Keep Students Enrolled and on Track for Higher Ed Success:

Changing Higher Ed Podcast 141 with Host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Guest Dr. Steven Katsouros

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Keep Students Enrolled and on Track for Higher Ed Success - Happy multiracial university friends talk during lunch break at cafeteria.

Changing Higher Ed Podcast 141 with Host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Guest Dr. Steven Katsouros – Keep Students Enrolled and on Track for Higher Ed Success

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In this podcast, Dr. Drumm McNaughton speaks with Dr. Steve Katsouros of Come to Believe Foundation and Network, which works with colleges and universities to replicate a successful DEI, enrollment, and graduation model. Dr. Katsouros was the founder of Arrupe College, a two-year institution that is part of Loyola University Chicago.

Arrupe has an amazing track record for completion and having students graduate with little or no debt. Fifty percent (50%) of students complete their degree in two years/ nearly 70% in three years, and 90% of graduates incur no debt. More promising, more than 70% of students complete their Bachelor’s degrees in five years or less. Compare this to the national average, where 13% of students in two-year colleges complete their Associate’s degree in two years, and 13% of students who start at two-year colleges complete their Bachelor’s degrees in six years.

Steve discusses Arrupe’s credit-bearing remedial classes, the rigorous application process, the Fellows Program that connects freshmen with sophomores in and outside of class, the roles of its graduate support coordinator, financial aid officer, and employer relations officer that help students succeed, and more.

Arrupe’s model can be applied to any 2- or 4-year institution.

Podcast Highlights

  • 50% of students at Arrupe College complete their degree in two years, 90% incur no debt and more than 70% complete their Bachelor’s degrees in five years or less.

  • Arrupe’s model attracts first-generation, Pell-eligible, and undocumented students and helps them flourish in a post-secondary ed environment and beyond.

  • Upon launching the model at Arrupe, over 50% of its donors had never given to its larger university, Loyola University Chicago, before. Most of these donors consisted of the many relationships that Arrupe made with local businesses through its model. One donor gave $100 million to Loyola University Chicago for all Pell and first-generation students from low-wealth backgrounds.

  • For higher ed institutions that want to adopt Arrupe’s model, Come to Believe helps university leaders perform a feasibility study to make sure they have bandwidth and consensus for the program and helps them prepare for presenting their proposals to their boards. The application season for the next cohort is open until the end of March.


More About Our Podcast Guest

Changing Higher Ed Podcast 141 guest Steve Katsouros photo portrait

A member of the United States East Province of the Society of Jesus, Steve Katsouros, S.J., is the president and CEO of the Come to Believe Foundation and Network in New York City. Before Come to Believe, Fr. Katsouros served as the founding dean and executive director of Arrupe College at Loyola University Chicago. Arrupe is a two-year college that continues the Jesuit tradition of offering a rigorous liberal arts education to a diverse population, many of whom are the first in their family to pursue higher education. Fr. Katsouros served as Arrupe’s academic and administrative leader from 2014 until 2020.

In Paul Tough’s study of higher education, The Most Important Years: How College Can Make or Break You (2019), the author observed Arrupe College “may be doing a more impressive job of keeping its students enrolled and on track for success than any other institution I visited.”

Prior to his assignment at Arrupe, Fr. Katsouros served as the director of the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership (ICEL) and associate dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. From 2002-2011, Fr. Katsouros was president of Loyola, a coed Jesuit high school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side; during his years at Loyola, the endowment and annual giving tripled, capital gifts were raised to refurbish the physical plant, and faculty and staff salaries increased to market competitiveness.

The success of Arrupe College and its students inspired Fr. Katsouros to lead Come to Believe, a network, and foundation created to replicate and scale the Arrupe model nationally. Based in Manhattan, with teams working in Chicago and New York, Come to Believe provides advisory services to universities with the capacity to launch and sustain successful two-year colleges for high-potential students from low-wealth backgrounds. Come to Believe guides university leaders through the process of implementation and launch of new colleges and provides research-based best practices and problem-solving techniques.

Fr. Katsouros earned his doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College in organizational leadership; his research interests are leadership, governance, and institutional performance. He was ordained in 1998.

Guest Links


About Our Podcast Host

Dr. Drumm McNaughton is the host of Changing Higher Ed Podcast and consultant to higher ed institutions.

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