Living in Northern Pennsylvania, Considering Online College? Here’s a More Preferred Option!
July 25, 2018 2:32 pm
July 25, 2018 2:32 pm
If you are reading this, I hope you are considering becoming a student at Northern Pennsylvania Regional College, or that you are locating information for someone who is looking for an accessible, affordable post-secondary program in northwestern PA. Northern Pennsylvania Regional College (NPRC) is a new and different way to achieve an associate’s degree or workforce training without leaving your home community, but we are NOT an online college.
NPRC uses real-time, interactive instructional television to reach learners at a site in, or near, their community. NPRC has nearly 20 locations across northwestern PA, and if you are in Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Potter, McKean, Venango, or Warren counties, there is likely to be a site within 30-45 minutes of where you live. Research that the Education Consortium of the Upper Allegheny (ECUA) had done prior to the start of the college showed a need for affordable, accessible two-year degrees and that real-time instruction was both desired and preferred by learners in the region. After running successful programs with Gannon University in a unique partnership, ECUA turned the project over to the newly formed NPRC when the college was approved in May 2017. We offer affordable and accessible programs to meet your specific career needs. Including associate degrees, workforce training, and dual enrollment programs, NPRC has something for you. Our associate degrees and workforce development training programs include:
Online education is available from a variety of public and private, not-for-profit and for-profit institutions, so why is NPRC using a different approach? Because our learners want in-person class instruction. They learn better in the give-and-take atmosphere of a class discussion. Our learners may also have slow or unreliable internet connections adding another layer of frustration to an online class experience. The “blended” approach of real-time interaction and online resources and support we use leads to better outcomes for students. Online classes often have a very high rate of non-completion because when learners don’t interact in real time, it is often difficult for the instructor to know who is keeping up with the class and who is falling behind.
Community colleges are another option for students to get the in-class learning experience online colleges lack. However, these classes are limited to one specific area. NPRC brings the best of both options together. Instructional sites have the technology that allows you to take a class with a live instructor teaching from one location and brings multiple classrooms across the region together via interactive television. Class instruction happens just like a classroom course with discussion, interaction, and presentations from other students and the instructor. The only difference is that you are not in the same physical classroom as your peers. Instead, you occupy the same virtual space. NPRC’s model of interactive teaching and learning, paired with our network of Student Engagement Specialists, leads to better academic support and opportunities for student success.
The faculty at NPRC recognize that not everything can be taught through interactive media, so classes requiring labs or experiments will have a “live” component where learners will go to a lab site, or better yet, a lab site will come to their location, where they can perform experiments and complete projects using the facilities or machines necessary. NPRC may also incorporate “take home” labs to be performed on the students’ own. As NPRC grows and develops additional academic programs, we intend to be creative and innovative in our approach, making certain that our programs always remain affordable and accessible.
Access has two meanings at NPRC. One is that an NPRC degree or classes are convenient for learners. By engaging sites at Community Education Centers, Career and Technical Centers, libraries, schools, and even businesses, NPRC brings education to your community and close to where you live. Access also means that we remove barriers for students. Our admissions requirement is that you hold a high school diploma, a GED, or are on track to receiving your high school diploma. NPRC is a college of opportunity, and we know that not everyone has tapped their full potential. With low tuition providing affordability and being accessible removes barriers of travel and admissions requirements, NPRC works with you to realize your potential for college success. Degrees and training are available and can make a difference in your job opportunities and career potential. Whether you’re a high school student looking to get a jump-start on your college career or an adult learner looking to further your workforce training skills, NPRC has something available for you.
Many things about NPRC is new – our staff, our model, even our name was just adopted in January 2018. We hope that you will join us as a student with NPRC!