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Mercyhurst, Syracuse announce innovative partnership

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences at Mercyhurst University announces a partnership with The School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University intended to attract more students to today’s high-demand information management fields.

Mercyhurst and Syracuse are scheduled to make the agreement official during a 9:30 a.m. signing ceremony on Tuesday, March 15, at Mercyhurst’s Erie campus.

“A partnership between these two institutions, known for being among the top schools in information studies and intelligence studies in the country, is ripe with opportunities,” said Mercyhurst University President Michael Victor. “Both have a long tradition of leading innovation and change and we look forward to a fruitful collaboration.”

With acceptance in the iSchool’s “Fast Track” program, Mercyhurst undergraduates will have the opportunity for accelerated study toward a Master of Science degree in Information Management from Syracuse. Also available will be a Master of Science degree in Library & Information Sciences, including an optional specialization in School Media.

Under the plan, Mercyhurst students would take two recommended graduate courses during the summer between their junior and senior years. As seniors, they would take online graduate courses, one in each of the fall and spring semesters, which Syracuse is offering at a 100 percent tuition award. Upon graduation, Mercyhurst students would attend Syracuse and complete their master’s degree within one year of full-time study, rather than two. They also have the option of entering the workforce and taking courses part time or online to complete the degree.

“I can see our intelligence studies and computer systems undergraduate students having an interest in the program, but since the study of information facilitates advancement in so many fields, I anticipate students from all different majors would be interested,” said James Breckenridge, dean of the Ridge College, which recently restructured to house majors in communications and mathematics and computer systems, among others.

iSchool Interim Dean Jeffrey M. Stanton said, “I’m so pleased that we are able to join forces with Mercyhurst on this program. I believe that Information Management is the perfect complement to the programs offered by the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences. I know that Mercyhurst graduates will bring fresh perspectives to their graduate classes here at the iSchool."

Through the new agreement, Breckenridge said he expects Mercyhurst’s internationally known intelligence studies program to gain increased visibility among Syracuse undergraduates who may be interested in the university’s graduate program in applied intelligence.

Mercyhurst’s intelligence studies program is the largest of its kind in academia. Its graduates can be found in national security, law enforcement and business positions worldwide. It maintains a number of pioneering collaborations, including participation in an international security and intelligence program at the United Kingdom’s University of Cambridge; a curriculum sharing initiative with the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Canada’s leading public safety educator; and other research and work-related initiatives with partners of the university’s  Mercyhurst in Ireland program.

The iSchool at Syracuse aims to transform the information field through leadership in research, development and education. It boasts more than 50 faculty members instructing over 1,400 students participating in graduate and undergraduate programs in information policy, information behavior, information management, information systems, information technology, information services, library science, data science and information security. It is ranked No. 11 in best online degree programs for graduate computer information technology by U.S. News and World Report for 2016.

PHOTO: (L-R) Syracuse iSchool Assistant Dean Susan Corieri, Mercyhurst Provost David Dausey, Mercyhurst President Michael Victor, Syracuse iSchool Dean Jeffrey Stanton; James Breckenridge and Randy Clemons, Dean and Associate Dean of the Ridge College, respectively.