GMercyU Education Students and Faculty Visit Harrisburg for Teacher on the Hill Day

Teacher Day on the HillOn Tuesday, April 9, GMercyU Education faculty members and students traveled to Harrisburg, Pa. for the annual Teacher on the Hill Day. The event was co-sponsored by PAC-TE (PA Association of Colleges and Teacher Educations), PA Education Diversity Consortium (PEDC), and PA Council of Administrators of Special Education (PA CASE). GMercyU representatives were amongst 60-70 other participants from several Pennsylvania colleges and universities.

The purpose of Teacher on the Hill Day is for students to meet face-to-face with state lawmakers to advocate on issues of great concern to educators. The primary areas of focus for this year’s event included:

  • Full support for proposed budget for the recently established student teacher stipend program for those enrolled in education preparation programs throughout the Commonwealth
  • Full support for proposed budget for “Grow Your Own” teacher development initiatives, which include partnerships between school districts and university partners in supporting candidates for teaching degrees and certifications
  • Embedded in the above issues is the idea of diversity in the education workforce in Pennsylvania
  • GMercyU representatives specifically wanted to acknowledge past support that lawmakers had for the University in securing funding for capital projects with RACP grants and to ask for continued support in grant proposals under review

Josey Banner, GMercyU’s Director of Foundation, Government, and Corporate Relations, arranged for GMercyU faculty and staff to meet with State Senator Maria Colette and Representatives Liz Hanbidge and Mary Jo Daley. In addition, the group heard from the co-chairs of the House Education Committee, dropped off literature with two dozen other lawmakers, and attended a press conference in the Capital Rotunda.

“I believe the fact that our students had a personal story to share regarding each of these issues really hit home. Our students truly stood out as leaders, even among the other colleges,” shared Patrick McAleer, EdD, Certification and Placement Specialist/Adjunct Professor.