Dr. Joseph R. Marbach, president of Georgian Court University, and Mr. Dennis Guida, president and principal of Holy Cross Academy, sign an agreement guaranteeing a range of admissions benefits for HCA students looking to attend college at GCU.
Georgian Court University and Holy Cross Academy are partners in a new agreement that will guarantee university admission to students from the South Jersey, Catholic school. The announcement, made June 8 by GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., and Holy Cross Principal/President Dennis M. Guida, presents an attractive option to high school students looking to Catholic higher education for their college experience.
“We often speak of transformation through Catholic education,” said Dr. Marbach. “Part of that means ensuring today’s young people have high-impact, values-based experiences, both in the classroom and the community. Holy Cross is already succeeding in helping faith-filled and engaged students achieve their goals. Georgian Court can absolutely be a natural next step for them.”
Under the agreement, HCA students will be guaranteed admission into GCU as full-time, matriculated students on the conditions they graduate from the high school with an earned diploma, meet GPA and SAT/ACT requirements, and satisfy all other admissions application requirements.
“We are college prep, and we’re looking at this as validation of the academics we offer here,” said Mr. Guida, who leads the Delran-based school. “This partnership represents a way to say what we do here is automatically accepted at the college level, and that’s something that can be hard for high schools to say. Often, that assumption is based on AP test scores, SATs and so on, but this partnership truly extends what we are doing at Holy Cross.”
Another key feature of the agreement: Holy Cross students may qualify for at least $10,000 a year in special GCU scholarships for graduates of Catholic high schools.
“We know the value of a quality, values-infused education extends beyond students’ years at Holy Cross Academy, and we are committed to helping families afford ways to continue that experience—now and later,” said Timothy M. Briles, Ed.D., associate professor and assistant dean of the School of Education, who is working with GCU’s Catholic Schools Initiative.
Partners in Progress
The broader initiative, launched just after President Marbach’s inauguration in October 2015, has three advantages: it establishes specific scholarships for students attending Catholic high schools, offers college-level classes to juniors and seniors at select Catholic high schools, and dedicates two GCU admissions contacts to every Catholic high school in the Trenton, Metuchen, and Camden dioceses.
Meanwhile, the guaranteed admissions agreement with Holy Cross Academy reflects the trend toward increased partnerships between educational institutions. In May 2016, for example, GCU announced a program to offer bachelor’s degrees at Brookdale Community College’s Hazlet location. Last year, in partnership with the Diocese of Trenton, GCU graduated seven teachers and administrators through an educational leadership master’s degree program for Catholic school educators and admitted a group of deacons studying theology as part of their formation program.
“This partnership with Holy Cross is one example of the collaborations we are seeking, especially as we strengthen our ties to Catholic schools and institutions,” said Justin G. Roy, GCU’s dean of admissions. “We certainly support the role of Catholic high schools, and this partnership underscores our shared belief in making college readily accessible to individuals and their families.”
For more information about GCU’s partnerships with Catholic high schools, contact Dr. Timothy M. Briles at 732-987-2656 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or GCU Catholic Schools Liaison Tracey Howard-Ubelhoer at 732-987-2765 (email@example.com).