Job Prospects For Luzerne County Grads? Cashier Tops The List

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Graduating and looking for a job in Luzerne County?

Your best bet: Cashier. Second best bet: Retail salesperson. Keep going down the list; with few exceptions, the fastest growing occupations around here are in low-paying, low-skill jobs.

Or you can scan the state’s “High Priority Occupations” list for the county, an attempt “to align workforce training and education investments with occupations that are in demand by employers, have higher skill needs and are most likely to provide family sustaining wages,” according to the state Department of Labor & Industry.

Of 2,202 projected annual openings in 111 high priority occupations ranging from accountants to welders, 1,419 of them — 64.4 percent — generally require no more than a high school degree, valuing on-the-job training more.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1408957/Grads-face-rough-job-market

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MCCC Computer Science Students Showcase Work At Spring Tech Day

CIS Tech 1

CIS Tech 1: CIS 111b students Dan Marcoux, Wellington Rodriguez and Julian Greenberg showcased their mobile app at MCCC’s Technology Transfer Day on April 24.

Blue Bell, Pa.— Students enrolled in Associate Professor Kendall Martin’s Computer Science II—Object Oriented Programing (CIS 111b) course at Montgomery County Community College showcased their projects on April 24 at the Central Campus in Blue Bell.

“We want students enrolled in CIS 111 [Computer Science I – Programming/Concept] to see the kinds of projects they can work on if they enroll in the next course,” explained Martin, who organizes these Technology Transfer Days at the end of each semester. “In the intro class, students really learn the basics, but in the CIS 111b course, they get to apply that knowledge and work on collaborative projects like the ones showcased here.”

Among those projects was an MCCC mobile app, developed by students Julian Greenberg, Roberto Zuccarini, Dan Marcoux and Wellington Rodriguez.

“Info about the College is spread everywhere, so we designed a centralized mobile site with information that students care about, such as food service hours, Org Sync [student club portal] and Blackboard,” explained Greenberg, who will be transferring into Penn State Abington’s Information Systems Technology program.

Greenberg is president of the Tech Connect Support Squad, a new student club that provides peer “help desk” support to students at the Central Campus, which enabled him to get real student feedback on his project.

Another team, comprised of Robert Vogel, Jonathan Drozd and Kevin Loughlin, developed a real-time text translator to enhance communication for international students. The Android-based app uses a smart phone’s built in camera, Microsoft Translate and Google to provide real-time text translation for a variety of languages, including Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Hindi, among others.

CIS Tech 2: Student Zac Chelbi demonstrates a level on The Big Robot Game, which his team developed as part of MCCC’s Electronic Game and Simulation Design program.

CIS Tech 2: Student Zac Chelbi demonstrates a level on The Big Robot Game, which his team developed as part of MCCC’s Electronic Game and Simulation Design program.

Former CIS 111b student Zac Chelbi returned to this semester’s Technology Transfer Day to showcase The Big Robot Game, which he and his team are developing as part of MCCC’s Electronic Game and Simulation Design program.

“Players can customize their tanks and environment. We’re still working on adding functionality and on simplifying the process to launch,” said Chelbi, who is transferring to the Art Institute in the fall.

Other students from the class, like Paul Lizeaus, partnered with MCCC’s Engineering program to write code and develop a website for the program’s Quad Forge project.

“The program is open source, so we actually made a change that was later incorporated into the program by the original designer,” shared Lizeaus, who is transferring to West Chester University in the fall.

CIS 111 and 111b are required courses for many of MCCC’s STEM programs, including Computer Science, Computer Networking, Electronic Game and Simulation Design, Information Technology, Software Engineering and Web Design and Development, among others. To learn more, visit mc3.edu and click on Academics.

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Penn State Reports 16-Percent Increase In Applications From Prospective Students

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Penn State is seeing a boom in the number of undergraduate applications for admission in the next academic year.

As of Monday, the university had received almost 46,000 applications from prospective baccalaureate students, a figure that is more than 7,500 ahead of the number of applications received at this time last year. The count is more in line with the number of applications received at this time in 2010 and 2011.

From this applicant pool, the university has made 11,000 offers.

Pottstown Schools Eye Eliminating Class Rank

POTTSTOWN, PA — To rank or not to rank?

That may soon be the question.
Class rank has been a staple of high school life, and college admissions, for years beyond count.

But school board member Polly Weand raised the possibility at the Nov. 21 school board meeting that Pottstown may soon opt-out of the practice.

Weand, who chairs the school board’s curriculum and technology, said the discussion is underway at her committee, which presumably will make a recommendation to the full board, perhaps as soon as January.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131128/pottstown-schools-eye-eliminating-class-rank

East Strousdburg University Considers Cuts In Staff, Programs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facing a potential $7.6 million operating deficit, East Stroudsburg University officials say faculty and program cuts could be looming.

They will have a better idea once the university’s 2013-14 budget is finalized, said Kenn Marshall, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which oversees the 14-state-owned universities, including ESU.

Student tuition and fees account for about three-quarters of ESU’s revenue, but calculating true enrollment figures isn’t straightforward, Marshall said.

During the first few weeks of classes, students can drop out or enroll late.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/esu-considers-cuts-in-staff-programs-0915-20130915,0,5311635.story#ixzz2f0sxuRWX
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Clarion University To Dissolve College Of Education

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clarion County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clarion County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clarion University plans to let go up to 40 employees campuswide — including 22 faculty — and dissolve its college of education under a broad restructuring intended to offset sharply lower state aid, rising costs and enrollment losses.

The job cuts are part of a two-year workforce plan that university president Karen Whitney and other administrators say was drafted to help Clarion correct budget problems and position the state-owned university with 6,500 students for the future.

The plan discusses areas where Clarion intends to add resources, among them nursing, and other areas recommended for elimination, including music education. It says departments and programs within Clarion’s College of Education and Human Services would be reorganized into other schools.

The idea is to ensure that Clarion by July 1, 2015, can meet future challenges and “continue serving students, employers and community partners as a public university,” the 32-page document states.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/clarion-u-to-dissolve-college-of-education-699536/#ixzz2c9UiRE6d

America’s Smartest Cities

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The ...

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The Point” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join to form the Ohio here. The West End Bridge crosses the Ohio in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Pittsburgh, PA:  The No. 1 spot on our list went to Pittsburgh mostly because of the large number of colleges and universities in the area.

 

See the rest of the list:  http://www.movoto.com/blog/top-ten/smartest-cities/

 

If you want to see the impressive list of colleges and universities in Pittsburgh, click here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colleges_and_universities_in_Pittsburgh

Norristown Area High School Graduates Top Crop Of Scholars

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — The Norristown Area High School Class of 2013, a group of 408 students who have collectively received the largest recorded amount of scholarship money in the school’s history, took the stage in front of friends and family Friday for the school’s 151st commencement.

This year’s graduates have been accepted to more than 202 universities across the country and have been awarded more than $12 million in scholarships, according to Norristown Area School District Superintendent Janet Samuels.

“This is an incredible class,” Samuels said after the commencement. “The scholarship dollars will allow the children to excel and do great things, and we’re so proud of that.”

The first salutatorian, Brett Harner, started things off.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130607/NEWS01/130609744/norristown-area-high-school-graduates-top-crop-of-scholars-

New Program Brings Local Interns To Downtown Scranton Businesses

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Local talent meets opportunity

Students at local colleges shouldn’t have to go out of town to get professional experience as interns, and local business needn’t look further than local institutions to get the talent they need.

That was the consensus of a group of business, college and government leaders who Monday announced the Small Business Internship Initiative to connect students and downtown business, a program they hope will expand to a multi-county area.

“If you look at the diversity of the higher education institutions in our area – there is no skill a business can not find,” said Gerald C. Zaboski of the University of Scranton, after a news conference on Courthouse Square announcing the pilot program.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/new-program-brings-local-interns-to-downtown-businesses-1.1484808

Alvernia University On The Rise

English: Alvernia University Category:Alvernia...

English: Alvernia University Category:Alvernia University Category:University logos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Dr. Thomas F. Flynn took over the presidency at Alvernia University in 2005, the future looked bright.

The university was growing rapidly, and officials were putting together an aggressive plan to expand the campus in the next decade.

Then the recession hit in 2008, just as the university began not only its strategic plan, but its first comprehensive capital campaign.

Despite the challenges of the past five years, Alvernia flourished and moved forward faster with its plans than anyone expected.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=446239

HACC Placed On Accreditation Warning Status

The accrediting organization overseeing Harrisburg Area Community College has placed the system on warning status.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education found HACC was lacking in three of its 14 criteria during the five-year periodic review.

But HACC and Middle States officials emphasized the system, which includes a York campus, is not in any immediate danger of losing its accreditation, which allows a college to grant diplomas.

The periodic review, done halfway after HACC was given its 10-year accreditation, helps make sure a college is fulfilling its obligations, said Middle States spokesman Richard Pokrass.

HACC had issues in the areas of Institutional Assessment, which deals with how well a college can monitor and show it’s doing everything it says its doing; Assessment of Student Learning, which deals with a collegetracking classroom learning and having a system to improve instruction; and General Education.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/787730_HACC-placed-on-accreditation-warning-status-.html#ixzz2DjFwCK3s

Reading Area Community College Likely To Raise Tuition Nearly 6%

Students at Reading Area Community College could see a 5.84 percent tuition increase this fall.

The $28.77 million budget proposed for 2012-13 calls for raising the cost per credit $8, to $145 from $137, for part-time students.

For full-time Berks County students, tuition would rise to $2,175 per semester from $2,055.

RACC’s president, Dr. Anna D. Weitz, said the proposed increase is a response to several factors, including a 5 percent decrease in state funding, increased expenses and a decline in full-time enrollment at community colleges across the state.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=391115

MCCC West Campus: FREE Making College Adordable Information Session

Montgomery County Community College is proud to present a FREE!

MAKING COLLEGE AFFORDABLE information session.

PA State Treasurer Rob McCord will be on hand to discuss the state’s 529 Savings and Investment Plans

This information session will also feature information on filling out a FAFSA and the financial aid process.

Childcare for children ages 2-11 will be available during session.

Monday, April 18, 2011 * 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Community Room, South Hall • 101 College Drive • Pottstown

For more information and to register, visit:

mc3.edu/admissions/affordability.aspx

or email admissions@mc3.edu

Bad Economy Is Good For Harrisburg Area Community College

Ever since the economy nose-dived in 2008, enrollment at Harrisburg Area Community College has increased dramatically.

In 2008 enrollment at HACC’s 5 campuses was 19,866.  Last year enrollment hit 22,529.  This year enrollment is expected to come in at 25,000 students!

Community college offers students a close to home and much less expensive educational alternative versus going to one of Pennsylvania’s universities and staying in a dormitory or apartment.  The cost per credit hour and the ability to avoid paying for room and board, on top of tuition, is economically achievable for many students.

Montgomery County Community College has also experienced an enrollment boom from the bad economy.  Our own West Campus here in Pottstown continues to exceed enrollment expectations.

Pottstown Promenade Project

There has been talk about this project recently which prompted me to do some research.  The Promenade project has been on the books for some time, however funding kept it from becoming a reality. 

PennDOT recently opened up their coffers and we are getting almost a million dollars to complete this project.  I could not remember specifics on what the project entailed except that the name does infer certain things.

I found this information after doing to internet surfing:

Pottstown Promenade – was conceived as a pedestrian and bicycle link between Downtown Pottstown and the Montgomery County Community College. The promenade is expected to be constructed in 2005, and will connect Hanover Street to the bus stop facility adjacent to the community college with a link to Riverfront Park and the River Center at Pottstown.

Personally, I think this is a great idea because it addresses quality of life issues in an urban area.  Green space is important if we are trying to attract middle-class people to Pottstown as taxpaying permanent residents.

The revitalization of Pottstown hinges on projects like these and the ability to attract new residents, business and industry.

Kudos to Jason Bobst, Borough Council and everyone involved for making this project a reality.