Seton Hill Names Dr. Kathleen Harris Dean of the School of Education and Applied Social Sciences

Seton Hill University President Mary C. Finger has announced the appointment of Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education Dr. Kathleen Harris as Dean of the School of Education and Applied Sciences. Her appointment was effective January 1, 2019.

“Kathleen Harris is an outstanding educator who has dedicated herself to improving the education of young children through her mentorship of future teachers,” President Finger said. “Through her extensive research in the area of early childhood education, Kathy has encouraged her students to think beyond the classroom and to look at teaching in new and exciting ways. She will be a tremendous asset to the School of Education and Applied Social Sciences, its faculty and, most importantly, its students.”

“I am honored and humbled to be able to serve Seton Hill as Dean of the School of Education and Applied Social Sciences,” Harris said. “I look forward to collaborating with the School’s outstanding faculty in ways we can continue to innovate in all of our academic programs to best serve our students.”

Kathleen Harris joined the faculty at Seton Hill University in 2010 as an assistant professor in the Division of Education. She received her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and Psychology at Notre Dame College, South Euclid, Ohio, and master's degree in Early Childhood Education and doctoral degree in Special Education at Kent State University. 

Harris has taught, directed, and developed curricula for early childhood programs for toddlers to pre-kindergarten age students and also develops professional development training for early childhood teachers, parent programs, and early childhood conferences.

Her extensive research in early childhood education - particularly around the importance of play, the needs of diverse learners, children's spirituality, and peer-mediated interventions for young children - has been widely published. 

As a professor and adviser of the Education Club, Harris has encouraged research by her students. In 2016, Kathy and her student Stephanie Soltis received the Distinguished Childhood Education Article Award from The Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) for their article "Companion Angels on a Leash: Welcoming Service Dogs into Classroom Communities for Children with Autism" in Childhood Education.

Harris’ integration of mobile technology earned her the 2018 Seton Hill University Faculty Innovation Award for Best Practices in Mobile Technology. She has presented extensively at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference (NAEYC), the American Educational Research Association Meeting and the Council for Exceptional Children Special Education Convention & Expo International Conference. She has served on the boards of Pi Lambda Theta International Honor Society, Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children, the Ohio Division for Early Children, and advisory board for Teaching Young Children and is a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education reviewer and auditor for NAEYC and consulting editor for Young Children.

The School of Education and Applied Social Sciences at Seton Hill offers undergraduate majors in Educational Studies, Elementary Education with Special Education, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Social Work, and Secondary Education Certifications along with graduate degrees in Elementary/Middle Level Education, Innovative Instruction, Special Education, Special Education Autism Specialization and Marriage and Family Therapy. The School also houses the Seton Hill University Child Development Center, a preschool for 3, 4 and 5-year-old children on the university’s campus. Under the direction of professional staff, Seton Hill students earning degrees in education work with the preschool students and focus on the promotion of the total development of the children. 

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