College Receives Workforce Leadership Award

Published 06.01.2005


'NanoTrek' program attracts workforce-leadership award.Pennsylvania College of Technology was awarded a Workforce Leadership Award recently by the state Department of Education's Bureau of Career and Technical Education.

The awards are given to schools that have established a unified curriculum across two-year career and technical programs and two- and four-year postsecondary programs − also known as "2+2+2" programs.

Penn College was honored as a representative of the baccalaureate-level of 2+2+2 education for its information technology program. The program, known to the participating high schools as NanoTrek, gives students the opportunity to earn 15 unchallenged college credits while attending high school.

Teachers at area high schools are trained to teach Penn College courses, using the same textbooks and lab activities that are used in the courses offered to Penn College students. Major and final exams are graded by Penn College faculty.

Upon enrolling in Penn College, the students who passed the NanoTrek courses with a "C" grade or better in high school may use those credits toward a degree in any of Penn College's five associate-degree or three bachelor-degree information technology majors. With up to 15 credits available to high school students, those who participate may begin taking second-semester courses during their first semester on campus.

Upon completion of a bachelor's degree in information technology, students are encouraged to enroll in the Nanofabrication Technology competency credential at Penn College. The students spend an 18-hour semester at Penn State's Center for Nanofabrication Education and Utilization at Innovation Park in State College.

"We are honored to have been selected for this award," said Jeannette L. Fraser, director of the Outreach for K-12 Office at Penn College, which administers the program. "The effective partnership between the nine school districts, the School of Business and Computer Technologies, and the Outreach for K-12 Office is what makes this program so successful for students."

The nine participants in Penn College's Information Technology 2+2+2 (or NanoTrek) initiative are: Jersey Shore Area School District, Keystone Central School District, Lycoming Career and Technology Center, Milton Area School District, Montgomery Area School District, State College Area School District, Sullivan County School District, SUN Area Career and Technology Center and Williamsport Area School District.

Also receiving the Workforce Leadership Award were the Center for Technical Studies of Montgomery County, representing the secondary-school level, and Delaware County Community College, representing the community-college level. The 2+2+2 program, funded by the state Department of Community and Economic Development, is designed to increase the supply of skilled employees in key industries.

The awards were presented in Hershey during the annual Employment, Training and Education Conference sponsored by Pennsylvania Partners. The annual conference attracts more than 1,200 private and public job-training experts from across Pennsylvania.

Penn College offers a similar partnership with area high schools for electronics courses. For more information about the NanoTrek program at Penn College, call (570) 320-8003, send e-mail or visit online.