While COVID-19 continues to be an obstacle for businesses nationwide, it may be causing the most disruption for educators, especially as Fall 2020 terms are steadily approaching. But for NPRC, our Spring 2020 courses have largely carried on as usual. How? Well, as our education delivery system is built on a foundation affordable and accessible education via interactive video-based instructional technology, we’ve been fortunate enough to experience hardly any interruption in our scheduled classes.
In fact, NPRC quickly adapted to this new climate by moving our site-based teaching to a new, point-to-point delivery of education directly to our students’ homes. NPRC continues to be able to offer Associate Degrees throughout the region by delivering technology resources to students that did not previously have access to strong broadband connections in their home.
NPRC Accreditation & Erie County Community College Updates
Fortunately, the current public health and economic crises have also failed to impact our work towards accreditation. While the path towards this end goal has been a lengthy one, we were able to have our programming approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and received authorization to grant degrees as of May 28, 2019. Our independent operations began at the start of the Spring 2020 semester. We are now currently working to complete our candidacy application for regional accreditation.
NPRC participated in an evidentiary hearing by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education on June 10 and 11, 2020, to determine whether Erie County will move forward with a traditional brick and mortar community college. The board had to determine three things in order to approve Erie County’s application:
- That sufficient wealth (tax base) exists to support a community college financially
- That there is a sufficient population to support a minimum enrollment
- That there exists an unmet educational need
The Pennsylvania Board of Education cast a 9-6 vote Thursday to approve Erie County’s application for what will be the state’s 15th public community college. Though the vote didn’t favor NPRC, Dr. Joseph T. Nairn, Founding President, NPRC, spoke gracefully about how NPRC has and will continue to serve the Erie community where meeting all the educational and workforce needs are achievable in an affordable way.
“We are honored to serve the residents of Erie County, and in fact have been doing so steadfastly for three years,” Nairn said. “We are proud of our dedicated faculty and staff who work every day in the community to ensure that we provide high quality, affordable, accessible, and achievable path to education and job training in a way that does not create an unwanted tax burden to the citizens.”