Recognizing the importance of Catholic education and the common mission of Catholic educational institutions to not only educate students, but to form them for a lifetime of service to the community, Seton Hill University has established a partnership with the Office for Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Greensburg to expand its College in High School Program.

“The missions of Seton Hill University and the Catholic diocesan schools are what make this collaboration possible - our shared emphasis on academic excellence, our Judeo-Christian values, and an abiding commitment to producing members of society committed to transforming the world in accordance with catholic social teachings,” says Dr. Mary Ann Gawelek, provost and dean of the faculty at Seton Hill.

“Catholic education must support life-long learning,” Dr. Gawelek added. “The Seton Hill University/Diocese of Greensburg College in High School Program supports a seamless pre-kindergarten through college experience for Catholic students that is rooted in faith formation, rigorous academic study, and an educational experience grounded in service to community.”

Students from Greensburg Central Catholic High School and Geibel Catholic Middle-High School in Connellsville, Pa. who enroll in the new Seton Hill program can now take courses in their respective high schools that have been determined by Seton Hill to be equivalent to introductory courses at the University. Students who complete these courses will receive a college transcript from Seton Hill. Seton Hill guarantees that the credits earned through the program will be accepted at the University, and the credits are also transferable to most institutions of higher education.

“This program give students the opportunity to experience college coursework and its increased academic rigor while still in the familiar, supportive environment of their high schools,” says Dr. Terrance DePasquale, Seton Hill’s dean of graduate and international programs. “As a result, students will be more likely to make a smooth and successful transition to college.”

A unique feature of the Seton Hill agreement with the Diocese of Greensburg is that students have the opportunity to complete 24 college credits while in the Program. This will enable them to enter college close to the sophomore level, essentially eliminating one year of tuition.

Seton Hill has also established a College in High School Scholars Program for the two diocesan high schools. This program awards scholarships, based on academic success, for up to $6,000 per year. Scholarships awarded through this program can be added to other scholarships for which the student is eligible (with the exception of the Rising Star Scholarship.)

“Our diocesan high schools have always had a close relationship with our Catholic colleges and universities, as students have taken courses there while in high school and moved on to matriculate at those institutions,” said Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of the Diocese of Greensburg. “These agreements will build on those relationships and provide additional educational and scholarship opportunities for students in our diocesan high schools.”

This new collaboration with the Diocese of Greensburg supports two other important and long-standing joint initiatives. Seton Hill’s Certificate in Pastoral Ministry was originally designed to develop and promote competent women and men for service as lay ecclesial ministers; it also now serves as a resource to the diocesan office for the permanent diaconate. Seton Hill also provides tuition support for diocesan teachers so that they are financially able to pursue graduate studies.

The new Seton Hill University/Diocese of Greensburg College in High School Program also complements Seton Hill’s other College in High School agreements with many local high schools, both private and public. A particularly popular aspect of Seton Hill’s College in High School programs are online language courses that teach Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Russian.

School districts interested in partnering with Seton Hill on College in High School programs should contact Dr. Terrance DePasquale, Seton Hill’s dean of graduate and international programs, at High school students interested in participating in College in High School should contact the guidance counselor at the high school they attend.