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Northern Pa. Rural Regional College Ready To Launch

June 29th, 2017

Joseph Nairn

Two top administrative positions have been filled as the Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania moves closer to its launch by Labor Day. RRC’s mission is to provide affordable, accessible, career-focused technical and degree programs for residents of Potter and eight other northwestern Pennsylvania counties. Rather than being organized around a “main campus,” the RRC will operate through a network of community-based centers and satellite delivery sites, including the Potter County Education Center on Water Street in Coudersport. Most recently, trustees announced that Joseph Nairn has been hired as college president. Dr. Debra Teachman has been retained as vice president for academic and student affairs. A chief financial officer has yet to be hired.

Nairn until recently served as chief advancement officer at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, N.Y. He was previously employed with the Engineering Technology School at Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology. Teachman has had an extensive career in educational administration at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, New Mexico State University Alamogordo, and Marshall University.

It has taken three years to make the RRC a reality. A final puzzle piece fell into place with certification by the Pa. Dept. of Education. Administrative offices will be in Warren. RRC will offer two-year associate degrees, as well as training and certificate programs. Curriculum will be based largely on the future workforce needs of the region. Commissioner Doug Morley and Cole Hospital CEO Ed Pitchford represent Potter County on the board. RRC is unique in that there will be open admissions, enrollment and entrance policies (i.e., no criteria beyond a high school diploma or GED). Tuition will be much lower than at traditional colleges and universities. Enrollees will be able to participate in or near their home communities. Some students will be able to enroll for classes while they’re still in high school.

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