St. Norbert College
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Immaculate partnership


November 2007

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Partnership supports college-bound young Knights in Illinois

They’re both known as the Knights and their mission-based goals are similar. It just seemed to make sense for St. Norbert College and Immaculate Conception High School (ICHS) in Elmhurst, Ill., to work together.

A new partnership between the two creates a continuous support system that will make it easier for students to move seamlessly and successfully from high school to college.

Both parties have agreed to establish an operational plan that will meet the educational needs of students enrolled at ICHS while creating a partnership with faculty, staff, students and members of the St. Norbert College community.

ICHS is the oldest Catholic, co-educational college preparatory high school in DuPage County, Illinois. Minority students comprise 22 percent of its total population of 225.

Like St. Norbert, it seeks to inspire its students, within a faith-based environment, to serve the communities in which they live.

Charlie Priester, the board chair of ICHS, knows both institutions as well as anyone. A former St. Norbert trustee, he is the father of Kristine (Priester) Schnell ’86, who is married to Tom Schnell ’86. Priester believes the partnership is a win-win for both.

“I think it’s terrific. The thing that struck me is, the personalities between the high school and the College are so similar. Both are small institutions with philosophies and feel that are parallel. Both institutions’ missions are in line.” Like St. Norbert, the focus at ICHS on the development of young people of character places balanced emphasis on spirit, mind and body.

“In an age where institutions are trying to work together to strengthen all levels of education, this agreement means that both schools are intent on encouraging young people to finish high school and college,” he said.

The agreement means:

•    ICHS students following the approved College prep curriculum and achieving a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5/4.0 and a minimum ACT score of 20 will be guaranteed admission to St. Norbert, along with a minimum of  $4,500 in academic scholarships, renewable over four years.

•    ICHS students admitted to St. Norbert will immediately be assigned a College academic advisor to recommend continued high school course selection, explore college majors, and suggest appropriate summer college courses.

•    Representatives from St. Norbert will be available to guide and encourage ICHS students; to give ICHS freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors pertinent information at each level, as these students prepare for college; and to present to parents of ICHS juniors and seniors on financial aid and the college search process.

•    St. Norbert students will be available to mentor ICHS students on college preparation and on ways to translate high school success into a good college experience.

•    Members of the Parents Council at St. Norbert will be invited to offer support with any ICHS parent-specific programming.

•    The two institutions will begin exploratory discussions on incorporating St. Norbert’s college credit program into the ICHS curriculum.

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