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  • There has been talk of the need for more community colleges and vocational training.

    Nationwide, enrollment at community colleges — which offer two-year degrees and vocational training and often attract older students looking to learn new skills — dropped 10% from fall 2019 to fall 2020, according to the National Student Clearinghouse.
    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireSt...demic-76017643




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    • Originally posted by Bart View Post
      There has been talk of the need for more community colleges and vocational training.



      https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireSt...demic-76017643



      The losses were similar for trade schools.

      In PA we need community college and state subsidized vocational education covering more of the state. Right now it's concentrated in all the major population centers except Erie/NWPA and central PA above I-80 has Penn State DuBois. There's an online community college targeting this area but the fallacy of the thing is that this region has terrible internet.

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      • [QUOTE]
        Originally posted by Fightingscot82 View Post

        The losses were similar for trade schools.

        In PA we need community college and state subsidized vocational education covering more of the state. Right now it's concentrated in all the major population centers except Erie/NWPA and central PA above I-80 has Penn State DuBois. There's an online community college targeting this area but the fallacy of the thing is that this region has terrible internet. [/QUOTE
        It has been said we have too many state owned schools, but there are 14 community colleges in Pa. Some community colleges like Luzerne have 7 branch campuses.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Fightingscot82 View Post

          The losses were similar for trade schools.

          In PA we need community college and state subsidized vocational education covering more of the state. Right now it's concentrated in all the major population centers except Erie/NWPA and central PA above I-80 has Penn State DuBois. There's an online community college targeting this area but the fallacy of the thing is that this region has terrible internet.
          Edinboro and Mansfield could be converted into community college/vocational education centers.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by iupgroundhog View Post

            Edinboro and Mansfield could be converted into community college/vocational education centers.
            In theory, but they'd need to drastically cut costs. Community colleges charge like half of what PASSHE schools do.

            Comment


            • Article in the highest profile industry publication: "More States Turn to Public-College Mergers, but Easy Fixes May Remain Elusive"

              https://www.chronicle.com/article/mo...id=gen_sign_in

              When the University System of Georgia consolidated 18 of its campuses into nine new institutions during the 2010s, it found it “saved” about $30 million a year, only 1 percent of its annual operating budget of about $2.3 billion.

              Comment


              • [QUOTE=Bart;n565369]
                It has been said we have too many state owned schools, but there are 14 community colleges in Pa. Some community colleges like Luzerne have 7 branch campuses.
                I think it goes to "profitability" and enrolement. If a CC is breaking even and maintaining/increasing their enrolement, no need to close them down. If they are NOT and their enrolement numbers are declining year after year after year, yea, close them down!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Fightingscot82 View Post
                  Article in the highest profile industry publication: "More States Turn to Public-College Mergers, but Easy Fixes May Remain Elusive"

                  https://www.chronicle.com/article/mo...id=gen_sign_in
                  Did Georgia follow the "PASSHE Model" were the consolidation didn't result in reducing excess capacity (i.e. Closing colleges) or was it more a "consolidation of services," with name changes?

                  The monster in the room that the PASSHE seems to be unwilling to address is that there is, and will be, fewer potential PA students to come close to filling the capacity it has! Bottom line...Too many seats and not enough butts to fill them.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

                    Did Georgia follow the "PASSHE Model" were the consolidation didn't result in reducing excess capacity (i.e. Closing colleges) or was it more a "consolidation of services," with name changes?

                    The monster in the room that the PASSHE seems to be unwilling to address is that there is, and will be, fewer potential PA students to come close to filling the capacity it has! Bottom line...Too many seats and not enough butts to fill them.
                    That solves the budget issues but doesn't solve the enrollment issue because proximity & cost are the top reasons for choosing a PASSHE campus, even one with declining enrollment. If the state closes Mansfield, those students aren't going to just suck it up and start driving the extra hour to Bloomsburg or Lock Haven. The geography of PASSHE isn't logical but its vital. If anything, the system should find ways to direct "residential" students to the campuses with capacity. If Edinboro closes, students from Pittsburgh will go somewhere else. But the students from NWPA only have more expensive options.

                    Bottom line, the state has to create ways to make PASSHE more attractive while maintaining its affordability edge. Unless a student has a huge aid package, PASSHE should usually be the most affordable option. I know that's not good marketing but as a society we can't complain about cost & debt while ignoring lower cost options.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

                      Did Georgia follow the "PASSHE Model" were the consolidation didn't result in reducing excess capacity (i.e. Closing colleges) or was it more a "consolidation of services," with name changes?

                      The monster in the room that the PASSHE seems to be unwilling to address is that there is, and will be, fewer potential PA students to come close to filling the capacity it has! Bottom line...Too many seats and not enough butts to fill them.
                      The fewer potential students in Pennsylvania is part of it. What people don't realize is there are 4 'types' of college essentially. The 'type' that the PASSHE schools target is shrinking in demand with students choosing the other 3 types in higher percentages.

                      Also, as far as online goes...it's estimated that a large percentage of the people willing to do online go to one of the big suppliers of online.

                      It's just a really bad confluence of circumstances that are going to be hard to stay afloat in. Couple that with lack of state support.

                      And there are non-colleges like Google and a lot of other companies that offer training with credentials. That's going to hurt marketshare some.

                      The whole college model where you come in and take electives, etc...I feel like that doesn't appeal to a lot of students. Who wants to pay top dollar to have an Intro to Music class when you are a Business major?
                      Last edited by complaint_hopeful; 02-26-2021, 01:22 PM.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Fightingscot82 View Post

                        That solves the budget issues but doesn't solve the enrollment issue because proximity & cost are the top reasons for choosing a PASSHE campus, even one with declining enrollment. If the state closes Mansfield, those students aren't going to just suck it up and start driving the extra hour to Bloomsburg or Lock Haven. The geography of PASSHE isn't logical but its vital. If anything, the system should find ways to direct "residential" students to the campuses with capacity. If Edinboro closes, students from Pittsburgh will go somewhere else. But the students from NWPA only have more expensive options.

                        Bottom line, the state has to create ways to make PASSHE more attractive while maintaining its affordability edge. Unless a student has a huge aid package, PASSHE should usually be the most affordable option. I know that's not good marketing but as a society we can't complain about cost & debt while ignoring lower cost options.
                        They won't close campuses due to the debt obligations. Someone has to pay it. It's not like they can just walk away and not owe. But, yes - In your hypothetical...if Edinboro closes, a decent percentage of those kids won't just go to another PASSHE school. They'd go somewhere outside of PASSHE.

                        And to your point of basically creating a value-proposition-
                        I think they need to focus on creating a high quality experience. Like if you want to do online, what the best schools do is they have Faculty Teach the classes. Then, they have Mentors that get assigned to students and answer questions. Then they have staff that assist with content creation. Like, it isn't just as easy as converting an in person class to an online class. You need a good Helpdesk with adequate hours to help someone who can't log in at midnight. You need good technology where classes can be delivered remotely. Even our best schools at 'online' don't do many of these things.

                        Schools like UCF used this model and grew from like 20-some thousand students to 50-some thousand students. So this can be done. But, it requires model shifts fundamentally different than schools operate at not. And maybe the redesign will force some of it? But, I think there are going to be a lot of growing pains.

                        If you want to get adult learners, you have to make it really easy to become a student. You can't make them hunt down their transcripts, etc. You have to do that. You have to offer classes they want. This is what SNHU does. The models that succeed are out there.

                        In some ways, what it will take to succeed and grow is totally different than how the schools are ran now. And it would take actually hiring more staff in some instances. I guess they could move people around.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by complaint_hopeful View Post

                          They won't close campuses due to the debt obligations. Someone has to pay it. It's not like they can just walk away and not owe. .
                          Individuals and businesses just walk away from debt every day. I'm not so sure these schools couldn't do the same.

                          I think the impact on the local economy would be the biggest barrier to closing up shop.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by iupgroundhog View Post

                            Individuals and businesses just walk away from debt every day. I'm not so sure these schools couldn't do the same.

                            I think the impact on the local economy would be the biggest barrier to closing up shop.
                            I think this is more realistic than other comments I have seen. The Commonwealth will likely have to pick up the debt once a decision to close or change is made. Assets will be repurposed (Commonwealth prisons, etc...) or sold (hotels, manufacturing space, etc...) and foundations likely forced to liquidate. It won't be pretty but the first rule about digging holes is to stop digging. The Commonwealth may have to issue special purpose liquidation bonds to pull it off but recognizing that the current model isn't sustainable is crucial to facilitate creative thinking.

                            The impact to local economies is large but look at what industrious people have done with closed military bases. There is a future.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by iupgroundhog View Post

                              Individuals and businesses just walk away from debt every day. I'm not so sure these schools couldn't do the same.

                              I think the impact on the local economy would be the biggest barrier to closing up shop.
                              The Chancellor has said its not an option. The state system is on the hook for the debt.

                              If they could just close a campus and not owe the debt, I think they'd do it.

                              And once you close 1, it likely hurts enrollment at others as people will think their school is next.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by complaint_hopeful View Post

                                The Chancellor has said its not an option.
                                That is one scary statement right there. I guess you have to read it in context.

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