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Far-Flung Pa. State Universities Expanding Center City Philadelphia Presence

Chipo Siantumbu talks about earning a degree at the Multi-University in center city Philadelphia. Cheyney University president Michelle Howard-Vital and Mayor Nutter at right.  Credit: Pat Loeb)

Chipo Siantumbu talks about earning a degree at the Multi-University in center city Philadelphia. Cheyney University president Michelle Howard-Vital and Mayor Nutter at right. Credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Four of Pennsylvania’s state universities are joining forces to offer classes and degree programs in center city Philadelphia, and there was a ribbon-cutting today for the so-called “Multi-University.”

Miriam White (at far left in photo) started out her college education in 1981.  But then, with her marriage in 1983 followed by five kids, she had never finished.   Until, on a lunch break from her job at Blue Cross two years ago, she spotted a small newspaper ad about East Stroudsburg State University offering a bachelor’s of public health degree just down the street, at 7th and Market.

“And I decided, well, I’ll go to that orientation in January,” she recalled, “and look at me now!   I’m a graduate of East Stroudsburg and very proud of it.”

East Stroudsburg, Cheyney, West Chester and, come September, Millersville are sharing space in a center city office building to bring their programs to non-traditional students like White.

Peter Garland, acting chancellor of the State Higher Education System, says this program fits the system’s mission of access.

“This model allows students access to an impressive array of academic programs that allow them to balance work, family, and other commitments in their busy lives,” he said.  And he hopes other state schools will join.

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