Sacred Heart launches new graduate center in Stamford


Sacred Heart University plans to have its new graduate center in Stamford open in time for the fall semester.

Sacred Heart University is expanding its presence in Stamford and Fairfield County, launching new graduate degree programs and additional courses, moving into new classroom space in the center of the city and increasing its involvement and outreach within the metro- and Stamford-area region and business communities.

The Sacred Heart University Graduate Center in Stamford will be located in Landmark Square, within walking distance of the city’s transportation center and near restaurants, shopping, businesses and Stamford’s many other downtown assets.

The graduate center will offer students access to many of Sacred Heart’s existing programs traditionally available at its main campus in Fairfield. These include the digital marketing and human resource management degrees offered through its John F. Welch College of Business, film and television offered through the College of Arts and Sciences and the Isabelle Farrington College of Education’s cohort certification program in educational leadership and administration.

“We are excited to increase our presence in Stamford,” said John J. Petillo, university president. “The new graduate center will offer greater options for our graduate students while giving us an opportunity to build on an already strong relationship with the Stamford community.”

Sacred Heart currently offers continuing education initiatives, limited undergraduate classes and corporate training in Stamford, in space located in the Riverbend section of the city. But the University’s expanded offerings, explained Provost Laura Niesen de Abruna, vice president for Academic Affairs, will include the new communication graduate programs and other classes.

They will feature a hybrid learning approach combining online and face-to-face evening and Saturday classes. An additional goal, de Abruna said, is to provide easier access for working students and professionals living in Fairfield County, as well as commuting students from New York City, Westchester and western and southern Connecticut.

“Beyond these dynamic, appealing, and contemporary communication degrees, four out of five existing SHU programs will be accessible immediately or in the coming year at the new Graduate Center, making it a hub for students who may find it difficult to commute to our Fairfield campus or attend day classes,” de Abruna said. “Sacred Heart University already has established a strong reputation for its service orientation, focused learning, internships, economic development and educational outreach with local businesses and communities. This isn’t just an off-site campus — we will offer accelerated, modular and creative programs that maximize opportunities for convenience and value, interact extensively within the region and will be a beacon for working adult students.”

The new graduate programs are another example of Sacred Heart’s innovation, responsiveness to changing marketplace demands and efforts to creatively meet students’ educational needs, according to John Chalykoff, dean of the John F. Welch College of Business.

“The Welch College of Business is excited to be offering two of its flagship masters programs — digital marketing and human resource management and a doctorate in business administration in finance — in Stamford,” Chalykoff said. “Stamford is a hub for digital marketing in Connecticut. This region has a concentration of small and large firms with HRM educational requirements, and our new graduate center also is the perfect location to serve the southern Connecticut and New York area with an applied doctorate in finance, which we anticipate offering beginning in 2014.”

“The inauguration of Sacred Heart University’s digital marketing program in Stamford is another validation of the City’s diverse business base, well-positioned for the 21st century economy,” Stamford Mayor Michael A. Pavia said. “From Stamford’s global companies, such as Starwood Hotels and Resorts to its many entrepreneurial startups, digital marketing is a key component of any company’s online communications and branding strategy. I am very pleased that Sacred Heart has made this worthwhile decision to expand its curriculum and locate in our city.”

Other degree work available through the Stamford Graduate Center will include a master’s degree in teaching. Coursework in teacher preparation and literacy specialist programs is also available, and a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) is planned for 2014. The Landmark Square location will offer 10,000 square feet of classroom, conference and administrative space. Sacred Heart expects to dedicate its new graduate center in late summer, and classes will begin for the fall 2013 semester.

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