The contribution comes through a tax credit program offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
This is the second year Northwest has taken advantage of the program. “Northwest is pleased to be able to continue providing funds through opportunities made available through tax credit programs,” said Bill Pantuso, senior vice president, district manager – Warren, McKean, Potter and Tioga Counties.
“Northwest and Pitt-Bradford have deep roots in the region, and we look forward to future partnerships with them to help high school students in the region take classes at the university.”
Pitt-Bradford has two kinds of programs in which students can earn both high school and college credits for the same course, Bridges and College in the High School. Both programs will benefit from the Northwest’s contribution.
In the Bridges program, high school students attend Pitt-Bradford classes with regular college students. In College in the High School, which is now offered in 21 high schools throughout the region, qualified teachers teach Pitt-Bradford courses during regular school time, and students are able to earn college credit.
Contributions provided last year through Northwest and other local businesses allowed Pitt-Bradford to add new districts to the College in the High School program this fall, including Brookville, Forest, Kane, Port Allegany, Oil City, Johnsonburg and three more high schools in Warren Area School District.
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.
Currently, 20 students are enrolled in 30 on-campus courses through the Bridges program. Last year, 429 students took 712 courses at 12 high schools through College in the High School. 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.
Students who arrive at college with a few credits already under their belts have more confidence about their ability to do college-level work, said James Baldwin, assistant dean of academic affairs and registrar at Pitt-Bradford, adding that those students also find it easier to pursue a double major or other courses.
Northwest 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 $750,000 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 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, Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, accepting a contribution from Northwest Savings Bank representative Bill Pantuso to benefit the university’s dual-enrollment programs. At right is Rick Esch, vice president of business affairs at Pitt-Bradford.