08:53 AM

UST Pens Agreement with Cristo Rey Network for National Recruitment Efforts

Cristo Rey Network (CRN) and the University of St. Thomas-Houston recently formalized a dynamic collaboration dedicated to enabling Cristo Rey students around the country to learn about access to this prestigious university and take full advantage of post-secondary opportunities at UST. 

Arthur Ortiz, UST's vice president for Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, spearheaded the partnership. UST has a long-standing relationship with Cristo Rey High School in Houston, and this opportunity expands the ties nationwide.

"This partnership expands UST's reach to the current 38 and soon to be 40 Cristo Rey High Schools across the country," Ortiz said. "It offers some inroads to national outreach and recruitment markets. Potentially, there is a future pipeline into the Rising Stars Internship Program and maybe some St. Thomas Promise student potential."

Ortiz said, "UST admires how Cristo Rey schools provide a great Catholic education to families who would otherwise not have such an opportunity. Their unique corporate work study program helps provide these opportunities. UST is proud to be the only higher education institution to apply this opportunity at the collegiate level and on such a scale."

About the Primary Partnership Objectives

The partnership aims to increase the enrollment applications from CRN students at the University of St. Thomas, where they can fully participate in the school's academic and extracurricular life and obtain a high-quality undergraduate education. Supporting objectives including the following:

  •  Achieve strong graduation rate metrics for CRN students at UST.
  •  Establish, develop, and strengthen collaborative opportunities between CRN schools and UST to support the enrollment and graduation of low-income and first-generation college students.

The agreement is currently in effect, and UST may see its first student enroll for fall 2024 thanks to Director of Admissions Sara Johnson's warp-speed efforts. She has already held a virtual workshop for the CRN guidance counselors, introducing them to UST's academic excellence and more. 

"This partnership has already allowed us to talk to high school guidance counselors across the United States about UST," Johnson said. "After our first virtual information session, guidance counselors asked if UST would visit their school! We are now working on some strategic travels to have our admissions staff visit Cristo Rey high schools nationwide.

"Houston is known as a thriving city, full of opportunities for students but more than that, full of opportunities for careers and networking,” Johnson continued. “Prospective students nationwide see Houston as a hub for innovation and culture. What better place to be in Houston than UST where students can grow their careers and develop their spiritual life for their future. The mission of Cristo Rey speaks to the combination of faith, Catholic tradition, and reason — college preparatory education — which is mirrored in our campus with the Doherty Library and Chapel of St. Basil. I believe students from all Cristo Rey high schools would thrive at UST. We are excited to engage with Cristo Rey students locally and nationally!"