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Public will be able to take college courses at Chambersburg high school

Harrisburg Area Community College launches partnership with CASHS

March 04, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Harrisburg Area Community College Interim President Ron Young addresses a crowd gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the school's expansion in the Chambersburg, Pa., community Thursday.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — High school students won't be the only ones getting an education at Chambersburg Area Senior High School next fall.

School officials joined Harrisburg Area Community College in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday to launch a partnership in which the public can take college courses.

The community college will offer classes in business, criminal justice, geospatial technology, social sciences and general studies. College officials said future expansion might include the fields of health care and logistics/material handling.

HACC Interim President Ron Young said this initiative is the college's third attempt at establishing a presence in Franklin County, Pa. He described Franklin County as the missing piece when looking at a map of areas with HACC campuses.

HACC already offers college credit courses at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center. The high school has "college in high school" course opportunities for teenagers.

Young said he's anticipating the day when people are attending commencement in Franklin County. He said he can hear the announcement: "And now, receiving their associate's degree is ..."

"There is no reason why (people) should not be able to get their degree right here in Franklin County," Young said.

"It was clear we need to get that presence here where the population center is," said Joseph Padasak, Chambersburg Area School District's superintendent.

HACC, which has space near the high school's front office, will begin its fall semester Aug. 22. Classes will be held during the CASHS's school day and after hours.

Potential students can attend a free information session April 20 at 6 p.m. at the nearby Chambersburg Area School District administration building at 435 Stanley Ave. in Chambersburg.

Chambersburg Area School District Assistant Superintendent Eric Michael said a "21st-century education" extends beyond 12th grade.

"We're very blessed to have friends in education," Michael said.

"Really, I think this is the best thing for the Chambersburg community, not just for today but for 10 years from now," Padasak said.

Ben Baughman said he graduated from CASHS in 1997, moved several times and enrolled at HACC in Gettysburg.

"In Chambersburg, especially with some of the older people, they don't promote education or see the value in it," Baughman said.

That seems to be changing to better reflect attitudes elsewhere, Baughman said.

"I think we connect with Chambersburg," he said.

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(Editor's note: This story was edited March 4, 2011, to correct the address of the Chambersburg Area School District administration building.)

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