Program Overview

Hands on, Faith Based, Forward Looking.

Whether you’re learning to teach online classes, gaining valuable experience teaching abroad in Austria, or leading local middle school students in coding workshops, you’ll have no shortage of opportunities to put theory into practice as a future teacher in Franciscan’s education program. What’s more, you won’t have to wait until your senior year. Our dynamic program gives you the opportunity to work with students starting your sophomore year, while our classes equip you with the many teaching strategies you’ll need to reach a diverse student audience. Finally, you’ll benefit from a curriculum integrating a Catholic understanding of human dignity into every teaching situation, helping your students be formed in body, mind, and spirit.

Four Different Licensure Programs:

Early Childhood (Pre K-3)

Middle Childhood (Grades 4-9)

Adolescent to Young Adult (Grades 7-12)

Intervention Specialist (Mild/Moderate needs)

Career Development Program

Freshman: Building the Career Foundation

  • Introduction to Career Services personnel.
  • Become familiar with testing/assessments that will be required.
  • Attend Resume/Cover Letter Seminar.
  • Explore at least three education related career options using resources, family and friends.
  • Start a Career Planning portfolio documenting names and contacts and records of activities.
  • Maintain through graduation.
  • Establish a Board of Advisors.
  • Collect info on internships, summer jobs, volunteer positions, etc. which will help build the resume.

Sophomore: Planning Your Career

  • Meet with Career counselor. Provide resume draft.
  • Complete the Myers-Briggs assessment and workshop.
  • Complete the Personal Development Plan and review with Career Counselor.
  • Attend the Interview Seminar.
  • Attend the Job Search Seminar.
  • Complete the “Perfect Interview” module.
  • Find and research four skills an employer requires in a teacher.
  • Use networking and informational interview techniques.
  • Update portfolio.
  • Use the Board of Advisors.
  • Read one book and journal on career planning recommended by faculty or Career Services.
  • Join a professional education association and become an active member.
  • Consider an internship/summer job related to education for the summer.
  • Activity involvement to support teaching career.

Junior: Job Search Strategy and Preparation

  • Meet with career counselor. Review resume/cover letter and draft of career goal essay.
  • Complete the Job Search Planning and Information sheet and submit to Career Services.
  • Review the Personal Development Plan with Career Counselor.
  • Review the Networking for Job Prospects information.
  • Attend Career Fairs.
  • Complete Mock Interview.
  • Research additional skills.
  • Use Networking and informational interview techniques.
  • Update portfolio.
  • Ask former employers/professors to serve as references/write recommendations.
  • Use the Board of Advisors.
  • Read professional/technical journals in education.
  • Obtain a related internship or summer position.
  • Activity involvement to support teaching career.
  • Obtain info on licensure for State other than Ohio.
  • Build clothing wardrobe.

Senior: Decision and Transition

  • Meet with career counselor and review job search strategy. Provide professionally duplicated resume/cover letter.
  • Review the Personal Development Plan.
  • Attend the Job Offer Evaluation Seminar.
  • Attend Career Fairs.
  • Attend the Transitioning to Employment Seminar.
  • Network for Job Prospects.
  • Update & use portfolio.
  • Obtain recommendations from supervising teachers.
  • Use the Board of Advisors. Make contact with faculty, board and career office on post grad plans.
  • Research school districts consistent with career direction. Complete employer prospect list with names and addresses.
  • Implement Job Search Plan with Career Counselor.
  • Apply for licensure.
  • Continue to build wardrobe.
Weirton Christian Center Collaboration Program

Teaching student teaching students

Do you want to gain firsthand experience teaching children using your creativity? Do you want to learn how to foster a love of reading and a spirit of innovation in the classroom?

As an education major at Franciscan University, you will find many opportunities to do this. One, a new partnership between Franciscan’s Education Department and Weirton Christian Center (WCC) in nearby Weirton, West Virginia, allows education students to teach children using games and books.

Students taking Content Area Reading, EDU 320, create and implement big books for children using lesson plans they design and classroom concepts about reading development and embedding literacy into other content areas. When the books are completed, the education students read them to the children at WCC, experiencing firsthand how to foster a love of reading in children.

Educational games are another way to connect with young learners. Students taking Activities, Games, and Rhythm for the Young Child, EDU 215, design educationally relevant yet fun games for children based on lesson plans they create and on what is taught in class about play development and tenets of Universal Design for Learning. When the games are complete, the students play them with the children at WCC, gaining firsthand experience in cultivating creativity in the classroom.

“This new collaboration with WCC gives education students the chance to get hands-on, real world application using materials they created and using those interactions to further strengthen their materials and put into practice what they are learning in their courses here at Franciscan,” says Dr. Megan Reister, assistant professor of education. WCC 2Student painting with younger students

Reister says the new bond brings mutual benefits. “The Education department is able to provide its students with applicable, real world activities in the community, and the children at WCC get to interact with big books and exciting new games while learning new educational concepts. Some of the education students have even expressed an interest in volunteering at WCC, so new relationships are being formed at many levels as a result of this new collaboration,” she says.

Nearly 50 education majors participate in both courses each semester.

Chiron Society

The Chiron Society was founded to provide opportunities for students majoring in education to participate in professional development activities, such as, attending conferences, and arranging for speakers or authors to present on campus, and to participate in community service activities.

Education Majors Make a Difference in Steubenville

Chiron Society places small library in parkLending Library As a community service project, education majors in the Chiron Society collaborated with English majors in Sigma Tau Delta to give people in Steubenville a chance to read a great book. The student clubs teamed up to hold a book drive to fill four lending libraries with a wide range of books, including children’s books, novels, teen and adult books, and religious books, including a Catholic Bible.

Brittany Schultz of Denver and Harry Olenick of Weirton, West Virginia, co-presidents of the Chiron Society, said they wanted to reach as many people as possible with a wide range of books.

“It was hard, when we were sorting the books, to not read them,” laughed Olenick as he and Schultz described their love of reading, which they wanted to share with the community.

Education professors Dr. Tiffany Boury and Professor Susan Poyo helped facilitate the project along with Dr. Kathryn McVey, education chair.

Franciscan University’s Physical Plant Services pitched in to build, install, and donate the four little libraries at two parks, a senior center, and the Martin Luther King Recreational Center in Steubenville.

The student project culminated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Jim Wood Park attended by faculty, students, Physical Plant Services employees, and Steubenville Parks and Recreation staff.

The Chiron Society keeps the lending libraries well stocked by encouraging Franciscan University faculty and staff to donate books.

Teaching in Austria

Julia Gonzalez Austria EducationTaking charge of a classroom is a vital experience for every education major. At Franciscan University, you have two opportunities to do this; once during your student teaching senior year, and earlier, if you choose to participate in Franciscan University’s study-abroad program in Austria. There, amidst the grandeur of the Austrian Alps, you will have the opportunity to teach at one of six Austrian schools. And you don’t need to worry about missing great traveling opportunities! You will still be able to go on pilgrimages and tour Europe while studying and living at the Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu during your semester abroad in Gaming.

This invaluable teaching experience will immerse you in the Austrian culture as you teach English and possibly math to students in the nearby towns of Gaming and Schiebbs. With support from an Austrian teacher, you will teach a class of 12-25 students in vocational school or at a level between kindergarten and eighth grade.

Coordinated by Education Department Chair Dr. Kathryn McVey and assistant professor of education Dr. Tiffany Boury, the English Learners In Specialized Atmosphere (ELISA) program in Austria has become one of many cutting-edge opportunities you are given as a student in Franciscan University’s Education Program. Students in this program, says Boury, gain indispensable experience “that mimics what they may someday experience in their own classrooms when welcoming an English as Second Language student.”

Gabrielle Lund, a Franciscan graduate who piloted ELISA in 2010 and is currently working in the Peace Corps in the Gambia near Senegal as a primary teacher trainer, says that teaching in Austria broadened her perspective of systems and approaches to education. “The Austrian field experience gave me my first taste of working with English language learners,” she shared, explaining that she currently works in classrooms where students from different tribes and of different languages are “learning English and learning in English for the first time.” To enable her students to learn, she says, she applies strategies she learned in Austria.

Additionally, education majors are offered the unique opportunity to tutor international students enrolled in the Language and Catechetical Institute (LCI), which is also based at the Kartause in Gaming. Founded in 1992, the LCI equips Catholics in Eastern Europe and beyond to renew and rebuild the faith in their own countries. In tutoring these students with guidance from LCI co-director professor Jenny Healy, you will learn to apply invaluable one-on-one teaching skills in a culturally diverse and faith-filled atmosphere.

So why should you study education at Franciscan?

“We live in a big and beautiful world,” says Lund. “As future educators, you will have the opportunity to share your world experiences with your students. You can only open eyes and broaden perspectives as far as your own eyes have seen. The Austrian field experience will equip you with unique skills in an ever-globalizing world and give you experience with English language learners, a growing audience of students.”

As you take advantage of the challenging and international experiences Franciscan offers, the scope of lives you can touch and change as a teacher significantly and continually broadens.

Oath of Fidelity
Pope with teachers
BOTTOM ROW: Dr. Megan Reister, assistant professor of education; Dr. Susan Poyo, associate professor of education; Prof. Rebecca Rook, instructor of education; Dr. Mary Kathryn McVey, Education Department chair; Dr. Tiffany Boury, associate professor of education; TOP: Dr. George Ash, associate professor of graduate education; Fr. Sean O. Sheridan, president, Franciscan University of Steubenville; Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, Diocese of Steubenville.

It was an historic moment when six members of Franciscan University’s Education Department stood before Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton of Steubenville at the 2018 Orientation Weekend Mass and one by one, placed their hands on the Book of the Gospels to declare, “In my words and in my actions, I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.”

Since 1989, when the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith first required those directly connected with teaching Catholic doctrine to profess their adherence to the magisterium, the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith have been publicly taken by Franciscan University theology faculty and pastoral personnel. Ever since, all new theology and pastoral ministers took the oath, and more recently, philosophy and sacred music professors have taken the oath as well.

Now, add to that list Franciscan’s undergraduate and graduate Education Department faculty.

Dr. Mary Kathryn McVey, chair of the Education Department, said that while the Education Department is one of Franciscan’s professional programs, and therefore, not directly connected with teaching Catholic doctrine on faith and morals as stipulated by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, its identity “is still in Christ and the Catholic Church.”

“With this oath, we affirm we have this Catholic and Christian worldview that flows through every aspect of our lives, including our teaching,” said Dr. Susan Poyo, associate professor of education. “It reminds us to look through a Catholic lens in every aspect of our teaching.”

For education professor Dr. Megan Reister, “The oath becomes a way to show we’re not keeping religion separate from creating our syllabi, our assignments, and how we model ourselves to students. It means our Catholic identity is integrated into everything we do as educators.”

McVey said the department spent a year in study and discernment leading up to the public profession, beginning with a summer retreat attended by all education faculty members. A task force was created to provide direction, speakers presented information on a range of pertinent topics, and the educators researched Church documents related to education and studied new ways to deepen Catholic identity more explicitly into the curriculum.

Finally, the Education Department voted unanimously to participate in the Oath of Fidelity, including non-Catholic faculty members who cannot take the oath.

“It was an inspirational moment watching my colleagues take the Oath of Fidelity,” said Dr. Mark Furda, director of Graduate Education Programs. “As a non-Catholic at Franciscan, the University has warmly welcomed me. In turn, I have embraced the university mission and have grown spiritually in my own faith. I have found that my values of focusing on truth and the whole person are congruent with those of Franciscan, and I strive to integrate these into my classes.”

Professor Rebecca Rook, who teaches math education, summed up the thoughts of several of her colleagues on the oath’s connection to the education program’s mission: “It’s important we educate the next generation of teachers so they can teach in light of the Gospel and are able to encourage the next generation to preserve the deposit of faith.”

Academic Catalog

View the Education Program on the Undergraduate Catalog

Alumni Profiles
Ethically Formed. Prepared to Serve. Trained to Lead.
Undergraduate Education Faculty
Dr. Boury

Dr. Tiffany Boury

Associate Professor

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Dr. McVey

Dr. Mary Kathryn McVey


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Dr. Susan Poyo

Dr. Susan Poyo

Associate Professor

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Dr. Reister

Dr. Megan Reister

Associate Professor

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Dr. Rebecca Rook

Dr. Rebecca Rook

Assistant Professor

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Dr. Sobeck

Dr. Emily Sobeck

Assistant Professor

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