Twenty freshmen and a faculty of six

April 01, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Schuylkill traces its origins to the Depression years of the 1930s, when a citizen’s group in Pottsville began to explore options for local, affordable, post-secondary education.

In May 1934, the then-Pennsylvania State College adopted guidelines to establish undergraduate centers across the Commonwealth in order to bring its services "closer to home" for many Pennsylvania residents, and Bunker Hill Elementary School (pictured above in 1950) became the first home of the college's Pottsville Undergraduate Center.

Classes began on Sept. 19, 1934, and were held on one floor of the building, leased from the school board for one dollar per year, an arrangement that would continue until 1966.

The fledgling school enrolled 20 freshmen and a faculty of six. A few weeks later, evening classes were added and enrollment jumped to 62. Eventually Penn State leased the entire building, offering the first two years of baccalaureate study.

In 1953 the Center introduced its first associate degree program, Drafting and Design Technology. This new program enabled location-bound students to complete a degree without leaving Schuylkill County.

The Schuylkill Campus (as it had been known since 1963), eventually outgrew its Pottsville site and in 1967 opened for classes at its current Schuylkill Haven location. Read more about Penn State Schuylkill history here.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 02, 2015