PASSHE launches next phase of redesign

Cris Collingwood//July 21, 2022

PASSHE launches next phase of redesign

Cris Collingwood//July 21, 2022

Kutztown University is part of PASSE. – FILE PHOTO

The State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors has launched the next phase of its redesign. 

Building on a fourth consecutive year of freezing tuition and fueled by a historic funding increase in state-owned universities, PASSHE said Thursday the new phase will help students succeed and graduate and position the system for long-term growth to meet the commonwealth’s critical need for workers.

“This is an exciting moment for the future of public higher education and the students we serve in Pennsylvania,” said Cindy Shapira, chair of the Board of Governors. “Higher education across the country is evolving, and Pennsylvania’s State System universities are adapting to it. This innovative new phase of our system redesign will expand opportunities for students to help them enroll, succeed, graduate, and enjoy rewarding careers in Pennsylvania while strengthening the universities for the future.”
Building on the success of phases one and two of system redesign, phase three has five priorities:  

  1. Expand student opportunities by increasing retention and graduation rates, reducing attainment gaps, and attracting non-traditional students, such as those ready for college but not considering enrolling, former students with incomplete degrees, and working adults who need short-term programs to earn industry credentials necessary to change jobs or advance their careers.  

Additionally, the System will increase the number of credit-bearing and non-credit bearing, non-degree credentials, support inclusive university communities and university integration and increase shared programs and courses across universities.

  1. Expand student affordability and grow by increasing student financial aid, creating more affordable pathways for students to earn credentials, and growing partnerships with employers and state government to expand opportunities for students, including non-traditional and adult learners.
  1. Operate sustainably by ensuring universities’ programs are financially viable.
  1. Enhance partnership with the state by building on the governor’s and legislature’s renewed bipartisan trust to seek increased state funding and expand the state’s investment in direct-to-student aid.
  1. Invest in people and infrastructure by supporting professional development of faculty and staff to meet the evolving needs of students and enhancing information systems to enable collaboration among System universities. 

PASSHE launched its System Redesign in 2017 to address challenges affecting colleges and universities nationwide but acute in Pennsylvania. 

 “With the additional funding provided by the legislature and governor, the State System is moving forward with the most meaningful part of our redesign,” said Chancellor Daniel Greenstein. “To meet the workforce needs of the state, we must make higher education available to students who are traditionally underserved. The challenges and experiences of traditional college-age students, returning students, and working adults seeking a degree or short-term credentials are all vastly different. This redesign phase will position all of those students to thrive and graduate at our universities.”