HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) updated lawmakers today on their progress toward redesigning the system to grow enrollment, serve new populations and better meet the needs of students and employers, according to Senator Scott Martin (R-13).
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Martin, and the Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Senator Pat Browne (R-16), held a public hearing today with PASSHE Chancellor Dan Greenstein to discuss changes to the system, including integrating several universities and leveraging their collective strengths to boost career readiness for system graduates.
The goal of the integration plan is to continue to provide a high-quality education to students at an affordable price. The plan aims to reduce the cost for students to get a degree by up to 25 percent by 2026.
The changes to PASSHE were authorized by Act 50 of 2020, which was championed by Martin and Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-6).
PASSHE is expected to present its system redesign proposal in April of this year, to be followed by a public comment period and phased implementation set for fall of 2022. Some of the key points of the integration plans include:
- Uniting several universities within geographic regions to create single, stronger institutions that can better meet the needs of students.
- Keeping all campuses open and retaining accreditation for current students.
- Ensuring current students can complete their programs at the campus of their choosing.
- Expanding opportunities for current and future students to choose courses taught by faculty.
- Expanding capability in online learning and student supports.
- Maintaining athletic teams and expanding opportunities for student-athletes.
Martin was recently appointed to continue serving on the PASSHE Board of Governors, which is responsible for planning and coordinating development and operation of the state system.
“Redesigning the state system is an absolutely enormous job, but PASSHE and its member schools are doing an incredible job of embracing this challenge and working in good faith to ensure the system can not only survive, but also thrive well into the future,” Martin said. “I appreciate PASSHE’s efforts to better meet the needs of students and train them for the careers that will be in the highest demand for many years to come.”
CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535