout Europe and by the end of the 13th century there were Franciscans teaching in Germany, Spain, and Italy as well. The attraction of Franciscan education lay in its attempts to deal with the most challenging and existential questions of human existence in a grounded and practical way.
For Franciscans, education is not pursued for knowledge's sake alone or to gain a profitable career alone. Knowledge for Franciscans is a gateway to understanding God and God's will in human life and destiny. The "more" that Franciscan education offers is the "more" of faith, where faith is a means to understanding who we are and for what reason we have been created. When you leave a Franciscan college or university, like Siena College, you will not just be ready for a job with good pay; rather you will leave with a perspective on life that is filled with a sense of hope of what can be possible in our world.