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University News

Saint Joseph’s University and Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Complete Landmark Merger, Bolstering Healthcare Education Offerings

Marking the second acquisition in two years, Saint Joseph’s is reinforcing its commitment to educational excellence in healthcare, adding a school of nursing and allied health.

Female Saint Joseph's University nursing student in clinical center

Spring 2024

Total reading time: 2 minutes

Saint Joseph’s University completed a landmark merger with Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences (PA College), resulting in the acquisition of more than 15 new nursing and allied health programs. The acquisition, which follows closely on the heels of another successful merger with University of the Sciences, further expands Saint Joseph’s academic portfolio in the health sciences in the broader region and brings a bachelor’s-level nursing program to the University’s Philadelphia location.

“This merger not only continues PA College’s legacy of excellence in healthcare education in the Lancaster community, but also allows Saint Joseph’s to continue expanding our offerings in sought-after nursing and healthcare programs,” said Cheryl A. McConnell, PhD, president of Saint Joseph’s. “Together, we will educate and prepare the next generation of healthcare leaders, innovators and caregivers.”

Both Saint Joseph’s University and the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences are dedicated to educational excellence and share a passion for advancing healthcare. Students will benefit from a proven, accredited curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities and mentorship from experienced faculty, positioning them for success in their chosen healthcare careers.

“By combining our strengths with Saint Joseph’s, we can create a dynamic educational environment that fosters innovation, collaboration and hands-on learning,” said Melissa Snyder, DEd, FNP, CNE, former assistant dean of nursing at PA College and inaugural dean of nursing and allied health at Saint Joseph’s. “This partnership will undoubtedly shape the future of healthcare education in Lancaster, Philadelphia and beyond.”

In addition to the merger agreement, Saint Joseph’s has penned two additional agreements: one with Lancaster General Health and one with Penn Medicine. Lancaster General Health and Saint Joseph’s are committed to future students and patients through a joint healthcare-education pipeline, which will continue to provide a pathway to rewarding, financially secure careers for Lancaster-area residents. The strong affiliation agreement allows for tuition benefits and clinical placements and the two organizations will engage in ongoing conversations to address evolving healthcare workforce needs. Additionally, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine) will reserve clinical placements in the Philadelphia metropolitan area for Saint Joseph’s Hawk Hill nursing students. Additional clinical placement sites are anticipated to be announced in the coming months.

PA College has prided itself on its excellent licensure exam (NCLEX) passage rates being among the best in the nation and state in nursing at 97.62% for 2022-2023 BSN students. Saint Joseph’s will continue to uphold these high educational standards, bringing its own excellent liberal arts foundation and strong Jesuit roots.

For more information about the merger and the new healthcare programs offered, please visit

University News

University to Welcome Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech on Campus

Partnership opens up opportunities for experiential learning and interprofessional programming.

Teacher reading a book with a young student

Spring 2024

Total reading time: 2 minutes

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech’s Philadelphia site will relocate to Saint Joseph’s University’s Hawk Hill campus, providing opportunities for experiential learning and interprofessional programming between both institutions. A renovation of 5414 Overbrook Avenue will provide a customized space for Clarke students to learn and play.

Since their founding in 1867, Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech (Clarke) has prepared children who are deaf or hard of hearing to succeed in mainstream schools and the wider world. Rather than employing sign language as a means of communication, the national nonprofit teaches its students how to listen and talk.

Children served by Clarke use hearing-assistive technology, such as cochlear implants and hearing aids, to access sound, and Clarke’s specially trained teachers of the deaf, audiologists and speech-language pathologists help them develop listening, literacy and spoken language skills to maximize their learning.

“We’re at the nexus of education, special education, technology and healthcare,” said Judy Sexton, head of programs and schools and interim president for Clarke. “Our goal is to get our students into mainstream schools by kindergarten or first grade and then provide support for them in those mainstream settings.”

This partnership expands opportunities for SJU students to participate in experiential learning while serving the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing community at Clarke.

Joshua Power, BS ’05, EdD ’16

Dean, School of Education and Human Development

Clarke’s mission aligns with Saint Joseph’s programs in special education, deaf and hard of hearing education (MS), communication science and disorders (BA), and early childhood/elementary education (BS, MS), as well as the University’s plans to launch a graduate program in speech and language pathology in coming years.

“We look forward to exploring mutually beneficial programming in the coming months when Clarke joins us on Hawk Hill.” said Joshua Power, BS ’05, EdD ’16, dean, School of Education and Human Development. “This partnership expands opportunities for SJU students to participate in experiential learning while serving the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing community at Clarke.”

Possibilities could include student-teaching placements, classroom presentations and observation, or development of a speech clinic. The partnership is also an opportunity for the two schools to jointly address the national teacher shortage.

“There's also a shortage of teachers of the deaf, and those students who are exploring early education, communication disorders and speech language pathology are often the students who, if they know that becoming a teacher of the deaf is a career opportunity, will explore it,” Sexton said.

Following the move of Saint Joseph’s ELS program to the University City location, which better suits its programmatic needs, Clarke will reside on Saint Joseph’s Hawk Hill campus. Both programs add rich diversity to the campus community and expand academic opportunities.


Learn more at


University News

Philadelphia Eagles and Saint Joseph's University Announce New Partnership

Student-development program and collaboration around autism initiatives headline "Official Higher Education Partner of the Philadelphia Eagles" agreement.

Barbelin Hall lit up green in support of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Spring 2024

Total reading time: 2 minutes

The Philadelphia Eagles and Saint Joseph’s University, a distinguished academic institution with deep roots throughout the region, have agreed on a multi-year partnership that will designate the school as the Official Higher Education Partner of the Philadelphia Eagles.

As part of the new agreement, the Eagles and Saint Joseph’s will establish a student-development program in which students will participate in defined internships, associate roles and game-day positions designed to provide valuable experience in many facets of sports marketing. A lecture series, led by members of the Eagles front office, will engage students across various curricula and extend to other members of the University community. The Eagles will assign annual projects, allowing students to engage in strategic initiatives within the organization to help cultivate the skills and experience needed in the sports industry.

“We are proud to welcome Saint Joseph’s as the Official Higher Education Partner of the Philadelphia Eagles,” said Brian Napoli, senior vice president of corporate partnerships, Philadelphia Eagles. “Saint Joseph’s is a highly accredited, top-ranked institution widely regarded for its commitment to academic excellence and preparing students for professional success. We look forward to advancing the careers of those in our region, and supporting the Philadelphia community, through our partnership.”

“This agreement with the Philadelphia Eagles allows Saint Joseph’s to advance our commitment to student success across our various schools and disciplines,” said James Carter, PhD, interim provost. “We are honored to partner with an esteemed NFL organization to offer our students exceptional learning experiences.”

The partnership will also include a collaboration between the Eagles Autism Foundation and the Kinney Center around experiential learning, neurodiverse employment and funding opportunities.

“Joining the efforts of our trailblazing Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support with those of the inspiring Eagles Autism Foundation will have an immense impact on the field of autism and those affected by it,” said Cheryl A. McConnell, PhD, president of Saint Joseph’s. “We are proud to join with an organization so embedded in the region with a like-minded mission of community engagement.”

Saint Joseph’s University will receive a prominent branding presence at Lincoln Financial Field through in-game signage.

University News

Saint Joseph’s Names New Residence Hall After African American Educator, Evangelist and Social Justice Advocate

The name was publicly announced at a ceremony on All Saints Day.

Portrait of Sister Thea Bowman

Spring 2024

Total reading time: 3 minutes

Saint Joseph’s University announced the name of its new first-year residence hall at a community-wide celebration on Nov. 1, 2023. Slated to open in fall 2025, the over 500-student residence will be named Sister Thea Bowman Hall in honor of the late educator, evangelist and social justice advocate.

“For many years, we at SJU have been inspired by the life of Sister Thea Bowman, having a lecture series named for her in 2014 that featured the experiences of African American women in the academy,” said Daniel R.J. Joyce, S.J. ’88, vice president of mission and ministry. “We are now happy to join with the National Black Catholic Congress to recognize Sister Thea as a candidate for sainthood as we present her as an example of service and holiness to all of our students with this lasting legacy and inspiration in the naming of our new residence hall.”

Honorary degree recipient Sister Cora Marie Billings H ’17, a contemporary and lifelong friend of Sr. Bowman who has been a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas for 65 years, offered remarks on the exemplary life Sr. Bowman led.

“Whatever gift you have, whatever thing you can give of yourself, that’s what you do for God. And Thea did that all of her life — she was always giving back to God and God’s people,” said Sr. Billings at the ceremony held on All Saints Day.

Sister Thea Bowman Hall is one of numerous current projects in Saint Joseph’s campus master plan, a decade-long transformation to enhance the student experience. Its location adjacent to the Maguire-Wolfington Welcome Center will create a picturesque quad for students and community members to enjoy.

View of Saint Joseph's new first-year residence hall quad and dorm
The new first-year residence hall is specifically positioned to take advantage of the serene landscape and mature trees available in front of the Maguire-Wolfington Welcome Center, creating a quad for students to enjoy just out their back door.

About Sr. Thea Bowman

Sister Thea Bowman seated in a wheelchair
Sister Thea Bowman seated in a wheelchair 

Born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, in 1937, Sr. Thea Bowman (birth name Bertha Elizabeth Bowman) was a professor, advocate of racial equity and powerful force for inclusivity in the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council.

She joined the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration at age 15 as its first and only African American nun, later going on to earn a bachelor’s, master’s and PhD as part of her religious formation.

She was an educator for 16 years before being invited by the bishop of Jackson, Mississippi, to become a consultant for intercultural awareness for the diocese. The granddaughter of a slave, she gave presentations across the country aimed at breaking down racial and cultural barriers and celebrating each other's differences.

In 1984, Sr. Bowman was diagnosed with breast cancer, but that didn’t stop her from spreading the word of God; she vowed to “live until I die.” The year before she passed in 1989, she was invited by the U.S. bishops to be a key speaker at their conference on Black Catholics. She was also profiled by “60 Minutes” in 1987.

Sr. Bowman was declared a Servant of God by the Vatican in 2018 — the first of four steps in becoming a saint. She is one of six African Americans being considered for canonization.


University News

Saint Joseph’s University Celebrates 30 Trailblazing Hawks Under 30

Saint Joseph’s announces inaugural 30under30 class

Various students featured in Saint Joseph’s University’s inaugural 30under30 class.

Spring 2024

Total reading time: 1 minute

Saint Joseph’s University proudly unveiled its inaugural 30under30 class, a distinguished group of alumni under 30 years of age, who are embracing the University’s mission in their own lives. This remarkable cohort showcases the transformative power of a Saint Joseph’s education through personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.

As a Jesuit higher education institution, Saint Joseph’s inspires its students to be leaders in their communities and industries. To accomplish this, the University continues to evolve and grow to meet the demands of the next generation of students who will shape the world.

“When I first reviewed this 30under30 class, one overarching commonality jumped out: the intellect, confidence, preparation and compassion that these graduates demonstrate as a result of their education,” said Cheryl A. McConnell, PhD, president of Saint Joseph’s. “This personal and professional development can be hard to quantify, but we see it manifest in our tremendous outcomes.”

According to a study, 10 years after graduating, Saint Joseph’s alumni earn salaries that rank in the top 2.5% in the nation. Beyond career growth and success, Saint Joseph’s graduates also display a lifelong passion for service and a commitment to impacting the greater good.

For more information on the inaugural 30under30 class, visit