Exciting Times at BC3

March 3, 2015
Degree Comp Photo Use

Degree Completion Partnership signing on Wednesday, February 25 at BC3.

It has already been a great 2015 for Butler County Community College!

On the national level, President Obama has highlighted community colleges with his American’s College Promise proposal. In the proposal, American citizens would have the opportunity to attend one of the nation’s nearly 1,200 community colleges tuition free.

On the state level, BC3 was part of an initiative involving Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges. The Prior Learning Assessment will give non-traditional students as well as military veterans an opportunity to apply for life experience credits with a rigorous online portfolio.

And just this week, the College unveiled an exciting Degree Completion Partnerships. Soon after, our social media outlets buzzed with activity. A variety of newspapers and radio station also boasted about the innovative model. Read the rest of this entry »

America’s College Promise Plan

January 22, 2015

The Spring 2015 semester is off to a great start. Students are hustling and bustling at all of our BC3 campuses. We had a great Board of Trustees meeting on January 21 and President Obama highlighted community colleges in his State of the Union Address on January 20.

Since his speech, I have been asked for my thoughts on the President’s America’s College Promise Plan. Here is my recent statement to the Butler Eagle as President of BC3 and Board Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges:

“The President’s proposal for ‘America’s College Promise’ is encouraging and would likely expand access to community colleges to more students than ever before. The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, together with Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges, looks forward to working with our congressional delegation to make the proposal a reality.

We will soon have that opportunity. Many of us will be in Washington, D.C. from February 9 through February 12 at the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of Community College Trustees National Legislative Summit.

It is refreshing to hear that community college are being considered as part of a solution to higher education. The Promise is an interesting way to begin a necessary conversation. The whole concept remind me a bit of the passage of the original G.I. Bill many years ago.”

Stay tuned…

Top 10 List: Giving Thanks

December 4, 2014

Greeting and happy end-of-the-semester! Can you believe we’re already heading into the winter break?

Just coming off Thanksgiving, I certainly counted my blessings. The following is my Top 10 “Giving Thanks List.” Please share yours with me in the comments!

#10 – An early morning walk with our pooch, Mika. Although she is slowing down a bit, I can clear my head and solve the world’s problems during our 40 to 50 minute trots.

#9 – Our beautiful main campus. I can’t tell you how often people comment on the beauty of the 330-acres.

#8 – Our regional approach to higher education. Questioned by some early in my tenure as President, our off-campus locations and the staff members are an important part of BC3. Thanks to all of those who make these locations so successful. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating Victories

October 17, 2014

Although the Pirates are history and the Steelers are off to a mediocre 3-3 start (keep the faith!), the College is chalking up some nice victories.

  • FACETS, the College’s art and literary magazine, was recently awarded First Place with Special Merit by the American Scholastic Press Association. BC3 student Travis Ritenour received Outstanding Photograph for his photo “Fork in the Road.”
  • The BC3 Pioneer Golf team built on its Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference championship by being crowned Pennsylvania Invitational Tournament Champions.
  • Our Marketing and Communications Division brought home gold and bronze medals from the recent National Council for Marketing and Public Relations District 1 Conference.
  • Although still in the “silent” phase of our major gifts campaign, the campus community giving rate so far is at 80 percent!

Keep up the great work Pioneers… and continue to be Pioneer Proud!

Sharing Good News

September 24, 2014

Pioneer Proud_VFall is here, the Pirates are back in the playoffs, and the semester is off to a great start!

As I head to join my presidential colleagues at a statewide meeting in Harrisburg, I am excited to share lots of good news about BC3.

Our Pioneer Proud campaign is doing incredibly well with an amazing 73 percent of College faculty and staff contributing – and still counting!

The renovation for the new Heaton Family Learning Commons (a 21st century library) is picking up momentum as staff continues to work with architects. A late spring/early summer 2015 target date for completion of the project is projected. Read the rest of this entry »

Fall 2014 Kick Off

August 21, 2014

9931 Banner_2 FinalAre you ready? I sure am.

The 2014-15 academic year promises to be a special one – BC3’s Golden Anniversary. On the day of my annual “State of the College” address, the news is all good.

From the largest gift in the history of our College from Mr. Robert Heaton to amazing results from the national Noel-Levitz survey and a variety of building upgrades to our Main Campus, our institution of higher learning is reaching incredible heights. Read the rest of this entry »

An Interview with The Emperor

June 25, 2014

At 12:06 a.m. on June 14, our youngest daughter, Meredith, text me the following:

“Dad, I think I should be the first to tell you, Chuck Noll died.”

Meredith was born in 1997 – six years after Noll coached his final game. She never watched him coach. But she sees his face plastered on pictures in my basement and hears me tell many stories of The Emperor Chaz.

I wrote about one of those stories for The Clarion Call back on November 12, 1992, when I was a graduate student at Clarion University.

The following is the actual opinion piece (with just a few edits) I wrote for the student newspaper. It was entitled, “An Interview with The Emperor.”


My editor stressed one point over and over when I started as a sports reporter right out of college at The Beaver County Times.

“Always remember one thing, Nick,” he would say in a deep, gravelly voice. “Keep your professionalism regardless of the assignment.” Read the rest of this entry »


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