PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — The board of governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) requested the state provide a targeted investment to prepare students for careers in high-demand, understaffed fields, according to a Thursday release from PASSHE.
PASSHE would like the state to provide $112 million for a strategic investment to graduate students for careers in health care, education, engineering, social work, and computer science — all fields PASSHE says are facing significant labor shortages.
Most of that money would be used for student financial aid, the release says, making it easier for students to attend a university.
According to the PASSHE release, 60% of jobs in Pennsylvania require some higher education after high school, but only 51% of workers have a degree or credential.
The State System also requested an inflationary funding increase of 3.8% to be used to help PASSHE freeze undergraduate tuition for all students for a fifth consecutive year, according to the release.
According to PASSHE, the funds would help “to address Pennsylvania’s talent shortage in industries critical to communities, to open doors of opportunity for thousands of low- and middle-income students of all ages, and to strengthen the state’s workforce and economy.”
PASSHE Board of Governors Chairwoman Cynthia D. Shapira said in the release:
“The State System remains tremendously thankful to the governor and legislature for the historic investment in the 2022-23 state budget… Their partnership with us and our students is a testament to the success of our ongoing System Redesign to transform higher education and meet the changing needs of students and the workforce.
“This funding request would benefit all of our students by allowing the System to freeze tuition for an unprecedented fifth year. At the same time, our state can strategically target investments to help students enroll, graduate and enter jobs that have labor shortages and are vital to our communities.”