Now that the RRC’s plan has been approved by the PA Secretary of Education, here are 10 facts you should know:
1. The RRC’s service area includes nine counties: Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Potter, Venango and Warren.
2. The RRC’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible education, and training that leads to family sustaining careers.
3. Classes are currently offered in 13 locations across the nine-county region, with approximately 80 students enrolled. Additional sites are expected to start up this fall.
4. Twenty-eight of the current students are taking classes in Erie County, the newest addition to the RRC’s service area.
5. The RRC will not operate on a single traditional campus-based model, and it is not an “online” college. Courses will be offered in a variety of ways: (a) in the classroom, (b) via live interactive technology, and (c) through hands-on learning with equipment and in lab facilities.
6. The RRC is embracing the economies of scale and efficiency of working regionally, and will make the best use of existing space and equipment across the region to deliver its courses and technical training.
7. The RRC’s funding model is different from that of a traditional community college. The RRC requires no municipal, county or school district tax dollars. Funding comes from state appropriations, student tuition and fees, and grants and other donations.
8. Tuition rates are consistent with community colleges across the state, and, once the RRC becomes accredited, students will be eligible for financial aid. Plans to seek accreditation are currently underway. In the meantime, students are eligible for financial aid through an existing partnership with Gannon University that predates the RRC.
9. The RRC’s administrative headquarters are in Warren County, centrally located within the nine-county region. The RRC’s president and vice president of academic and student affairs have been hired through a national search. There will be a dean of Erie County programs and other staff housed in Erie County to assist urban students with enrollment, advisement, financial aid and other support services necessary for success. While the rural counties will not have a separate dean, they will receive similar support services through the RRC.
10. You can learn more about the RRC on its soon-to-be-launched introductory website. We’ll keep you posted!