The contribution is made possible through a tax credit program offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
Pitt-Bradford has two kinds of programs in which students can earn both high school and college credits for the same course, College in the High School and Bridges. Both programs will benefit from PGE’s contribution.
“PGE is pleased to make a contribution that will provide the direct benefit of improving educational experiences to students in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier counties, including a dozen school districts and more than 450 high schoolers,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Douglas E. Kuntz. “Pitt-Bradford is a great partner in making the most of this important program and supporting students that are so important to our future workforce.”
Donations from PGE and others have allowed more students to take part in College in the High School, in which students receive college credit for courses they take in high school. Twelve districts with 466 students currently participate: Austin Area, Bradford Area, Cameron County, Coudersport Area, Galeton Area, Northern Potter, Oswayo Valley, Otto-Eldred, Ridgway Area, Smethport Area and St. Marys Area. Sheffield Area Middle/High School is taking part for the first time this year.
Unlike the Advanced Placement exam, which requires that students make a final score on an AP test at the end of the semester or year, College in the High School students follow the same syllabus as the students at Pitt-Bradford, cover the same material and take the same final exam. Students have the added benefit of studying a semester’s worth of college material over the course of an entire academic year.
Courses offered range from first-year math and composition to more specialized first-year courses such as petroleum technology, cinema, geography, Spanish, accounting, sociology and more.
The additional funding provided through PGE and other local businesses has allowed Pitt-Bradford to reduce its cost to students from a regular cost of $125 to $25 this year for College in the High School. For the Bridges program, the regular total cost of $1,594 has been reduced to $250 for the student, and his or her school district’s portion has been eliminated.
PGE has a 30-year history of successfully producing indigenous oil and natural gas in the Appalachian Basin. The company uses the best available technologies and management practices to develop wells in both conventional and unconventional formations, with a focus on safety, partnerships and the protection of the environment. PGE currently operates nearly 1,400 oil and natural gas wells in Pennsylvania.
This is PGE’s second year of support. The company contributed $35,000 in 2011.
PGE made its contribution through a special state program that allows it to receive tax credits for its gift. Companies have to pre-qualify with the state on a strict schedule, as did Pitt-Bradford.
Interested businesses that must pay certain types of taxes in the state of Pennsylvania may qualify to redirect up to $300,000 of their PA tax liability to an approved Educational Improvement Organization such as Pitt-Bradford. The taxes include Corporate Net Income Tax, Capital Stock Franchise Tax, Bank and Trust Company Shares Tax, Title Insurance Company Shares Tax, Insurance Premiums Tax, Mutual Thrift Institutions Tax and some Subchapter S-corporations.
For more information on whether a business may qualify for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, contact Rick Esch, vice president of business affairs at Pitt-Bradford, at (814)362-0992 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured, from left, Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford; Douglas Kuntz, president and CEO of Pennsylvania General Energy Co.; Katharine Pude, superintendent of Bradford Area School District; and Matt Splain, superintendent of Otto-Eldred Area School District, discuss the benefits to area high school students from PGE’s contribution to Pitt-Bradford.
Photo by Shawn Murray