Students at St. Anthony High School can partner with Viterbo University to earn up to 60 college credits during high school. (Submitted photo)

Thanks to a collaboration with Viterbo University, students at St. Anthony High School can graduate halfway to earning their four-year college degree.

The no-cost program allows participants the ability to gain educational experience at St. Anthony in conjunction with attending classes through the La Crosse-based liberal arts college. Upon completion of the 60 necessary credits, students will receive their associates of science and education degree, which they can use toward becoming a teacher.

Students are excited to be getting a jump on their future careers while still in high school, said Chief Academic Officer Lisette Rodriguez-Reed, Ph.D. It is a massive cost savings over the traditional route of a four-year college experience.

“This program sets our students up for success by allowing them to receive their first two years of college tuition free,” Rodriguez-Reed said. “They are saving thousands of dollars with this opportunity. Transportation is not an issue, as they take the classes here at St. Anthony for easier accessibility for students.”

Not only can the Milwaukee high school students earn an associate degree, employees can earn one as well.

The first cohort of the program began in the fall of 2020.

“Dr. Rosana Mateo, President, brought this opportunity to St. Anthony, and our Human Resources Manager, Evelyn Jones, manages the program,” Rodriguez-Reed said.

The two-year program begins in the student’s junior year, and they need to maintain an A to C average to remain eligible for the program. Classes are held at St. Anthony School in Francis Hall, two evenings per week from 4:30 to 8 p.m., in addition to a weekly online component for each class.

If a student fails to maintain their grades or decides to drop out of the program, they retain their credits earned, explained Rodriguez-Reed.

“There are 16 students in each cohort, eight high school students and eight employees. This year, we started a second cohort for an additional 16 students,” Rodriguez-Reed said. “When they graduate from high school, they receive their high school diploma and their associate degree. Our employees who are enrolled in the program hope to become teachers at St. Anthony.”

The degree and earned credits can transfer to other programs, depending on the major and school. The program is funded through title grant funds and supplemented by St. Anthony School where necessary.

For more information on the program, contact Evelyn Jones at or 414-384-6612.