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 »

BC3 named #1 community college in PA

December 4, 2015 GraphicAs the fall 2015 semester winds down, I have some GREAT news to share. I was just made aware that Butler County Community College has been recognized as Pennsylvania’s best community college by! The ranking evaluates the 14 community colleges in the Commonwealth.

According to the list, BC3 was highlighted for affordable tuition and our outstanding transfer rates to senior institutions. An average class size of 18 allows our faculty to give students individual and small group attention. This also correlates to higher retention and graduation rates for our students.

Just another reason to be Pioneer Proud! Happy holidays!

Giving Thanks

November 24, 2015

Hello, Pioneers!

Last year, I shared a Top 10 List of Giving Thanks. In recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday, here is my 2015 List.

10. Our Alumni Association.
Established in 1997, this fine group of BC3 grads is always supportive.

9. Our Degree Completion Partners.
Unique; innovative; and tens of thousands of dollars saved. The College’s Degree Completion Partners are making bachelor’s degrees possible at BC3.

8. The Rho Phi Chapter of BC3’s Phi Theta Kappa.
The College’s oldest student club, originated in 1968.

7. The communities we serve.
After all, “Community” is BC3’s middle name. Read the rest of this entry »

BC3 PSU Articulation Signing

October 10, 2015

PSU Articulation SigningThere have been lots of special moments for me since becoming President of the College in 2007 — new buildings, new campuses, major gifts, new programs, etc.

Articulation signings are important in our “student-centered” environment, but describing them as special on a personal-level might be stretching it a bit.

That is until yesterday.

On October 8 in Steffler Board Room on our Main Campus, several BC3 representative in addition to several representatives from the Penn State University Commonwealth Campuses were present for the signing of a multi-program articulation agreement.

Students at BC3 who earn an associate degree can transfer all of their credits toward a similar bachelor’s degree program offered at the Penn State’s six western Pennsylvania campuses — Beaver, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, New Kensington, and Shenango. In addition, BC3 graduates can easily transition to four-year programs at the eight other Commonwealth campuses — Brandywine, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, Schuylkill, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton, or York.

As a marginal graduating senior from Lincoln High School in Ellwood City (Lawrence County) back in 1985, I felt stuck. The economy was struggling and my friends were heading off to college. Although a prime candidate for a community college, BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing didn’t yet exist. And the universities in which I applied were not accepting me. Read the rest of this entry »

Pioneer Proud Campaign enters community phase

September 17, 2015

Pioneer Proud JPEGThe news is spreading quickly – The Pioneer Proud Campaign here at Butler County Community College is entering into its community phase!

Officially launched by the BC3 Education Foundation, Inc. in 2013, the goal of this comprehensive campaign was $5.5 million. Yesterday’s announcement at the College’s Board of Trustees meeting reported $5 million in gifts received and formal pledges made.

Although the Pioneer Proud Campaign identified three initiatives, funding dedicated to the new Heaton Family Learning Commons is being emphasized. The other two points of emphasis have been students scholarships and economic development.

There are so many thanks I would like to extend as we close in on our official goal, but here are three. Campaign Co-Chairs Bob Hunter and Nancy Hunter Mycka have been spectacular. Mr. Bob Heaton’s $1 million pledge to renovate the Beck Library into a 21st century, high tech Learning Commons is awe-inspiring.

Amazingly, 82 percent of the College’s faculty and staff have contributed to the Campaign. To put this into perspective, a national average of internal giving for a campaign of this nature is 40 percent.

The best news of all – there is still time to contribute. Please contact our Foundation office for more information.