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Penn State Fayette expands to Mon Valley

| Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006

Penn State Fayette soon will be offering classes in the mid-Mon Valley.

A state grant will fund the program, which aims to address shortfalls in access to higher education.

The classes will be offered at the Mon Valley Career and Technology Center in Speers, Washington County.

Joseph E. Segilia, director of outreach and continuing education at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, said before classes are offered, Penn State will study the needs of the business and industry community in the Mon Valley.

To accomplish that, a program has been scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday on the Penn State Fayette campus. Penn State's Team Decision software will be used by leaders of the business and industry community to review common training and workforce development needs.

Segilia said patricipants share data through a computer interface.

"It's anonymous so people can be honest and open," Segilia said. "We want to know what are their needs and how can we meet them."

Penn State will start offering credit courses in January at the Mon Valley Career and Technology Center.

"People from the Mon Valley, instead of driving to Uniontown, can take classes in Speers," Segilia said. "And even though they will take courses in the Mon Valley, it will be no different from taking it at the campus."

Penn State professors will be sent to Speers for classes that will be offered after 3 p.m. and on weekends.

The center is "virtually untapped" after 3 p.m., said Bradley Dei Cas, director of the Mon Valley Career and Technology Center.

Dei Cas said a number of organizations and schools were solicited through the Community Education Council, and "Penn State was in the forefront of that."

"I am excited, and I'd like to see some other places get involved," Dei Cas said.

To learn more about the course offerings, call the Mon Valley Progress Council at 724-684-3381 or Penn State at 724-430-4211.

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