The School of Education at Gannon University and St. Peter Cathedral School in Erie have announced a collaborative program that is designed to improve student learning at the school while offering enhanced educational opportunities to students at the nearby university.

Called the St. Peter Cathedral-Gannon Professional Development School, the program creates a means for students from Gannon University’s School of Education to bring the latest in educational best practices to St. Peter Cathedral School students under the careful direction of professors and evaluators.

Professional Development Schools combine the preparation of teacher candidates, professional development for practicing teachers, and research with the goal of helping all students learn. Students benefit because the knowledge, skills, and resources of both university and school are focused on meeting their needs. Students also benefit from teacher interns, mentor teachers, and university faculty who play active roles in the Professional Development School setting.

Gannon University’s School of Education will also conduct one professional development opportunity for teachers each semester. The principal collaborates with the teachers to determine the needs. The principal then works with the School of Education to plan the professional development. St. Peter Cathedral-Gannon Professional Development School will also explore specialized extended learning opportunities that can be conducted in after school programs or in summer camps for students and families at St. Peter Cathedral School.

The announcement comes during the observation of National Catholic Schools Week, the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States that celebrates the value that Catholic education provides and its contributions to church, community and nation.

One of many partnerships with the Erie Diocesan Schools, the association between the two educational institutions is a long and rewarding one. “As an elementary school literally in the shadow of Gannon’s campus, St. Peter Cathedral School is a logical and appropriate place to bring about a productive exchange of people and ideas,” said Carolynn Masters, Ph.D., RN, Gannon University’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.