The fall 2020 semester and the start of a new academic year at all Butler County Community College locations.
Our main campus looks great. Sunbeams are pooling under our oak trees. The iconic BC3 Conestoga wagon is sitting outside my office window in the Administration Building. Colleagues are staffing tents along Pioneer Path for Welcome Week. Blue and white balloons are dancing in the morning breeze. Students are wearing masks as they head to classes. While student traffic to start a semester is less than “normal” here on main campus, our enrollment growth is elsewhere: BC3 @ Brockway enrollment is up 25.18 percent when compared with the beginning of the fall 2019 semester; online classes are up 22.04 percent; BC3 @ Armstrong, up 12.12 percent; BC3 @ LindenPointe, up 7.89 percent; BC3 @ Lawrence Crossing, up 1.83 percent and BC3 @ Cranberry is even.
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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.