The mission of Northern Pennsylvania Regional College is “to provide affordable and accessible post-secondary education to the residents of northern Pennsylvania.” Over the past year, NPRC has received recognition for business growth and expansion, acquired multiple program approvals from state departments, and partnered with the Warren Library Association to provide library resources to students in all counties. NPRC proudly serves students in the Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Potter, Venango, and Warren counties and is working to identify appropriate facilities for labs and other “hands-on” education throughout our service area.
In May of 2019, NPRC received authorization from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to grant Associate degrees and certificates in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Throughout the summer and fall, NPRC hired their first full-time faculty members who have worked hard to develop programs that aid in the achievement of the college’s mission.
NPRC recently partnered with Pitt-Bradford as the general education provider for their Nursing and Physical Therapist Assistant programs at the Education and Training Center in Titusville.
On Saturday, January 18, we celebrated our final cohort of students who achieved Associate degrees as part of the collaborative program between the Educational Consortium of the Upper Allegheny (ECUA), NPRC, and Gannon University. The Spring 2020 term marks the launch of NPRC’s independence as an institution of higher education.
NPRC is now pursuing regional accreditation. This is a multistep process that all new colleges must complete. Application for accreditation is comprised of three parts: pre-candidacy, candidacy, and accreditation. At each stage, institutions must complete comprehensive applications that include data on curriculum, finances, student outcomes, program assessment, and other institutional processes.
All new institutions are held to the same process of seeking authorization and must demonstrate success at all stages. There are no shortcuts in the process, nor does approval at one stage guarantee success in the next stages. Faculty and staff at NPRC have worked tirelessly to prepare the college for accreditation. NPRC’s pre-candidacy application was approved in January and we are now preparing the application for the second step in the accreditation process, candidacy.
To apply for candidacy, institutions must submit a second, more comprehensive application and host a peer review site visit from the accrediting body. Once candidacy is granted, according to federal law, the institution has a maximum of five years to achieve full accreditation. During that timeframe, the institution must complete a thorough self-study to demonstrate that all functions and programs meet quality standards and are regularly evaluated to ensure continuous improvement. Hosting a second peer review site visit is also required.
2020 promises to be another year of progress for NPRC while the college continues to work toward regional accreditation, launch additional programs, training, and continue to partner with community organizations to serve the region.
NPRC is committed to its entire service area and remains steadfast in its efforts to provide access to higher education to all residents of Northern Pennsylvania. For more information about NPRC, contact us today!