Torero Promise Creates Admissions Pathway for Local Diocese High School Students

WATCH: The Torero Promise Press Conference
The Most Reverend Robert McElroy, Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego, President Harris and members of the diocese and the university gathered to share thoughts on the new program at the Feb. 14 press conference.

Watch: Bishop McElroy's remarks.
Watch: President Harris' remarks.

From an initial vision shared by San Diego's first Bishop and a female educational leader and pioneer, to its humble beginnings as a women's college, adding a men's college and law school, to the building of The Immaculata Church and beyond, the University of San Diego and the San Diego Catholic Diocese have a long and rich history of collaboration and working for a common good.

So, in the spirit of this bond, it was a natural feeling that when the University of San Diego, its Board of Trustees, President James Harris and top administrators were envisioning both its educational future and concrete ways to better serve and support the city, the diocese and local college-aspiring students as an anchor institution that the result was a plan to establish a true connection.

Enter the Torero Promise, an idea created by Stephen Pultz, assistant vice president for enrollment at USD, that seeks to give high school students attending one of five Catholic schools within the Diocese of San Diego — The Academy of Our Lady Peace, St. Augustine, Mater Dei, Cathedral Catholic and Vincent Memorial — a "clear and direct pathway" for those who aspire to continue their Catholic education at the University of San Diego.

"It's really a guaranteed admissions program," said Pultz. "It's an opportunity for high school students, at the end of their junior year who have at least a 3.7 weighted grade-point average and have taken a solid comprehensive college prep program and challenged themselves appropriately, will be guaranteed admission to USD by filling out an application during their senior year."

The Torero Promise is effective for Fall 2017 students, but the most noticeable measurement will be among current high school juniors, sophomores, freshmen and so forth. On Feb. 14, USD hosted an event to share in greater detail the Torero Promise and other initiatives that form the latest aspects of the university's partnership with the diocese. President Harris, Most Reverend Robert McElroy, Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego, and USD's Dean of the School of Leadership and Educational Sciences, Dr. Nicholas Ladany, spoke at a press conference and at a luncheon about the initiatives.

Bottom line, though, is that the Torero Promise can deliver.

"Being founded by the diocese and being a school that has had such a close connection to the education of our Catholic students in San Diego, we felt we wanted to look at how we could better support these students," Pultz said. "The college admissions process can be a very complicated one. Students are faced with so many choices and different opportunities so we wanted to make a very clear statement that USD can be a great option for students in our local parishes and local diocese."

The Torero Promise not only provides a clear path to admission to USD for students, but also there's a level of financial assistance available.

"The Torero Promise helps us fulfill the role we have as an anchor institution, it supports our Catholic identity and we know that these students bring so much to the university in terms of their commitment to service, their strong academic abilities, and that they want to make a difference and become Changemakers. For all of these reasons," Pultz said, "we're really excited about the students who will benefit from this and that we'll see more students decide to stay here in San Diego and choose to enroll at USD."

— Ryan T. Blystone


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