Holy Family University and St. James School have launched a first-of-its-kind program in Philadelphia to ensure post-secondary education success for low-income African American students, who are often first-generation college students and under-represented on college campuses. Working together, the two schools have entered into an agreement to pave a strong educational path and provide support for St. James students to earn college degrees.
The two schools will develop programs that enable St. James students to learn about post-secondary educational opportunities at Holy Family and gain access to those opportunities, including overcoming financial obstacles to attend the University.
“This is the first time we’ve teamed with a Middle School to pave an earlier path to college graduation,” said Michael W. Markowitz, PhD, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Holy Family University. “We look forward to having our students get involved with mentoring and tutoring, and we’ll embrace St. James students from the time they arrive here on campus until they walk across the stage at commencement.”
St. James School is a tuition-free private middle school, located in North Philadelphia. The school is committed to educating traditionally under-resourced students in a nurturing environment and it makes a lifelong commitment to every student served. Through its Graduate Support Program, students are continually mentored and prepared for future success in high school, college, careers, and beyond.
Holy Family University was founded to help Philadelphia students who didn’t have the opportunity to pursue their education. Many Holy Family students are first-generation college students and 97 percent of new, full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance.
“Our shared values of providing holistic support for student success make this an ideal partnership,” said University President Sister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, PhD. “It was an honor to meet some of the St. James students and their parents at our official signing ceremony in January, and we look forward to getting to know them better in the coming years.”
The signing ceremony, which took place on January 23, 2020, included Dr. Audrey Evans, Co-Founder, St. James School, Dave Kasievich, Head of School, St. James School, Kevin Todd, Director of Graduate Support, St. James School, Sister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, PhD, President, Holy Family University and Michael W. Markowitz, Ph.D., vice president of Academic Affairs, Holy Family University.