For Immediate Release                                                                Media Contact:  Danielle Gross

                                                                                                                P: (717)232-7584 C: (717)418-9001

December 22, 2014                                                                         dgross@pacommunitycolleges.org

 

Community Colleges Offer 44 Additional Programs in 2014-15 School Year

 

HARRISBURG— Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges are offering 44 new programs in the 2014-15 academic year, offering a wide range of credentials including certificates, diplomas and associate degrees in wide-ranging fields. Among them are new life sciences, mechatronics, unmanned aerial technology and culinary arts programs.  

 

“As the largest public provider of higher education in Pennsylvania, our community colleges are important components in Pennsylvania’s continued workforce development,” says Elizabeth Bolden, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges. “By regularly evaluating local needs and creating new programs, our colleges are helping to create solid jobs and foster innovation in Pennsylvania’s higher education landscape.” 

 

The decision to create new programs at community colleges is not undertaken lightly. It is a multi-step process that accounts for local labor market data; demand in high-priority occupations; student interest; equipment, facility and faculty needs; college strategic plans; and the needs of local employers. Many colleges consult with advisory councils comprised of employers in varying industries. Ultimately, the decision to add new programs rests in the hands of the Board of Trustees at each individual community college.

 

This is a continuous, ongoing process: many new programs are in the planning stages for addition to course offerings for the 2015-16 academic year. Because the course offerings are managed on a local level, community colleges are able to nimbly respond to needs of their local communities.

 

For example, the Community College of Beaver County is launching a new Process Technology associate degree program focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. The program goals include increasing the number of highly-skilled, well-educated and diverse process technicians in the region; contributing to a needed workforce should Shell build the proposed ethane cracker plant; and meeting the employment needs of regional industry partners.

 

The adaptations of colleges to community needs do not only apply to new programs, but the reinstatement of programs placed on hold. At two colleges, an Associate of Applied Science degree in electric utility technology, offered by both Pennsylvania Highlands Community College (Penn Highlands) and Reading Area Community College (RACC) has been reinstated after being placed on hold in 2011 due to the recession. The Colleges have revived their partnerships with FirstEnergy Corp’s Pennsylvania utilities (Penelec, Met-Ed, West Penn Power and Pennsylvania Power) to offer award-winning program to train the next generation of utility substation workers. The programs combine hands-on utility skills at Penelec’s training facilities with academic coursework on the Penn Highlands and RACC campuses.

 

A full list of the new programs is below.

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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.

 

Community College of Allegheny County

Mechatronics Technology

AS

Community College of Allegheny County

Mechatronics Technology

Certificate

Community College of Allegheny County

Information Technology Support

Certificate

Community College of Allegheny County

Social Work: Fundamentals of Social Work Foundation

Certificate

Community College of Beaver County

Communication

AA

Community College of Beaver County

Cybersecurity

AAS

Community College of Beaver County

Robotics and Embedded Systems

Certificate

Community College of Beaver County

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

AAS

Bucks County Community College

Exercise Science

AS

Delaware County Community College

Engineering Technology

AS

Delaware County Community College

Skilled Trades

AAS

Delaware County Community College

Advanced Technology

AAS

HACC – Central Pennsylvania’s Community College

Hospitality & Tourism Management

AA

HACC – Central Pennsylvania’s Community College

Hospitality & Tourism Management

Certificate

Lehigh Carbon Community College

Environmental Science

AS

Lehigh Carbon Community College

Biology

AS

Lehigh Carbon Community College

Exercise Science

AS

Lehigh Carbon Community College

Physics

AS

Lehigh Carbon Community College

Chemistry

AS

Luzerne County Community College

Pre-Engineering

AS

Luzerne County Community College

Diesel Truck Technology

Diploma

Montgomery County Community College

Baking & Pastry Arts

Certificate

Montgomery County Community College

Culinary Arts

AAS

Montgomery County Community College

Baking & Pastry Arts

AAS

Montgomery County Community College

Culinary Arts

Certificate

Montgomery County Community College

Cloud Computing

Certificate

Montgomery County Community College

Life Sciences

AS

Montgomery County Community College

Biotechnology

Certificate

Northampton Community College

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC/R) and Refrigeration Tech

Certificate

Northampton Community College

Public Health

AAS

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

Environmental Science                            

AS

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

Healthcare Information Specialist                  

AAS

Community College of Philadelphia

Paralegal Studies Proficiency Cert

Certificate

Community College of Philadelphia

Biology

AS

Community College of Philadelphia

Accounting Paraprofessional

Certificate

Community College of Philadelphia

Entrepreneurship Proficiency Cert

Certificate

Reading Area Community College

Information Technology

Certificate

Reading Area Community College

Creative Writing Transfer

AA

Reading Area Community College

Mechatronics Engineering Technology

Certificate

Reading Area Community College

Health Sciences

Certificate

Reading Area Community College

Business Academic

Certificate

Reading Area Community College

Administrative Office Specialist

AAS

Westmoreland County Community College

Fine Arts - Graphic Design

AFA

Westmoreland County Community College

Criminal Justice - Security Professional

Certificate