August 18, 2021
A.J. Rao Erie Times-News
The long-awaited Erie County Community College will welcome its first class this fall. Here's what you need to know:
What is the ECCC?
The ECCC offers two-year associate degrees that can be transferred to a university; two-year applied degrees and technical skills certificates that can provide education; and training for jobs that do not require a bachelor's degree.
Where is the ECCC?
The ECCC aims to be accessible to all communities in Erie County. It will be housed at the St. Benedict Education Center, 330 E.10th St. in Erie.
The college will also hold classes at three other sites:
Some of these sites may be temporary and additional sites may be added after the first year to ensure that every Erie resident has a site within commutable distance.
Who can attend ECCC?
ECCC is open to any resident of Erie County who is over 18, including adults who want to start or complete their previous college education
For those younger than 18, a high school diploma or general-equivalency diploma is required. A dual enrollment program, in which students still in high school can earn college credits, is still being fleshed out, according to community college leadership. For more information, email email@example.com.
Why should I attend ECCC?
ECCC can provide students with a local and more affordable stepping stone to a four-year college, a job or personal growth, ECCC officials said. It also provides high-skills training for those already in the workforce and an opportunity to advance in their careers.
"If you have or had a dream to attend college, ECCC is here for you," ECCC President Christopher Gray said.
How do I apply?
Visit the ECCC website at ec3pa.org and click on the orange "Apply Now" button. Applicants will be able to apply in person at ECCC locations in the near future. For assistance, call 814-413-7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When should I apply?
While applicants hoping to start classes on Sept. 1 can apply up to Aug. 30, it is encouraged they apply as soon as possible as classes may fill up fast. The ECCC will have classes starting at different times of the year at different locations. Applicants are encouraged to apply or call for assistance immediately at 814-413-7000.
How selective is ECCC?
ECCC is an open-access institution of higher learning and admission is guaranteed to all Erie County residents over 18 years old, high school graduates or GED holders.
Will there be placement tests?
Multiple indicators, including placement tests, will be administered to determine student skill levels. Further details on these tests have yet to be determined.
Can I transfer to ECCC from another school?
Yes. You’ll need to have an official transcript sent from your other college or university and the ECCC will evaluate the courses to ensure you get as many credits as possible.
Can I enroll in just one or two courses?
Yes. Students can enroll in as many classes as they choose, from one class to a full schedule.
Can I attend the ECCC while still in high school?
Yes. A dual enrollment program will be available for some courses. However, full details on the program have yet to be determined, according to ECCC leadership.
When do classes start?
First semester classes begin Sept. 1.
What kind of degrees will be available?
Three associate degree programs will be offered in fall 2021:
A full course catalog can be viewed at: bit.ly/e3courses.
Do I need to buy textbooks?
ECCC has partnered with Barnes & Nobles to provide access to textbooks needed for some classes.
Can I take online courses?
The majority of general education courses can be taken online.
Can I take night classes?
Yes. Classes will be offered in the evenings at many of the ECCC locations to serve those working during the day.
Who will be teaching?
ECCC will have around 20 faculty members this fall, a number that will grow as demand for classes grows. All faculty members meet national standards required for teaching at the ECCC, according to ECCC officials.
Can I transfer to a four-year university?
Yes. ECCC classes are designed to meet the standards for Pennsylvania core classes for all commonwealth colleges and universities. ECCC has made articulation agreements with local colleges and universities to ensure that a student's credits will transfer.
What will it cost?
What happens if I don't finish a semester? Will I have to pay ECCC back?
Students will not have to pay back ECCC if they do not finish.