Partnership with Bloomsburg makes it possible
It's a 186 mile round trip from Bethlehem to Bloomsburg, but it's a trip that students will never need to make to earn a bachelor's degree in technical leadership from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, thanks to a new partnership between Northampton Community College (NCC) and the state university.
On February 25, officials from Bloomsburg traveled to Bethlehem to sign an agreement that will provide students interested in moving into leadership and supervisory positions in technical fields with a clear pathway to a bachelor's degree whether they are coming from high school, from Northampton or from industry. The agreement guarantees admission to Bloomsburg and transfer of 60 or more credits to graduates of NCC who want to enroll in Bloomsburg's technical leadership program. It also makes it possible for students to get a jump start on the NCC to Bloomsburg transfer and to earn college credits while still in high school. The upper-level courses required to complete the bachelor of applied science degree will be taught at NCC or online by Bloomsburg faculty. Classes will be scheduled during the evening so adults who are already in the workforce can enroll.
At an upbeat signing ceremony in Northampton's Alumni Hall, Dr. Mark Erickson, president of NCC, said the program aligns well with NCC's strategic priorities in that it expands access to education, encourages students to complete degrees, and focuses on leadership in technology, an area that the College has been investing heavily in. "It is all about serving students," he said. Bloomsburg's president, Dr. David Soltz, noted that the partnership reflects Bloomsburg's commitment "to build educational pathways for the citizens of the Commonwealth."
It is designed to help meet the needs of employers looking to fill management positions especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.The U.S. Department of Labor projects jobs in those fields will grow by 10 percent by the year 2020.
To symbolize the new relationships between Bloomsburg and Northampton, Erickson donned a Bloomsburg cap and Soltz donned a Northampton cap as they signed the guaranteed admissions agreement.
Dr. Ira Blake, provost and senior vice president, academic affairs, at Bloomsburg, and Dr. Michael McGovern, interim vice president, academic affairs, at Northampton, also participated in the ceremony.
McGovern described the occasion as "a red letter day" for the institutions and for students aspiring to leadership in technical fields.