Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, and Westmoreland County Community College have finalized agreements designed to help students complete both associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees in business.

The collaborative agreements, which permit IUP to accept additional transfer credits from the community colleges, are designed to provide an affordable, accessible, high-quality program of study that will prepare students for professional and managerial careers in business, including a seamless transfer of courses between the two community colleges and IUP.

“I believe that because this program allows students to seamlessly transfer from community college to IUP, they can more readily achieve the career success and professional goals that they want,” said Stephen Ferris, dean of IUP’s Eberly College of Business. “Also, this program is a very cost-effective way for students to earn the college degree that can open up new employment opportunities and transform their lives.”

Specifically, the collaborative agreement standardizes the Penn Highlands and Westmoreland associate of business degree requirements with IUP’s bachelor of science degree in various programs, including:

  • BS in Accounting
  • BS in Finance
  • BS in Management
  • BS in Human Resource Management
  • BS in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
  • BS in Supply Chain Management
  • BS in Marketing
  • BS in Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism, and Event Management

“We are very pleased to help make this opportunity a reality for many students,” said Lisa Sciulli, chair and professor of marketing at IUP. “They will be able to complete their degrees more easily and better prepare for new in-demand careers. Convenience and financial savings are major assets for this program.”

These bachelor’s degree programs are housed in IUP’s Eberly College of Business, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which provides internationally recognized, specialized accreditation for business and accounting programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

Departments in the Eberly College of Business include Accounting and Information Systems; Finance and Economics; Management; and Marketing. In addition to bachelor’s degrees, the Eberly College offers three MBA programs and one of the only part-time PhD programs in business in the Commonwealth. It has a robust international program, including its MBA program at PES Bangalore.

Under the collaborative agreement, students at the community colleges may apply up to 75 credit hours of coursework toward completion of each of these bachelor’s degree programs at IUP—and this option is available to all students at Penn Highlands and Westmoreland.

Courses will be delivered via a combination of live, remote, and online instruction from IUP faculty in order to help students to complete their degrees in a timely fashion, Sciulli said.

In addition, when graduates from the community colleges begin study at IUP in one of IUP’s bachelor’s degree business programs, they will receive 15 credits for business courses taken at the community college; students can also transfer up to 60 credits of liberal studies and free electives taken during completion of their associate degree to meet the requirements of the IUP bachelor of science degree in business.  

“Westmoreland has a great relationship with IUP from collaborative agreements like this in the School of Business, to our Dual Admission agreement. IUP has been a high-quality solution for many of our students who are seeking to further their education,” said Westmoreland President Tuesday Stanley. “Working on programs like this with IUP have benefited our students who need to make very calculated decisions on how they achieve their educational goals when more than a two-year degree is needed in their selected field of study.”

“IUP’s Eberly College of Business is leading the way in creating partnerships with community colleges,” Dean of Enrollment and Registrar at Penn Highlands Michelle Stumpf said. “Partnerships like these make earning a college degree more accessible and affordable for the students in our region. Whether students know their future or are still figuring things out, Penn Highlands can connect them with many opportunities in ways that respect timelines, education goals, and budgets.”

In addition to this new collaborative agreement and dual enrollment agreements with the two community colleges, IUP has dual admissions agreements with both Westmoreland and Penn Highlands. Under the dual admissions agreement, students enrolled at these community colleges who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree at IUP will be given automatic acceptance to IUP, pending successful completion of all admissions requirements. No additional admissions application will be required for these students.

Students also will receive enhanced counseling, advising, and transition support services from both institutions, and community college students who have been accepted into this program will be given full access to IUP’s resources, including housing, dining, the Co-op, the IUP Libraries, and IUP activities and events.

Since 2015, 1,529 students from Westmoreland and 825 students from Penn Highlands have transferred to IUP to complete their academic studies.