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Shapiro Administration: Blueprint for Higher Education Will Create Opportunity, Increase Access to Excellent Schools for More Pennsylvanians

02/09/2024

Millersville, PA - Today, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Secretary Dr. Khalid N. Mumin and Deputy Secretary Dr. Kate Shaw joined Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Chancellor Dan Greenstein at Millersville University to highlight Governor Shapiro’s proposed investments in higher education and how Pennsylvania’s public postsecondary system is preparing students to be workforce-ready upon graduation.

Governor Shapiro’s blueprint for higher education will help Pennsylvania’s public universities build on areas of strength and address the challenges caused by a 30-year disinvestment in higher education by the Commonwealth, such as competition between universities that results in higher costs and lower enrollment. Governor Shapiro’s blueprint will ensure better coordination across PASSHE universities and community colleges to expand access to affordable, workforce-ready credentials and degrees across Pennsylvania – including in areas that currently lack access.

“Our Commonwealth’s institutions of higher education, like Millersville University, do an incredible job preparing students for the future and connecting them with future opportunities,” said Secretary Khalid N. Mumin. “Governor Josh Shapiro’s new blueprint for higher education will end the era of disinvestment in our higher education sector, make postsecondary education more accessible and affordable to more Pennsylvanians, and allow these schools to continue to do what they do best—educate learners.”

During a tour of the Weather Information Center, recycling plastics area, and robotics lab, state officials learned how Millersville students are leaving the university with an array of job opportunities in high-paying, high-demand careers. Millersville Meteorology is a nationally recognized flagship program of the university, with an innovative curriculum in space weather, air quality, water resources, data analytics, and emergency response and disaster preparedness. In 2020, Millersville became the seventh university in Pennsylvania to be designated as a StormReady University.

“We are grateful for Secretary Mumin’s visit to Millersville University and the opportunity to showcase our premier programs in meteorology, life science, and applied engineering that focus on building career-ready skills,” said Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville University. “We have industry partnerships in our region’s growth sectors where students receive hands-on learning experiences and internships and have direct avenues to careers.”

After decades of disinvestment that have put postsecondary education out of reach for many Pennsylvanians, Governor Josh Shapiro recently announced his blueprint for higher education—a plan that dramatically increases state funding for colleges and universities, unites them under a new governance structure, and caps tuition costs for eligible students. Gov. Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposal invests $975 million in the community colleges and PASSHE universities that will comprise this new system, a 15 percent increase in the amount of funding those institutions received last year.

"Gov. Shapiro's proposed funding increase for a new public higher education system that includes PASSHE universities and Pennsylvania's community colleges as co-equals, presents a great opportunity for the state," said Chancellor Dan Greenstein. "Millersville works closely with HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, as all PASSHE universities do with community colleges in their region, to expand access to a valuable education. The governor's proposal is an opportunity to build on the strengths of our PASSHE universities and the state's community college, and to do more together."

Founded in 1855, Millersville University of Pennsylvania was established with the ideals that teacher preparation and classical learning are essential elements of public education and enlightened citizenship. Over the past 160 years, the university and its academic offerings have grown significantly, and today Millersville University is considered a destination of choice not only for Pennsylvanians but for out-of-state and international students seeking a top-rated liberal arts education. 

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on FacebookTwitterYouTube, or Pinterest. ​

MEDIA CONTACT: Taj Magruder, tmagruder@pa.gov

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