University of San Diego and San Diego Diocese Announce New Partnerships

SAN DIEGO-The University of San Diego (USD) and the Diocese of San Diego today announced several initiatives to enhance and strengthen Catholic education across San Diego communities. This unique collaboration between USD and the Diocese of San Diego will provide a pathway for students at the Diocese’ Catholic high schools to continue their Catholic education at USD. Speakers at the press conference included: The Most Reverend Robert McElroy, Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego; Dr. James Harris, president of USD; as well as other diocesan and university leaders.


"Our vision is to set the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges," said James T. Harris III, president of the University of San Diego. "We want Catholic students from across San Diego to be major contributors to this vision. Close collaboration between USD and the Diocese of San Diego will open new doors for Catholic students and uncover new ways to enhance our engagement at the center of Catholic life in San Diego."


“Catholic schools and universities play a critical role shaping and educating young people in our society and in the life of the Church,” said Bishop McElroy. “I could not be happier about the help and cooperation USD has provided in supporting Catholic education here in San Diego.”


Several exciting collaborations related to increasing the number of Catholic school teachers, professional development for Catholic School Leaders, and wellness services linked to Catholic schools were announced to the audience full of Catholic educators, administrators, and supporters. Below are descriptions of the programs and the initiatives announced today.


Torero Promise


The Torero Promise is the hallmark program, aimed at providing a clear and promising path for Catholic high school students in continuing their Catholic education at USD.  As an “anchor institution” in our region, USD has to put into practice many strategies and activities that not only bring our campus more into the community but also bring more of the community to campus. 

The Torero Promise applies to students from the Catholic high schools in our area:  The Academy of Our Lady of Peace, St. Augustine, Mater Dei, Cathedral Catholic, and Vincent Memorial. The Torero Promise will not only provide students with a clear pathway toward being admitted to USD, but also a level of financial assistance.

To be eligible for the Torero Promise, a student must achieve at least a 3.7 weighted GPA (recalculated by USD’s evaluation process) by the end of their junior year.  Upon submitting a complete application for admission, and a review by the admissions staff, eligible students will receive a formal acceptance letter to the University.  For additional information on acceptance through the Torero Promise click here.

With the Torero Promise, USD hopes to extend a clear pathway for students that they can begin working toward as soon as they start high school.  The goal is to be able to enroll at least 35 students annually from these schools and to cultivate a stronger Catholic community.


Academy for Catholic Teaching (ACT)

The Learning and Teaching Department of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at USD will begin offering a Masters and Credential cohort program for teacher candidates. The Academy for Catholic Teaching (ACT) will prepare highly qualified credentialed school educators to teach in San Diego’s Catholic schools.

ACT is designed to provide elementary and middle school teacher candidates with rigorous coursework, internships and field experiences leading to a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and a preliminary Multiple Subject teaching credential. Applications will be accepted for enrollment in fall 2017.


Certificate in Catholic Educational Leadership (CCEL)

The Leadership Studies Department in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at USD is developing a Certificate in Catholic Educational Leadership (CCEL). Professional practice will be made relevant through practical experiences that prepare students to grow as Catholic school leaders.



Wellness Centers in Catholic Schools

Faculty from the SOLES Department of Counseling and Marital and Family Therapy have been working collaboratively with the San Diego Diocesan Office of Schools to develop a proposal for Wellness Centers in local Catholic Schools.  This research-based model is derived from a multi-tiered system of support or “MTSS” that include a continuum of services from universal preventive activities to intensive individualized services for students and their families.  The program is designed to be strengths-based and will target Diocesan K-8 schools in the San Diego Metro area serving primarily low income students. 

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.