April 6, 2015 — A new summer academy at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia will help high-achieving, low-income students from Cristo Rey high schools make an easier transition to college.
Wheeling Jesuit announced it will hold Cristo Rey Summer Academy (CRSA) sessions on its campus in July to help high school juniors from Cristo Rey high schools get expert help in navigating the college application process; learn strategies to help them successfully transition to a higher education institution; and experience college life — classes, residence life, student-faculty interaction and more — on WJU’s campus.
There are 28 Cristo Rey high schools nationwide, with minority students accounting for 96 percent of their student population. These Catholic, college prep schools for low-income, urban youth partner with local corporations who employ the students, helping them earn their tuition.
The academies will be free of charge to the students, who will receive a 10-day total immersion experience focusing on balancing academic and social life; choosing courses; faculty expectations; and support services. Each academy will be capped at 45 students to maximize individual and small group attention and will be staffed by a team of faculty, staff and student mentors from the university.
Wheeling Jesuit University sophomore Uneeke Ferguson, a graduate of Cristo Rey High School in Baltimore, attended a Wheeling Jesuit academy two years ago. “It was a real eye-opener,” she recalls. “The admissions process can be daunting and transitioning to university life is also a challenge. The academy was a significant help on both fronts. And the experience sold me on attending WJU.”
“Wheeling Jesuit is the perfect place to hold a Cristo Rey Summer Academy,” said Jesuit Father Denis Donoghue, WJU’s associate vice president for academic affairs. “We are a national leader in serving high-achieving, low-income students. It’s not just about college access. We want to help each and every student succeed in finding the right college to attend.” [Source: Wheeling Jesuit University]