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Regional College Town Hall Spotlights Academic/Vocational Options

August 21st, 2021

Another semester has kicked off at Northern Pennsylvania Regional College (NPRC), which is delivering on its promise to provide low-cost, quality courses in Potter, Cameron and several other counties. During a “town hall” session held this week at the Gunzburger Building in Coudersport, the focus was on the future. Administrators from NCPR gathered input on how NPRC can support ongoing efforts to reverse the population loss and youth migration while improving the quality of life. One message came through loud and clear – the need for expanded technical and vocational training to complement NCPR’s broad array of academic offerings. Susie Snelick, who was appointed NPRC president earlier this year, led the discussion. She emphasized that the college can be an “economic driver” and make the county more attractive to younger adults and recent high school graduates. Many area residents, from high school students to older residents, have already tapped into NPRC to earn two-year degrees, earn credits toward more advanced educational levels and/or acquire specific skills. Among NPRC’s remote campus settings are the Coudersport and Port Allegany offices of the Potter County Education Council, Austin Area School and Cameron County High School.

Of particular interest locally is the college’s interest in establishing a vocational and technical training facility in Potter County to support local employers and provide options for local job-seekers who might otherwise leave the area to find gainful employment. NCPR currently offers vocational training in commercial truck driving, powdered metal manufacturing, emergency response and communication linework. How those services might be expanded in Potter County was a primary topic during Wednesday’s town hall.

NPRC representatives Regina Russell (left, instructional support coordinator), and Abigail Petrosky (marketing and public relations), gave an overview of the college’s offerings and its hands-on approach to serving its students. “Student success specialists” are available to work with enrollees one-on-one to meet their educational and/or training objectives. NPRC was launched in 2017 to bring higher education to rural, underserved populations and to help revitalize the workforce and the economy of the region. It’s geared toward recent high school graduates, mid-career adults seeking to advance in their career or begin a new one, and high school students who want to earn college credits. For the traditional college courses, residents with a high school diploma or GED pay $185 per credit. Current high school students pay $60 per credit. Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are available. More information is available at regionalcollegepa.org or by calling 814-603-1229.

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