CNR Graduate School Celebrates 40 Years
by Sr. Martha Counihan, O.S. U.
It was a need for Westchester-area teachers qualified to teach reading and for art teachers to have more than a BA which gave the impetus for the founding of CNRís graduate programs. June of 1969 found 17 students registered for the MA in art. Sister Justin McKiernan, OSU guided the nascent graduate art program and encouraged the inclusion of Art Therapy into the curriculum as hospitals and nursing homes sought skilled personnel in this area. Initially, faculty of SAS taught many graduate courses, but soon, numbers in the graduate programs necessitated a more specialized and separate faculty.
The MS program in Education began in 1970. Dr. Catherine Haage of the (SAS) Education Department knew that New York State at that time had no requirement for training in the teaching of reading, and educatorsí concern about widespread reading failure was at a critical point. The NY State Education Department law was about to change to require training in reading for certification. The expected 30 students in the first class were met by 146 men and women in the registration line. Within a few years, new programs and concentrations were added as Westchester area adults sought professional degrees in traditional and new areas.
From its inception, the Graduate School sought to serve students with work and family responsibilities; classes were and are scheduled for late afternoon, evenings and weekends year round. Small classes have always been the norm. The 1971-72 Graduate Student Handbook provided important information. An interesting note: there were three public telephones available for graduate student use on campus!
Presently, the full time faculty of the Graduate School is assisted by adjunct specialists in the divisions of Art and Communication, Education, and Human Services. Advanced Certificate programs are also available in each Division for those already holding a masterís degree. A Professional Diploma is available for a School District Leader. CNR Graduate School faculty are experts in their areas of expertise; most have created publications, exhibitions, and presentations that enhance their particular discipline and teaching.