Community colleges teach financial literacy

October 20, 2016

nick-testimonyGreetings from Hershey, where I will be joining colleague Presidents from Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges for two days of meetings.

As an important point of clarification with what has been in the news this week, the Commonwealth’s 14 community colleges are not part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Our nearly 320,000 students across the state continue to attend classes this fall of 2016 semester.

Our sector of higher education was highlighted Monday in a Senate Hearing. I was honored to represent not only Butler County Community College, but all of our institutions in a discussion on student loan debt, borrowing and financial literacy.

Make no mistake about it, our community colleges continue to be the right choice for a quality, affordable and accessible education.

Read more about my testimony at the state Senate hearing.

BC3 Signs “Teach-Out Plan” with DuBois Business College

September 8, 2016

The fall of 2016 semester is off to a great start at all Butler County Community College’s locations. However, news at other colleges across the country isn’t so great.

The United States Department of Education barred all Indiana-based ITT Technical Institute campuses from enrolling new students who depend on federal financial aid. ITT was also told that it must increase its reserves to $247.3 million, or 40 percent of federal student aid the for-profit company received in 2015. ITT made the decision to close its operations; a move that will impact thousands of students and employees.

On August 25, Cambria-Rowe Business College, the Johnstown area’s oldest college, closed because of issues with the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).

On Wednesday, September 7, BC3 officials visited DuBois Business College (DBC), which was founded in 1885. On September 6, DBC officials announced it would close operations on September 22. Officials said the closing is a result of similar issues with ACICS.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 reasons Why I Love Summer

July 14, 2016
Hope you are having a terrific summer. Hard to believe the calendar already reads mid-July.
Because I’ve received positive feedback on previous Top 10 lists posted in this blog, here are the “Top 10 reasons Why I Love Summer.”

10. Daylight past 9 p.m. 
Funny thing is, I am still asleep before dark.

9. Leisurely walks with my wife, Tammy, and our 9-year-old mutt, Mika.
Not sure who walks slower … me or the dog.

8. Family picnics.
Fourth of July at my mother’s in Ellwood City is a long-standing tradition.

7. Our family vacation.
This year was Punta Cana. Read the rest of this entry »

BC3’s 48th Commencement

May 17, 2016

I write on the eve of our biggest day – Commencement.

The College’s 48th Commencement will certainly be the crowning jewel of an unbelievable year.

Consider that in 2015-16, the College:

  • was named by as the No. 1 Community College in Pennsylvania;
  • was recognized for a third-straight year by GI Jobs Magazine as a Military Friendly School;
  • had its first New Century Scholar, Maizee Zaccone – the top community college student in Pennsylvania; Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Diane M. DeCarbo

March 9, 2016

Nick and Diane 2The Butler County Community College family lost one of its very finest last week. Diane M. DeCarbo, Director at BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing, passed away March 2.

The first time I met Diane was in July of 1999, when I began my duties as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences. At that time, Diane worked from the Lawrence County Vo-Tech. Her office was in a long, narrow closet. Honestly – a closet. When I eventually found the location, she was impeccably dressed (as always) and enthusiastically greeted me.

From that moment on, I treasured Diane.

We would talk about family, New Castle, traveling, her love of wine and the loves of our lives – her husband, Ricky, and my wife, Tammy. She always asked to see pictures of our daughters and was genuinely interested in hearing about Paige and Meredith.

I would ask her what Ricky was doing for Valentine’s Day to steal some ideas for Tammy. Their marriage and love for one another always has and always will be the standard for our relationship. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s On Us PA Pledge

February 3, 2016

2016-01-29-Govern-Wolf-Its-On-Us-Announcement-04Last week at Elizabethtown College, I represented both BC3 and Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges at an important announcement by Governor Tom Wolfe.

On January 29, I joined over a dozen of the Commonwealth’s college and university presidents, several school district superintendents, and Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera in signing on to the “It’s On Us PA” pledge. “It’s On Us PA” engages educational leaders as well as students, teachers, faculty, staff, civic leaders, families, and communities to make a personal and public pledge to play a role in preventing, addressing, and responding effectively to sexual violence. Read the rest of this entry »

Congratulations Coach Mihalik

December 11, 2015

MihalikMany years ago, I earned a living as a sports reporter. I covered Little League to the Major Leagues. Traveled with the Pittsburgh Steelers and reported on a Stanley Cup run for the Pens.

Wanting to further my education, I headed off to Clarion University in 1991 to earn a master’s degree. An assistantship in the sports information department paid for my graduate schooling.

In both jobs, I spent a great deal of time around professional, college and high school coaches. Just like any line of work, only a handful excelled. And of those who prospered on the field, some of their antics off the field left a lot to be desired.

On December 9, a true role model both on and off the field, called it a career. And Butler County, the Commonwealth and even the nation will forever feel the void.
Read the rest of this entry »