One-Stop Learning a Dozen Colleges, Universities Form Joint Campus to Share Services

By Barcousky, Len | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), May 30, 2004 | Go to article overview

One-Stop Learning a Dozen Colleges, Universities Form Joint Campus to Share Services


Barcousky, Len, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


hoppers at Ross Park, Cranberry or Northway malls can choose among dozens of stores to find products that best meet their needs.

Starting in August, students looking to learn new skills and employers seeking to prepare workers for new jobs will be able to do so at the "education mall" being built in Marshall.

A dozen colleges and universities are joining forces to offer customized training and degree programs at what will be called the Regional Learning Alliance at Cranberry Woods. Slippery Rock University is facility manager.

The alliance will be housed in a 76,000-square-foot building containing classrooms, a 70-seat lecture hall and flexible meeting spaces that can be expanded to serve up to 400 people. The $16 million facility will give students access to computer technology labs and video conference services. It will have a fitness center, a library and bookstore, and offer child care and on-site food services.

The 20-acre campus is east of Route 19 and Interstate 79, between Route 228 and Freeport Road. The land was donated by Mine Safety Appliances, which owns Cranberry Woods office park.

Educational institutions involved with the alliance are Slippery Rock, Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Robert Morris University, Carlow College and La Roche College. Others are Triangle Tech, Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Geneva College, Clarion University, Butler County Community College and St. Francis University.

Many of the alliance partners are among the 18 educational institutions that have set up satellite campuses throughout the northern suburbs. Most plan to relocate to the Cranberry Woods campus.

The center will operate on an extended schedule that will include evenings and weekends. The alliance expects to offer 85,000 job- skill training hours per year. That is the equivalent of 3,400 hour- long classes, each serving 25 students.

Robert M. Smith, who was named president of Slippery Rock University on May 20, listed development of the Regional Learning Alliance as one of his high priorities. Smith pointed to the case of a Slippery Rock student in computer-aided design who needed a math course as a prerequisite. …

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