Introducing BC3 @ Brockway

BCC Rear Plaza View 2I have often said that “we are proud to be Butler County’s community college.” However, we also understand our role as one of the Commonwealth’s 14 community colleges.

As Pennsylvania’s northwestern most community college, our board and institution as a whole has adopted a regional philosophy. Our success in Cranberry Township, Lawrence and Mercer counties and of course Main Campus, speaks volumes of this approach.

Yesterday, the College expanded our off-campus locations by one. BC3 @ Brockway, which will service Clarion, Clearfield, Jefferson and Elk counties, joins BC3 @ Cranberry, BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing, BC3 @ LindenPointe and BC3 Main Campus. An announcement was made yesterday before approximately 100 people at Brockway High School.

Funded by a $500,000 annual grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, BC3 @ Brockway will occupy a 14,000-square foot facility at the site of the former Owens-Illinois Glass Building on Wood Street. Five associate degree programs as well as continuing education courses will be offered at the site.

Support from the four-county region has been overwhelming. Senator Joe Scarnati’s speech at yesterday’s event emphasized not only BC3’s excellence, but also the importance of affordable, accessible and quality education.

We are on schedule to offer classes beginning in the Fall of 2013. More is sure to follow as we “Pioneer” into the northern tier of Pennsylvania.

2 Responses to Introducing BC3 @ Brockway

  1. Joe LaRocca says:

    Dear Dr. Neupauer,
    FYI, I submitted this op ed column to the Erie Times News and expect it to be published soon.

    A community college for Erie County

    By JOE LaROCCA

    While there’s significant opposition to an Erie County Community College, there is likely to be strong support on behalf of a community college for Erie County.
    By that seeming paradox, I mean that Erie County should not establish its own community college dependent upon increased property taxes. It can acquire one without starting from scratch with minimum expense that would not require taxpayer support, as did the failed one proposed by out-going county executive Barry Grossman and his followers.
    Community colleges are a positive force wherever they exist, and would prove to be so in Erie. But the threshhold consideration here is that this county’s property taxpayers cannot afford the one proposed by the county executive. Especially when there’s another more realistic and palatable option which would be supported primarily by student tuition.
    This promising alternative stems from an impressive presentation made in Erie about a year ago by Butler County’s sprawling and widely-respected community college system (not covered by the Times-News) offering to establish a satellite campus in Erie like those highly successful ones it has already placed in Lawrence and Mercer counties. And this year it opened a new one in Brockway serving four counties: Crawford, Clearfield, Elk and Jefferson.
    Unfortunately, that alternative was summarily rejected by the proponents of an Erie County-established, owned and operated institution, which would have been a redundant exercise in empire building.
    Under the Butler model, the set-up, operation and maintenance of a community college in Erie by an operator with long-proven competence and success would cost the county far less than establishing anew a full-blown Erie County community college. Butler CCC has been in existence for 48 years building invaluable expertise it would take decades for Erie County to accrue.
    Strategically structured, a Butler-facilitated community college in Erie would also avoid the need for new property tax revenues. And its curricula could be designed to meet the educational and vocational needs of Erie Countians. Face-to-face, online and hybrid courses could be offered both full and part-time, with an open admissions policy requiring only a high school degree or GED.
    If Erie County political, industrial, educational, vocational and business leaders are genuinely committed to providing affordable post-secondary education for county residents and workers designed to foster a long-term economic and industrial renaissance locally, they should direct their joint efforts towards exploring a partnership with Butler County Community College much like those Butler has successfully instituted in other northwestern PA venues.

  2. Nick says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Mr. LaRocca. You are spot on with highlighting our regional vision and by stressing quality and accessibility. We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves.

    Perhaps your words in The Erie Times-News could serve as a springboard to re-energize the dialogue.

    All the best – Nick

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