Enrollment Drops In State System Schools, Including Millersville University

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Millersville University’s enrollment slipped 2.8 percent from last year to this year — a decline that’s slightly higher than the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s anticipated drop of 1.5 percent.

But the trend at MU is expected to start moving in the opposite direction, as Millersville — one of PASSHE’s 14 member institutions —announced an ambitious plan last month to boost enrollment to 10,000 students by 2020.

The university’s undergraduate and graduate enrollment is 8,047 this fall, down from 8,279 students in fall 2013.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/enrollment-drops-in-state-system-schools-including-mu/article_965c8ae2-4a47-11e4-a41d-001a4bcf6878.html

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MCCC, Kutztown University Officials Sign First ‘Reverse Transfer’ Agreement Between Community College And State System Institutions In Commonwealth

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout and Kutztown University Acting President Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto sign the first reverse transfer agreement between a community college and State System institution in Pennsylvania. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout and Kutztown University Acting President Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto sign the first reverse transfer agreement between a community college and State System institution in Pennsylvania. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) and Kutztown University (KU) signed a “reverse transfer” agreement on Aug. 20—the first agreement of its kind between a community college and a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (State System) university.

Under the new agreement, students who complete at least 15 credits at MCCC now have the opportunity to transfer credits they earn at Kutztown back to Montgomery in order to earn an associate’s degree in a parallel field en route to earning a bachelor’s degree.

According to MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout, the agreement builds on Montgomery’s strategic efforts to increase student access, progression and completion rates, and on work being done nationally to support community college degree completion.

“The associate’s degree has value and is an important credential for community college students,” said Dr. Stout. “By earning an associate’s degree, students demonstrate their ability to complete an area of study, which can help them in the job market or with career advancement while pursing their baccalaureate degree. While we encourage our students to earn their degree before transferring, it’s important for us to understand that our students take multiple pathways to complete their education.”

Close to 70 percent of MCCC students enter the College each year with the intention to transfer to a four-year institution, and Kutztown is a popular choice. In fact, last year, 182 of the College’s students transferred an average 44 credits to KU.

The institutions’ leaders envision that the new agreement will serve as a model partnership for Pennsylvania community colleges and State System institutions. MCCC and KU are not strangers to such innovation; in 2007, Montgomery became the first community college with which Kutztown signed a dual-admissions and core-to-core transfer agreement.

“Kutztown University is excited to once again partner with Montgomery County Community College in developing another program to benefit students of our region,” said Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, KU’s acting president.  “Serving students is at the core of all that we do, and this is truly a student-centric program.”

MCCC Students Named To All-PA Academic Team

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout (far left) and Board of Trustees Chairman Michael D’Aniello (far right) stand with MCCC’s All-PA Academic Team members (from left) Serena Dunlap, Elizabeth Holleger, Angelique Moon and Shari Nelson. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout (far left) and Board of Trustees Chairman Michael D’Aniello (far right) stand with MCCC’s All-PA Academic Team members (from left) Serena Dunlap, Elizabeth Holleger, Angelique Moon and Shari Nelson. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

Harrisburg, PA — Four Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) students were among 45 students from across the Commonwealth recognized this week for their academic and community achievements.

MCCC students include Serena Dunlap, Gilbertsville; Elizabeth Holleger, Norristown; Angelique Moon, Pottstown; and Shari Nelson, Pottstown.

Collectively, the students comprise the All-PA Academic Team, which is administered nationally by Phi Theta Kappa, the national two-year college honors society. Students were recognized in Harrisburg on March 31, both on the floor of the House of Representatives at the State Capitol, and during a banquet facilitated by the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.

Serena Dunlap already graduated from MCCC’s Honors Program in December, earning an associate’s degree in Liberal Studies before transferring to Bryn Mawr College on full scholarship. Her long-term plans include earning a Ph.D. and specializing in art therapy.

After graduating from Boyertown Area High School, Serena spent a semester at a private university, struggling to pay the tuition price out-of-pocket.  Then she learned about MCCC’s Honors Program, which offers full-tuition scholarships for high-achieving students.

“I chose to attend community college because it was affordable,” Dunlap said. “Not only is it affordable, but it is very easy to get involved on campus and in the community itself, which makes it a pleasure to attend. Affordability was my goal when I decided to attend community college, but what community college gives in education and community is priceless.”

On campus, Dunlap was very engaged in student life, serving as vice president of the Student Government Association, president of the Environmental Club, member of Phi Theta Kappa, and as the Northwest Regional Representative of the American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC). She also worked as a peer mentor in the College’s Upward Bound program and served as a student representative on the President’s Climate Council and Student Life Committee.

Elizabeth Holleger is an Education in the Early Years major who hopes to one day work as an elementary school teacher and reading specialist after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education. She dedicates her time to volunteering and performing service work in the community in memory of her mother, who lost her battle with invasive breast cancer in 2007.

“I decided to turn a difficult situation into a positive one, and I started volunteering and fundraising in my mother’s memory,” Holleger said. “I want to do all that I can to help others who are also affected by breast cancer. It has become a huge part of my life, and I often volunteer together with my sisters and brothers. My mother’s death has allowed me to grow as a person and to think positively about any situation.”

On campus, Holleger was instrumental in helping to charter the College’s first-ever Rotaract community service club, and she serves as its secretary. She is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa honors society, and she participated in Alternative Spring Break, during which she volunteered for five days at The Samaritan Woman in Baltimore, Md.

Holleger currently holds a 4.0 grade point average (GPA), which she plans to maintain through next December when she will graduate from MCCC with an associate’s degree.

Angelique Moon proudly became the first woman in her family to earn a college degree when she completed her associate’s degree coursework in December at MCCC. A mother of three boys, Moon was majoring in Business when she signed up for a drawing class to fill an elective.

 “I never really knew what I wanted or who I was until after I took this [drawing] class. It changed my life,” she expressed.

Because art helped Moon overcome her social anxiety, she wants to help others to help themselves through art, too. She is currently taking more Fine Arts classes at MCCC and hopes to continue her studies at Kutztown University.

“As far as my long-term goals, I would love to teach but I know that many public schools are removing the arts; therefore, I am keeping an open mind to possibly curating at a museum,” she said. “I also plan to show my work as often as possible and to volunteer my services as an instructor to spread the love of art and to teach others how to express themselves through art.”

Shari Nelson chose to attend MCCC so that she could pursue a degree while helping with her family’s business–Nelson Illusions, a theater company specializing in magic and illusion. A Liberal Studies major at MCCC’s West Campus, Nelson plans to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics and hopes to one day teach math, while continuing to work in the arts and to travel as a professional magician and illusionist.

“Learning has always been important to me, and I love understanding new things and applying them to my life and work,” shared Nelson. “Montgomery County Community College has given me the opportunity to achieve my education and work with wonderful professors while still being able to continue my jobs. At college I aim to learn the most I can to better myself and, hopefully, my future family.”

Nelson will graduate this summer from MCCC with an associate’s degree in Liberal Studies. On campus, she co-founded the West End Student Theatre club and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She also volunteered during MLK Day of Service and as a new student orientation leader. As a magician, Nelson has earned four major awards, including the Magicians Alliance of the Eastern States Award of Excellence, and has competed nationally in magic competitions.

Members of the All-PA Academic Team qualify for two-year scholarships to any of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institutions and compete at the national level for scholarships from the All-USA Academic Team and the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team. To learn more, visit http://www.pacommunitycolleges.org.

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Drop In Enrollment At Kutztown University Twice That Of State System

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Almost 300 fewer students enrolled in Kutztown University in September compared to the previous year.

Since a 2010 peak, Kutztown’s enrollment has dropped 12 percent. The enrollment decline at Kutztown is twice the average drop – 6 percent – seen by the 13 other schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

All 14 state universities have been hard hit by funding cuts that usually mean more layoffs and program cuts.

Despite the drop in enrollment at Kutztown, there are no program cuts or layoffs contemplated for the coming school year, university spokesman Matt Santos said Monday.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515881

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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Edinboro University Wants To Cut 42 Faculty, 5 Majors

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County

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

EDINBORO, PAEdinboro University wants to cut more than 50 staff, including 42 professors, and eventually eliminate five majors due to declining enrollment and a resulting projected budget deficit.

The announcement comes a month after Clarion University announced plans to cut up to 40 jobs, including 22 faculty, and suspending music education, German and French courses.  The schools are two of 14 that comprise the State System of Higher Education. Kutztown University is one of the 14.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=510618

William Harner Being Removed As Pa. Acting Education Secretary, Sources Say

Less than three months after being named as acting state Education Secretary, two sources have confirmed that William Harner is being forced out of the post in Gov. Tom Corbett’s Cabinet.

Harner is the former Cumberland Valley School District superintendent, a position he held since 2008 until being selected as a replacement for Ronald Tomalis.

Read more: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/08/william_harner_being_removed_a.html#incart_m-rpt-2

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

Faculty At State-Owned Universities, Including Millersville, In Line For Pay Raises

Get ready. The cost of a college education in Pennsylvania might be on the way up.

After 18 months of negotiations that included the threat of the system’s first-ever strike, unionized faculty at the 14 state-owned universities are hoping that on Wednesday the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education board ratifies its four-year contract proposal.

The most controversial element of the contract has been the need to raise salaries without causing significant tuition hikes, said state system spokesman Kenn Marshall.

Related: List of salaries at Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities for 2013

The deal calls for salary increases of 11.5 percent for senior faculty and 19 percent for junior faculty over the four years of the contract, with junior faculty members getting the higher increases. Faculty members now receive salaries ranging between $44,795 and $107,870 a year.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/827693_Faculty-at-state-owned-universities–including-Millersville–in-line-for-pay-raises.html#ixzz2O1Bmm4zt

Faculty At 14 State Schools, Including Kutztown University, Authorize Strike

Professors and faculty members have authorized their union leaders to call a strike, a move that would affect the education of 120,000 students at 14 state-run universities throughout Pennsylvania.

The Association of Pennsylvania State Colleges and University Faculties, the faculty union, said Friday that 95 percent of faculty who voted earlier in the week gave union leadership the option of calling a strike should talks with the State System of Higher Education break down.

The union and the state have been negotiating since July 2011, when the previous contract expired.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=428748

Here is the list of universities: