Lackawanna College Named a “2023 Great College to Work For”

This honor places Lackawanna College as an elite company. Lackawanna College is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to the Great Colleges to Work For® program.

The results, released today in a special insert of The Chronicle of Higher Education, are based on a survey of 194 colleges and universities. In all, 72 of those institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with Lackawanna College included among the small universities with 500 to 2,999 students.

Lackawanna College won honors in the following categories this year:

  • Professional Development
  • Mission & Pride
  • Supervisor/Department Chair Effectiveness
  • Faculty & Staff Well-being
  • Faculty Experience
  • Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

Lackawanna College was also named to the Great Colleges Honor Roll, a status granted to only 42 colleges each year who are highlighted most across the recognition categories.

“This is a very proud moment for Lackawanna College. Our employees are changing lives every day and having a positive social and economic impact in our communities. In return, we strive to provide a supportive and collaborative work culture, that values their contributions and prioritizes their well-being. Our growth and successes have been a direct result of employee input, hard work and commitment. Thank you to everyone at Lackawanna College who help to make this a great place to work,” Lackawanna College President and Chief Innovation Officer Jill Murray said.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institution questionnaire that captures employment data and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

“This year we had our highest employee survey participation rate and knowing that makes this recognition even more rewarding,” said Renee Mundy, Esq., SPHR, SHRM-SCP. “Our employees live our mission every day and are committed to improving the lives of our students and our surrounding communities. It takes a special group of individuals to do that, and we are thankful for their dedication and grateful they have chosen to be part of our team. They are the reason we are a Great College to Work For.”

The Great Colleges to Work For® program is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. For more information and to view all current and previous recognized institutions, visit the Great Colleges program website at and ModernThink, a strategic human capital consulting firm, administered the survey and analyzed the results.

Johnson College Receives Contribution From Peoples Security Bank & Trust

Johnson College recently received a $12,000 contribution from Peoples Security Bank & Trust to support the College’s Industry Fast Track/Dual Enrollment Program.

Peoples Security Bank & Trust’s contribution to Johnson College is part of Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The program offers businesses a tax credit for supporting state-approved educational improvement programs. Johnson College is approved to accept EITC contributions in support of its STEM outreach programs and Industry Fast Track program.

Johnson College’s Industry Fast Track program offers high school students from participating area school districts an opportunity to enroll simultaneously in secondary and post-secondary coursework at Johnson College. The course meets state requirements for high school graduation while providing college-level courses. Students remain enrolled full-time at their high school while attending classes at Johnson College.

The University of Scranton and Le Moyne Sign Memorandum of Understanding

The University of Scranton and Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish new academic relationships and engage in other collaborative programs. Supplemental agreements create opportunities that each school can offer to new undergraduate students enrolling in the fall of 2023.  

The memorandum of understanding will allow the Jesuit schools to collaborate in ways that leverage academic strengths, faculty expertise, resources and technology to enhance further the quality and breadth of programs offered to students. The agreement also encourages the exchange of faculty members, research scholars and students, and facilitates jointly organized conferences and other programs, among other items. 

Under the innovative agreements, Scranton can enroll up to five qualified students for direct entry into Le Moyne’s Physician Assistant (PA) program after graduation, and Le Moyne can likewise enroll up to five qualified students with a guaranteed seat in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at Scranton. 

“The Memorandum of Understanding prudently leverages the existing resources and strengths of two sister Jesuit institutions that share a common mission of Catholic higher education,” said Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton. “The supplemental agreements already signed will provide access for our respective students to highly competitive, established programs in much-needed health professions. This is a win-win for our schools, our students and for the patients they will compassionately and competently care for in the future.”  

“This relationship will serve our students well and strengthen the work of both Le Moyne College and The University of Scranton in developing health care professionals who are so in need today,” said Linda LeMura, Ph.D., president of Le Moyne College. “I’m proud to be working collaboratively with Scranton on this and look forward to how this initiative will be mutually beneficial to both institutions.”

The direct entry pathway for the PA program at Le Moyne is open to up to five incoming University of Scranton students accepted into its class of 2027 who will major in biology, biochemistry, kinesiology, physiology neuroscience or biochemistry, cell and molecular biology. High school applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 92 and have completed specific high school course requirements. They must also have 50 hours of documented shadowing or patient contact, among other requirements. During their matriculation at Scranton, students admitted to the PA Program pathway must maintain a minimum overall G.P.A., and an overall cumulative science G.P.A. of 3.4 or higher; complete an additional minimum of 700 quality patient contact hours; remain in good moral and ethical standing, and meet other program requirements.  

The pathway for the guaranteed seat in the DPT program at The University of Scranton is open to up to five incoming Le Moyne students accepted into its class of 2027 who will major in biology, biochemistry, or similar major that allows for completion of required prerequisite courses. High school applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 92 and have completed specific high school course requirements. During their matriculation at Le Moyne, the students admitted to the DPT Program pathway must maintain a minimum overall G.P.A., and an overall cumulative science G.P.A. of 3.2 or higher; and have verified 30 hours of direct observation of physical therapy patient care; remain in good moral and ethical standing, and meet other program requirements.  

Marywood University Ranks as Best Value Among Northeast PA Colleges

Marywood University continues to offer the “Best Value” among Northeast Pennsylvania Universities, according to the 2022-2023 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges ranking. Marywood also remains the highest ranked of only two local institutions included in U.S. News “Best Colleges for Veterans” category, along with repeating and advancing its strong showing in the “Top Performers in Social Media” category.

Moving up two places from last year to #23 of the regional universities (North) ranked for “Best Value,” Marywood continues to demonstrate its affordability as the highest ranked of the three local four-year private colleges included in this category. According to U.S. News, the “Best Value” ranking considers a school’s academic quality. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included, because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically.

At #44, Marywood was the highest ranked of only two local universities on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” (Regional Universities North). According to U.S. News, these are the top-ranked schools in the 2023 Best Colleges rankings that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees.

Marywood University ranked #48 overall on the “Best Regional Universities North” list, which includes institutions from 11 states, and continued to exhibit its strong digital presence in the “Top Performers in Social Media” category, advancing to #59, up 13 places from last year’s rankings.

The University of Scranton Events

The University of Scranton Open House Dates Set

The University of Scranton, a nationally recognized Jesuit university in northeast Pennsylvania, will host two Open House events for prospective students and their families on Sunday, Oct. 23, and Sunday, Nov. 6.

“Best 388 Colleges,” “Best Buys in College Education,” “America’s Best Colleges,” “A Focus on Student Success,” “Best Undergraduate Teaching,” “Best Catholic Colleges” – these are just a few of the ways that the nation’s leading college rankings and guidebooks consistently refer to The University of Scranton. For 29 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Scranton among the 10 top Master’s Universities in the North. The Princeton Review included Scranton in its list “Best Colleges” for 21 consecutive years and in its ranking of the nation’s “Best Science Labs” (No. 7) for six years, among other rankings.

At the Open House, participants can learn about Scranton’s 69 undergraduate majors, meet with faculty, students, admissions counselors and financial aid representatives. Student-led campus tours will be conducted throughout the day and will include residence halls, dining halls, computer labs, science labs and academic facilities.

In addition, representatives of student organizations, athletic teams and Scranton’s programs of excellence, such as the undergraduate Honors Program, Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, Magis Honors Program in STEM, Business Honors Program and Business Leadership Honors Program, will also be available.

Misericordia University Fall Open House Date

Misericordia University will hold an open house for high school students and their parents in the fall on Saturday, November 12, 2022, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Check-in will begin at 9:00 AM at the Anderson Health and Wellness Center.

The open house event for high schoolers and their parents is the chance to experience the campus, meet students and visiting professors, and speak with admissions and financial aid representatives. Students and their families will tour the campus before meeting with faculty in their academic program. After lunch, learn more about the admissions and financial aid process, hear more from current students, and then tour some of the specialized facilities with students in their major.

Prospective students can tour numerous buildings, including the 40,000-square-foot John J. Passan Hall, 100 Lake St., Dallas. Passan Hall houses state-of-the-art simulator laboratories and classrooms in the nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology programs of the College of Health Sciences and Education. Also slated for touring is the Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Science Center, which embodies a commitment to advanced technology and infrastructure that lends itself to superior teaching, learning, and research with a state-of-art facility.

If students and their parents are looking for a college that delivers a robust education and a personal experience, look no further than Misericordia University. Misericordia is a small, private university that offers a hands-on, transformative education to all who seek it. Misericordia ensures that each student receives a personalized experience and the resources to achieve their goals.

For more information, contact the Misericordia University Admissions Office at 570-674-6264 or email at to register now, visit our website at

NEPA AHEC Healthcare Career Exploration

The Healthcare Career & College Exploration Event will be held Friday, October 14th from 10am-4pm at the Viewmont Mall, Dickson City.  This event has over 30 vendors including colleges, universities, and healthcare organizations looking to hire new employees and many offering incentives.  We have several school districts busing students to this event and hope that many community members come out to explore new careers in healthcare.

Johnson College Automotive Technology Program Receives Reaccreditation

The Automotive Technology program at Johnson College received reaccreditation by the ASE Education Foundation, formerly known as NATEF, and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The program has been reaccredited in the following areas: Engine Repair; Automatic Transmission/Transaxle; Manual Transmission and Drive Axles; Suspension and Steering; Brakes; Electrical/Electronic Systems; Heating and Air Conditioning; Engine Performance.

In order to achieve this renewed recognition, the College’s Automotive Technology program underwent rigorous evaluation by the ASE Education Foundation using nationally accepted standards of excellence in areas such as instruction, facilities, and equipment. Through the endeavors of both our program instructors and the ASE Education Foundation, Johnson College can more successfully bridge the gap between the needs of industry and classroom training to assure that students enter the workforce as well-prepared technicians.

Johnson College’s Automotive Technology program is an Associate of Applied Science degree program that prepares students as entry-level technicians in the automobile and diesel industries. Upon completion, graduates can expect to work for employers in career fields such as automotive, truck, farm and earthmoving equipment dealerships; truck, power generation and construction companies; automotive service centers; engine repair/machine shops; automotive equipment distributors; independent service garages; automotive parts manufacturers; sales representation; as well as auto insurance companies. They may also work with brake systems, transmissions, alignments and repairs; be representatives in claims, sales, and service; or become truck/fleet maintenance technicians.

Penn State Scranton Program Helps Students Get a Head Start on College Career

Third-year nursing student Megan Lucey, shown here at Penn State Scranton’s 2022 Undergraduate Research Fair, where she presented a research project of her own, credits the campus’ PaSSS program with helping her become a more successful student. 

Every summer, Penn State Scranton offers the Pathway to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) program, which is specifically for commonwealth campuses and designed to support students to make an early transition to Penn State University. Select campuses across the state started offering the program in 2015. 

Students at those select Commonwealth campuses are provided with the tools and resources needed to increase the likelihood that they will graduate and earn their Penn State degree on time, or even early in some cases, with less loan debt. 

According to Penn State Scranton Associate Director of Learning and Disability Services and PaSSS coordinator Eileen Giovagnoli, the program started being offered after a few years of offering the Summer Bridge program, which had an English and math academy as well as success sessions to help incoming students with the transition to college life. 

“Five years ago, the campus was selected by the university to participate in the PaSSS program,” Giovagnoli said. “This allowed us to expand our summer programming and to offer scholarships for summer courses and provide funding for on campus employment in addition to the well-established academic and success academies.” 

In the first summer they participate in the progam, students enroll in two general education classes for a total of six credits and scholarship support of $2,000 ($1,000 per class). The courses complement each other and the faculty work together to provide engaging classroom and community experiences. Some of these experiences have included field trips, guest speakers and service projects in the community. All students are enrolled in the same two classes in the first year, and as a result, they get to know their classmates and professors well. There is a tutor to support each class and students can seek assistance to achieve success.  

In addition to the early start in the first summer, returning PaSSS students can take up to four classes in the following summers with scholarship support of up to $4,000 total ($1,000 per class). Returning students can enroll in the courses of their choice, as long as they are a student at one of the select Commonwealth campuses. Students also develop relationships with fellow students and with faculty and learn about the resources available to help them achieve success, and these relationships turn into connections and friendships that last throughout their time at Penn State.

PaSSS participants gain additional relevant experience through on-campus jobs or through funding to participate in career-related experiences or service projects. Students can request up to $2,000 in engagement funding in the second year to support them as they participate in internships, research, or community service. Students save money through scholarship assistance for summer classes and by completing degree requirements in fewer semesters, saving both money and time. They also report feeling more prepared to start college and more comfortable to take advantage of the resources Penn State has to offer. 

Nursing major Megan Lucey, now in her third year, said that she learned about the PaSSS program when she was invited to participate in it and believed it would have immense benefits for her. 

“I decided to participate because I was coming to college from an online high school and wanted to get a head start with the new class format,” Lucey said. “I thought it would be a good way to get used to college classes with a lower course load and easier environment in the summer. I also liked that it was designed to help ease the transition to college.” 

Through participating in the PaSSS program, students also get to become part of a learning community prior to the start of the fall semester, and one of the goals of the program is provide bonding experiences through community service projects, social programing and field trips that are relevant to the topics they are learning in their courses. Previous PaSSS classes have had scavenger hunts, ice cream socials, and trips to Philadelphia as part of their summer experience.  

Alvin Binu enrolled in the PaSSS program because he was offered a scholarship to participate, which is what drew him in. 

“The PaSSS Program offered me two general education classes, which I thought would be great to take early, looking at the fact that the major-oriented course load intensified in the third and fourth years,” Binu said. 

Lucey said that being enrolled in the program has helped her in an academic sense, as well as a social sense. “The program benefitted me academically by allowing me to figure out how to study for college courses before beginning the harder classes I had in the fall semester. I also got the chance to get to know staff and resources better during the summer, when campus was not as busy,” Lucey said. “Socially, the program helped me get to know people in a calmer and less crowded environment than campus in the fall when it was busier. I got to know other people in my major, which helped me have study partners in my fall courses.” 

Binu echoed this sentiment, stating that the program took a weight off his shoulders as he looked toward his future. He also said that the program introduced him to Giovagnoli, who then welcomed him into the Learning Center as a math tutor. 

“I was able to meet the faculty of Penn State Scranton, along with my classmates,” Binu said. “Having been exposed to fellow classmates helped me to be less stressful about my start to my college career.” 

After her first year as a PaSSS student, Lucey then decided to become a tutor for the PaSSS students that came after her. She says this was a very rewarding experience getting to mentor these students as they started to transition to college life. 

“When I was in PaSSS I felt inspired by the upperclassmen I met and was mentored by, so in becoming a tutor I hoped to have the same effect on the students I was able to mentor and tutor,” Lucey said. “I think I was able to benefit them through knowing what it was like to participate in the program and take the courses they took in the summer, and I hope that my leadership was able to benefit them by allowing them to feel more comfortable with the transition to college.” 

Binu followed the same path as Lucey did, becoming a PaSSS tutor for the students that entered Penn State Scranton after him. He is grateful for the opportunity to have been a PaSSS tutor and saw personal growth from being a PaSSS student to then becoming a tutor. 

“I was excited and had a great time tutoring PaSSS students this past summer,” Binu said. “I feel that I was able to give them the assurance that they’re making a crucial step towards achieving success as college students.” 

Binu, a third-year aerospace engineering major, took the jump from the Scranton campus to University Park a year early as a part of the 2+2 program. He said that his PaSSS experience has helped him immensely in his transition. 

“I have been involved with the Learning Center here at University Park and the skills acquired from the Math Academy during my PaSSS Program has helped me to tutor students with similar mathematical questions as the academy,” Binu said. “Having a head start as a college student has given me the motivation and discipline to effectively handle my workload and transition to University Park.” 

When asked if she would recommend the program to incoming students, Lucey answered with a resounding yes. 

“It is a big help for transitioning to college, and I would not be as successful if I did not participate in the program,” Lucey said. “With PaSSS I was able to transition to college smoothly and set a foundation for my learning before I began my fall courses. The program is built to help students succeed and be as ready as possible for college classes. It is a huge benefit to participate in the program.” 

Binu said he would definitely recommend the program to eligible students – for a multitude of reasons. 

“I believe that all students offered the PaSSS Program should make maximum use of it,” he said. “It will help you have a greater understanding of, and give you a head start on, college life as it will be, with a relatively lower number of your classmates,” Binu said. “You will have the opportunity to find your potential best friend from the PaSSS Program due to its nature, and all of the activities definitely help you in understanding the college culture.” 

“I was able to make use of the PaSSS Program to its fullest, as I received scholarships for the summer of my first year and also my second year, as I decided to take some courses over the summer again,” Binu stated. “The PaSSS scholarship really helped me financially and I was able to get on track to finishing my major in three years rather than four. I firmly believe that the PaSSS program will definitely have a positive impact on any student.” 

How can a student enroll in the program? If a student has received an invitation to the program, they can return the completed Pre-enrollment form as soon as possible to the Penn State Scranton admissions office. Students will then meet with an advisor to discuss the program in more detail. Participation is limited and on a first come first served basis.

If a student did not receive an invitation but would like to be considered for the program, or has questions regarding the program, please contact Giovagnoli at 570-963-2678 or by email at   

Applications Open for Leadership Collegiate Program

Leadership Lackawanna, the premier community leadership and professional development affiliate of the Chamber, has opened applications for its Leadership Collegiate program.

The program is open to students currently enrolled in a trade school, college, or university anywhere in the United States. The courses will be offered March 7 through April 18 and participants work on weekly course content at their own pace. There are six mandatory, one-hour Zoom meetings throughout the course.

This 6-week virtual program, consisting of online modules, will provide current and aspiring leaders with an innovative and flexible online learning experience – complete with a variety of personal and professional development skills that are ideal for building a solid resume and honing leadership, interview, and career readiness skills. In addition, the opportunity to connect with students from around the state and build connections via a private LinkedIn group will be plentiful. This program is co-facilitated by Leadership Lackawanna executive director, Nicole Morristell and 68 Rising leadership consultant, Dr. Matthew Sowcik.

Cost for Leadership Collegiate is $300 per person with payment plans and scholarships available. Applications close on February 25. Apply at