4/24/2014 2:16:34 AM

Siena Student First to Finish Dual Degree Program

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

By Mary Barrett '14

As the fall semester concluded, economics major Felipe Rasmussen Petterle ’14 made history. He became the first student to graduate with a dual degree from Siena College and FAE Centro Universitario in Brazil.

To expand its international horizons and offer greater opportunities for students interested in studying abroad, Siena College formed a dual-degree program with FAE Centro Universitario. The partnership allows students to complete requirements and earn degrees from both schools.

To make the program work, Siena and FAE Centro agreed on course equivalency that allows students to complete half of their studies in their home country and the other half abroad. So far, the institutions have worked out dual degrees for majors in economics, finance, marketing and management.

Petterle came to Siena’s Loudonville campus from Brazil in 2012. Upon his graduation this month, Petterle will earn a degree in economics from both Siena and FAE Universitario, and a world of possibilities for career success.

“I can have a job in any part of the world now,” said Petterle as he discussed the benefits of a dual degree. Though Siena College is very different from his home university, Petterle enjoyed living here. “I hope to have an opportunity to stay in the United States and learn more,” he said.

Like Siena, FAE Centro is a Franciscan university. “The Franciscan connection and capitalizing on the commonality of Franciscan culture helps the students to feel more at home,” said Siena College Director of International Programs Br. Brian Belanger, O.F.M., Ph.D.

Siena hopes that the partnership with FAE Centro Universitario will serve as a template for developing dual-degree programs with more Franciscan universities in the future.

Currently, there are four students from Brazil working on earning their dual degrees here at Siena, and the program is growing. Six more students are expected to arrive in January and upon graduation, like Petterle, they too will be able to increase their chances of obtaining a job in any part of the world.

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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