Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

September 1, 1994

UPJ adds graduate courses in two areas

UPJ adds graduate courses in two areas

Graduate courses in two new areas, engineering and social work, are being offered for the first time this fall at Pitt's Johnstown campus.

The courses in engineering will be for credit, while those in social work will be non-credit, according to Linda Matthews, UPJ's director of Continuing Education.

In addition to engineering and social work, the Johnstown campus also offers graduate courses in nursing, and has done so for several years.

Matthews said the addition of the social work and engineering courses does not mean that UPJ will offer a full graduate program. "It was made very clear in the meeting with the Graduate Education Council that these would be courses," she said. "This was not an agreement to have a full program on campus. This was an agreement to have courses brought here." Consequently, all but one of UPJ's new graduate courses, an engineering course, will be conducted using a satellite link with the Pittsburgh campus. Students also will be admitted to the courses through the Pittsburgh campus. UPJ will be responsible for coordinating paperwork associated with the courses and supplying space for the classes.

Engineering and social work were chosen as the areas for the new graduate courses because of the interest expressed in them by both the public and employers in the Johnstown area. Since the courses were announced in September 1993, approximately 200 Johnstown area residents have expressed an interest in attending graduate courses at UPJ. Roughly half of them were interested in social work.

Even though there is a great demand for social work courses, Matthews said, classes in that area are being offered on a non-credit basis because, "It is going to take a little bit more negotiation with faculty and some of the staff to try to work out the social work credits." Engineering courses began Aug. 31 and include Issues in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Materials in Manufacturing Processes, Manufacturing Safety Engineering and Integrated Product and Process Development.

Graduate social work classes will not begin until October. Tentatively scheduled so far are Rural Social Work Practice on Oct. 18, Legal Issues in Social Work on Nov. 14 and Working with Batterers on Dec. 9.

Although no decisions have been made, chances appear good that UPJ will offer graduate courses in more fields in the future. Schools that have expressed an interest in offering graduate courses on the campus include education, business and library science. UPJ's new graduate courses are being offered as part of the John and Joyce Murtha Center for Continuing Education and Professional Development. John Murtha is the long-time Congressman for the Johnstown area.

"Even though it is named the John and Joyce Murtha Center, right now it does not look like that," said Matthews. "It is a program administered from this office, the Continuing Education Office." According to Matthews, the center is basically an education fund started by the nonprofit Johnstown Community Foundation.

Graduate courses are being offered because Congressman Murtha and other community and local business leaders, including Concurrent Technologies Corp., one of the region's largest employers, expressed an interest in having graduate level courses at UPJ.

John Manley, a member of the engineering faculty at the Pittsburgh campus, also was able to obtain a Department of Defense grant to help support the engineering courses.

The Johnstown Community Foundation's goal is to raise $1 million to support the center. Most of the money is to be raised through fund-raisers in Washington D.C., Johnstown and Pittsburgh. The only fund-raiser that has so far taken place was the one in Washington, which raised a little over $500,000, according to Matthews.

Scheduling of the other two fund-raisers depends on the availability of Congressman Murtha, who is chairperson of the House Armed Services Committee.

–Mike Sajna

Filed under: Feature,Volume 27 Issue 1

Leave a Reply