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Partnership between Penn Highlands and Pitt-Johnstown to strengthen Community and reshape Higher Education

Posted September 24, 2015 at 12:01 pm

An innovative collaboration between two important educational leaders in the region will reshape the way in which many students think about higher education. The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Pennsylvania Highlands Community College have entered into an articulation agreement, which guarantees the transfer of a Penn Highlands Community College Associate of Arts degree into one of ten bachelor’s degree programs at Pitt-Johnstown. The agreement was signed today in Blackington Hall on the Pitt-Johnstown campus.

Articulation agreements are designed to build strong partnerships and coordination between schools to aid in a smooth transition for students. By identifying comparable coursework, degree requirements can be met at one institution and transferred to another institution. With such an agreement, students are more likely to make better choices that can save both time and money. Four-year universities are noticing that transfer students have a high graduation rate, and well-crafted articulation agreements often contribute to a student’s success at the university. Articulation agreements exist between and among many colleges and universities but this agreement forges a connection for these two local colleges that is rarely seen.

“This collaboration sends a strong message that Pitt-Johnstown and Penn Highlands are focused on serving the needs of their students and the community,” stated Walter Asonevich, Penn Highlands Community College president. “Creating an affordable and timely pathway for the completion of both an associate’s and bachelor’s degree should be the goal of all colleges and universities across the country, and we are thrilled to enter into this agreement with the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.”

Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar said, “This agreement reflects our shared priorities of student success, access, and affordability. More Penn Highlands students will have the opportunity to easily transfer to Pitt-Johnstown and continue on the pathway to achieve their educational and career goals.” He continued, “We are delighted to partner with Penn Highlands to open more opportunities for students in the Laurel Highlands.”

With this collaboration, students will begin their studies by completing their associate’s degree at Penn Highlands Community College, and then transfer to Pitt-Johnstown to complete their bachelor’s degree in one of ten programs. The Pitt-Johnstown programs include Communication, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, English Literature, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Environmental Studies, and Psychology.