Viterbo University and Aquinas Catholic Schools formed an exciting educational partnership in the Catholic tradition allowing Aquinas High School students to take tuition-free classes at Viterbo. The agreement also provides Aquinas High School students with a guaranteed opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree at the university in three years after high school graduation.
The formal agreement was finalized by Viterbo President Rick Trietley and Aquinas Catholic Schools President Ted Knutson at a signing event held September 14, 2021. The program began modestly in the spring of 2022 and grew this past fall.
Viterbo and Aquinas High School are located just blocks from each other in La Crosse. The agreement allows Aquinas High School students to take Viterbo University courses during their normal high school day as part of their official class schedule. Aquinas students may complete a full year of college credits prior to high school graduation.
Students also can benefit from Viterbo’s college and career preparation workshops, leadership development, service, and faith formation experiences. Staff development opportunities also are available.
“This partnership represents both institutions’ commitment to academic excellence, Catholic identity, and community engagement,” said President Trietley. “We are proud of our relationship with Aquinas and look forward to additional partner- ship opportunities in the future.”
That future is underway. This past fall, President Trietley and Regis Catholic Schools of Eau Claire President Paul Pedersen signed a memorandum of understanding to develop their own agreement. Discussions with other Diocese of La Crosse High Schools also are taking place. “These partnerships are great for all the schools involved, and it’s the students who benefit the most,” said Brian Weber, Viterbo assistant vice president of enrollment management and director of admissions. “The students are provided with a cost- effective and seamless transition to a quality, Catholic education.”