DUNMORE -- Penn State has picked up on a new trend among colleges in our area, setting up an agreement with Lackawanna College that makes it easier for students to transfer between the two schools.
Ashli Daley will graduate next spring with a nursing degree from Penn State Worthington Scranton but she admits that getting here from a community college had some obstacles.
"Some of my credits weren't accepted as Penn State credits, so I ended up having to retake those classes and it kind of set me back. I ended up having to take summer classes, which is really expensive. So, I think this is a great move toward helping students complete their four-year degree," Daley said.
Daley watched as officials from Penn State's campuses in Dunmore, Wilkes-Barre, and Hazleton signed an agreement with the president of Lackawanna College.
It means that students who complete a two-year associates degree at Lackawanna College in downtown Scranton can transfer into six different bachelor's programs at the local Penn State campuses.
Lackawanna College has transfer agreements with five other colleges in our area.
"Whether they stay with us for four, or they start with us for two and come here to Penn State, it's just one more option that people have in order to achieve their goals in life," said Lackawanna College President Mark Volk.
Penn State's satellite campuses have been seen as a starting point for a college career. This agreement makes it an ending point, too.
"That has changed," said Marwan Wafa, Penn State Worthington Scranton. "It has been the case for 20 some years. It seems to be engraved in the minds of some, which I hope it will change. We are Penn State University; you can start and finish here for the degrees that we offer."
Penn State officials say making it easier for local students to transfer locally may keep them here after they graduate.
"As we go through and have more four-year degrees, more opportunities in our portfolio, we will continue to attract many students like those from Lackawanna to actually stay in the area and not have a brain drain, certainly at some point," said Gary Lawler, Penn State Hazleton.
The agreement between Penn State and Lackawanna College takes effect when classes start later this month.