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Message From the President: Spring 2019

President Michael Driscoll

When You’re Ready, We’re Ready

As you’ll see on the following pages, IUP’s contributions to the K-12 community are positive and profound. I’d like to continue the conversation about education but take it in a different direction.

You will find many sources that verify obtaining a bachelor’s degree is worth the investment. While credentials of other kinds are useful, the bachelor’s degree is still the best way to strengthen lifetime earnings and employment potential.

Being agile and adapting to the needs of young people who want to obtain that education is something universities across the country are striving to do, and IUP is no exception. For the traditional-age student, I see two scenarios:

  • You are a graduating high school senior who is academically prepared and eager to begin college. IUP will support and challenge you, even if you don’t know what major course of study to choose. The University College can help you explore options. (Refer to the last edition of IUP Magazine for details.)

  • You want a bachelor’s degree, but academically, you aren’t ready. We at IUP think it’s unethical to admit you and ask you to assume debt for a program you might not complete. Nonetheless, we want you to persevere and suggest you start with a lower-cost option, like community college or trade school. Or, you might grow with a job or consider military service before enrolling.

For prospective students who fall into the second category, IUP takes advantage of an array of agreements with community colleges. Our agreement with Westmoreland County Community College, for example, enables qualifying students to glide easily into a bachelor’s degree program. If students come to us before they earn an associate degree, WCCC will accept IUP credits in a reverse agreement and award students an associate degree, a valuable credential. We also respond to demand for special niche offerings through our Municipal Police Academy and through our Academy of Culinary Arts and Clinical Medical Assistant program in Punxsutawney. After all, public universities are obligated to fulfill the needs of the regions we serve.

As we continue to fine tune our admissions standards and adapt to the decreasing number of high school graduates, we want our prospective students and their families to know that when students are ready to come to IUP, we will be there, ready for them.

Michael Driscoll