Point Park program increases higher education opportunities for at-risk teenagers

For Immediate Release
Oct. 13, 2016

Point Park program increases higher education opportunities for at-risk teenagers
-- University building partnerships with area school districts --        

PITTSBURGH, PAA new program from Point Park University is helping at-risk students in the Pittsburgh region increase their access to and success in higher education.

Bridge to Your Future: Exploring the Possibilities allows high school juniors to receive college-level instruction in their high school classroom at no charge to the students.  Students earning a B or better receive credits toward a Point Park degree.

The grant was provided by the Scott Fund, Emil Winter Family Fund and Lewis H. and Jess Morgan Kelly Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation. Point Park was awarded $130,000 for the two-year program.

“This generous gift through The Pittsburgh Foundation allows Point Park to further its mission of making it easier for at-risk youth to attend college,” said Paul Hennigan, president of Point Park University. “Creating greater access to higher education is critical for the success of our region.”

Point Park has a history of successful dual-enrollment programs, especially through the School of Business and the Department of Management, with the Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management (SAEM) program, according to Steve Tanzilli, associate professor and co-chair of the Department of Management at Point Park.

“This program allows us to expand our offerings and work directly with at-risk schools eager to expose their students to college-level learning,” Tanzilli said.

Schools added to the dual-enrollment program as a result of The Foundation grant include:

Teachers from participating high schools were brought to Point Park University this summer for training on the courses, and University faculty act as supervisors for the program.

April Fisher, a business education teacher for the Montour School District, said the SAEM program has greatly benefited her students.

“Not only has it given them superior experiences outside the classroom, but it also allows the students to network and begin planning and preparing for their futures beyond high school,” she said.

Students in the program are invited to campus on a monthly basis to help acclimate to the college experience. In addition, tours of Downtown Pittsburgh are arranged for students to showcase opportunities and expose them to a range of career options.

“These courses enable high school students to understand the vast differences between high school and college, particularly in coursework expectations,” Tanzilli said. “It also showcases the importance of professional networking and outlines the many opportunities available to young people in the Pittsburgh region.”

Contact:   Lou Corsaro

                    Point Park University




Founded in 1960, Point Park University is a dynamic, urban university with a strong liberal arts tradition. Located in Downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park enrolls more than 4,000 full- and part-time students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs offered through the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication and Conservatory of Performing Arts. Visit PointPark.edu to learn more.

About The Pittsburgh Foundation: Since 1945, The Pittsburgh Foundation has been connecting its generous donors with the critical needs of our community. Donors who have established funds through the Foundation can support virtually any area of charitable interest in Pittsburgh, or anywhere in the United States. Because the Foundation is a public charity, donors benefit from significant tax advantages. Endowment funds held by the Foundation range from $10,000 to $40 million, created by individuals and organizations with a passion for Pittsburgh and a deep commitment to their community. More than 1,000 individuals, families and organizations have established funds at the Foundation.

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