Johnson College Enrolling Students Into Distance Learning Program

Johnson College is now enrolling for its Fall 2023 Distance Learning Program for high school and adult students in Wayne, Pike, and Susquehanna counties.  It creates a direct route for students to complete any of Johnson College’s seventeen 2-year associate’s degree programs and ultimately a fulfilling career with family-sustaining wages while staying in their communities. To learn more about this program or to register for courses listed below, please visit or email the Johnson College enrollment team at

Students will have interactive, two-way access to Johnson College faculty and participate in remote education, discussions, testing, and skill demonstrations via high-tech telecommunications equipment in classrooms at Forest City Regional High School, Honesdale High School, Wallenpaupack Area High School, and Western Wayne High School. Furthermore, Lakeville Library, Newfoundland Library, and Pleasant Mount Library will be equipped with laptops to give community residents access to career exploration services and information about courses at Johnson College. 

In addition to the distance learning opportunity this program provides, students will have access to Johnson College’s full array of on-campus support services including tutoring, counseling, career services, financial aid, internship opportunities, and exposure to industry from day one. Distance learning will help high school and adult students reach their full potential and connect with the region’s essential careers already in demand.

Distance learning courses available at all participating high schools will include:

VMR 151-1 Introduction to Vehicle Maintenance and Repair – Tuesdays, 2 to 3:50 p.m.

PRG 103-1 C Sharp – Tuesdays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

BUS 101-1 Introduction to Business – Mondays, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

WTC 153-3 Gas Metal and Flux Cored Arc Welding – Tuesdays, 5 to 5:50 p.m.

WTC 154-3 Gas Metal and Flux Cored Arc Welding I Lab – Thursdays, 5 to 9 p.m.

Lackawanna College’s President Recognized

Lackawanna College’s President and Chief Innovation Officer, Jill Murray, Ph.D., ranked 37 in City & State Pennsylvania’s 2023 Higher Education Power 100. Dr. Murray became Lackawanna College’s first female president, previously serving as its executive vice president from 2012 to 2020. Under her leadership, Lackawanna College was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company Magazine for its Level Up program, which compresses the bachelor’s degree timeline.

Dr. Murray’s professional training initiatives include the Center for Technology Innovation, offering STEM degree programs such as Robotics & Integrated Technologies, Cybersecurity, Electric Vehicle & Advanced Automotive Technologies and corporate training coming fall 2023. She also collaborated with Dallas Shaw to bring Blitzen to the Scranton area, a holiday pop-up bar in the on-campus student-run restaurant that provided culinary students with real-world experience. “We are so proud to have Jill be recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s educational leaders,” Chairperson of the Lackawanna College Board of Trustees, Joyce Van Schooneveld said. “Jill has helped grow Lackawanna College into a great place to receive an education and having her be recognized for her hard work is inspiring.”

The City & State’s Higher Education Power 100 recognizes Pennsylvania’s most influential academic leaders focusing on making a difference on and off campus. Through their experience and innovative programs, the leaders recognized in this list demonstrate why Pennsylvania continues to be a national focal point in higher education.   Dr. Murray ranked with other local leaders in our area including Reverend Joseph Marina of the University of Scranton, Reverend Thomas Looney of Kings College, Dr. Jonathan Green of Susquehanna University and Sister Mary Persico of Marywood University.

University of Scranton Degree Ranks in Top 7 Percent

A comprehensive analysis of the return on investment (ROI) of college degrees at more than 4,500 colleges in the United States shows the value gains of liberal arts education during the lifetime of a career. The analysis also ranks the ROI of a degree from The University of Scranton among the top 6.1 percent of colleges in the country after 40 years, among the top 7 percent after 30 years and among the top 11 percent after 20 years.

The analysis by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce calculated the 40-year net present value of a University of Scranton degree is $1.133 million, which ranked No. 276 of 4,500 colleges in the nation (top 6.1 percent). The 30-year net present value for a Scranton degree was calculated at $842,000, which ranked at No. 310 in the nation (top 7 percent); and the 20-year net present value of a degree was $488,000, which ranked at No. 489 in the country (top 11 percent).

The Center ranked 4,500 colleges based on the net value of the degrees at 10, 20, 30 and 40 years after enrollment using data from the expanded College Scorecard. The analysis, published online in the spring of 2022, looked at the net cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, and living expenses, minus aid received from all sources. The Center then calculated the net present value of a degree, which is “a metric that includes costs, future earnings and the length of time it would take to invest and earn a certain amount of money over a fixed horizon.”

The analysis found that “bachelor’s degrees from private colleges, on average, have higher ROI than degrees from public colleges 40 years after enrollment. Community colleges and many certificate programs have the highest returns in the short term, 10 years after enrollment, though returns from bachelor’s degrees eventually overtake those of most two-year credentials.”

In addition, the analysis showed “the median ROI of liberal arts colleges is nearly $200,000 higher than the median for all colleges. Further, the 40-year median ROI of liberal arts institutions ($918,000) is close to those of four-year engineering and technology-related schools ($917,000), and four-year business and management schools ($913,000).”

Scranton has been recognized for its value in other national rankings such as U.S. News & World Report and The Economist. Most recently, Money magazine ranked the University at No. 268 among its selection of just 623 of the nation’s best values for a college education.

Skills in Scranton Act 158 Presentation

Skills in Scranton, the Chamber’s workforce development affiliate, will host Act 158: Pathways to Graduation, a virtual presentation on Wednesday, April 27 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. All school administrators, guidance counselors, educators, school board directors, higher education staff, and community members in Lackawanna County are invited to attend.  

Guest speaker, Sue Kuhl – Pennsylvania career readiness liaison – will discuss the Career Ready PA Coalition, updates impacting Act 158, and provide information to school districts on preparing students in college, career, and community readiness here in Lackawanna County.

For more than 25 years, Skills in Scranton – through its Educator in the Workplace program – has worked with local employers, school districts, higher education partners and Pennsylvania data experts to develop strategies that help ensure the regional workforce is aligned with high-priority jobs of the future.

Those interested in attending can RSVP to Karen Durkin at Media are also invited to attend.

Media Sponsor:

NET Credit Union Expands Partnership with Lackawanna College

NET Credit Union recently furthered their partnership with their Preferred Partner Group, Lackawanna College, by offering tuition-free classes to NET employees.  

Under the agreement, qualifying NET Credit Union employees can pursue an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree at Lackawanna College. Lackawanna College offers over thirty different degrees, majors, and certificates.

“We are excited to further our relationship with NET Credit Union with this free tuition announcement.  We are also grateful for NET’s investment in their employees as well as their trust in us to offer them an amazing opportunity to continue their education,” said Dr. Jill Murray, Lackawanna College President. Our programs are designed to meet the relevant needs of today’s workforce by making college affordable and accessible for everyone.”

“The Lackawanna College Business Partnership Scholarship Initiative helps businesses of all sizes develop and retain employees,” said Jeff Gregory, Director of College Enrollment Partnerships. “A partnership with Lackawanna College includes a tuition scholarship that can be offered to employees, allowing the workforce to pursue a bachelor’s or associate degree.”

“This program will simultaneously help grow our employees’ personal development, as well as the capabilities of our business. NET Credit Union is thrilled to partner with Lackawanna College in this program,” states Clarence Baltrusaitis, NET Credit Union CEO.

Lackawanna College is a Preferred Partner Group of NET Credit Union. This means all students, staff, and faculty are eligible to Bank on NET.  The tuition program not only benefits our relationship with Lackawanna College, but it also strengthens our employee benefits. NET Credit Union looks forward to furthering our partnership with Lackawanna College.

University of Scranton Online Programs Among Best in Nation

U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 “Best Online Graduate Programs” ranked The University of Scranton’s online master’s degree programs in business (excluding MBA) at No. 55 and its online MBA program at No. 98 in the nation. U.S. News also ranked Scranton at No. 65 in the country for “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans.”

This is the 11th consecutive year that U.S. News ranked the University’s online programs among the best in the nation. The methodology used by U.S. News to determine the ranking has changed several times throughout the years.

For the 2022 Best Online Programs ranking, which published January 25, U.S. News reviewed statistical information submitted by schools. The ranking criteria differed by category. The criteria used by U.S. News to rank online business and MBA programs included student engagement (30 percent), which looked at graduation rates, class size, one-year retention rates, and best practices such as accreditation by AACSB International, among other factors. The ranking criteria also included peer reputation score (25 percent); faculty credentials and training (15 percent); admission selectivity (15 percent); and student services and technology (15 percent).

In addition to offering distance education programs that incorporate coursework that is predominantly online, colleges and universities making the “Best Online Program for Veterans” list must have ranked in top half of 2022 Best Online Program rankings; be regionally accredited; be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program; and enroll a “critical mass of veterans” as defined by U.S. News based on the size of the college.

Scranton offers online MBA degrees in general business, accounting, business analytics, enterprise resource planning, finance, healthcare management, human resources, international business and operations management; master’s degrees in accountancy, business analytics, finance, health administration, health informatics and human resources and a dual MBA/MHA degree, in addition to graduate certificates. For technology, recruitment and marketing support, the University partners with Wiley for the online programs.

In other rankings published by U.S. News, Scranton has been ranked among the top 10 “Best Regional Universities in the North” for 28 consecutive years. Scranton is ranked No. 5 in the 2022 edition of the guidebook. U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 14 in its category for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 14 in its category in its “Best Undergraduate Teaching” listing of the top colleges in the nation expressing “a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching,” among other rankings.

The Dime Bank Contributes to the Wayne County Library

Pictured: Tracy L Schwarz, System Administrator of the WLA; Jessica Kjera, Outreach Coordinator; Deborah Unflat, The Dime Bank Vice President Marketing; Melanie Seagraves, The Dime Bank Vice President and Newfoundland Area Public Library Treasurer; Stacy Gager, Assistant Vice President Deposit Operations and WCPL Board Member.

The Dime Bank recently contributed $30,000.00 to the Wayne County Public Library (WCPL) toward approved innovative educational programs. The libraries of Wayne County strive to support students in the three local school districts, as well as homeschooled students, to ensure they get the help they need to improve their grades, increase their confidence, and encourage them to expand their educational explorations.

This donation, which was made through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program, will provide funds for several programs such as Learning@theLibrary and Teen Tech@theLibrary. Both include the purchase of, Teen Health and Wellness, Learning Express Library, Core Concepts (Biology, Chemistry, Periodic Table), PowerKnowledge (Earth/Space, Physical, & Life Science), and Prenda Coding.

In addition, some of the funding is allocated for after school Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematic, and Arts programs. Along with holding enriching programs within the walls of the library, Outreach Coordinator, Jessica Kjera, heads out into the schools and the community. She teaches STEAM programs and familiarizes students/families with the awesome selection of E-resources, fun, and learning they have access to with their library card. Jessica has recently transitioned into the roll with the assistance of retiring long time outreach coordinator, Mary Fritz. Another portion of the funding supports AWE computers for K-2nd grade students and hybridization of library programs which allow libraries to do virtual as well as in person programs.

WCPL Director Tracy L. Schwarz said, “The resources provided by The Dime Bank kept families connected during the Covid shutdown and beyond. The funding helped keep and other STEAM related online resources running for families who were forced to teach their school aged students at home. It also provided a set of laptops, microphones, lighting, speakers, and all the items required for each of the seven libraries to go virtual with programs as needed. The funding helped provide Make and Take STEM and Craft kits that families could pick up and use to learn from home. Thank you! There is no way our libraries could’ve kept county families connected, nor could we have supported the schools as much as we did during the shutdown without this funding from The Dime Bank. EITC funding is vital to keep up with online resources and provide lerning and teen tech at our libraries.”

Stop in at any of the seven Wayne County Libraries to sign up for a library card to access the wide variety of free e-resources available through their website

The EITC program, which is administered by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, provides a tax rebate program. The Dime Bank is dedicated to supporting education in our communities through the sponsorship of many different programs and venues. If you are passionate about your future, choose The Dime Bank as your financial partner. Community banking yields community benefits. For more information on The Dime Bank, visit

Penn State Scranton Hosting Speaker on Race and Identity

Michael Sidney Fosberg, founder of Incognito Inc., grew up believing he was white; then, in his early 30s, he learned that he is actually black. On Thursday, Nov. 4 at noon in the Study Learning Center’s Sherbine Lounge, he will present, “Nobody Wants to Talk About It – Race, Identity and the Difficulties in Forging Meaningful Conversations”.

For more than a decade, Fosberg has toured the country performing his autobiographical play, “Incognito” at schools, colleges corporations, government agencies, community organizations and military bases. The play is based on his personal experiences in learning of, and discovering, his Black biological father.

After hundreds of presentations and in-depth dialogues, Fosberg has assembled a set of tools and takeaways useful in navigating uncomfortable conversations about race and identity. 

He will share these tools at this presentation, with the goal of providing a road map to more authentic and meaningful conversations and authentic dialogue.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Nicole Paolicelli in Penn State Scranton’s Student Activities Office at 570-963-2703 or email: You can also visit the speaker’s website at:

Scranton Area Community Foundation Hosting 3rd Annual NEPA Learning Conference

The Scranton Area Community Foundation, through its Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence in partnership with Moses Taylor Foundation and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, will host its 3rd annual NEPA Learning Conference on August 18-20, 2021. This event will offer nonprofit organizations and nonprofit professionals across the region the opportunity to receive in-depth training virtually from local and nationally-recognized presenters.

Keynote speakers will include Heather McGhee, author of New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together; Ann Mei Chang, author of Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good; and LaShunda Leslie-Smith, Executive Director of Connected Communities, an organization dedicated to building up neighborhoods in the Rochester, New York area by engaging residents, service providers, and community partners in a holistic approach.

Attendees of this three-day learning conference will have an opportunity to learn from local and national experts in a variety of fields, network with peers, and discover how they can create a learning culture within their organization. The conference will share strategies for adapting to a post-pandemic world, teach the importance of collaborative learning, and also will touch on important and relevant topics including racial equity, innovation, and donor relations. Attendees have the opportunity to attend in person at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center (100 Adams Ave, Scranton, PA) or entirely virtually online, via the conference platform app, Whova. A crowd of roughly 200 representatives from nonprofit organizations is expected to attend this hybrid event.

While attendance is geared toward nonprofit professionals, registration is open to the public. Registration closes at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Monday, August 16, 2021. Attendees can register through the conference website at

“Through the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, we prioritize the importance of enhancing organizational capacity building and view it as transformative to the region as a whole,” said Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “We are grateful for so many of our partnering foundations right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania supporting our efforts to bring this learning conference to the nonprofit community of our region.”

Sponsors of the event include Moses Taylor Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, The William C. McGowan Charitable Fund, The Hawk Family Foundation, The Luzerne Foundation, McGrail Merkel Quinn & Associates, Children’s Service Center of NEPA, United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, Hilton Scranton and Conference Center, Wayne County Community Foundation, Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, Knowles Insurance, United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA,  Center City Print, and Junior League of Scranton.

For more information on the 2021 NEPA Learning Conference, please visit or contact Brittany Pagnotti, communications manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.  

Hospice of the Sacred Heart Hosts Camp Healing Hearts

Hospice of the Sacred Heart holds Camp Healing Hearts made possible by a $20,000 Community Impact Grant given by New York Life’s Northeastern Pennsylvania General Office.

This event is a five-day camp experience to provide grief education to children ages 8 to 14 who have experienced the death of a loved one. Children work with trained bereavement counselors and members of the regional arts community to help them progress towards acceptance of the loss and use the arts as a means of self-expression. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Camp Healing Hearts will be conducted safely via Zoom Video Conferencing. Jennifer Seechock, Hospice of the Sacred Heart Director of Counseling Services, will be available throughout the week for media interviews.

The five-day camp is free and is made up of two back to back 60-minute instructional sessions each day to provide a sense of routine, consistency and ultimately closure for the entire process. Each session utilizes a different theme explored through the arts. Bereavement counselors will be available throughout the week if any campers or family members require individual support.

Community volunteers lend their time to campers with artistic projects in painting, writing, yoga, dance, singing and cooking/baking. Friday’s session will be held in person at Montage Mountain Waterpark. Social distancing will be observed.

A video retrospective of Camp Healing Hearts will be presented before the feature film at the Circle Drive-In, 1911 Scranton Carbondale Highway, Dickson City, on a date to be determined in late August.

WHEN: Monday through Friday, August 9 through 13
9:30 – 11:30 AM

WHERE: Monday through Thursday via Zoom Video Conferencing
Friday in person at Montage Mountain Waterpark
1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton, PA 18507