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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Northwest Savings Gives Boost to
Dual Enrollment Programs at Pitt-Bradford

Northwest Savings Bank has made a $25,000 contribution to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to provide tuition support for high school students in the region who are taking classes through the university’s Bridges and College in the High School dual enrollment programs.

The contribution comes through a tax credit program offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

This is the third year Northwest has taken advantage of the program to support Pitt-Bradford.

“We’re pleased to be able to support Pitt-Bradford and local students through this tax credit program,” said Bill Pantuso, senior vice president, district manager – Warren, McKean, Potter and Tioga counties. “Northwest and Pitt-Bradford both have deep roots in the region, and we look forward to future partnerships that help meet the educational needs of students and employers.”

Pitt-Bradford has two kinds of programs in which students can earn both high school and college credits for the same courses, Bridges and College in the High School. Both programs will benefit from 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 25 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 schools to the College in the High School program this fall: Titusville Area High School in Crawford County and Rocky Grove High School and Cranberry Area High School, both in Venango County.

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.

During the 2013-14 academic year, 869 students took 1,441 individual college courses at 21 high schools through College in the High School. Also last year, 23 Bridges students at Bradford Area High School were able to take 56 college courses at Pitt-Bradford during their junior or senior year.

Courses offered in dual enrollment programs range from first-year math and composition to more specialized first-year courses such as petroleum technology, cinema, geography, Spanish, accounting, political science and more.

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 about 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 esch@pitt.edu.

Pictured, Dylan Nuzzo, center, a senior sport and recreation management major from Bradford, speaking with Bill Pantuso of Northwest Savings, left, and Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, about his high school experience as a student in both the Bridges and College in the High School programs at Pitt-Bradford.
Photo by Alan Hancock

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