SHU Celebrates Opening of New Graduate Center in Stamford

From left are John F. Welch College of Business Dean John Chalykoff, Vice Provost for Special Academic Programs Mary Lou DeRosa, Trustee Linda McMahon, President John J. Petillo, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Laura Niesen de Abruna and Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia.

News Story: October 23, 2013

Sacred Heart University celebrated the grand opening of its new Stamford Graduate Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 22. Guest speakers included Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia and Sacred Heart University President John J. Petillo. A tour of the campus was followed by a reception.

This fall, SHU significantly expanded its presence in Stamford and Fairfield County by 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 is 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 offers students access to many of Sacred Heart’s existing programs traditionally available at its main campus in Fairfield. These include SHU’s digital marketing and human resource management degrees offered through its John F. Welch College of Business; film and television—the first and only master’s degree of its kind in Connecticut—offered through the College of Arts and Sciences and the Isabelle Farrington College of Education’s popular cohort certification program in educational leadership and administration.

“We are excited to increase our presence in Stamford. The new Graduate Center offers greater options for our graduate students while giving us an opportunity to build on an already strong relationship with the Stamford community,” said University President John J. Petillo, adding that he expected the Center to continue to grow and eventually expand its square footage.

SHU previously offered 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, includes the new communication graduate programs and other classes. They feature a hybrid learning approach combining online and face-to-face evening and Saturday classes. An additional goal, she stressed, 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.”

Pavia reflected that as a graduate of Sacred Heart, it is exciting to see the new Graduate Center in the heart of Stamford. “I am constantly hearing from people who are looking to improve their skills and increase their value in the workplace. At the same time, I hear from companies that are looking for workers with certain skills. Sacred Heart will fill that niche and create a synergy that will be valuable for all involved,” he said.

In addition to the MBA program that will be offered in Stamford, new graduate programs are another example of Sacred Heart’s innovation, responsiveness to changing marketplace demands and efforts to creatively meet students’ educational needs, said 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 (HRM—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.”

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.