When They Are Ready, We Are Ready

In this day of the rising cost of college tuition, it is refreshing to see a few universities in our area freeze tuition this year—including IUP. Our students will not experience a tuition hike. Making sure that the children of the next generation can obtain a degree is worth for the well-being of our society, as well as for them, personally.

You will find many sources that verify that 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 the two scenarios.

  1. 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 IUP Magazine for details or my post on December 19.)
  2. 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 first. Or, 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 easily glide into a bachelor’s degree program. If a student comes to us before they earn an associate degree, WCCC will accept IUP credits in a reverse agreement to award the student an associate degree, a valuable credential.  We also respond to a demand for special niche offerings through our Municipal Police Academy and our Culinary Academy 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 parents to know that when students are ready to come to IUP, we will be there, ready for them.

Michael Driscoll

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Triple Crown

Last week, I addressed the campus community in a new forum we call 50 Minutes with President Driscoll. The forum is meant to engage faculty and staff members and students. I provide an update on things that are happening at the university, and then we open the floor for questions and comments. It’s a good way to keep in touch with issues and concerns in a way that includes everyone.  

Much of our discussion centered on student success, overall brand image and reputation, and the Imagine Unlimited Campaign. 

While some might view those things as separate, I view them as interdependent. Student success breeds university success. University success breeds a stronger reputation and image. Stronger reputation and student success create confidence in what we do, which leads to your support. Your support breeds even more student success. Student success secures a better future for us all. 

As we move forward with the University College, which I discussed in my December message to you, we continue to hone the ways we ensure our student experience leads to flourishing graduates who are ready to take on all the challenges we face as a society. 

I’m pleased to give you advanced notice that we are preparing to launch a new brand image later this year. Based on thorough research conducted in person and online with all of our stakeholder groups, the new brand and its accompanying communications plan will assist us in telling the IUP story in a more amplified fashion, with consistency and deep emotion. We know our alumni and friends are proud of their IUP connection, but we want to inspire you to share our stories with your networks.  

And, with your help, we are making incredible leaps through the Imagine Unlimited Campaign. Currently at 81 percent to goal, with a little more than $60 million in hand, the campaign already is creating momentum that will last for years to come. Philanthropic support is ensuring we can prepare students for those eye-opening experiences that make them thrive. 

Student success, a strong image, support from those who invest in the future. Together, they create a cycle of achievement—a triple crown.  

Please leave a comment or question. I always appreciate hearing from you. 


Michael Driscoll

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