Pennsylvania Western University: An emerging economic powerhouse … with more than two centuries of tradition


When thinking of Western Pennsylvania’s economy outsiders often conjure images of coal and steel. And while those foundational industries are still around, people from the region know the economy has grown more diverse with thriving healthcare, robotics and technology companies.

But there’s also a new driver of our economy … (well, technically it’s a few hundred years old, but who’s keeping track?): Pennsylvania Western University.

Built on the success of California, Clarion and Edinboro Universities, PennWest is truly something never before seen in Pennsylvania.

For the first time ever, students have access to all the resources, programs, professors, real world work opportunities, traditions and offerings from three of Pennsylvania’s top universities, all in one place.

It’s a modern approach to meet the needs of today’s students and tomorrow’s world.

By bringing together top faculty and a wide range of program offerings in high-demand fields, combined with a large, dynamic alumni network, PennWest’s impact is instantaneous and indelible.

As of today, the university has an economic impact of $701 million and is projected to grow to more than $758 million by the 2025-26 academic year. Couple this with the nearly 2,000 jobs projected by then and you have an economic force.

PennWest is the result of an evolving educational landscape. Even before the pandemic, online learning and the need to access the best faculty and programs was becoming an essential part of any academic experience. The university’s new approach means that opportunities for diverse and dynamic learning experiences are no longer confined to a single, on-ground campus, they’re now open to imagination.

The 14,500 students who make up PennWest make the school the second largest in Western Pennsylvania. With more than 186,000 living alumni – two thirds of whom call Pennsylvania home – the opportunity for fast growth and connection to real-world job experience cannot be overstated.

Helping students find more than just a job, but a career is central to the mission of PennWest.

“I’m here to tell you that I have 1,800 employees working their tails off to make sure this works so we can continue to grow and serve our students,” said Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, President of Pennsylvania Western University. “We educate, we train, we get students out in the field as early as possible, so when their careers come knocking, they are prepared.”

PennWest student Kyle Bennett

With students from all 50 states and 64 countries around the world, it’s a diverse student body that PennWest is preparing for careers. What’s more, 35% of PennWest attendees are first generation college students and 39% are Pell Grant eligible.

One area of ​​particular emphasis of PennWest is STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for the jobs of the future.

“The role of STEM education plays in preparing our students for careers is immeasurable. We need to teach our students to think, to work together and problem solve to serve the industries driving our region,” added Pehrsson.

No matter how forward-thinking, tradition still plays an important role at PennWest. Student-athletes can participate in intercollegiate athletics and enjoy the rich heritage of each campus developed throughout its history. With more than 1,000 beautiful acres in picturesque college towns, and over 300 clubs and organizations, students can also excel outside the classroom.

PennWest is truly driving the future of higher education, built on tradition and focused on the future. Now, students across Western Pennsylvania have the opportunity to get the absolute most out of their college education and experience.

At PennWest you don’t just get the best of both worlds, you get the best of all worlds.

This has been a paid article submitted by our content partner.

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