A company can create an innovative product with high-tech equipment in the most modern facility, but if it doesn’t employ a trained, well-educated workforce, the chances are it won’t go far. Here, Susan Snelick, president for the Northern Pennsylvania Regional College, talks about the value of affordable and convenient education for employees, employers and the community at large.
The Northern PA Regional College was officially established in May 2017, but its beginnings started years earlier. Tell us about how it came to be.
NPRC developed out of the Education Consortium of the Upper Allegheny (ECUA) with the vision of delivering open admission and low cost, high-quality education/training opportunities to the residents of northern Pennsylvania. The college, now known as NPRC, was approved to operate as a college in the Commonwealth in 2017 and received formal authorization as a degree-granting institution in 2019. NPRC is now pursuing institutional accreditation.
Please share the mission and philosophy of the Northern PA Regional College today.
Our mission is to provide affordable and accessible post-secondary education to the residents of northern Pennsylvania. Our flexible, career-focused curriculum and quality instruction creates meaningful face-to-face classroom experiences and meets employers’ needs for skilled workers. By doing so, we create greater opportunities to help retain and attract residents to our region. Our employees and communities partner together to support our students’ success in school and in life.
Tell us about your enrollment and what makes the Northern PA Regional College so attractive to students.
Many students may have competing interests on top of attending college. The biggest thing that sets NPRC apart is the way we advise. The constant contact and reassurance that they are never on their own while going through their education journey is a great benefit. The smaller class sizes and the accessibility to staff and faculty is important because they like being able to work their jobs and raise their families, while still being able to get a college education without having to leave their communities.
What are some key programs that are unique to the Northern PA Regional College?
Our Associate of Applied Science in Applied Technology is one of our newer programs. It has a focus in Industrial Maintenance. We know that manufacturing technology advances constantly and our program incorporates training with the most current technology and equipment used in our region’s manufacturing industry!
What are some new classes being introduced in 2021?
NPRC was just approved by the PA State Fire Academy as an educational training agency, so we are excited to begin planning for these new public safety courses in our Workforce Development Department. We are also seeking the addition of a human services course for direct care workers.
The Northern PA Regional College is planning to establish a facility in Erie this year. Tell us more.
Our facility in Erie is located at 5739 West Ridge Road and includes state-of-the-art precision machining and industrial maintenance technology labs, an early childhood education lab, science lab, Nurse’s Aide and medical lab, and 14 general classrooms equipped with video technology. We are excited to begin holding classes there this fall. Our grand opening will be on November 4. We’ll have more details soon!
Is there anything you would like to add?
We focus on keeping courses affordable, but many students still find it difficult to participate in post-secondary education. Students who enroll at NPRC may be eligible for a variety of financial assistance, including Institutional Aid, support through PA CareerLink® centers, program-specific scholarships and tuition assistance, and even local scholarship.
What is the best way for our members to learn more?
You can visit our website at http://discoverNPRC.org or give us a call at 814/230-9010.