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Viterbo University begins educational partnership with Aquinas Catholic Schools

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - Viterbo University is providing an easier path to a bachelor’s degree for students at Aquinas High School.

The university finalized a partnership with Aquinas Catholic Schools Tuesday, giving students the chance to get a head start on their college education.

“We’re going to be offering the Aquinas students the opportunity to take courses while they’re in high school free of charge,” Viterbo Interim President Rick Trietley said. “We guarantee graduation within three years for those students.”

Aquinas students can take Viterbo courses during their normal high school day as part of their official class schedule.

Students can also complete a full year of college credits prior to their high school graduation.

Aquinas Catholic Schools President Ted Knutson says the partnership is providing greater educational opportunities for students, which is something that parents have been asking for.

“We’ve been seeing increased requests from our families for college credit, not just in this institution but in many other institutions,” Kutson added.

Knutson says whether it’s college or pursuing a trade, Aquinas wants students to focus on what their future will be.

“After high school is something you should start thinking about at an early age, and this will help us do that with them [students],” Knutson said.

The partnership takes effect this fall, and Trietley says Viterbo is hoping to extend similar offers to other schools.

“After we go through all of the learning points with Aquinas High School, our goal would be to expand the program to the other Catholic institutions and high schools in the diocese,” Trietley explained.

Trietley wants Viterbo to be strong partners with the community, and hopes these types of incentives will bolster the number of students continuing their education past high school.

“We want to help families in the La Crosse area achieve higher education goals, and we’d love to have more students from all the schools around here,” Trietley said.

Aquinas students will also be able to benefit from Viterbo’s college and career preparation workshops and leadership development.

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