Student Success
Robert Morris University
Erica Snyder

"Robert Morris gives you a lot of opportunities to practice being in a classroom and managing relationships before you even start student teaching."

Erica Snyder thought she wanted to go far away from home for college. So she left Pittsburgh to study at the University of Alabama. 

But by the end of her freshman year, Erica realized that smaller classes and more interaction with faculty were important to her. So the education major transferred to Robert Morris University, just a few miles from where she grew up. And pretty soon, she was traveling again.

This time it was to Belize, where Erica taught third graders through an education study abroad program organized by the university’s Center for Global Engagement. “It was a great experience, but also a very humbling experience,” she says. “I had actually finished more schooling than the teacher I worked with.”

When she went looking for a teaching job, Erica was happy to discover that her RMU degree carried a lot of cachet in the district where she applied. The principal was pursuing an education doctoral degree at RMU, and the superintendent and assistant superintendent were already graduates of the program. She was hired.

Now a third grade special education teacher at Avonworth School District, Erica has gone on to earn a master’s in literacy with reading specialist certification and an autism spectrum disorders endorsement, all from the RMU School of Nursing, Education and Human Studies. “It’s helped me support the students in the best way possible,” she says.

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“Robert Morris played a significant role in getting me to where I am. They gave you everything you needed to succeed; it was up to you after that to take what you learned and run.”

“I just felt like I was not done in my academic journey and wanted to prove to myself that I could successfully achieve such a difficult goal."