Point Park University School of Education: Pioneers in Graduate Programs Monday, May 4, 2020
"Our courses are taught by faculty who have real-world experience working in the education field as principals, administrators and teachers — with an average of 30 years of classroom and administrative experience in a wide range of diverse educational environments."
How has Point Park University’s School of Education been a pioneer in graduate education?
The School of Education at Point Park University has been a leader in many ways, but I'll just highlight a few examples.
We wrote and received approval (both from Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education) to launch the first doctoral program at Point Park University: an Ed.D. in leadership and administration. It has been a very successful program and is offered in both face-to-face and fully online formats.
Additionally, we are one of only two universities that Pittsburgh Public Schools (the second largest school district in Pennsylvania) selected to partner with for its Para2Teacher program. This program works with paraprofessionals in Pittsburgh Public Schools to help them earn a master’s degree in education with Instructional I Certification.
Lastly, before the Pennsylvania Department of Education mandated multicultural preparation for teacher certification programs, our School of Education included it in both its undergraduate and graduate curricula. Now, with our fully online Master of Education programs, the course, Culturally Responsive Curriculum, will be required in all programs. It is being designed with the most current research available.
What are the major benefits of Point Park’s graduate education programs?
Our courses are taught by faculty who have real-world experience working in the education field as principals, administrators and teachers — with an average of 30 years of classroom and administrative experience in a wide range of diverse educational environments.
Offered fully online to give students flexibility for work and family obligations, our courses are taught in an eight-week format. For each term, students focus on only one course at a time, but earn six credits at the end of the semester.
Our small class sizes (approximately 15 students per class) allow for a student-centered approach to teaching. Students have a School of Education faculty advisor assigned to them and they work in a cohort that stays together throughout their entire degree program.
What are the School of Education’s latest leading initiatives and programs?
At Point Park University, we recognize our responsibility to create and maintain an educational environment that affirms the diversity of all people and ideas. We embrace, support and actively pursue policies of inclusiveness that recognize, value and reflect the diversity of the community we serve and the world in which we live.
Through our partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools, we are helping to fulfill their Para2Teacher program goal — to increase the diversity and quality of the PPS teacher workforce by developing a sustainable pipeline of paraprofessionals prepared to meet the needs of students in our classroom
Another new initiative the School of Education completed this year was bringing our Ed.D. in leadership and administration and B.A. in instructional studies programs fully online (in addition to offering the programs in a face-to-face format). Our instructional studies program offers much flexibility with its availability to begin at six different times throughout the academic year.
Also, we have three new fully online, 42-credit Master of Education programs in Pre-K through fourth grade, secondary education (grades seven through 12) and special education (Pre-K through 12th grade) for initial certification candidates.
Additionally, we have a new 30-credit Master of Arts in special education (Pre-K through 12th grade) program for candidates who already have their initial teacher certification.