Dear Friends of PASSHE:
Welcome to PASSHE News.
The leadership of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is dedicated to providing the best return on the Commonwealth’s financial investment by ensuring the highest quality academic experiences possible for the almost 120,000 students who choose one of our universities.
This e-newsletter is part of our efforts to keep you informed and up to date on all of the exciting developments that make that PASSHE goal a reality. There is a lot going on!
Approximately every two weeks you will hear from us. Conversely, we welcome your ideas for content and stories in order to make PASSHE News a valuable resource for you.
It has been a substantive and groundbreaking year for the State System and our universities. Despite the continuing financial challenges shared by everyone in our Commonwealth, PASSHE universities will remain the lowest-cost four-year institutions in Pennsylvania, and among the most affordable in the nation.
Sweeping legislation enacted this past June will provide critical tools to help update and modernize how our universities are permitted to operate to ensure we remain competitive with all of our peers. On all of our campuses, PASSHE university administrators, professors and students are working with their local communities and business leaders to respond to the needs of the ever-changing workforce and economy.
It’s an amazing fact that 90 percent of PASSHE students are Pennsylvania residents and that 80 percent of our students stay in Pennsylvania immediately after graduation.
Thank you for being one of our partners in shaping Pennsylvania’s future. I hope you enjoy PASSHE News and look forward to hearing from you so we can include your ideas and suggestions in future editions.
Dr. John C. Cavanaugh
PASSHE in the News
HEMA legislation gives PASSHE important new tools
As the final, important step in an 18-month long process, Governor Tom Corbett has signed into law a series of bills that will “modernize” the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), providing the 14 member universities new competitive and cost-savings opportunities, and granting them the ability to offer advanced degree programs designed to meet the specific needs of employers in their regions and the Commonwealth.
Passage of the measures – known collectively as the Higher Education Modernization Act – capped the most productive legislative session in PASSHE’s nearly 30-year history. All of the bills passed unanimously in both the House and Senate before being signed by the governor.
Taken together, the measures represent “the most significant legislative changes since the State System was created in 1982,” said PASSHE Board of Governors Chairman Guido M. Pichini.
“The unanimous, bipartisan support in the Legislature and the decision by Governor Corbett to sign each of these bills is a strong indication of how important they are to PASSHE,” Mr. Pichini said. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who was involved in getting us to this point. In the end, it will be our students who will benefit the most.”
PASSHE tuition increase matches inflation—again
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities will remain the most affordable option among all four-year colleges and universities in the Commonwealth after the Board of Governors agreed to match tuition rates with inflation for the fifth time in eight years.
Controlling costs, increasing efficiencies and garnering support from the Governor and Legislature permitted the budget-conscious decision that will ensure the cost of a PASSHE education will likely remain below the national average and significantly below the average in the Middle States region, which comprises Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The tuition increase for full-time undergraduate residential students is $94 per semester, or 3 percent.
“This action demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our students and their families, and to the Commonwealth,” said PASSHE Board of Governors Chairman Guido M. Pichini. “PASSHE universities will continue to offer high-quality education at the most affordable cost possible.”
The decision also honors PASSHE’s commitment to hold its tuition increase to within the rate of inflation in return for level state funding. The new state budget provides PASSHE nearly $420 million, the same amount it received last year.
Workforce Development: Building Pennsylvania’s future
Bloomsburg partners with community college, career and technical school to offer first-of-its kind technical degree program
Bloomsburg University’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership begins this fall at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC). The program, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, addresses a recognized need in the Commonwealth by providing technical professionals with the skills necessary to improve career prospects and effectively assume technical supervisory or management roles.
The program enables students who have earned Associate of Applied Science degrees from a community college to build upon that degree with courses in information technology, communications studies, accounting, business education, information and technology management and general education. The program also is open to those already in the workforce who want to advance in their careers.
The new BU program is a partnership with LCCC and the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI), both located in Schnecksville. All bachelor’s degree requirements may be completed at LCCC and students enrolled at LCTI can enter the program at the high school level.
Edinboro seeks to address region’s need for more skilled workers
Answering the call of regional employers and workplace developers for a better-educated, more-skilled workforce, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania has unveiled a brand new associate degree program that will be offered this fall in Erie and Meadville.
To help fill this long-established regional workforce need, Edinboro is offering an Associate of Applied Science in Applied Technology Degree program at its Porreco Center in Erie and its Parkside Commons facility in Meadville. The program, in collaboration with the Erie Institute of Technology, Meadville’s Precision Manufacturing Institute and other technical schools, was praised by officials of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, the Meadville-Western Crawford County Chamber of Commerce, the Northwest Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center, and area employers during separate news conferences this month in Erie and Meadville.
Under the new offering, developed by two Edinboro University professors – Drs. Peter Kuvshinikov and Richard Lloyd – technical training credits earned at PMI, EIT and other area vocational schools will transfer to Edinboro’s Erie and Meadville branches to be applied toward the AAS Degree, which is offered at a special reduced program rate.
Student Success: It’s what PASSHE is all about
Cal U’s Alexandra Brooks blossoms into leader
Alexandra Brooks has blossomed into a leader at California University of Pennsylvania, where she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Student Association Inc. and president of the Student Government Association. She’s also a member of the Homecoming Committee and the Alcohol and Other Drugs Coalition, among other activities.
A criminal justice major, Brooks is working toward a career as a juvenile probation officer, and she dreams of someday running an outreach program for at-risk youths. To prepare, she volunteers with at-risk children in Monessen, helping with homework and more, as she draws on some difficult family experiences from her past to provide good advice to kids.
“You don’t have to repeat the cycle,” she says. “You can be that person who says, ‘Enough is enough; this isn’t what I want for my life.’ You can move past this."
As a criminal justice major, she needs a lot of different kinds of real-world experiences, and volunteering is a great way to achieve that, she says. Brooks also has volunteered with AmeriCorps, which provides service opportunities and helps students pay for school.
She credits Cal U for honing the skills she needs to succeed in the classroom and beyond. Her advice to other students?
"Get involved. Don’t discount any opportunity with things like clubs and organizations, because you never know how that might benefit you someday. Volunteer, even if you’re not sure, and even if it doesn't seem like something that is directly related to what you want to do as a career. You never know who will be on that committee or forum who may provide a great professional network.”
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