Harrisburg Area Community College
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the largest and oldest community college in Pennsylvania. With a mission of shaping the future by creating opportunities and transforming lives, HACC operates with the vision of being the first choice for quality higher education. Led by Dr. John “Ski” Sygielski, HACC operates on five campuses and boasts 19,000 degree-seeking students and 6,000 workforce development students. Over half of the students served are 24 years of age or younger, with another 15% being 30 to 39 years old. HACC is set apart by its workforce development program, which offers job training and hands-on-learning opportunities in programs such as information technology, computer applications, and manufacturing. This program has set HACC apart as a leader in workforce development.
Innovative Employer-Driven Pathways
Impactful partnerships are the driving force behind the success of HACC’s workforce development program, as well as, it has propelled the school to its status as its region’s leader in workforce development.
A key organization that HACC partners with is the York County Alliance for Learning. This non-profit provides impactful academic and career experiences to students and teachers throughout York County, Pennsylvania through meaningful collaborations with local businesses and schools. Together, HACC and York County Alliance for Learning have designed the Career Academy and the 2+2+2 Program. Through Career Academy, high school seniors get exposure to fields such as Auto Technology, Electrical Maintenance and more, as well as opportunities to earn college credit towards Nursing and other Associate Degree programs at HACC. The 2+2+2 Program allows high school students to earn credit towards an Associate Degree in Engineering Technology at HACC. Upon completion, many students are equipped to enter the workforce right away, while others are able to seamlessly transfer to an Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Program at Penn State York Campus, one of HACC’s partner schools. Both the Career Academy and the 2+2+2 program have already exhibited great success in introducing local students to STEM fields and preparing them to thrive both at HACC and in their future careers.
Through an exclusive agreement with Microsoft, HACC makes available the DreamSpark Microsoft Program online. This program addresses the challenge of making professional-level developer technology available to students. At HACC, students in STEM have access to different software applications carried by the Microsoft DreamSpark Program. The STEM subject-specific instructor provides guidance and access to information that allows for the full capabilities of the program to be unlocked. The use of this technology incentivizes in class technology breakthrough while developing the requisite professional human capital. It also addresses some of the higher education challenges of effective technologies at bargain pricing. DreamSpark addresses professional development themes by facilitating learning, research and engaged teaching.
HACC, in partnership with Bloomsburg University directly addresses local employers need for qualified management in the field of STEM. HACC students who graduate with an associate degree in applied science can complete a Bloomsburg University bachelor of applied science degree in technical leadership at HACC’s campus. These students become immediately employable and in so doing address the STEM talent shortfall in Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 22% of all Pennsylvania jobs are STEM-related and HACC in partnership with Bloomsburg University intend to address this.
This partnership program is designed to update RN and LPN knowledge and skills, as well as, help those working to reinstate their nursing license. Program uses hands on clinical learning and lectures to train nurses in new techniques and technologies. Program addresses immediate employability topics, such as, the nursing process, current nursing practices, trends, ethical and legal issues. Off campus clinical experience is gained at Hershey Medical Center, local nursing homes and visiting nursing association.
Key STEM Programs
Advanced Manufacturing STEM Academy for Local Middle School Students
For middle school students, HACC hosts an Advanced Manufacturing STEM Academy in mechatronics, engineering and welding. The goal of the academy is to promote career awareness in high-priority advanced manufacturing fields. Through this program, students are exposed to subjects such as welding, mechatronics, electro-mechanical technology, and drafting and design technology.
Summer Math Institute
The Summer Math Program, led by mathematics professor Dr. Newt Miller at HACC’s York campus, was launched in 2014. This summer enrichment camp is geared toward providing intensive mathematics courses to underprepared high school students in order to facilitate a smooth transition into college-level classes. By introducing these students to this material early, HACC is working to increase recruitment and retention of students in STEM majors. The impact of the program is in its immediate community and surrounding regions. The program, through its emphasis on collegiate math preparation and transitioning, elevates the college’s mission to the surrounding businesses. In so doing, HACC acts as a conduit for human capital development critical for a thriving STEM-driven economy.
2+2+2 Program in partnership with Your County Alliance for Learning
This unique three-tier program (2+2+2) provides a continuum from high school to a Penn State engineering bachelor’s degree via an HACC associates degree intermediary. This program of study articulates high school credit accumulation that transfers seamlessly to HACC’s Engineering Technology program and ultimately a Penn State bachelor’s degree. With innovation the focus of economies that will distinguish themselves in this globalized world of breakneck competition, HACC has turned to these pioneering models to train the human capital that will lead invention.