Blog

Focus on: Lehigh Carbon Community College

Each month, the Commission highlights one of Pennsylvania’s 14 public community colleges.

This month, we share information about Lehigh Carbon Community College.

Pennsylvania’s Community Colleges React to Governor’s Budget Announcement

Pennsylvania’s Community Colleges React to Governor’s Budget Announcement 

HARRISBURG— Leaders of Pennsylvania’s 14 public community colleges are concerned of the impact that level funding proposed by Governor Wolf in his 2017-18 budget will have on their schools and communities.  The community colleges enrolled nearly 327,000 students last year in both credit and non-credit classes, and the sector is the largest public provider of higher education in Pennsylvania.

While recent, incremental increases in the state’s appropriation for community colleges have been welcomed, they have not kept pace with inflation. At the same time, many local sponsors have decreased their contributions to the colleges.  For the 2017-18 budget, the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges (PACCC) requested a $28M increase in the operating appropriation for the colleges and a $2M increase in their capital appropriation for 2017-18.

The community colleges are currently funded below 2008-09 levels, even before accounting for inflation. The colleges have implemented numerous cuts on their campuses as state and local funding has shrunk while expenses rise. Despite these challenges, in 2015-16 the colleges conferred more than 17,000 awards – an 18% increase over awards conferred in 2008-09. The statewide average tuition at community colleges is $3,070 for 2016-17 – nearly half the cost of Pennsylvania’s other public postsecondary offerings.

“Community colleges are constantly re-evaluating and retooling our course offerings and operations to ensure that we are in alignment with community and workforce needs,” said Luzerne County Community College President Tom Leary, who serves as board chair of PACCC. “We have been tightening our belts and looking for efficiencies in every corner of our budgets for years – it is integral to our mission, which is to provide a quality, low-cost, accessible higher education for Pennsylvanians.”

Despite their critical role in the Commonwealth education and workforce systems, the colleges receive the lowest per-student resources from the Commonwealth.  For the 2016-17 fiscal year, the Commonwealth’s per-student funding at community colleges averaged $2,570 compared to per-student funding of $3,352 at state-related universities, $4,405 at state system universities, and $13,641 at other publicly-supported institutions of higher education.

“An investment in Pennsylvania’s community colleges is an investment in Pennsylvania’s future,” said Elizabeth Bolden, the president and CEO of the PACCC. “If the Commonwealth is to sustain its economic recovery and attract new industries, it must invest in the institutions and programs that provide highly-skilled and trained employees to support those industries.”

Capital funding for the colleges is also proposed to remain static. The $2M increase requested by the Commission would have been the first increase in capital funding since 2013-14. A 2014 survey of the capital needs of the colleges determined that they had a capital need of more than $700 million.

“This is only the first step in the budget process,” said Leary.  “We remain hopeful that the General Assembly and the Wolf Administration can work together to increase funding for the community colleges in the final budget.”

###

The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a voluntary membership association for Pennsylvania’s community colleges.  Its members include the college presidents, members of the colleges’ boards of trustees, and key college administrators.  The Commission represents the interests of and advocates for the collective needs of the community colleges to federal and state policymakers.  For more information, please visit www.pacommunitycolleges.org.

Focus on: Northampton Community College

Each month, the Commission highlights one of Pennsylvania’s 14 public community colleges.

This month, we share information about Northampton Community College.

Pennsylvania’s Community Colleges Reach Out to Students of Shuttered Schools

Pennsylvania’s Community Colleges Reach Out to Students of Shuttered Schools

HARRISBURG— Many of Pennsylvania’s 14 public community colleges are reaching out to students whose for-profit colleges recently closed their doors.  Since late August, three for-profit colleges with 13 campuses in the state– Cambria-Rowe Business College, DuBois Business College, and ITT Technical Institute, have closed.

Pennsylvania community colleges with locations near the shuttered campuses are taking steps to reach out to those students who are interested in continuing or completing their education.  The colleges are working with state and federal regulators to formulate plans to determine the best options for displaced students.

“Pennsylvania’s community colleges truly reflect the needs of their communities,” said Luzerne County Community College President Tom Leary, who also serves as Board Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, “and assisting these displaced students helps to further our mission of increasing access to quality, affordable higher education in Pennsylvania.”

Last year, Pennsylvania’s community colleges served nearly 314,000 students from every county in Pennsylvania. The average annual tuition and fees at the community colleges for 2016-17 for students in sponsored districts is $4,132.71 – a fraction of the cost of attending a for-profit college.

A brief outline of Pennsylvania community college outreach for students affected by for-profit school closures is below.  The list is accurate as of September 8, 2016, but colleges may add additional sessions as they see fit.  Contact information for the colleges may be found at the hyperlinks, or in the body of the list where a link is not listed.

In addition, the United States Department of Education has an information page for displaced ITT students, and is offering webinars through September 22.

Community College Outreach for Students Affected by For-Profit Closures:

Community College of Allegheny County – The college is providing orientation/information sessions at CCAC Allegheny Campus on the North Side on Thursday, September 15 and Tuesday, September 20. The CCAC West Hills Center in Oakdale will host information sessions on Tuesday, September 13, Wednesday, September 21, and Tuesday, October 4.

Community College of Beaver County – The college will hold an open house for ITT students on Wednesday September 8 from 4-6 pm in the Community Education Center Board Room. The college is working with individual students on a case-by-case basis and will engage students by utilizing social media and traditional media. The College Admissions office may be reached at 724-480-3504 or admissions@ccbc.edu.

Bucks County Community College – Hosted an information night for ITT students on Wednesday, September 7, with approximately 20 students in attendance.  The College will information sessions on Thursday September 15 at the Lower Bucks Campus from 6-8 pm and on Wednesday September 21 at the Newtown Campus from 3-5 pm. Interested students may contact Admissions Director Marlene Barlow at 215-968-8137 or Lower Bucks Campus Executive Director Jim Sell at 267-685-4801.

Butler County Community College – The college is working closely with Dubois Business College Students at the Dubois & Oil City Campuses. They are also hosting ITT sessions at Lawrence Crossing on Monday, September 19 at 6:00 p.m., and at LindenPointe on Tuesday, September 20 15 6:00 p.m.

Delaware County Community College – The college has posted contact information on their website for displaced ITT students.

HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College – HACC will work with students on an individual basis, and reach out to students using a variety of print and digital tactics including billboards, web videos, media outreach, and social media messages. Students can contact Allen Norton, Admissions Counselor at ajnorton@hacc.edu or 717-780-2409.

Lehigh Carbon Community College – The college will work with students on an individual basis. The Admissions office may be reached at admissions@lccc.edu or 610-799-1575.

Luzerne County Community College – The college will hold information sessions at Scranton and Nanticoke campuses on Monday, September 12 and Tuesday, September 13.

Montgomery County Community College– The college will host information sessions on Wednesday, Sept. 14at MCCC’s West Campus, and  Thursday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Central Campus.

Northampton Community College – Interested students should contact James McCarthy, Director of Admissions, 610-861-5506, jrmccarthy@northampton.edu

Penn Highlands Community College – The college worked with Cambria Rowe students during their transition, and 40 former CRBC students are currently enrolled at Penn Highlands. The College is ready to assist ITT and DBC students.

Community College of Philadelphia – The college will host a “Fast-Track to Enrollment for ITT Students Day” on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Students may visit www.ccp.edu/itt, fill out the form, and an Enrollment Services representative will be in touch.

Reading Area Community College – Students can contact Kay Litman, Dean of Enrollment Management, at 610-372-4721 x5073 or Klitman@racc.edu.

Westmoreland County Community College – The college will accept Cambria Rowe students, and is assisting ITT Tech students. “Westmoreland 101” information sessions will be held at all locations September 14 from 6-7 p.m. There will be a transfer day for ITT Tech students at the college’s Bushy Run Center on Tuesday October 11 from 2-6 p.m. The college will accept ITT Tech credits and encourages students to meet one on one with college staff to discuss transfer options. Students can call 724-925-4077 to schedule an appointment with an admissions counselor. The college will host a credit evaluation day on September 20 from 2-6 pm at the New Kensington Center. The college is also creating a special 8-week session of classes that will align with ITT Tech programs starting October 17. Classes will be held at the New Kensington and Bushy Run Centers, as well as online.