Lackawanna College Announces Life-Changing Academic Partnership
SCRANTON, Pa. – Lackawanna College announced its “Level Up Lackawanna” partnership with the Abington Heights, Mid Valley, Riverside, and Wyoming Area School Districts today at a special Higher Education by Design Roundtable event. Superintendents from each participating school district attended the announcement and discussion, which centered Lackawanna College’s innovative program to encourage and accelerate postsecondary degree completion. Lackawanna College created this program in direct response to the crisis surrounding the cost of higher education and is collaborating with each district to create opportunities for local students and families.
The Level Up Lackawanna program is a groundbreaking initiative that creates a model to offer students concrete educational pathways; reduce or eliminate financial and social barriers to higher education enrollment, retention, and completion; and link educational pipelines with family-sustaining careers for students at all ends of the socioeconomic continuum. The program offers a multi-pronged approach that will address the needs of a diverse cross section of students from Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.
Lackawanna College President Mark Volk remarked, “Our administration is deeply cognizant of the financial barriers to higher education that the students of our region, and their families, face. We felt a responsibility to our local communities to help make things easier. Through this partnership with a pilot group of school districts, and any others interested in partnering, we are taking a bold step to provide students with challenging academics, crucial support services, and a variety of options to earn a degree quickly at a significant cost savings.”
Having worked on this partnership for nearly a year with the Lackawanna College leadership team, Riverside School District Superintendent Paul M. Brennan said, “This is a game changer! If this initiative doesn’t turn heads, nothing will! Lackawanna College and their partnerships are allowing the dreams of the students of our region to become a reality!”
Level Up Lackawanna will allow high achieving students to earn their associate degree in select majors by the time they graduate from high school through a combination of dual enrollment classes offered on-site at each partner school district, evening or late afternoon classes on site at Lackawanna, online classes, and summer terms. This degree path is priced at $6,200, a tremendous savings over the traditional cost of obtaining an associate degree, with opportunities to have the program fully funded, potentially making it free to students. Students who earn their associate degree will then have the option to enroll seamlessly in a Lackawanna College bachelor’s degree program with generous scholarship incentives.
Additionally, the Level Up program will offer opportunities for high school students to earn discipline-specific certificates consisting of introductory or foundation level courses in a particular major. This pathway will save students a semester or more of college work and represent a significant time and financial savings. Graduates with these certificates could potentially earn scholarships towards a bachelor’s or associate degree at Lackawanna.
The Level Up program will also create a pipeline specifically for students who are interesting in pursuing a career in the healthcare fields. Local students who pursue this option will gain early exposure to the healthcare field and will be able to strengthen their academic skills in courses that pertain to science and healthcare. In addition, they will attend informational sessions on career opportunities and receive mentoring from Lackawanna College healthcare majors. Students who complete the pipeline program are guaranteed admission to Lackawanna’s Allied Health programs, and they are guaranteed job placement upon successful completion of and graduation from Lackawanna’s associate degree programs.
Michael Mahon, Abington Heights School District Superintendent, said, “Students completing college level work should receive college level credit regardless of the setting. This partnership between Abington Heights School District and Lackawanna College will drive critical opportunities to the students we jointly serve. “
Patrick J. Sheehan, Superintendent of the Mid Valley School District added, “At Mid Valley, an essential goal of ours is to ensure that students who graduate are college and/or career ready in the 21st century. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Lackawanna College to offer students an affordable opportunity to earn a large portion of their post-secondary education while still attending high school. This opportunity will be immeasurable for those students who are driven to get a head start toward their degrees and ultimately a successful family-sustaining career.”
About Lackawanna College:
Founded in 1894, Lackawanna College is a private, accredited college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, Sunbury, and Towanda. Learn more at www.lackawanna.edu.