Notre Dame College Recognizes Educational Tradition, Innovation in Online Courses

Notre Dame College celebrated the Sisters of Notre Dame and their teaching tradition for continuing to set the standard of educational excellence in an electronic age.

The College’s Finn Center for Adult, Graduate and Professional Programs hosted “A Celebration of Learning” to recognize Sr. Karita Ivancic, SND, D.Min., associate professor of theology at Notre Dame, with a Finn Center Award for Excellence and Innovation in Online Education.

The event featured a presentation from Dot Garman, instructional designer at the Notre Dame, who showcased how she and Ivancic converted standard face-to-face coursework for a theology class into the online education medium.

During the session, Ivancic also discussed her experience teaching the synchronous TH250: “Spirituality Matters: Finding Our Inner GPS” course, during which students and professor communicate in real time via desktop computer, laptop, tablet or other mobile devices. The innovative course debuted in spring 2017 and has received the distinction of being a Quality Matters nationally certified course.

About 20 Sisters of Notre Dame, including College Board of Trustees’ members Sr. Margaret Mary Gorman and Sr. Mary Lisa Novak, joined another 20 or more College faculty and staff members on campus for the “Lunch & Learn” session and special tribute to Ivancic, conducted at the Finn Center in Regina Hall on the College campus. Gorman, SND, a 1971 graduate of the College, is provincial superior of the Sisters of Notre Dame Chardon province. Novak, SND, is mission effectiveness coordinator, for the Sisters of Notre Dame.

During the presentation, Garman and Ivancic stressed the importance of working closely and collaboratively in navigating the technical aspects of designing new and re-inventing existing traditional classes in online teaching format. Ivancic also emphasized the importance of the online educator creating a course and conducting classes in ways conversational, personal and engaging for both student and teacher.

Notre Dame’s Finn Center unifies services for adult and online education at the College providing convenient, flexible programs for educational advancement on days, nights, weekends and the Web. The center supports all students enrolled in Notre Dame’s professional development classes and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, post-baccalaureate programs and master’s degrees.

Under the leadership of Joyce A. Banjac, Ph.D., interim dean of the Finn Center and assistant professor in business, the center meets the unique needs of adult and online students including advising, registration and financial aid. Center staff are exclusively dedicated to supporting, coaching and assisting these enrolled students throughout their educational careers at Notre Dame.

The center is named after Sr. Mary LeRoy Finn, who founded Notre Dame’s weekend college (WECO) for working women in the 1970s. A visionary in adult education, Finn gave adults the opportunity to achieve and continue their education while balancing family life and work.

In addition to her faculty role in the theology department, Ivancic also is director emerita of choral studies at the College.

October 2017

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or



September 23
8:00 PM
Sunday September 23, 8:00pm
Regina Chapel - Regina Hall 3rd Floor
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