Great Valley campus undergoes reorganization to meet changing demands

July 02, 2010

Penn State Great Valley, a graduate professional studies campus in Malvern, is making changes to its educational programming to respond to the emerging needs of the region, changes in the way higher education is delivered, and opportunities for greater collaboration with other Penn State campuses in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Penn State Great Valley, located along Route 202, currently offers 14 advanced degree programs and also professional development courses leading to certification and career advancement. The campus will now offer undergraduate courses, as well as expanded graduate opportunities.

"The current state of the economy has increased the demand for graduate education at Great Valley in some professional fields while others have declined," said Rodney Erickson, executive vice president and provost of the University. "In expanding fields, we intend to offer graduate courses at additional locations, including Penn State’s Brandywine and Abington campuses, and with a significantly increased focus in online delivery through Penn State’s World Campus."

Erickson said that in fields with declining student demand, adjustments to program offerings, delivery methods and personnel will be made.

In addition, the current focus on part-time evening instruction in graduate education at the Great Valley campus provides an opportunity for daytime offerings of undergraduate courses delivered there by faculty from other Penn State campuses in the region, as well as Great Valley faculty. Undergraduate course offerings will begin at Great Valley sometime in the next academic year.

Erickson said that on-site graduate student enrollment at the Great Valley campus has declined along with the struggling economy as fewer businesses and other organizations are now providing tuition assistance to their employees; however, Penn State's online offerings through its World Campus have seen a significant increase in enrollment, and its other campuses have expressed a need for more graduate courses in their surrounding service areas.

"There are considerable opportunities for sharing more resources, more efficiently, across our campuses in the region to generate cost savings while improving our program offerings," said Craig Edelbrock, chancellor of the Great Valley campus. “We recognize that this campus is a tremendous community resource that can serve area residents better if we move now to meet the changing needs for both graduate and undergraduate education in the greater southeastern Pennsylvania region."

These changes to accommodate demand will result in some future personnel reductions in certain programming areas, particularly in the area of support staff.

The reorganization of the Great Valley campus is part of Penn State's continuing evaluation of University programs and operations that has been ongoing for more than a decade. To date, the University has identified more than $190 million in cost savings, with plans to identify substantial additional reductions annually in the years ahead.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 08, 2010