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We believe that teaching is both an art and a science. The high-quality curriculum offered through Mercyhurst's Department of Education will prepare you for a successful career in early childhood, middle childhood or special education. You’ll receive valuable, real-world, clinical experiences as part of a curriculum developed on current best practices and research from the field of education. You’ll also begin observing and participating in local classrooms as early as your freshman year.

It’s our mission to develop educators who are intellectually and spiritually sensitive, as well as professionally and socially responsible. As future role models for our youth, we aim to create teachers who wish to help their students grow and develop. We teach our students to be effective educators, with the knowledge of the world, an understanding of human relationships, and a wide perspective encompassing the humanities, arts and sciences.



Education majors at Mercyhurst are encouraged to join organizations that offer opportunities to be involved with their peers while gaining invaluable experience.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) promotes the welfare and education of exceptional children and youth. CEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.

The Mercyhurst University CEC is directly involved with the greater Erie community providing social opportunities to high school students and young adults through expanding sociability opportunities events, organizing Special Olympic events though out the year, and making professional opportunities available to members.

CEC is open to all Mercyhurst University students interested in service on behalf of individuals with disabilities.


Susan Johnson, M.S. Ed., Instructor of Special Education, CEC advisor
Office location: Hirt 300 A
Phone: (814) 824-3371


Kappa Delta Pi

Kappa Delta Pi promotes scholarship and excellence, supports the development and dissemination of important ideas and advancements in practice, fosters the professional growth and leadership of its diverse membership, encourages identity and reflection on critical issues in education, and maintains a high degree of professionalism among its members.

Our local chapter has won two national awards. The Society, as a community of scholars, is pledged to these worthy ideals: (a) recognizing scholarship and excellence in education, (b) promoting the development and dissemination of worthy educational ideas and practices (c) enhancing the continuous growth and leadership of its diverse membership, (d) fostering inquiry and reflection on significant educational issues and (e) maintaining a high degree of professional fellowship.

Any student of sophomore standing or above, with a G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher, who is majoring in any field of education is invited to consider joining the International Honor Society in Education (Kappa Delta Pi).

Education majors who are invited to join Kappa Delta Pi enjoy many benefits, including:

  • Affiliation with Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.
  • Eligibility to apply for $100,000 which is annually awarded to members in the form of scholarships
  • Provides members access to professional educators with valuable professional resources throughout their careers
  • Speaking engagements with Laureate Members
  • Access to current research and news on educational issues
  • Opportunity to attend the KDP Annual Conference to hear some of the most highly recognized educators in the field including Howard Gardner, Robert Sternberg and many others.

Kathleen Bukowski , Pd.D., Dean of the Hafenmaier School of Education & Behavioral Sciences, associate professor of education
Office location: Hirt 300 F
Phone: (814) 824-2019
E-mail: kbukowski@mercyhurst.ed

A degree from Mercyhurst prepares you for this exciting and dynamic career.

Major(s) Early Childhood Education PreK-4
  Early Childhood Education PreK-4 and Special Education PreK-8
  Art Education K-12 Major
  Music Education K-12 Major
  World Languages – French, Spanish K-12 Major
  Five-year (4+1) Bachelor with Master Degree Program in Secondary Education
Concentration(s) Middle Childhood Education (4-8) English - Language Arts Concentration  
  Middle Childhood Education (4-8) Mathematics Concentration
  Middle Childhood Education (4-8) Science Concentration
  Middle Childhood Education (4-8) Social Studies Concentration
Certification(s) K - 12 Business / Computer / IT Education Certification

Ready to begin your journey in education?  Apply online today -- it's free and getting your application started takes only a few brief minutes.  Interested students may also consult the course catalog for more information.  As a liberal arts institution, all undergraduate students complete Mercyhurst's core curriculum

The mission of the Department of Education at Mercyhurst University is to develop teachers who are intellectually and spiritually sensitive, professionally and socially responsible; namely, those who seek to bring out these same qualities in their own students. To accomplish this mission, our teacher preparation program enables pre-service teachers to facilitate grown in intellectual curiosity, self-confidence, knowledge, responsibility, and interpersonal relationships.

We aim to prepare pre-service teachers who, upon graduation, are highly skilled in both the art and science of teaching.

  • Create and facilitate a quality lesson plan
  • Articulate a personal teaching philosophy statement
  • Assess PreK - 4 Early Childhood and PreK - 8 Special Education student performance
  • Demonstrate personal ethical and professional standards in a school setting
  • Plan for and implement differentiated instruction for students with special needs in a PreK - 4 Early Childhood and PreK - 8 Special Education
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theories associated with child development, teaching and learning in a PreK - 4 Early Childhood and PreK - 8 population

Carpe Diem Academy

About the Academy

The Carpe Diem Academy, an extended learning opportunity for students in kindergarten through second grade, currently runs at Diehl, Edison, Lincoln and McKinley Schools in Erie, Pa as part of Mercyhurst University’s ongoing efforts to enhance the quality of life in the community. The Academy was launched by Mercyhurst University in January 2012 due to a grant of $1.5 million from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The Academy is open four days a week from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and available to approximately 60 students per school on a first-come first-served basis. The staff includes one site director, a certified teacher who is enrolled in Mercyhurst’s graduate program; and clinical support teachers who are Mercyhurst education majors in high standing. Students from Mercyhurst’s pre-service teacher education program provide small group instruction and one-to-one support as they fulfill clinical requirements.

Teaching teams execute a math and reading curriculum, facilitate arts and cultural experiences in partnership with local organizations, conduct daily health and wellness activities and provide a healthy snack and dinner. The Carpe Diem Academy involves many community partners, among them is the Arts Erie, the Erie Art Museum, Jump Bunch Sports and Fitness, and Penn State CORE.


Alan Karns
Director of Field Placement
Office: HC 300F
Phone: (814) 824-2452

Dr. Kathleen Bukowski
Professor Emeritus

Dr. Phillip J. Belfiore
Professor of Special Education

Gleck Williams
Adjust professor
Office: HC 2447

Jane Blystone
Assistant Professor Chair, Graduate Studies in Secondary Education Director of Undergraduate Middle Level Education
Office: U-300 D Hirt Academic Center
Phone: (814) 824-3631

Leanne Roberts
Associate Professor Department Chair, Education Department Associate Dean, Hafenmaier School of Education and Behavioral Sciences
Office: U-300 Hirt
Phone: (814) 824-2448

Sarah Howorth
Assistant Professor of Education

Susan D. Johnson, ABD
Assistant Professor of Special Education
Phone: (814) 824-3370

Timothy Frawley
Associate Professor
Office: U-300 H Hirt Building
Phone: (814) 824-3108

Tom Kitchen
Assistant Professor of Special Education - Mercyhurst University Director of Autism Support Initiative
Office: Hirt 300 C
Phone: 824-2054