Education in Our Region
Penn State New Kensington (PSNK) was the first of our two LAKV host locations for our March 10th session on education. Here we had a morning filled with diverse information, and how education is being impacted in our region.
Dr. Kevin Snider, Chancellor of PSNK, started our morning with an enthusiastic discussion about â€˜cultivating a learning cultureâ€™ that seeks to not only recruit but retain students in an educational landscape, and also actively engages the community in the hopes of creating a statement of investiture of culture and atmosphere, as well as producing opportunities for an entrepreneurial spirit â€“ bridging the surrounding communities with Penn State.
Pat Hollinger, our host for the morningâ€™s session at Penn State then provided us insight to how the Continuing Education office on campus is working to continue Dr. Sniderâ€™s mission of community engagement by offering diverse opportunities ranging from youth programs to customized workforce development training.
We also had the opportunity to learn about the G.R.E.A.T. program that Penn State New Kensington started for its incoming students. An experiential learning program, GREAT was designed to â€œlink education to the jobs of the futureâ€. You can find out more about this wonderful program here: http://www.nk.psu.edu/admissions/44200.htm . Jim Shields and Colleen Smith went on to also highlight some of the other learning opportunities for elementary and high school students such as the soon-to-be-launched homework hotline and the STEM program.
Our morning concluded with an informative discussion by Matt Edgell, Region Advocacy Coordinator for the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), providing the class with an overview on the role that PSEA plays, some of the challenges is faces, and the many things the organization does that are little known such as its Partners for Public Education program which allows and invites an associate membership in PSEA.
We were provided a delicious lunch by the food service staff before we made the move to the Northern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.
Our afternoon began with a tour of the career and technology center. We learned about the terrific opportunities afforded to students in our area.Â Â In addition, we learned that the Culinary Arts department provides lunch to the public every Friday and the Cosmetology department offers its services to the public on Mondays. Could an LAKV Class XXIV gathering be in the not so distant future?
The last speaker of the day, Detective Tom Klawinski, spoke to us about student safety. Tom is a detective with the Westmoreland County Detectives Unit and is the former New Kensington Chief of Police. He explained the role and importance of School Resource Officers in our community. We had an open discussion ranging from arming teachers to the use of Narcan by officers to cyber bullying.
It was a very informative and enjoyable day.
Post by Kelly Kirsch & Michelle Farrell