High ranking for Education Department

Kristian Biega, Staff writer

On March 13, the Mercyhurst Education Department was awarded a ranking among the top 50 programs in the United States, according to The Community for Accredited Online Schools. The university and the Education Department are incredibly proud to have received such a prestigious recognition.

The Community for Accredited Online Schools releases a list each year of the top 50 four-year and two-year colleges in the United States. The website uses criteria such as total programs, student-teacher ratio, graduation rates, financial aid, placement and support services offered, employment services and academic/career counseling services.

“This ranking is well deserved and well placed,” said Leanne Roberts, Ph.D., dean of the Hafenmaier College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. “We often get overlooked because we are such a small school.”

Mercyhurst gives students opportunities to earn clinical hours at the after-school Carpe Diem academy, earn a graduate degree with the 4+1 program and earn major or minor degrees in secondary education and special education.

There are nearly 900 teaching programs in the United States, and Mercyhurst was ranked 32nd among them. The ranking included many small schools and programs like Mercyhurst, but also many large and prestigious schools such as Vanderbilt, New York University, Purdue University, Syracuse University and Duquesne University.

“Looking at the other schools on this list…we are in very good company,” said Roberts. However, Mercyhurst is the only school in the Northwestern Pennsylvania region to earn this high of a ranking.

Susan Johnson, ABD, Chair of the Mercyhurst Department of Education, is thrilled at the placement and proud of the well-deserved recognition of the excellence and believes that it shows the dynamic nature of Mercyhurst students and faculty.

“What sets us apart is our focus on evidence-based practices and actual clinical experience that students get to engage in with supervising faculty, said Johnson. “Being excellent is not due to one simple factor or person. It is working together as a team.”

The department is known for the strong personal connections they make with students to truly make Mercyhurst’s Education Department so special.

“We take teaching very seriously and have a passion for teaching. I think that really resonates in our students,” said Johnson. “The students themselves come out of the program with knowledge of the world, human relationships and really wide perspective on what it means to teach.”

Celebrating these programs and recognizing their strengths allows for improvements, innovations and continual growth.

“With the state of education the way it is today, we don’t have the luxury of being mediocre,” said Johnson. “Not every job gets to have the impact and personal relationships that we do.”

The department seeks to always maintain their standard for excellence through the programs and services they offer to students.

“We are very proud of where we are but always want to get better and expand the program,” said Roberts.