Erie Included In Rural Regional College Plan

Published 09/03 2014 05:25PM

Updated 09/03 2014 06:48PM

A state senate bill was approved to establish a rural regional college, now Erie County has been named as one of its service areas. Originally Erie was not being considered for this program but after a push from local officials and State Senator Sean Wiley the Pa. Department of Education announced that Erie will be included in the service area for this new regional college project.

The Rural Regional College was approved by legislation and will service nine counties throughout the commonwealth. The acting Secretary of Education announced that now Erie is one of them. The College will offer accredited courses for people who may not have an opportunity to go to a four year university.

An appropriation from the General Assembly will aid in the start up and the program will be funded through tuition and fees. The college will serve counties across the state including Erie, Crawford, Venango, Warren, Forest, McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter. Officials say there isnt anything like this available for the area and it will address the needs of the under-served population in rural Pa.

The college will have locations in each county through partnerships with local colleges, school districts and municipalities and will offer associate degrees and certificates to its students. The program is being implemented following a study conducted by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee that concluded that there is a significant need that showed 25 out of 26 rural counties in the Commonwealth don't have access to this type of education.

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