Penn State joins Philadelphia effort to help adults complete college

University Park, Pa. — Two Penn State campuses and the World Campus are partnering with Graduate! Philadelphia to increase the educational attainment of this region's workforce.

A college degree can increase a person's lifetime earnings by $1.2 million over a high school diploma, but some students who start college don't finish. That's true for nearly 300,000 adults in the Greater Philadelphia region who have at least one year's worth of college credits. Graduate! Philadelphia, an organization created to help these adults, has invited Penn State to join its workforce development effort.

"Through Penn State Abington, Penn State Brandywine and the World Campus, Penn State can bring a wide range of academic degree programs and other educational resources to adults in the Greater Philadelphia Region," said Penn State Abington Chancellor Karen Wiley Sandler, “We welcome the opportunity to work with Graduate! Philadelphia and its partners to help build a better-educated workforce in this region.”

Penn State Brandywine Chancellor Sophia T. Wisniewska agreed, noting, "Penn State Brandywine's 10 baccalaureate degree programs and location 20 miles west of Philadelphia, with easy access to public transportation, make our campus an ideal choice for adults who are ready to return to college."

Hadass Sheffer, executive director of Graduate! Philadelphia, said, "After only eight months of operation, Graduate! Philadelphia has emerged as a nationally recognized regional model for getting adults back to college to complete their degrees. We know that the key to their success this time around is to ensure that returning students connect with the program that is best for them, and that they have access to ongoing advice and support until they graduate."

Sheffer added, "Penn State has a wealth of excellent programs specifically tailored to the needs of working adults, online through the World Campus and on two regional campuses. Just as important, it has a team of dedicated advocates working on behalf of adult students. We are delighted that Penn State is joining our efforts."

Graduate! Philadelphia is a joint initiative of the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board and United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. As a partner of Graduate! Philadelphia, Penn State will provide academic counseling services at Graduate! Philadelphia's outreach center at the Gallery I (Ninth and Market Streets), participate in college fairs and assist prospective students in other aspects of completing a college degree.

"A college education not only benefits individuals by increasing their career options and lifetime earnings, but also the economy of a region by meeting the workforce needs of existing businesses and industries and attracting new enterprises," said Wayne D. Smutz, associate vice president for Academic Outreach and executive director, Penn State Continuing and Distance Education.

Penn State Continuing Education reaches more than 30,000 adult learners annually at Penn State campuses statewide. For more information, visit online. Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 60 of Penn State's most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats to more than 7,000 students worldwide. For more information, visit online. These units are part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education, serving more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 80 countries worldwide.


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Last Updated May 06, 2010