AT THE SIGNING: Giovanni Virgiglio, diocesan superintendent of schools and chancellor; Brother F. Rev. Edward Coughlin, OFM, president of Siena; ND-BG freshmen Maria Ditoro and Nicholas Mendonca; Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger; and ND-BG principal Kiante Jones.
AT THE SIGNING: Giovanni Virgiglio, diocesan superintendent of schools and chancellor; Brother F. Rev. Edward Coughlin, OFM, president of Siena; ND-BG freshmen Maria Ditoro and Nicholas Mendonca; Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger; and ND-BG principal Kiante Jones.

Siena College in Loudonville and Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons School in Schenectady have officially signed into effect an early assurance and college planning partnership. The innovative program, the first of its kind, will assure admis­sion to Siena for identified ND-BG students as early as ninth grade.

The college preparation and transition partnership will identify students from their freshman year of high school on, based on their past and projected academic performance. To apply, students will need to submit an application, essay and transcript, and must be on track to complete a required number of academic units in English, social studies, mathematics, laboratory science and language.

Kiante Jones, principal of ND-BG, told The Evangelist that at least 20 students are expected to enroll in the program’s first year, “but there are really no limits.

“Students would need to maintain an average above 85” as well as completing the rigorous course of college prep classes, he added.

Ned Jones, vice president for enrollment management at Siena, said that “Siena has enrolled generations of Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons students, so this affiliation agreement makes all the sense in the world. We know the quality of students we accept from this school and we look forward to welcoming new generations in the future.”

Mr. Jones called the partnership, “truly innovative” and “a testament to both the quality of academics and the emphasis on spiritual and moral values at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Siena.”

Siena and ND-BG will also work together to present a series of workshops at ND-BG for all students, regardless of their college choices. Topics will include financial aid, the college application process, making campus visits and more.

Students who are accepted to the early assurance program will not be required to enroll or to forgo application to other schools; rather, they will be able to secure their admission and reserve a place at Siena.

Coincidentally, the creation of Siena College was encouraged in the 1930s by Bishop Edmund Gibbons, who envisioned a commuter college for men in Loudonville at the crossroads of Albany, Schenectady and Troy. ND-BG is named partially for Bishop Gibbons, who served the Albany Diocese from 1919-54.

Maria Ditoro and Nicholas Mendonca, freshmen at ND-BG, both attended the signing ceremony held at Siena last week.

“The agreement is a great opportunity for the students at our school, and the workshops will be a great way for us to learn about applying for college and what college life is like,” said Nicholas.