DePaul University is partnering with Gordon Tech to provide a strong school of choice for Chicago’s North Side, an area of the city that seeks a viable Catholic high school option. The partnership, announced Oct. 17, will build upon Gordon Tech’s recent enrollment growth and is designed to put the coed college preparatory institution on par with the Chicago area’s other top-tier Catholic high schools.
The collaborative effort will include a strategic planning year that will focus on enhancing the school’s curriculum, college counseling, technology and facilities to meet the educational needs of students looking to attend four-year colleges. DePaul already has started working with Gordon Tech to conduct a principal search for the 2013-2014 school year to ensure strong academic leadership.
Founded in 1952 by the Congregation of the Resurrection religious order, Gordon Tech’s enrollment has increased significantly in the past year — to 540 from 434. As Gordon Tech looks to the future, the school would like to double its enrollment to reach its capacity of more than 1,000 students.
“DePaul believes that strong Catholic education benefits an entire community,” said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul president. “We welcome the opportunity to support a Catholic institution with a rising academic profile like Gordon Tech.”
Kelly Jones, president of Gordon Tech, said, “In recent years, the Gordon Tech community has worked hard to revitalize its programs to meet the needs of today’s college-bound students. A partnership with DePaul University will ensure access to educational opportunities for young men and women seeking a high-quality, faith-based, college preparatory experience. We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting initiative that will allow us to better serve students and families on the North Side of Chicago.”
The Rev. Gene Szarek, C.R., provincial superior of the school's sponsors, remarked, "The collaboration of the largest Catholic university in the country with Gordon Tech is an unprecedented blessing to our students and faculty and for the mission of Catholic education. This is great news for all involved."
DePaul is well-suited to play a role in assisting Gordon Tech with its revitalization. The university will provide its expertise in understanding market needs and building high-quality academic programs to help Gordon Tech realize its vision of becoming one of Chicago’s first choice college preparatory high schools and able to compete with the city’s selective enrollment and top-tier Catholic high schools.
“This partnership will ensure the long-term viability of a high-quality Catholic institution on the North Side, giving parents a first-rate educational option for all students in the family,” said Dia S. Weil, chair of the Gordon Tech board. Weil, a retired senior business executive, also is a trustee at DePaul. Mary Dempsey, a DePaul trustee and former chair of the DePaul University board, was added to the Gordon Tech board in September of this year.
Robert Karpinski, DePaul’s director of Catholic School Initiatives, noted, “Having the largest Catholic university as a partner allows Gordon Tech to build on their recent success in ways they could not have been able to do on their own. Partnering with a university provides opportunities to students and families that are simply not available at other area Catholic high schools.”
In response to initial discussions with Gordon Tech, DePaul conducted a market study to better understand the Chicago high school market and the position that Gordon Tech might play. The study revealed a significant need for more high-quality secondary school options on the North Side. Parents and students are looking for strong academics, yet a well-rounded student experience. Therefore, as part of the partnership, DePaul will assist Gordon Tech in its strategic planning process to assess curriculum, college counseling, facilities and technology and gather feedback from key constituents, including students, parents, parishes and community leaders.
The College of Education’s Human Services and Counseling Department at DePaul also is working with Gordon Tech’s counseling department to identify and implement actions to better serve the needs of college-bound students.
DePaul is represented on Gordon Tech’s newly formed board, further extending the university’s expertise in curriculum development, admissions, marketing and recruitment. Although governance of the school will lie with the board, the Congregation of the Resurrection will continue to sponsor the school to ensure its Catholic mission.
Gordon Tech will hold two open houses this fall. On Oct. 25 the open house program begins at 6 p.m. and will end by 8 p.m. The Nov. 11 open house program begins at noon and will end by 3 p.m. Families will be able to meet teachers and tour the school located at 3633 N. California Ave. More information about the open house is at http://www.gordon-tech.org/admissions.html.
About DePaul University
With more than 25,000 students, DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. The university offers about 275 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on three Chicago and three suburban campuses. Founded in 1898, DePaul University remains committed to providing a quality education through personal attention to students from a wide range of backgrounds. More at www.depaul.edu.
About Gordon Tech
Gordon Tech, a college preparatory Catholic coed high school on the North Side of Chicago, was founded in 1952 by the Congregation of the Resurrection religious order. Its curriculum is built on the core values of faith, respect, discipline and excellence, thus ensuring the development of sound character. Driven by a spirit of inquiry, Gordon Tech prepares its scholars for success at the university level and beyond. Its current location at 3633 N. California Ave. (at Addison) was built in 1961. More at http://www.gordontech.org.