Donnelly College and Bishop Ward High School have joined forces to launch an education initiative that gives Bishop Ward students a more affordable means of earning college credit and allows them to prepare for college on a whole new level.
Starting in fall 2013, all Bishop Ward students will have the opportunity to earn up to 24 college credit hours from Donnelly College by taking designated courses at no additional cost to families. As the program develops, students will have the opportunity to complete additional coursework based on their interests and completion of prerequisites.
“The greatest part of this coalition will be that our students, depending on their ability and motivation, will be able to graduate from Bishop Ward in some cases with up to two semesters worth of college credit,” said the Rev. Michael Hermes, Bishop Ward president. "Our students will have an unprecedented head-start on college.”
Unlike other dual-enrollment programs, Donnelly has substantially decreased the cost per credit hour so that Bishop Ward is able to extend this benefit to students with no additional cost to their families.
“We believe in the potential of Bishop Ward students and that’s one of the many reasons why Donnelly is committed to significantly reducing the per-credit-hour charge as part of this agreement,” Donnelly College President Steven LaNasa said. “The opportunity to get a head-start on college should be available for all students, not only students who are financially positioned to do so.”
LaNasa and Father Hermes spearheaded the College Credit Coalition to advance the mission of both institutions and to strengthen the community through education. The coalition is the first and only partnership of this kind in the achdiocese.
“Donnelly and Bishop Ward share much more than a next-door-neighbor relationship,” said LaNasa. “We share a common history and mission of empowering our community through quality, faith-based, educational opportunities. Through this agreement, we are continuing that tradition and positioning students to contribute to the growth and success of our community.”
Father Hermes expects that “100 percent” of Bishop Ward students will take part in this program during their high school careers. Guidance counselors will work closely with students, beginning freshman year, to help them select classes that will make it possible to take full advantage of this opportunity. The program will feature a collaborative curriculum from Donnelly and Bishop Ward faculty. All credits earned are transferrable to area colleges and universities.
"Donnelly College has been very good to Bishop Ward over the years,” Father Hermes said. “Now they are giving us the greatest gift which is this exclusive and special partnership which will award college credit to all of our students who can perform at the highest levels."
- Story from Donnelly College and Bishop Ward