What's new at my campus?

Chris Koleno
October 04, 2018

Penn State’s campuses continue to develop and change over time and this year is no different. Some of the University’s locations have experienced growth in the form of new infrastructure, other campuses have new leadership at the helm; and still other locations have first-time academic programs and degrees to offer students.

As Penn State’s 2018-19 academic year gets into full swing at all 24 locations scattered across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, some of these changes not only will impact each campus community, but also positively affect many of the surrounding towns and regions.

Through Invent Penn State — a statewide initiative initiated by Penn State President Eric J. Barron to spur economic development, job creation and student career success — the University’s impact in many of these communities is readily apparent, as campuses join with local municipalities to set up innovation hubs on campus and within the community, acting as catalysts for economic growth.

“We continue to invest in our students and communities, developing new infrastructure, degree programs and initiatives. The University’s Commonwealth Campuses afford students access to a world-class Penn State education with the flexibility that comes from staying close to home,” said Madlyn Hanes, vice president and executive chancellor for Penn State’s 20 Commonwealth Campuses. “Our campuses play a key role in serving their respective communities, offering high-demand degree programs to meet local and regional needs, and entrepreneurial and community engagement that extends learning beyond the classroom.”

Here are some of the recent changes to Penn State campuses across Pennsylvania:


— Launched MBA program.

— Created Pre-Health Professions Advising Program, a new initiative to assist Abington students in discerning appropriate health professions careers and preparing for the rigorous application processes, including medical school and other programs.

— A new Pre-Law Advising Program will run advising sessions, host law school representatives and guest speakers, and help students explore their interests in law school.


Formally dedicated new Adler Athletic Complex, a $24.5 million project approved by the Penn State Board of Trustees in 2015.

A new accounting degree launched in Fall 2018.

Renamed the Altoona Launchbox with a $1 million gift: Penn State and the Invent Penn State initiative celebrated a $1 million gift from Altoona business leader Lee Hite to support the LaunchBox at Penn State Altoona.


Constructed a 96-foot-long high tunnel on the campus: The high tunnel, the largest in the Penn State system, is part of a sustainability grant that will allow for produce to grow through the winter.

Launched a four-year biology degree, allowing students to finish their studies at the Beaver campus. 

— Established Beaver Valley Launchbox and business advisory group, to consult with area businesses and nonprofits, identifying specific problems and challenges and connecting them with faculty and students who may be able to provide solutions.

Behrend (Penn State Erie, The Behrend College)

The opening of Trippe Hall added 251 beds to Penn State Behrend’s on-campus housing options. A portion of the four-story, $28.4 million residence hall is reserved for international students, or students majoring in international business or minoring in transnational perspectives.

— A $1 million investment by HERO BX, an Erie-based biodiesel company, created a biofuels research lab at Penn State Behrend’s Knowledge Park. Students and faculty members in the School of Science are collaborating with HERO BX chemists and other researchers to reduce the sulfur in biodiesel feedstocks, which are processed for reuse as transportation fuels and heating oil.

— The new Public Policy Fund is created, bringing innovative perspectives to public policy decisions that affect the Erie region and similar communities in the Great Lakes and Ohio River Basin areas. Public programs coordinated by the fund began in March.


$3 million gift launched Cohen-Hammel Fellows Program at Penn State Berks: A comprehensive new scholarship will create this program for outstanding Penn State Berks undergraduates. 

Steel Battalion Army ROTC program coming soon: Penn State Berks will begin offering Army ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) courses in the fall 2018 semester as part of the Steel Battalion Army ROTC program. The college will be the only institution of higher education in Berks County to offer ROTC coursework.

Penn State Berks marked 60th anniversary through art installations, including "Transitions," a special interactive exhibition in which visitors can take a step back in time and view key moments in the college’s history; as well as a mural installation that highlights the college’s commitment to diversity, research and growth.


Orchard Hall at Penn State Brandywine

Penn State Brandywine's Orchard Hall. 

IMAGE: Penn State

— Began an effort to support local entrepreneurs with the Brandywine Boost initiative, a signature program of Invent Penn State.

— Opened its first residence hall and student union in August 2017.

— Celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sept. 25, 2017. Events included 50 community service projects in a 50-hour period.


— New Addiction Legal Resources Team created to help combat opioid overdose deaths, which continue to rise in Pennsylvania.

— Two new certificate programs developed: Cyberlaw, Data Privacy and Information Security, and Certificate in Corporate Compliance with a Concentration in Information Security.

— Celebrated 185 years as a leading institution for legal education, a place for innovative scholarship, and a focal point for important conversations about the law in our world today.


S&T Bank Open Doors Scholarship established at Penn State DuBois. With a $30,000 gift, members of leadership at S&T Bank have established an Open Doors Scholarship at Penn State DuBois. 

Nursing Home Administrator Training Program launched, offered by Penn State DuBois Continuing and Community Education this fall.

— Penn State DuBois, in conjunction with Penn State Berks, offered for the first time this fall a certificate program in the field of automation.


— Launched four-year Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology degree.

— Penn State Fayette, in partnership with the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, held a dedication ceremony for the opening of the Fayette LaunchBox, a startup accelerator facility.

Completed the Engineering and Arts Suite, a $480,000 renovation to classrooms and labs for simulation and 3D printing.

Great Valley

Launched two new degree programs, a master of professional accounting and a master of science in data analytics.

— Construction projects included converting the former library into a Knowledge Commons. 

A new MBA, tailored to professionals, now offered across Philadelphia region: Working adults across southeastern Pennsylvania can receive a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Penn State — customized to their needs and conveniently located to work or home.

Greater Allegheny

— A Community Kitchen in McKeesport Hall is near completion and will provide residential students the option to prepare meals within the hall.

— Received a Beam Robot through the University’s Teaching and Learning with Technology REACH (Re-Imagine, Engage, Align, CHange) Initiative. 

 — Launched a program in line with sustainability initiatives. The program encourages students, faculty and staff to consume water with reusable bottles, and to “Fill it Forward.” 


John M. Mason Jr. is appointed chancellor. Mason is the former vice president for research and economic development at Auburn University in Alabama.

Added two integrated programs.

— Added new integrated degree programs to help students fast-track their academic goals.

— Launched new Mukund Kulkarni Cultural Series, which will bring national and international performances to campus annually, allowing the community to experience a variety of different cultures through the arts.


Signed articulation agreement with Luzerne County Community College.

— Launched new bachelor of science degree in project and supply chain management.

— Offered a business seminar series


— Two of Pennsylvania’s leading health organizations, Penn State Health and Highmark Health, announced plans for an innovative strategic partnership aimed at securing the future of health care in the region. 

— Penn State College of Medicine’s Medical Doctor program received full accreditation for the next eight years by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Lehigh Valley

Signed articulation agreement with Luzerne County Community College.

New Student Day of Service spent at Flint Hill Farm.

— Announced fall 2018 professional certificate offerings.

Mont Alto

Dedicated the Mont Alto LaunchBox, located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, offering free resources and support to entrepreneurs in a co-working space to help business startups. 

Top health care officials to steer program's board: The Health Policy and Administration program has leaders in the health care community on its board.

— Offered new degree in psychology.

New Kensington

— Launched new innovation hub, The Corner.

— Received a $75,000 grant from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund to lead a new, year-long effort which will culminate in the start of a sustainability plan for the City of New Kensington, with the hopes that it can be replicated in other small, Rust Belt towns.

— The campus Athletics Department welcomed back Women's Basketball to its roster this fall.

Penn College

— Dedicated a new "Makerspace."

— Department of Commerce invested in Penn College’s welding expansion: A federal grant for the Welding Program expansion was announced in late 2017; construction is anticipated to be completed in spring or summer of 2019.

— UPMC gift made to support Penn College nursing expansion in Wellsboro: A UPMC Susquehanna gift of a facility for an expanded Practical Nursing Program in Wellsboro was announced in December 2017; renovations will be finished in 2019.


Offered bachelor's degree in project and supply chain management, part of a consortium with the Hazleton, Schuylkill and Wilkes-Barre campuses. 

A number of construction projects, including a new main patio, new location for the Lion Shrine, a commemorative clock tower and the campus’ main computer lab will transition into a new Information Sciences and Technology Active Learning and Innovation Lab in Dawson.

— Signed articulation agreement with Luzerne County Community College.

— Albert J. and Dorothy Lois Magnotta Jr. established a new scholarship established for students in STEM programs.


Administrators Cut Ribbon at Schuylkill

Students, administrators, and more cut the ribbon at Penn State Schuylkill's Student Community Center and dining hall renovation and expansion project.

IMAGE: Samantha Bower

— Signed articulation agreement with Luzerne County Community College.

— Launched a new course to give students the power to create virtual worlds.

— The campus is hosting the new Smithsonian exhibit, “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World,” which opened Oct. 1.


— Construction projects include a new nursing lab and a nursing faculty office suite.

— Began its 2018-19 Lecture Series with a presentation on "Opioid Overdose Awareness."

Offered a new Certified Recovery Specialist program available to recovering addicts, a Penn State Beaver Continuing Education course.


— Signed articulation agreement with Luzerne County Community College.

— Launched New Project and Supply Chain Management, part of a consortium with Scranton and Hazleton

— The Science Center received a $3.2 million renovation and was rededicated. As a result, the campus received the Pride of Place award from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.


David Christiansen appointed chancellor.

— Added additional collegiate sports for fall 2018, golf for men and women.

— The Graham Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies will get a new home, with groundbreaking happening in late 2018.

“Our campuses are stewards of Penn State’s hallmark concept of 'one university,' providing seamless opportunities for students to begin their studies close to home, with the option of transitioning to University Park, to another Commonwealth Campus — including the World Campus— or to stay and earn their degree,” Hanes concluded. “The breadth and depth of what we are accomplishing is amazing.”

For more information on any of Penn State’s campuses, go to https://www.psu.edu/academics/campuses.

Last Updated October 05, 2018