History of the Graduate School
The Graduate School was established at Westminster College in 1944. The first classes were offered during the summer of 1945, and the first degree was awarded in 1946. The program was instituted as a service to public school teachers within convenient driving distance of the College. At that time, no educational institution between Pittsburgh and Cleveland offered graduate work. There proved to be a demand, and by 1950 more than 100 graduate students were enrolled in a well-organized program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction. Courses leading to the certification of guidance counselors were later approved. In 1959, the State Council of Education approved extending the Graduate School to include courses leading to provisional elementary and secondary principal certificates. Subsequent approval was granted to prepare superintendents. In 2019, the Graduate School began offering the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree to help prepare students for business leadership roles.
Westminster provides the opportunity for a number of selected students to do advanced study and research leading to the degree of master of education, during both the regular academic year and the summer session. Programs are offered for the preparation of principals, superintendents, guidance counselors, and reading specialists K-12 combined with special education specialist PreK-8. A master's degree in education is offered for elementary and secondary teachers.
The Graduate School seeks to create a community of learners in which stimulating and challenging expectations are addressed in a positive, caring, and encouraging environment that is respectful of all individuals. The faculty seeks to model the personal attributes, professional habits, and pedagogical practices which distinguish the administrative, teaching, and counseling professions at their best. Meaningful classroom experiences, opportunities with children, adolescents, and/or adults, and mentors, and partnerships with schools and agencies will enable the students to make connections between academic work and the fields of education and mental community health counseling.
It is the goal of the Graduate School to facilitate the professional development of business professionals, teachers, reading specialists, administrators, school counselors, and clinical mental health counselors. This is a journey in which students continue to develop the knowledge, demonstrate the skills, and assume the attitudes of business professionals, professional educators and clinical mental health counselors.
The nobility and significance of the preparation of business professionals, professional educators and clinical mental health counselors is acknowledged as the demands for service to an ever-changing, diverse, global, and technological world increase.
Objectives of the Graduate School
The general purpose of the Graduate School in education and for clinical mental health counseling at Westminster College is to increase the competence of teachers and to develop those competencies appropriate for school program administrators, reading specialists, and school counselors, and to prepare them to assume greater responsibility and more vigorous leadership in the educational enterprise.
Within the context of the liberal arts and in accordance with the stated purposes of the College, the Graduate School ensures the acquisition of specific competencies required in the several certification programs by developing the spirit of scientific inquiry, stimulating original and independent thought, enlarging understanding of the processes involved in human development, deepening perceptions of social and cultural phenomena, building a sound educational philosophy, and identifying and responding to major educational issues.
Westminster College's Master of Business Administration (MBA) objective is to prepare students for management and/or high-level business careers in the public and private sectors, emphasizing thoughtful and ethical leadership principles.
Each area of certification in the Graduate School includes components in philosophy, psychology, research, and enrichment. Specific standards related to each program have been developed by the faculty and meet requirements for program approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and are also designed to meet the standards of the Ohio Department of Education.