State System Presidents Sign Pledge to Spotlight Statewide Higher Ed Partnerships

Hawkinson, LCCC student and LCCC President posing for picture, holding Kutztown University maroon sweatshirt.

(L to R): Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, Kutztown University president; Emma Hope, LCCC student and an All-PA Academic Team recipient who is expected to graduate from LCCC in May and plans to transfer to Kutztown University; Dr. Ann D. Bieber, Lehigh Carbon Community College president.

SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. – Demonstrating a commitment to work together to better serve students and their communities, regional representatives of Pennsylvania community colleges and universities from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) held a news conference Monday, April 17, at Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) to sign a pledge demonstrating this commitment.

The pledge demonstrates the commitment to provide high quality affordable academic and career education programs and to contribute to the development of a highly skilled competitive workforce in the commonwealth. Leadership of statewide community colleges and PASSHE universities have worked collaboratively to help students achieve their educational goals. Some of the specifics within the pledge include:

  • Ensuring students are aware of all their higher education opportunities.
  • Smoothing the path for students to transfer from a community college to a PASSHE institution.
  • Establishing a reverse transfer agreement allowing students to transfer credits from a university back to a community college.
  • Allocating financial aid at universities for community college graduates.
  • Working to ensure the success of community college graduates who transfer to PASSHE universities.

“The impact of this pledge will be significant, demonstrating to students in our communities that the path to a higher education is attainable and affordable,” said Dr. Ann D. Bieber, president of LCCC. “LCCC is thrilled to be a partner in this pledge. The presidents of the community colleges and the state-owned universities understand the importance of working together to benefit our students.”

“We believe that strong partnerships between Pennsylvania community colleges and universities from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education present our students with the best opportunities to succeed academically and thrive personally,” said David A. Ruth, president of Northampton Community College. “The pledge that is being signed is an important step in moving those partnerships forward.”

“Kutztown University must do all we can to support community colleges in their mission, so that students who go to a community college have as easy a path as possible to go on to a four-year institution such as KU,” said Kutztown University president Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson. “We share a common mission in educating the students of our region. This pledge asserts the ongoing commitment to each other and to the citizens of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to ensure access to a high-quality education at an affordable price.”

“East Stroudsburg University and the other state universities are aligned in our passion and dedication to make transitioning from a community college to a four-year institution a seamless process for students,” said Kenneth Long, president of East Stroudsburg University. “This pledge is an opportunity for students attending Pennsylvania’s community colleges to have affordable access to continue their education at all of the four-year public institutions in the commonwealth.”