Board OKs developing post-master’s certificate, accepts financial audit
Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Board of Directors on Thursday gave the green light to develop a post-master’s certificate in nursing education, accepted the financial audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, and approved changes to positions for two senior administrators.
Also during the meeting, state Sen. Gene Yaw, who serves as board chair, presented Penn College Police Lt. David C. Pletz with a Pennsylvania Senate citation that he had sponsored. The citation stems from a Sept. 28 off-campus incident in which Pletz was fired upon multiple times. Pletz, who was not injured, aided in the swift capture of the suspect, who has been charged with multiple felony offenses.
The college offers a comprehensive nursing education master’s program to help address the nurse educator shortage. The master’s program includes all coursework necessary for the proposed post-master certificate. The certificate to be developed will provide a streamlined pathway for professional nurses who want to teach, and who already have earned a master’s degree within another field, said Nesli Alp, vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Suzanne T. Stopper, senior vice president for finance/CFO, presented the results of the college’s audit, which was performed by Baker Tilly. The college once again received an unmodified opinion on its financial statements for the fiscal year, which is the highest level of assurance given in an audit, Stopper said.
The board approved the position of senior vice president for college relations/chief philanthropy officer and eliminated the position of vice president for college relations/chief philanthropy officer. It then appointed Loni N. Kline, who held the previous position, to the new position.
The board also approved the position of chief government & international relations officer and eliminated the chief of staff position. The board then appointed Patrick Marty to the new position; previously, he held the chief of staff position.
Both of the new positions, which include serving on President’s Council, were created to align with newly assigned job responsibilities and the college’s revised Strategic Plan, Penn College President Michael J. Reed said.
The board heard a report from Alison Diehl, executive director of the Clean Energy Center at Penn College, which has additional training locations in Latrobe and Harrisburg.
The Clean Energy Center provides workforce training and technical assistance to the energy efficiency and clean energy sectors, offering entry/midlevel training aligned with national certifications. The center has had 19,000-plus worker enrollments since 1985.
For the commercial buildings program area, the center offers training for facilities operations and maintenance professionals, energy and sustainability managers, and those in the public sector (K-12, higher education and government). National certifications include Building Operator Certification Levels I and II and Certified Building Operator.
For the residential building program area, the center trains weatherization workers in community action agencies and contractors in the HVAC, construction and home performance fields. National certifications offered include Home Energy Professional (Retrofit Installer, Crew Leader, Energy Auditor and Quality Control Inspector), Building Performance Institute certifications, and EPA Certified Lead Paint Renovator.
Diehl said the center will explore additional training in solar energy and heat pump systems, as well as pathways to credit programs at Penn College.
Reed and Yaw both welcomed new board member state Rep. Clint Owlett, who represents the 68th district (Tioga, Bradford, Potter) in the state House. Owlett succeeds former Rep. Jeff Wheeland, who retired from his 83rd District seat at the end of 2022.
Yaw asked all in attendance to observe a moment of silence for former board member and state Rep. Garth Everett, who died Jan. 28. Everett served on the board from 2011 to 2020.
In his report to the board, Reed said the college has produced the largest number of degreed automotive service technicians of any institution in Pennsylvania. He noted applications are up 10% for Fall 2023. Company registrations to participate in the Spring Career Fair on Feb. 28 sold out in just four hours, he added.
Reed also noted that the Center for Career Design had more than 8,000 interactions with students last fall, and Workforce Development at Penn College served 550 companies and 5,000 workers in all of 2022.
In his remarks, Yaw said he looks forward to working in bipartisan fashion with new Gov. Josh Shapiro, particularly in regard to funding for technology education. “I’ve been encouraged by some of the comments he’s made,” Yaw said.
The next regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting will be April 20.