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DU Offers New Teaching Degree in Business, Computer and Information Technology

A new degree for teachers, focusing on technology and business needs in grades K-12, is being launched at Duquesne University this fall.Offered as both an undergraduate and graduate program, the state-approved Business, Computer and Information Technology (BCIT) specialty certifies teachers in computer applications and business courses, including subjects such as:

  • kindergarten through middle school computer applications
  • databases
  • entrepreneurship
  • keyboarding
  • marketing
  • Web design
  • business English and communications
  • business math
  • consumer economics
  • accounting
  • banking and finance
  • career planning.

Duquesne becomes one of 15 institutions in the state to offer this K-12 Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) instructional certificate. “We do consider BCIT an area of need in Pennsylvania since there is a high request for emergency permits in this area that has remained relatively consistent,” said Mary Herster, PDE certification coordinator. In the 2006-07 school year, 28 percent of all BCIT certificates issued were emergency permits, Herster said, and demand has continued.

Duquesne’s new degree program, a joint venture of Duquesne’s schools of education and business, will help to address this need while meeting the gold standard of its field. The School of Education’s Leading Teacher Program is fully certified by the National Council for the Accreditation of Education and the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business has long been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The program provides three areas of expertise: business, instructional technology and education courses, explained Dr. David Carbonara, assistant professor of instructional technology in the School of Education, who was instrumental in developing the program. Drawing on strengths in courses already offered in the schools of education and business, the new degree emphasizes not only knowledge of business and technology, but how to use technology to teach children and how to educate other teachers, including those already in the classroom, to use technological tools.

“We feel this program offers both the individual and the school district great flexibility in an area of growing need,” Carbonara said.

As a former assistant school superintendent and currently assistant business professor at Duquesne, Dr. Ron Surmacz, who worked with Carbonara to develop the program, observed that local schools have been challenged to find teachers with business education certificates, yet a significant number of undergraduate business majors were interested in teaching and sought this certification.

“When you’re spending thousands of dollars on a computer lab, you need someone who knows how to run it,” Surmacz added. “The more skills these folks have, the more utilized the equipment will be.”

The fall’s incoming freshmen students can start directly in this program. Students already enrolled in education and business programs at Duquesne, as well as those interested in the Master’s of Science in Education Degree in this area, may obtain more information by calling 412.396.1995. General information on the School of Education is available online at www.duq.edu/education.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.