The Pennsylvania Department of Education is granting $3.25 million toward a $6.5 million package meant to update the administrative software system at Westmoreland County Community College.
It is a boost for the college and its eight locations in three counties, including a facility at 45 Airport Road near the Indiana County Jimmy Stewart Airport in White Township.
“If a student is interacting with us in any capacity (bill paying, et al), in an online environment, this will benefit them,” college President Dr. Tuesday Stanley said Thursday. “I hope it is going to improve how we interact with students and increase our efficiency.”
In announcing the grant earlier this week, state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Vandergrift, said the PDE funds will be matched with money from local sponsors.
“Investing in our community colleges reaps substantial benefits,” Petrarca said, “not only by offering the most up-to-date resources and educational programs for students, but in providing them with the vital tools they need to succeed in the workforce.”
WCCC’s Indiana County location isn’t a campus per se, Stanley said, not in the eyes of those involved in accrediting colleges and universities.
“You can get degree programs, you can talk to an adviser, you can get most services there,” the community college president said.
Separately this week, Petrarca announced awards of $233,639 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority for three recreational projects in Westmoreland County. CFA awarded $165,313 for improvements to the Joseph A. Petrarca Memorial Pool in Vandergrift, a facility named for the lawmaker’s late father.
Also, CFA awarded nearly $70,000 for two recreational projects in Derry Township, with $39,038 for improvements to the Bradenville Playground and $29,288 to purchase and install playground equipment for children ages 2-12 at Cooperstown Park.