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Shapiro Administration Joins U.S. Department of Education to Highlight Career Pathways for Postsecondary Graduates

03/21/2024

Lancaster, PA - Yesterday, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Secretary Dr. Khalid N. Mumin joined U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology to highlight career pathways available to students at Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities.

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 funding for state colleges and universities, unites them under a new governance structure, and ensures students in the new system who make up to the median income will pay no more than $1,000 per semester in tuition and fees. 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. 

Governor Shapiro’s blueprint will help keep young people in Pennsylvania, attract more workers and companies to our Commonwealth, help students build the skills and gain the credentials they need to fill good-paying jobs, and ensure employers can find the skilled workers their businesses need to thrive and grow.

“Governor Josh Shapiro’s blueprint for higher education is about uplifting promising postsecondary experiences around Pennsylvania and replicating them for all students,” said Secretary Khalid N. Mumin. “It’s about ensuring that students in all corners of the Commonwealth can access high-quality postsecondary education, can graduate with less debt, and can obtain good-paying, family-sustaining jobs.”

Pedro Rivera, president of Thaddeus Stevens, recently appeared on WITF’s The Spark to discuss the Governor’s blueprint for higher education and how it would support postsecondary institutions, learners, and communities across the Commonwealth. Rivera noted that 97% of the college’s graduates are employed or pursuing additional education upon graduation, with an average of 22 job offers per student, and 95% of graduates remaining to live and work in Pennsylvania.

“We’re optimistic about the governor’s proposal, and for an institution like ours, when you think about accessibility, when you think about affordability—those are the basic tenets of our institution. We exist to offer an affordable pathway to students from underrepresented and underserved communities,” said Rivera during the interview.

While most of the students at Thaddeus Stevens graduate with little to no debt, that is not the case for students across Pennsylvania. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, in 2019-20, 64 percent of Pennsylvania college graduates had student loan debt, placing the state third highest nationally. Their average debt load was $39,375.

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is a premier, residential, two-year, accredited technical college that prepares students for skilled employment in a diverse, ever-changing workforce. Founded in 1905 with 15 students, Thaddeus Stevens College has grown to more than 1,400 students and 24 high-skill, high-wage technical programs. The college was recognized by the Aspen Institute, an independent research panel, as one of the top 120 two-year colleges in the country for six consecutive years; it was the only two-year, technical college in Pennsylvania recognized by the Aspen Institute.

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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