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Message from the Head of School

Dear Friends and Family,

It’s a great joy and opportunity to be the Founding Head of School at Nazareth College and Career Prep, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and affiliated with Holy Family Institute, a century-old organization with a legacy of advocacy, social justice, and innovative programming across the Pittsburgh region. Our school is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused to bridge the education to employment skills gap in the Pittsburgh region where our students would otherwise be underprepared and are generally underrepresented. Through rigor, relevance and real-world learning, we transform learners into the region's next leaders.

All students deserve the opportunity to succeed in a rapidly changing world. When today’s students graduate, they’ll be asked to fill the jobs of tomorrow in roles we can’t even imagine. Young adults will be asked to tackle scientific and social justice problems like climate change and global poverty.

We believe that building a school focused on social justice and deeper learning is the key to preparing students to succeed in their post-secondary lives. Students at Nazareth College and Career Prep are engaged through a motivating, challenging, and experiential education that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers, and to become engaged citizens within and beyond the Pittsburgh region.

Our entire community participates in ensuring that Nazareth College and Career Prep is a thriving atmosphere, diverse in perspectives and ethnicity, as well as socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. We recognize diversity as an essential component of progressive learning organizations: the depth of our commitment to equity, social justice, and diversity infuses every conversation. We seek to build both character and a sense of responsibility in our students through holistic advisory and wellness programming.

In line with deeper learning philosophies, we have built strong partnerships with some of the city’s premiere corporate and nonprofit organizations, as well as learning organizations. Our students work and learn within this extended campus that we call the Network Campus Program at award-winning partners like Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and Carnegie Science Center. Through these partnerships and field-based learning, our students engage in meaningful service, career exposure, and skill building that provides students with meaningful opportunities to act and reflect. Our commitment to using the region as part of our extended campus is evident in that our students are off of the Nazareth College and Career Prep campus two days a week.

Through the combination of both on and off campus learning, we seek to build four deeper learning mindsets in our students. We believe that not only is deeper learning possible for every student, but it’s also measurable. Cognitive research shows that students learn more when they are engaged in their studies and see them as important - a deeper learning approach require learners to draw information from knowledge they have acquired and then do something meaningful with it; this is the new academic rigor of forward-thinking schools. New ways of evaluating what students know and can do, like electronic portfolios, student-led exhibitions, collaborative projects, and more effective assessments, are being implemented alongside validated standards of learning. Exposure to deeper learning opportunities prepares students to be successful professionals, thinkers, and citizens in their adult lives and prepared to pursue a traditional four or two year college or to enter into some other training program or directly into a career.

To prepare students for whatever pathway they choose, our curricular program and signature Internship Program helps students acquire both academic content knowledge and the skills required to critically deploy this knowledge and helps make Nazareth College and Career Prep affordable to all families. We encourage you to explore our website or view our annual report to learn more about Nazareth College and Career Prep’s unique model and innovative approach to learning that prepares today’s youth for tomorrow's world.

Sincerely,
Dr. Lisa M. Abel-Palmieri, PhD
Head of School & Chief Learning Officer
Abel-Palmieri.Lisa@hfa-pgh.org
412.307.0230 ext. 1017