Seton Hill University and The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg recently established a partnership that will allow undergraduate students majoring in Education at Pitt-Greensburg to seamlessly enter the Seton Hill Master of Arts in Special Education program upon the baccalaureate graduation. Students may begin applying to the program immediately for matriculation in the Fall 2016 semester.
“Seton Hill is always seeking partnerships that enhance our campus and the community. In particular, we are always seeking those opportunities that address the needs of vulnerable populations,” said Mary C. Finger, Ed.D., Seton Hill University President. “Seton Hill’s collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will provide future special education teachers with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed at the head of their classrooms and will benefit children of different learning abilities who need highly-qualified teachers to guide their education.”
“It is a perfect fit,” said Sharon P. Smith, Ph.D., president of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. “We know that there is a need for teachers with these skills and with graduate degrees. This opportunity benefits our students and the community, as well as both campuses.”
Pitt-Greensburg Education majors who are juniors and seniors and meet the established criteria will have the opportunity to cross-register for up to two Seton Hill graduate-level courses as an undergraduate, as Seton Hill undergraduate students already do. These courses will not replace any undergraduate courses but will provide an opportunity for students to complete six of the 30 graduate credits prior to graduating from their undergraduate program.
Undergraduate students desiring to cross-register for graduate-level courses must be a junior or senior in good standing, have a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA, provide an official college transcript to the Seton Hill Graduate Program Director for review, receive approval from Seton Hill’s Graduate Program Director or Education Division Chair, and complete the appropriate forms for cross registration.
"We are seeing teacher shortages across the state and country, especially in the area of special education,” said Jennifer Suppo, Director of the Graduate Program in Special Education at Seton Hill and associate professor of Education. “This agreement is a positive step in helping to alleviate these shortages by ensuring we have teachers who are equipped with the knowledge to meet the needs of all students, including students with exceptional needs."
“This will give our students the opportunity to explore this topic of interest as an undergraduate,” explained Jeanne Burth, Ed.D., assistant professor of Education at Pitt-Greensburg who was part of the team creating the agreement. “In addition to taking graduate work early, a more in-depth study of special education topics will assist our students as they complete their program here by giving them more content knowledge and perspective regarding students with exceptionalities.”
Pitt-Greensburg professors and academic advisors will advise bachelor’s degree students of the opportunity to apply to the Seton Hill Master of Arts in Special Education program. Jennifer Suppo will provide advising sessions at Pitt-Greensburg each semester with the purpose of offering a letter of intent. Students are under no obligation to commit to the program, but the letter of intent acts as a seat holder and provides an indication of the number of Pitt-Greensburg students interested in entering the program.