Being unique is nothing new at Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School, and that is paying off for the school when it comes to attracting new students.
Since 2011, the Catholic high school in Oregon has seen nearly a 10 percent increase in enrollment. During that time, enrollment has gone from 243 high school students, to 265.
With an expansion of staff and faculty, the school is showing a dedicated drive toward continuing to increase the student population.
“This is a big step in the right direction not only for Stritch Catholic, but for Catholic high schools as a whole,” said Fr. Eric Schild, President of St. Kateri Catholic Schools. “While many Catholic institutions are seeing a decrease in the number of students who attend, we are showing that there is still very much the possibility Catholic schools can grow.”
During its time of enrollment increase, CSCHS has gone through several changes both inside the classroom and outside.
In the fall of 2011, CSCHS announced the start of the STEMM initiative. Focusing on math and science-based classes, STEMM is designed to better prepare students not only for college classes, but for life in the professional world as well. The program provides students with hands-on training in on-campus lab spaces and state of the art computer workrooms.
Many of the area’s major businesses – including BP Husky, Toledo Refining Company, the University of Toledo, The Home Depot, Anderson Foundation, Service Spring Corp., Mercy and ProMedica – have donated and offered multiple forms of support for the initiative. The school also hosts guest speakers who share their professional experiences with students and explain how they obtained their skills in programs like STEMM.
“The STEMM program has been a huge success and an all-around great experience for everyone at Stritch Catholic,” said Kevin Parkins, vice president of advancement. “Students are getting the education they need to succeed at the college level and are getting the experience necessary to hit the ground running when they begin their careers.”
Classroom size has also played a role in recruiting more students to attend Stritch Catholic. With smaller classroom sizes, teachers are able to spend more one-on-one time with students throughout the school year.
In addition to class quality, CSCHS has also enhanced after school programs and communication with communities outside the school’s boundaries.
Over the past year CSCHS redesigned its website to better suit both students and parents. While students are apt to check the website for upcoming events, parents are able to check up on their child’s academic progress.
“There have been a lot of changes at the school over the past few years, but everyone has been working hard and we are definitely seeing the benefits, both academically and spiritually,” said Fr. Schild. “We’ve dedicated countless hours and prayers toward making Stritch Catholic a great place to learn and prepare for college. To see others recognize that commitment and want to be a part of the Cardinal family is phenomenal.”