This is an exciting time for Clarion University as it considers integration with California and Edinboro universities – two schools that, like Clarion, have a rich heritage in western Pennsylvania. As Clarion, Cal U and Edinboro combine their strengths to offer every student a richer academic experience, each campus will keep its own name and identity.
Plans call for one leadership team, a single faculty and staff, a unified program array and a single, combined budget. Our universities will save money by working together – and those savings will be re-invested in ways that benefit our students. The goal is to create new opportunities for students, including a wider variety of academic programs, and to hold down the cost of higher education for students at all three campuses. Integrationboldly focuses on meeting students’ needs, now and in the future.
If approved by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, integration will give students more choices – more chances to take specialized electives within their major, to add minors that enhance the value of a degree, or to study with an expert professor who happens to be on another campus.
Campus life will be vibrant, whether a student chooses to live in a residence hall or commute from home to California, Edinboro, Clarion, including Clarion’s additional sites at Venango Campus, Somerset and Pittsburgh. Student clubs and organizations, leadership and service opportunities, even late-night pizza parties will still be part of the traditional college experience.
Integration also benefits students – including working adults – who will have access to additional online learning opportunities. Students will find that an integrated university with multiple locations, including a new virtual campus, offers an expanded array of academic programs, courses and faculty expertise, and potential access to more internships and experiential learning opportunities.
Students win when their university is financially strong. University integration is designed to create efficiencies that can make higher education more affordable for families across Pennsylvania and beyond.
The PASSHE Board of Governors will meet July 14 to vote on integration, which is part of System Redesign, an ongoing effort to reshape Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. For more information about integration, visit www.clarion.edu/integration.
This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s July 2021 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.