For immediate release
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Professional Development Organization grant will aid two key career development programs in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Carlow University was awarded $886,892 from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Professional Development Organization Grant (PASSHE PDO) through the Office of Child Development and Early Learning for scholarships and supports for childcare providers who are attending a college or are enrolled in university programs. Supports include textbooks, tutoring support, a full-time workforce coordinator and an apprenticeship coaching website.
Part of the grant will support Carlow’s Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program, Pennsylvania’s first four-year apprenticeship program, which helps to improve childcare employee retention, reduce barriers for workforce entry and increase diversity in teacher candidates. Improved access to quality early childhood education, a vital foundation for a child’s future success, is a central objective.
“It can be difficult for some childcare providers to support the financial aspect of their own higher education efforts,” said Carlow University President Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD. “One of Carlow’s core values is to seek practical ways of addressing need. This grant will help us to take action and support childcare providers who are striving to reach their full potential.”
This first-of-its-kind program serves as a model for similar programs in Pennsylvania. As part of the rollout, Carlow University works with local community colleges to develop a smooth transition for students who work in early childhood education. For parents, it means the potential for high quality, affordable and accessible childcare.
Grant funds will also be allocated for a Southwest Apprenticeship coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Innovation and Workforce Development, which works to build and advance careers better suited to respond to the new reality of the COVID-19 digital landscape. Southwestern Pennsylvania residents are poised to benefit greatly from this program that is aimed at educating displaced workers.
This workforce development program offers credentials, certificates, apprenticeship programs and professional development to students. Success relies on innovative industry partnerships with area businesses including Pittsburgh International Airport, UPMC and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.
“These programs bring value to our region at a critical time,” said Program Director Rae Ann Hirsh, DEd. “With this grant, Carlow University will serve as a catalyst for early childhood staff looking for degree attainment and a lifeline for individuals who wish to gain valuable and practical skills to make them a more competitive candidate when entering the post-COVID-19 workforce.”
About Carlow University
Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929, Carlow’s curricula and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in two colleges: the College of Health and Wellness and the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Health and Wellness includes the departments of Nursing, Respiratory Care, Healthcare Data Analytics, Health Management, and graduate degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and the Physician Assistant programs. Graduate programs in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy will soon be added.
Carlow University also believes in the education and growth of students both inside and outside the classroom, where they can join student government, clubs, and academic honorary societies where they can develop skills in judgment, leadership, analysis, decision-making, and communication. For student-athletes, Carlow’s 14 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.
This project is supported by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and Pennsylvania’s Department of Education (PDE). For more information, visit dhs.pa.gov and education.pa.gov.