Marking a quarter-century of providing workforce and industry training and education to businesses and individuals in the Northern Tier, the North Campus of Pennsylvania College of Technology held a 25th anniversary celebration Tuesday for current and former staff and students and members of the local community.
Penn College’s immediate forerunner, Williamsport Area Community College, acquired the North Campus facility (formerly a high school and elementary school) in 1983 from the Wellsboro Area School District. The college renovated the building − which contains approximately 20,000 square feet of classroom and office space situated on 35 acres along Route 6 in Charleston Township − and classes officially began on Jan. 10 of that year.
Today, the North Campus continues to offer business-and-industry training, as well as noncredit courses for professional development and personal enrichment.
Speaking at the ceremonies were Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour; Bill Williams, vice president, human resources for HMAC, LLC (formerly Ward Manufacturing); former student Joseph Bubacz, chief information officer for Laurel Health System; and Andy McIlvain, a current student enrolled in the Practical Nursing Program.
“Penn College is proud to have been part of the fabric of this community for 25 years,” Gilmour said. “We remain committed to providing professional-development and industry-training opportunities for residents of the Northern Tier. The quality programs and courses offered at the North Campus respond to an ongoing need that we are happy to address.”
Rep. Matt Baker, R-Tioga, read a state House of Representatives citation. A state Senate citation also was read.
“The Pennsylvania College of Technology North Campus is to be congratulated for providing 25 years of outstanding educational opportunity for the citizens of the area,” said Baker, who also serves on Penn College’s board of directors.
“The North Campus has been a community center for education and training for 25 years,” said Brenda G. Abplanalp, director of North Campus outreach services for the college. “It has been an incredible journey with many changes, especially in technology. Our plan for the future is to continue to offer programs that assist Northern Tier residents in upgrading their skills and abilities.”
Invited guests at the ceremonies toured the facility, and a reception was held after the speakers made their remarks. As part of Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Penn College, the North Campus offers a variety of programming and services.
Continuing Education and Customized Training Courses provide upgrading, training and development to enhance opportunities for individuals in their job duties, career advancement and personal development. Customized courses are available to provide education on selected topics in business and industry. Classes are conducted in an informal, noncompetitive atmosphere.
Practical Nursing and Medical Assistant Programs, Professional Office Skills Certificate Graduates of the one-year (1,504 hour) Practical Nursing Program are eligible to take the Practical Nursing National Council Licensure Examination for licensure in Pennsylvania as an LPN and are prepared to seek employment in multiple health-care settings. Those completing the 960-hour Medical Office Assistant Program are eligible to sit for the American Medical Technologists certification exam and have the opportunity to achieve registered medical assistant status to work in doctor’s offices, clinics, medical facilities and human-service agencies. Students completing the 800-hour Professional Office Skills certificate program are prepared to perform general administrative, secretarial, receptionist and office duties in various types of businesses, industrial and professional offices.
Computer Facilities North Campus computer labs feature Novell-networked workstations, with a Windows operating platform, Microsoft Office and Internet access.
Meeting and Conference FacilitiesThe campus features excellent facilities to accommodate small meetings, seminars and larger conferences and retreats, along with a state-of-the-art nursing lab.
For more information about the North Campus, located along Route 6 between Mansfield and Wellsboro, call (570) 724-7703.
A History of the North Campus Property (Before College Ownership)
- The land was part of the Francis farm in the 1930s. The original Charleston High School was located on Charleston Road, just east of Wellsboro. The location for the new building was selected because of its central position in Charleston Township. The 53-acre property was deeded to the School District of Charleston Township in October 1935
- Construction began in 1936, and the building opened in the 1937-38 school year
- At the beginning of the 1948-49 school year, consolidation of the Wellsboro, Delmar, Charles, Middlebury, Shippen and Duncan school districts took place. The newly formed district was the Wellsboro-Charleston Joint School System.
- In June 1949, Thomas and Carrie White deeded 3 acres to the school district for $800
- August 1952: The school district retained Clarence Ackley and Associates, of Camp Hill, to conduct a study of the district’s facilities. The recommendation was that the nine elementary schools should be decreased to four, and all high school students should be transported to a single school in Wellsboro. The firm recommended that Charleston High School be converted to an elementary school with an addition to the building.
- In August 1954, the total of 56 acres was deeded to the Central Tioga Joint School Authority for $1
- The last graduating class came at the end of the 1954 school year
- An addition was built in 1955, and elementary students began attending
- In July 1970, the 56 acres were deeded to the Wellsboro Area School District for $1. In the same year, the house, barn and 2.29 acres were deeded to Harry and Betty Weller by the school district for $10,000.
- December 1974: The school district deeded 12.226 acres of land to the Wellers for $3,600
- The elementary school was closed after the 1979-80 school year
- In 1982, administrators from Williamsport Area Community College toured the building with the idea of starting a branch campus in Tioga County. The facility was leased by W.A.C.C. for $1,000/month for the first eight months. The building had to be purchased in order to qualify for grant funds for the extensive renovations that were needed. Initial funding was requested from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Packer Foundation and the state Department of Education. A purchase price of $60,000 was established. The school district eventually gifted the building in order to encourage occupancy by the college.
North Campus Milestones, 1983-Present
- Jan. 10, 1983: Classes began with 15 Practical Nursing Program students
- In March 1983, Cathryn Addy was hired as the first director of the campus. In April, renovations were under way.
- Fall 1983: The first students were enrolled in an associate-degree program: computer information systems. In January 1984, majors for secretarial science, business administration and individual studies were added.
- In December 1983, the first Practical Nursing Program graduation was held. Other programs were added in early childhood education, human services and electronics.
- May 1985: The first graduation for the associate-degree students in computer information systems was held
- In Spring 1986, William Lex began as director of the campus
- On July 1, 1989, Pennsylvania College of Technology became an affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University
- August 1993: Ted Nichols became director of the campus
- In 2001, the North Campus became a part of the college’s Technology Transfer Center (now Workforce Development & Continuing Education)
- August 2002: Brenda Abplanalp became director; soon after, Laurel Health System requested reinstitution of the Practical Nursing Program due to the need for health-care workers in the region
- In June 2003, the (noncredit) Practical Nursing Program received initial State Board of Nursing approval, and recruitment began for a coordinator, instructors and students. Classes began in January 2004.
- April 2005: The Medical Office Assistant Program began 2005: the medical office assistant program began>