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Northern Pennsylvania Regional College

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Providing Endless, Affordable Educational Opportunities for the Region’s Workforce

Northwestern and North Central Pennsylvania are home to many of the best views the entire state offers. From sunsets along Lake Erie to hiking through the Allegheny National Forest, the scenery is truly breathtaking. Most residents in these communities live a blue-collar lifestyle, working in industries like manufacturing and the service industry.

However, the journey to achieve a college degree for many in this region has become increasingly difficult. With factors such as price increases and limited accessibility, many individuals cannot chase after their dream careers and lifestyles because of various barriers. With the establishment of Northern Pennsylvania Regional College (NPRC) in 2017, northern Pennsylvania residents now do not have to travel far or accumulate the same amount of debt to achieve a college degree.

NPRC President Susan Snelick believes in the College’s model and how it helps to bring affordable education options to students. “NPRC seeks to meet students wherever they are in their education journey. This encompasses meeting them in their communities, on their career path and through our innovative technology,” she says. “We are fortunate that our model was designed for sustainability across our more rural footprint. By utilizing state-of-the- art technology in the classrooms of our various partners we can deliver synchronous education to our students. Our model allows for affordability while investing our resources in quality education rather than campuses.”

NPRC is a two-year, open enrollment college offering associate degrees, certificates and workforce development programs in nine northern Pennsylvania counties. With flexible scheduling options on top of more than 20 instructional locations, attending NPRC is an excellent option for individuals interested in furthering their education close to home. With a growing team of high-quality, industry leading instructors directing classrooms, NPRC students are empowered by a welcoming community to change their lives.

What the Numbers Say

Filling a unique niche of both degree paths and workforce development training programs, NPRC serves community members who may be first-generation college students all the way to industry leading professionals.

“We serve these different areas well too, with 83 percent of students who responded to our post-graduation survey indicating they were already employed prior to graduation,” explains Snelick. “To achieve those degrees, we have found ways to make a college experience even more affordable, including having over 50 percent of our textbooks available at no cost to students, providing distance learning field kits for various courses, and recently suspending institutional fees for the next two years.”

Earlier this year, NPRC held its first in-person graduation ceremony to honor more than a dozen graduates with their associate degrees and certificates.

NPRC’s Future Outlook

Presently, Northern Pennsylvania Regional College is actively pursuing accreditation. Becoming candidates for accreditation will allow NPRC to be eligible to complete the processes necessary for approval to award federal and state grants and loans to enrolled students. To best serve students who have an interest in continuing their education, the College is working with other higher education institutions in the region to provide a direct pathway toward additional degrees after their time at NPRC. On July 28, NPRC signed an articulation agreement with the Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania, recently integrated Bloomsburg University, Lock Haven University, and Mansfield University, that permits the direct transfer of approved coursework to their institution.

The degrees, certificates and programs offered allow learners to contribute directly to the region’s workforce and beyond. More specifically, the Workforce Development programs help to train individuals in high- demand occupations and retain these workers.

“It is a special time in the young history of Northern Pennsylvania Regional College,” notes Snelick. “Our student outcomes in academics paired with various workforce development options help to make NPRC a unique gem in the region. The future is bright for the College, and we know many more wonderful things are on the horizon.”