Penn State Mont Alto getting the word out

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Dr. Francis Achampong, chancellor of Penn State Mont Alto, shared the vision of the campus with about 40 people at the G-A Chamber of Commerce breakfast Tuesday.

Penn State Mont Alto is a “hidden gem”. Chancellor Dr. Francis Achampong liked the second word, not the first.

“We need to tell our story, and tell it well,” he told guests at the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce breakfast April 22. The group met at Rhodes Grove to hear from him and director of development Randall Ackerman.

Achampong took on his duties Aug. 1. He was working with a strategic planning committee to enhance the visibility of the oldest campus of Pennsylvania State University outside of University Park. Faculty and staff at the 1,023 student campus are dedicated to providing quality education, conducting research and contributing to communities.

One initiative Achampong took on was connecting with superintendents of schools in the surrounding counties. Currently 65 percent of seniors went on to post-secondary education. The partners wanted to increase that number, as well as the number of high school students taking college courses.

“The idea is to expose students as early as possible to the idea of a college education,” he said.

He was also addressing measures to get adults who never completed their degrees to come back, and to attract veterans. A resource center for veterans will open later this year at Mont Alto.

Education had economic value in the bigger picture, Achampong continued. A study had revealed that for every additional year of education in a region, the gross domestic product rose by over 17 percent.

Ackerman presented data on Penn State Mont Alto programs, fundraising efforts and student life. He made everyone present honorary PSU alumni.

Penn State

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fun facts

40 percent of the students commute

30 percent are adult learners

The entire campus is an arboretum

Three residence halls house 438 students

19 percent of the students are athletes

The university offers the first two years for every major at Penn State

When including student fees, Mont Alto rivals area colleges in cost

Wiestling Student Center is officially haunted