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BEAVER (KDKA) – Four local colleges are joining together to help the students of Beaver County stay in the classroom.

“If we want to educate the students of Beaver County, because we know the higher your degree the higher your earning potential, so these students at these four institutions will lift up not only themselves, but whole families and communities,” Penn State Beaver Chancellor Jenifer Cushman said.

Beaver County needs more educated workers and four local schools want to take the lead on solving that problem.

“The old days of every college or university viewing other universities as competitors are gone. There’s more than enough educational and workforce need for all of us to succeed,” Community College of Beaver County President Chris Reber said.

It’s called the Bridges and Pathways College Partnership.

The leaders of Robert Morris, Penn State Beaver, Geneva College and Community College of Beaver County shook on it Tuesday morning.

“It’s really historic to have four schools with different orientations and we have two private universities, a state university and a community college coming together, that is historic,” Robert Morris University Provost David Jamison said.

The new effort will make education more affordable to local students and more geared towards the changing needs of Beaver Valley.

“We want to make sure that the new jobs that are coming to Beaver County — that our students that are in the county are equipped to take those jobs. There’s going to be more jobs than even the county can fill, but we don’t want to have great jobs for other people to come in and get while our students can’t get those jobs,” Geneva College President Dr. Calvin Troupe said.

As part of the partnership, all the schools will honor credits from the other three. That means you can start at one school and finish at another if your plans change.

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