MANSFIELD, PA (04/11/2023) Thanks once again to a donation from First Citizens Community Bank (FCCB), the Early College program (formerly known as the Early Start Program) of Commonwealth University-Mansfield has remained tuition-free for Pennsylvania public high school students this academic year.
The donation is the third year that First Citizens has supported the Early College Program, contributing $55,000 this year to the program.
“We are very thankful to First Citizens Community Bank for the support of the Early College Program,” said Bashar W. Hanna, president of Commonwealth University. “The continued support they have provided has been vital to allow Commonwealth University-Mansfield to give students in the Northern Tier an affordable, early start to their college education.”
The Early College Program enables qualified high school students to enroll in courses taught by Mansfield University faculty-via face-to-face or online instruction-and earn college credits while still in high school. Thanks to support from community organizations like First Citizens, the Early College Program has been tuition free for Pennsylvania public school students since Fall 2021.
“Programs like Early College can help remove financial barriers for students who may not have the resources to pursue higher education,” noted FCCB President & CEO, Randall Black. “Giving back in this way can have powerful and far-reaching impacts on students and our communities, creating a more equitable and prosperous future for all. We are very pleased to support a program that provides opportunities to help students achieve their academic and career goals and to support the systems of higher education in our communities.”
Beginning with five agreements in 2018, the Early College Program has grown to more than 50 partnerships with public school districts and private schools throughout Pennsylvania and in the southern tier of New York.
Students who successfully complete an Early College course are granted automatic general acceptance for full-time enrollment at Commonwealth University. Specific academic degree programs may require additional application materials for consideration.
In addition to the standard Early College courses taught by Mansfield faculty, course delivery is available at participating schools through the Concurrent Enrollment pilot program, enabling high school students to take Mansfield courses taught by qualified high school teachers on-site in their high school. The relevant university faculty must first approve the high school teachers providing instruction.
The university currently has Concurrent Enrollment agreements in place with a set of districts in the Northern Tier, including Athens, Northern Tioga, Southern Tioga, Troy, and Wellsboro. Students enrolled in such courses also have their tuition subsidized this academic year.