Arts / Faith and Humanities

New Frontier

Written by Mike Thee

February 16, 2016

St. Ignatius fountain in the afternoon shaded quad

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Matteo Ricci College is partnering with Catholic high schools to offer hybrid coursework.

Matteo Ricci College is entering a new collaboration with two Catholic high schools. 

Working with the Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy (JVLA), Matteo Ricci will offer a series of dual-credit course experiences for selected students at Seattle Preparatory School and Verbum Dei in Los Angeles. 

The new collaboration grows out of SU's existing relationship with Jesuit sister school Seattle Prep, which originally produced Matteo Ricci College. 

"Forty years ago the Matteo Ricci College was founded as a collaborative venture between the university and the high school," says Dean Jodi Kelly. "The college was innovative-a serious break from the traditional model of schooling. While the college has evolved over time as the needs of the university and high school have changed, our pioneering spirit has remained. This is the next bold step in our history and I want to thank the administrative teams from Seattle Prep and Verbum Dei for their willingness to explore more ways to make every student as successful as possible and to the JVLA for their vision and efforts to bring Jesuit schools together in new partnerships." 

JVLA provides Jesuit and Catholic secondary schools online and blended student coursework and teacher professional development. 

Through the new partnership, students from Verbum Dei and Seattle Prep will participate in two college-level courses offered through the JVLA by Matteo Ricci College faculty. While versions of these courses are already offered online through the JVLA for Jesuit and Catholic high schools, the hybrid design being developed for Verbum Dei and Seattle Prep will be unique. 

"The online experience will be paired with brick-and-mortar experiences that will foster rich meaningful exchange between students from different cities and different school cultures," explains JVLA's Executive Director Jeff Hausman. "This type of collaborative design has been on JVLA's roadmap for years. We are excited to be playing a part." 

This announcement culminates a six-month strategic conversation. Says Seattle Prep President Kent Hickey, "Our Jesuit network is truly special, and Seattle Prep was looking for a way of tapping more deeply into the network to broaden the minds and hearts of our students. Verbum Dei is the perfect partner. Getting to where we want to be with this initiative will take great effort and care. We look forward to the journey and the companionship." 

Verbum Dei High School is an all-male Catholic, Jesuit, college and career preparatory school complemented by a corporate internship program, serving young men of Watts and the surrounding communities. Seattle Preparatory School is a Catholic, Jesuit, coeducational college preparatory school. Founded in 1891, Prep serves 700 students from the greater Seattle area.

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