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New GCU, Trenton Catholic Academy Partnership Brings University Benefits to High School Students

Members of faculty gather together in front of GCU banner

Representatives of Georgian Court University and Trenton Catholic Academy were on hand to celebrate the signing of the agreement. Standing (left to right): Tom Lang, TCA guidance counselor; Lisa Ford, TCA guidance counselor; Mike Rosen, TCA school board member; Nina Melker, TCA school board member; Anna Reap, TCA Lower School director; Evelyn Saul Quinn, GCU vice president for mission integration; Tracey Howard Ubelhoer, GCU director of admissions information systems and Catholic schools liaison; Luana Fahr, director of GCU’s Academic Development and Support Center (ADSC); Ashley Creegan, GCU admissions counselor; William Behre, GCU provost; Timothy Briles, assistant dean of the GCU School of Education; Judith Persichilli, GCU trustee; Steven Lambert, GCU director of undergraduate admissions

Sitting (left to right): Charles Kroekel, TCA Upper School director; Sister Dorothy Payne, SSJ, TCA president; Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., GCU president; Justin G. Roy, GCU dean of admissions

A new agreement with Georgian Court University will allow Trenton Catholic Academy students to earn university course credits, secure guaranteed admission to college, and qualify for special scholarship funding—all while still in high school.

The program, effective Fall 2017, also allows students and families who embrace the transformative nature of Catholic education to continue their studies at GCU, the only Catholic college serving families throughout Central and South Jersey.

“Catholic higher education delivers value to students and families in so many ways,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D. “From our commitment to Catholic intellectual tradition to our emphasis on academic quality, social justice, and service, Catholic higher education—and specifically Georgian Court—is dedicated to helping students achieve, in the classroom and later in their communities and their careers.

“Ensuring that our young people have the experiences and resources to succeed is critical, and that’s exactly what Trenton Catholic Academy is doing through its academically rigorous college prep programs,” said Dr. Marbach.

Georgian Court joined TCA President Sister Dorothy Payne, SSJ, and Charles Kroekel, director of TCA’s Upper School, for a special signing ceremony on October 5.


“Trenton Catholic Academy is thrilled to partner with Georgian Court, the Catholic university in the Diocese of Trenton. We are looking forward to offering these educational opportunities to our students as we enter into this agreement with GCU. We share a similar mission with GCU, which includes providing an education that will promote systemic change in our world. This agreement allows for a natural progression for many of our students, and we are proud to offer them this wonderful educational opportunity through Georgian Court University,” said Sister Dorothy.

Under the agreement, qualified Trenton Catholic Academy students will

  • have their undergraduate admission application fee waived;
  • be eligible for academic and partnership scholarships, worth up to $19,000 annually;
  • be eligible for guaranteed admissions to Course Ahead, the GCU five-course college credit program offered to high school students;
  • get personalized admissions advising from GCU on site at TCA; and
  • attend GCU college search and financial aid workshops on site at TCA.

“As a Catholic College of Distinction, 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,” said Justin G. Roy, GCU’s dean of admissions. “We look forward to strengthening our ties to Trenton Catholic Academy.”

Partners for Success

Justin Roy, GCU dean of admissions, speaks with Trenton Catholic Academy students.

The new partnerships between Trenton Catholic Academy and Georgian Court University reflect the growing number of win-win collaborations between colleges and other organizations. For example, Holy Cross Academy in Delran and St. Joseph High School in Hammonton also have agreements with GCU.

The agreements are an extension of GCU’s Catholic Schools Initiative, which launched in late 2015. As a partner with Catholic high schools, GCU has established specific scholarships for students and dedicated two GCU admissions contacts to every Catholic high school in the Trenton, Metuchen, and Camden dioceses. GCU is also offering college-level classes to juniors and seniors at select Catholic high schools.

In addition, the university is launching new programs with Brookdale Community College at its Hazlet/Northern Monmouth location and is delivering classes in Matawan, Berkeley Township, and Essex County.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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