Reporter’s notebook

(From left) Presidents Tuesday Stanley (Westmoreland County Community College), Roger Davis (Community College of Beaver County), Chris Howard (Robert Morris University), Quintin Bullock (Community College of Allegheny County) and Nicholas Neupauer (Butler County Community College). (Photo: RMU)
  • Four colleges, university create dual-enrollment program
  • IT association to form CTE advisory council

Four colleges, university create dual-enrollment program

Four western Pennsylvania community colleges and a private four-year university are partnering to allow students from the two-year colleges to enroll simultaneously at the university.

Robert Morris University (RMU) signed the agreement on Thursday with the Community College of Allegheny County, Community College of Beaver County, Butler County Community College and Westmoreland County Community College.

RMU Gateway will make earning a four-year college degree more affordable and accessible to students in the Pittsburgh area, according to the colleges. The program will start this fall.

“This not only puts college within reach for more and more students, but it also bolsters our commitment to ensuring that western Pennsylvania has the highly skilled professional workforce it needs to sustain economic growth,” said RMU President Chris Howard.

The initiative will allow students from the community colleges to be admitted directly to RMU and take up to 12 credits there while earning an associate degree. Tuition for those credits will equal what students pay at the community college, which will yield significant savings for students, according to RMU.

Students in the program will also be eligible to live in university housing and buy the university’s meal plan while completing their associate degree. When students complete their associate degrees, they can transfer to RMU, where they will be eligible for scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 per year, depending on their GPA.

Students also will have access to support services, such as academic advising and financial aid. Each transfer student will be assigned to a transfer success counselor.

As of fall 2020, 265 students from the four community colleges transferred and were enrolled at RMU.

IT association to form CTE advisory council

CompTIA, the association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce, will form a new council to guide a national discussion on accelerating career pathways in technology.

The CompTIA National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Council will include representatives from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

“We strongly believe that CTE will play a critical role in our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has devastated household finances and changed educational plans for many families,” Angel L. Piñeiro Jr., CompTIA’s vice president of strategic academic relationships, said in an announcement. “With the help of an elite group of educators and other leaders, we intend to raise national awareness of CTE as a creator of opportunities for careers that will provide a better way of life for multiple generations to come and to do so in a way that addresses digital inequity head-on.”

In January, U.S. employers advertised more than 232,000 job openings for core IT positions, including positions in software and application development, IT support, systems engineering and architecture and IT project management, according to CompTIA.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.