In an effort to enhance clinical opportunities for its early childhood education majors and to provide a vibrant artistic-based preschool experience for the Erie area’s PreK children, the Mercyhurst University Education Department has forged a new cooperative agreement with Mercy Center of the Arts.
In collaboration with The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West – and the current staff at Mercy Center of the Arts, Mercyhurst will oversee the hiring of a new director for the center, who will also be a faculty member in Mercyhurst’s education department. Mercyhurst will also use the center as a resource for its teacher candidates, who will be assigned there for clinical experiences.
The opportunity for the collaboration arose when Sister Catherine Edward Delaney, RSM, administrator and co-founder of the Mercy Center of the Arts, 444 E. Grandview Boulevard, approached the university prior to announcing her plans to resign. The center under Sister Catherine Edward’s direction has been delivering arts-based education to enhance the growth and development of young children in the Erie region for more than 42 years.
“It is time for me to step aside from the day-to-day operation of Mercy Center of the Arts,” she said. “Over the years the program has continued to thrive because it respects the child and focuses on awakening the wonder – setting each precious child on a path in search of knowledge through the beauty of the arts, music, science and dramatic movement. I know a new leader of the center under Mercyhurst University’s Education Department will place it in the best of hands.”
Mercyhurst University President Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D., said the new arrangement, which becomes effective June 1, will not only continue the center’s time-honored mission but “provide a vibrant educational laboratory that will train and educate our future PreK teachers.”
Meanwhile, current Mercy Center of the Arts faculty Cathy Dugan, Debbie Lindvay and Farhat Azam will continue in their teaching positions. More information will be available during the Spring Open House scheduled for Sunday, April 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the center.
For additional information, contact Leanne Roberts, Ph.D., associate dean of the Hafenmaier School of Education and Behavioral Sciences, at 814-824-2448.