Just over a decade ago, several professionals from Pennsylvania joined together to try and find a way to bring low-cost, high-quality post-secondary education to underserved, and in some cases never served, communities in northern Pennsylvania. Northern Pennsylvania Regional College (NPRC), developing out of the Educational Consortium of the Upper Allegheny (ECUA), was formally established in 2017 while partnering with Gannon University to offer accredited course work. NPRC began operating independently at the start of the Spring 2020 term in order to pursue regional accreditation.
Recent months have brought a lot of talk about the push for an Erie County Community College and preparation for the evidentiary hearing of the proposed community college plan. While the Pennsylvania Department of Education has postponed the evidentiary hearing due to recent public health concerns, NPRC will be given time to speak at the hearing and they intend to focus on the progress they’ve seen.
NPRC officials sat down with Erie News Now and discussed these plans to showcase NPRC and their progress at the evidentiary hearing for Erie County’s Community College Plan. In response to a question of whether an Erie County Community College will be a duplication of the services NPRC currently provides, Rick Smith, NPRC Vice President of Advancement and Engagement had this to say:
“We will tell them what services we offer. If another entity comes in and offers the same services, will that be a duplication of services? Sure. Is it our position to say whether that is good or bad? No. It is our position to continue offering these services and do the very best job we can.”
To hear more from Smith on NPRC, their degree pathways, and workforce development training, visit YourErie.com.