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Norwin, Franklin Regional, Penn-Trafford districts join partnership with St. Vincent College

Joe Napsha
| Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 9:00 p.m.

Norwin, Franklin Regional and Penn-Trafford have joined the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit in a partnership with St. Vincent College that will provide benefits to the school districts, businesses and other organizations.

The Business Partners and Education Partners programs will benefit school districts in exchange for promoting the college's graduate education programs to their employees and welcoming St. Vincent students at their sites for professional placements, the college said.

School district teachers who are taking classes or pursuing degrees in counselor education, curriculum and instruction, instructional design and technology, school administration and supervision, science education or special education can benefit from this program at the Unity campus, the college said.

The Norwin School District is “excited to be part of the St. Vincent College Partners program, which formalizes our long-standing professional working relationship with the college,” Superintendent William Kerr said.

“We are pleased that several of our educators are enrolled in St. Vincent graduate classes and that we also have student teachers assigned to Norwin schools for field experiences. Our continuing partnership will be mutually beneficial, enhancing the quality of educational experiences for everyone involved,” Kerr said.

Penn-Trafford joined the partnership “because it provides a great opportunity for our teachers to receive graduate credits in our own backyard. These courses are conveniently offered on our campus at a discounted rate.

“This program will provide our teachers with professional development opportunities that will further increase the quality of our teaching staff,” said Scott Inglese, Penn-Trafford assistant superintendent.

Franklin Regional Superintendent Gennaro Piraino Jr. said that through the partnerships the school district has forged, “our students, staff and community benefit in so many ways. The opportunity for us to host interns and guide the development of pre-service teachers is a service that we believe to be a professional responsibility,” Piraino said.

The partnership provides an opportunity for Franklin Regional's administrators and teachers to have access to high level professional development opportunities brought in through St. Vincent's education department, Piraino said. The partnership also helps by giving Franklin Regional educators reduced tuition rates for graduate level courses.

“Overall, we are proud to have St. Vincent as a partner,” Piraino said.

Businesses benefit

The partnership program offers benefits to companies or corporations in exchange for promoting St. Vincent programs to their employees and having St. Vincent students enrolled in the Master of Science in management: operational excellence degree program at their sites for internships or professional placements. Greensburg-based Excela Health; the Institute for Supply Management — Pittsburgh; and NORMA Pennsylvania Inc., a Saltsburg manufacturer of stainless steel hose clamps and couplings for automotive and industrial application, already are enrolled in the program, the college said.

Partner employees who either reside or work in Westmoreland County will receive a 10 percent discount on their tuition for courses in the master's in education programs and get their first textbook free at the college bookstore.

Businesses, partner companies and school districts also will get a 10 percent discount on facility rental fees at the Fred M. Rogers Center for approved seminars or other nonprofit events that meet St. Vincent educational guidelines.

Employees from partner companies or organizations will have an opportunity for participation in on-campus networking events with other partners such as athletic, academic and theatre receptions.

Business and education partners will be asked to become an internship/placement site, consider offering internships or placements for St. Vincent students, the college said.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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