Our speakers last Wednesday were Duane Vicinni and Dr. Deborah Teachman talking about the Rural Regional College of Northern PA(RRC).
The Rural Community College Association did a study and determined that a Rural Regional College was needed in northern PA. A non-profit (ECUA) was named to establish the college. The Legislature named 9 counties and Erie to be participants, leaving out Jefferson, Clarion and Clearfield which had been in the original group.
The RRC has a Board of Trustees of between 11 and 15 members. Two members are from Warren County and the RRC is to be headquartered in Warren County. The plan was submitted to Harrisburg on April 9, 2017 and it was approved on May 25, 2017.
South Street School has been selected as the headquarters with RRC, Warren Higher Ed Council and the Warren Practical Nursing Programs at that location.
The program is currently offering college credit courses through Gannon University at a reduced cost of $180 per credit hour for regular students and $60 per credit hour for dual enrollment high school students.
RRC is built on a community college model but is not a community college. It has open enrollment with the only requirements being a high school or GED diploma.
RRC currently has 81 students in 14 locations enrolled. It will eventually go through the Middle States Accreditation program and expect to have full accreditation in 2020 or earlier.
RRC is not a Community College of the Commonwealth, therefore they can charge a lower credit hour rate than community colleges, they are not receiving any local tax share, does not compete with 4 year schools and general invites three types of students;
1. Those who did not do well in high school
2. Those who have not been able to complete a 4 year college.
3. Older individuals that wish to find better or higher paying jobs.
62% of students who enroll in 4 year colleges do not make it through 3 semesters.