Governor's commission recommends higher education changes

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The Commission on Postsecondary Education assembled by Gov. Tom Corbett today released its recommendations after a nine-month study and they include measures to make higher education more accessible and affordable and relevant to the job market.

The commission even went so far as to recommend linking funding levels for institutions to their levels of access and affordability.

"These suggestions focus on what is important to our students now -- accessibility and affordability," the governor said in a press release. "At the same time, it plans for the future by recommending programs that will prepare our students for careers here in Pennsylvania."

Among specific recommendations by the commission is creating an online system to help students and their parents access information about higher education, training programs and financial plans. The commission said the state also should encourage the growth of dual enrollment programs, particularly in the science and technology fields and health care and manufacturing.

Another recommendation encourages post-secondary institutions to contain costs, noting that Pennsylvania "ranks below many states in affordability" because of lower-than-average levels of state funding per student and higher than average costs to deliver education in Pennsylvania. There is also a recommendation to consolidate and eliminate programs or institutions across the state.

The commission was made up of 31 individuals from education and the private sector including University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, Penn State University President Rodney Erickson and Community College of Allegheny County President Alex Johnson. It was chaired by Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, who, in a press release, called the recommendations a "robust road map for the next decade." education - mobilehome - breaking

Mary Niederberger: mniederberger@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1590.


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