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UPG, St. Vincent link to educate students aspiring to be teachers

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 12:54 a.m.

Students at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg who want to become teachers now can take advantage of a new partnership with St. Vincent College near Latrobe.

The two schools — one a state-related university and the other a private college — have signed a formal agreement that allows qualified UPG graduates to earn secondary education certificates in English or social studies/citizenship at St. Vincent.

"We like this agreement," said David C. Schmidt, spokesman for UPG. "I think it's good for both schools and for our students clearly, and it helps us in that we don't have to go out and start an education program here when we can take advantage of an education program right next door.

"It's a good example of resource sharing, and it's good for the students and the parents who are paying the tuition, and in some ways, we think it's good for the taxpayers," he said.

UPG students who earn baccalaureate degrees in English or in the social sciences can go on to earn their secondary education certification if they have at least a 3.0 quality-point average and pass the Praxis examination in their certification area.

In addition to majoring in English or social sciences, students must take educational methods classes while at UPG, a branch campus located in Hempfield Township.

At St. Vincent, the UPG graduates will complete their student teaching and professional seminar and four additional classes.

UPG students will receive a discounted college graduate rate for the St. Vincent classes.

"We're excited about it," said Don Orlando, spokesman for St. Vincent College. "We think it's going to be a nice opportunity for the two schools to work together to benefit the students."

Schmidt said the idea came from UPG's vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Mark McColloch, who wanted to work out an agreement with an area school to help Pitt-Greensburg graduates become certified teachers.

UPG officials found St. Vincent's program was strong and that many students already were going there for certification, Schmidt said.

Schmidt said students will start the new program as soon as they can. The number of students who will take advantage of the agreement is not known.

He added that UPG hopes to add additional certification areas with St. Vincent in the future.

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