Defining Educational Pathways: Workforce Training & Affordable Associate Degrees in Pa.


December 2, 2021 11:55 am

The Northern Pennsylvania Regional College (NPRC) does not operate as a traditional campus-based college, nor are we an online college. In order to offer our students a convenient and affordable college experience, we utilize community locations to deliver class instruction at multiple locations across the region and bring people together via live interactive video technology. Among the many options offered by NPRC are dual enrollment, associate degrees, and workforce development courses. But what exactly differentiates academic courses from workforce training, and how do I know which is best for me?

Affordable Associate Degrees in Pennsylvania

NPRC’s associate degrees require a minimum of 60 credit hours and 18-30 months of full-time study for completion. We offer three different kinds of associate degrees: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science.

The Associate of Arts degrees offered by NPRC include Liberal Studies and Social Sciences. Both of these degrees are primarily intended for students planning to transfer to a four-year institution to continue pursuing a baccalaureate degree. The Associate of Arts degree also provides a strong foundation for entry-level employment in a variety of environments.

In regard to our Associate of Science degrees, NPRC offers Business Administration and Criminal Justice. Each of these degrees allows students to develop a great base in their respective fields that can aid them in entering the workforce directly following completion of the program. (Or, conversely, these degrees can help students transfer to a four-year program.)

Lastly, the Associate of Applied Science degrees offered by NPRC include Early Childhood Education and Applied Technology with a specialization in Industrial Maintenance Technology. Our Associate of Applied Science degrees require courses in specialized knowledge. Generally speaking, most students who pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree intend to work in their field immediately following graduation.

Workforce Training | EMT & CDL Training in Pa.

NPRC’s Workforce Development courses provide training for both businesses and individuals throughout our nine-county service area. These workforce development courses are geared towards high-demand occupations and specific industry needs within the area. Some of these programs also award nationally recognized certificates.

Workforce development programs may require between 16 and 240 hours of short-term training before completion. Just like NPRC’s academic courses, workforce training courses may be provided through our live and interactive video platforms at various locations across our service area. For businesses, NPRC is also capable of providing on-site training at a single or multiple locations.

Fortunately, many of these training programs are also eligible for PA CareerLink® funding through Pennsylvania’s Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) list. Unemployed and under-employed individuals should consult with their local PA CareerLink® to determine their eligibility for funding that may cover some or all of the fees associated with these programs. It is also important to note that while most of our workforce development courses do not have prerequisites or other requirements for registration, some programs (such as EMS and CDL training) do have specific enrollment requirements.

Offering Workforce Development and Accessible Post-Secondary Education in Pa.

NPRC’s associate degrees are designed to help students achieve a variety of goals, from the transfer to a four-year program to current career advancement and even laying the foundation necessary to finding entry-level work. Meanwhile, NPRC’s workforce development courses (while also geared towards businesses) are for individuals seeking specific short-term training in  high-demand occupations. Regardless of your goal, our dedicated staff can help you forge a path towards the industry or occupation you’re looking to break into. After all, our cornerstones — accessibility, affordability, and achievability — are applicable to both paths here, and with institutional aid and classrooms available throughout the nine counties we serve, NPRC is confident we can work with any dedicated student interested in taking their next step towards a career.

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