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PASSHE Universities Providing Free Tuition to All-PA Academic Team Community College Students

Contact: Kevin Hensil, khensil@passhe.edu

​Harrisburg, PA – Through a collaboration with community colleges, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities are providing free tuition to more than 30 students named to the annual All-Pennsylvania Academic Team. 

The annual program is part of PASSHE’s emphasis on supporting community college students transferring into bachelor’s degree programs at state-owned universities. 

“I congratulate each of the remarkable students named to the annual All-Pennsylvania Academic Team,” said PASSHE Chancellor Dan Greenstein. “Each student has achieved academic excellence and exemplifies the power and promise of public higher education and the expanding collaboration between State System universities and local community colleges. 

“The State System universities are proud to work with community colleges so students can seamlessly transfer to a state-owned university. It’s part of our commitment to providing a high-quality education at the lowest possible cost that meets the needs of the workforce and allows students of all ages to focus on learning and preparing for a bright future.”

PASSHE’s collaboration with community colleges
Earlier this year the presidents of all 10 State System universities and 15 community colleges in Pennsylvania signed a pledge that strengthens their collaboration to help students achieve their educational goals, reduce student costs and bolster the workforce. 

PASSHE universities also guarantee admission to any student who earns an associate degree from a community college in Pennsylvania. The student can transfer into a parallel program with full junior standing. Additionally, students who transfer to a State System university before completing their associate degree can use their university credits toward earning the associate degree from the community college where they started. Individual universities and community colleges also have further coordination agreements to support community college transfer students. 

More than 12,000 community college students have transferred to State System universities in the past five years.
2023 All-Pennsylvania Academic Team
Many of the students receiving free tuition at PASSHE universities are pursuing careers in fields with worker shortages, from healthcare and STEM jobs to business, education, engineering and social work. 
A few of the students are:
  • ​Alexis Clawson, transferring to PennWest California with a goal of becoming a forensics investigator. Alexis volunteers at her daughter’s elementary school and is a member of its parent-teacher association. 
  • Olivia Collins, transferring to Slippery Rock University with a plan to be an accountant and eventually own her own firm. 
  • Gina Ditalia, transferring to Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg with the desire to use her education to help formerly incarcerated people enter the workforce. 
  • Michelle Dixon, transferring to Shippensburg University with a goal to be a traveling construction engineer. 
  • Emma Hope, transferring to Kutztown University to study psychology with an emphasis on paralegal studies. 
  • Sydney Marie Hubbard, transferring to Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a long-term goal to attend medical school and become a physician. 
  • Jasmine Ramos, transferring to PennWest Edinboro, who will work as a case manager while earning a bachelor’s degree in social work with a goal to become a licensed clinical social worker. 
  • Amber Riley, transferring to West Chester University to study public health and build on her previous experience as a high school intern at the first veterinary oncology practice in the Delaware County region.
  • Calista Trout, transferring to PennWest Clarion with plans to become a licensed professional counselor.

Below are the PASSHE universities where All-Pennsylvania Academic Team students will receive free tuition.  

PASSHE UniversityStudentCommunity College
Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg  Gina DitaliaLuzerne County Community College
Commonwealth University-MansfieldHeather BlackmanLackawanna Community College
Indiana UniversityMaddison TrippButler County Community College
Indiana UniversitySydney Marie Hubbard Community College of Allegheny County
Indiana UniversityPaige KlingerWestmoreland County Community College
Kutztown UniversityEmma HopeLehigh Carbon Community College
Kutztown UniversitySiobhan HoughtonReading Area Community College
Kutztown UniversityEmely MorbanReading Area Community College
PennWest CaliforniaJessica WheelerCommunity College of Allegheny County
PennWest CaliforniaElena DupalyCommunity College of Allegheny County
PennWest CaliforniaBridget SlukaCommunity College of Allegheny County
PennWest CaliforniaJacee SerakCommunity College of Beaver County
PennWest CaliforniaEmma MartzPa. Highlands Community College
PennWest CaliforniaAlexis ClawsonCommunity College of Allegheny County
PennWest ClarionCalista TroutWestmoreland County Community College
PennWest EdinboroJasmine RamosHarrisburg Area Community College
Shippensburg UniversityBrianna DiGiacomoBucks County Community College
Shippensburg UniversityMichelle DixonHarrisburg Area Community College
Slippery Rock UniversityOlivia CollinsButler County Community College
Slippery Rock UniversityLucy RabakCommunity College of Beaver County
Slippery Rock UniversityKylee FaboPa. Highlands Community College
West Chester UniversityElivett Sanchez OrtizCommunity College of Philadelphia
West Chester UniversityAbigail ThomasCommunity College of Philadelphia
West Chester UniversitySteven FeeneyDelaware County Community College
West Chester UniversityAmber RileyDelaware County Community College
West Chester UniversityMegan GrantDelaware County Community College
West Chester UniversityAriel WhaleyDelaware County Community College
West Chester UniversityColleen SantosLackawanna Community College
West Chester UniversityEvangelique MyersLehigh Carbon Community College
West Chester UniversityTaylor BellegueMontgomery County Community College
West Chester UniversityMark PetrikNorthampton Community College​