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West Catholic High School

LEAP Program

LaSalle University helps West Catholic Prep Students Save Time and Money by getting an early start on their college careers!

The guiding principles here at West Catholic Prep are those of St. John Baptist de La Salle, providing not only a Christian education, but a human education which is reflected in our mission statement of ‘preparing students for life.’  One of the ways we can do that is to provide our students with the resources they need to succeed in and after high school to further their education, both as students and as people. 

We are excited to announce our dual enrollment partnership with La Salle University in providing our students with access to the LEAP Program, LaSalle’s Early Achievement Program! Jean Landis, Director of Dual Enrollment Pathways at LaSalle University, is especially excited to partner with another Lasallian institution because of the values we share.  Jean described this partnership not only as an academic endeavor but as a way of “adding another layer of community that West Catholic Prep students will have, building on the sense of family shared by both institutions.”

This program is an innovative dual-enrollment program that provides West Catholic Prep juniors and seniors with the opportunity to earn up to 30 college credits (the equivalent of an entire year of college) over seven semesters, before officially beginning their university careers.  The students will learn on campus at West Catholic Prep, and they will be taught by Lasalle University professors.  West Catholic Prep’s Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs, Mike Field, is enthusiastic about the “opportunity this provides not only for students to take college classes, but that it takes place in a cohort model, providing the space for students to collaborate with one and other as they explore this new experience.” In addition to continuing the legacy of academic success and investment of West Catholic Prep the partnership underscores our commitment to exposing West Catholic Prep students to opportunities beyond our walls, and to developing them as people and as members of our community.  

The LEAP program will allow our students to explore diverse disciplines and areas of particular interest to them and learn about career paths while gaining invaluable college experiences and developing academic success skills. Kate Ward-Gaus is a West Catholic graduate and retired Lasalle University administrator, who spent more than 15 years in student health and wellness roles at La Salle. She reflected on the partnership “The dual enrollment partnership between LaSalle University and West Catholic Preparatory High School is a great opportunity that will benefit students” Ward Gaus said. It will provide them with a seamless experience, beginning in high school and taking them into college where administrators, faculty and staff from both institutions will address their individual needs in diverse and inclusive learning communities with an emphasis on practical knowledge that will transform their lives.”  

One of the many perks of this program is that the tuition and textbooks are completely free of charge to West Catholic Prep students. Participating students will enroll in one of three academic tracks in La Salle’s LEAP program: Exploratory Studies; Health and Human Services; or Science, Business, and Technology.

Our students will receive a head start on their college education through the LEAP program, while also saving money and time and building self-confidence and skills as they engage in college life by learning from college professors. Students who choose to continue their college educations at La Salle University are able to take advantage of the dual-enrollment experience, automatically qualify for a scholarship, and apply credits earned toward their degree.  Students can save over $30,000 on their college education by starting while they are at West Catholic Prep.  

Brother Brian Henderson, a graduate of West Catholic shared that, “As a Christian Brother, I have encountered numerous students from West Catholic consistently feeling comfortable, at home, and personally supported at La Salle University.  This collaboration is a marvelous mutual admiration and amplification of networking the Lasallian Mission for the good of universal wider perspectives and academic benefit.  This is a great reflection of how Saint John Baptist de La Salle directed the Brothers to accompany and shepherd students to realize and appreciate their capabilities.”

Finally, we spoke with rising Junior Julian Baysmore about his decision to enroll in the program and got his thoughts on what this experience will mean for him: “I applied because I feel this will be a great opportunity for my future and future career.  I think it will help with the transition to college and already knowing Lasalle and it being in the same city as me is great.  Doing dual-enrollment programming at an institution that is also a part of the Lasallian family is icing on the cake.”