Johnson College Receives $75,000 Grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation for Health Care Careers Project

Johnson College has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation. This grant, which will be disbursed over a three-year performance period, will support the Foundation and College’s goal to address the critical growing need for health care professionals by promoting opportunities for careers in health care and training for traditional and non-traditional students.

Using a motorhome shell customized to demonstrate various health care training modalities, Johnson College plans to give potential students a hands-on experience to see and feel what it would be like to work in a health care environment. In addition to the hands-on encounter, Johnson College staff will be available to answer questions and help potential students resolve or eliminate common barriers to educational access.

With this new program, Johnson College will be able to show participants that there is a path to meet their needs. Johnson College offers pathways to healthcare careers with associate degree programs such as physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology, and biomedical equipment technology as well as continuing education programs like certified nursing assistant and medical billing and coding.

With the focus on engaging non-traditional students, Johnson College will broaden opportunities for students who represent diverse age, economic, educational, and cultural backgrounds. These potential students include displaced workers due to COVID-19, non-English speaking individuals, those who want/need to return to the workforce post-retirement or family, and those seeking a new career path.

“This project illustrates exactly what we do so well here at Johnson College. We think of innovative and new ways to provide people with the education and job training that they need to obtain a family-sustaining career,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College. “With this mobile lab, we will be able to demonstrate to people in the region that a career in health care is attainable and give them a taste of what hands-on education at Johnson College is like.”

Photo Caption: Johnson College has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation which will support the Foundation and College’s goal to address the critical growing need for health care professionals by promoting opportunities for careers in health care and training for traditional and non-traditional students. Left to right: LaTida Smith, President & CEO of Moses Taylor Foundation, and Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College.

Johnson College Receives $490,381 Grant from the USDA for Rural Distance Learning Program

Johnson College has been awarded a $490,381 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of the agency’s Telemedicine and Distance Learning Program. This grant will support the College’s goal to implement a distance learning program improving access to higher education opportunities for rural areas in Wayne, Pike, and Susquehanna counties.

The project will link Johnson College with four rural high schools: Forest City Regional High School, Honesdale High School, Wallenpaupack Area High School, and Western Wayne High School.  As well as three libraries: Lakewood Library, Newfoundland Library, and Pleasant Mount Library by high-tech telecommunications equipment.

Both high school and adult students will have interactive, two-way access to Johnson College faculty and will participate in remote education, discussions, testing, and skill demonstrations. Laboratories and classrooms at Johnson College will be similarly equipped to enable maximum interaction between faculty and students. In addition, the three rural libraries will be equipped with laptops to give community residents access to career exploration services and information about courses at Johnson College. Students participating in the distance learning program will be able to work towards completing any one of the 15 academic programs Johnson College offers.

The project will create a direct route to career technology education (CTE), a college degree, and ultimately a fulfilling career with family-sustaining wages for students in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania. For many families, this will be the first generation empowered to attend college and removes several barriers like transportation to make college possible. We will focus on a distance learning platform using the latest in two-way interactive telecommunications technology to create an environment that is as close to the Johnson College onsite classroom and laboratory experience as possible while being delivered in the high school community.

The rural nature of the region presents several barriers to students and community residents in accessing higher education. The high schools collaborating on this project are between 21 and 31 miles from Johnson College. Because of family responsibilities, cultural norms, or factors related to working while enrolled in school, many students stay close to home for college. When there are no institutions of higher education close by, transportation and distance become barriers to upward mobility, fulfilling careers, and financially rewarding positions. This program can change that through distance learning and telecommunications. This strategy has several benefits for the individual student, the community, the industry partners needing more workers, and the state/regional/local economic development efforts.

This project also benefits Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education which is integral to the College’s curriculum for all students attending Johnson College, whether through distance learning, online learning, or on-campus learning. The specialized STEM training made possible by this grant funding will give students the opportunity to start their college degree while still in high school and complete earlier for in-demand positions throughout the region, as well as provide an opportunity to train non-high school students for new careers due to job loss or the desire for positions with higher family-sustaining wages.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with these schools and libraries to bring the Johnson College experience to those who otherwise might not be able to take advantage of it,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College. “Everyone should have the opportunity to learn skills that can lead to family-sustaining wages for in-demand careers.”

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) congratulated Johnson College and applauded the project. “As the internet fuels more innovative higher learning options, we need to invest to make sure they are accessible,” said Cartwright. “Projects like this open the door to exciting educational opportunities that give more students a shot at a fulfilling career, regardless of their zip code. I want to congratulate Johnson College on this well-deserved federal award.”

In addition to the distance learning opportunity this funding provides, students will also have access to Johnson College’s full array of on-campus support services including tutoring, counseling, career advisement, 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.

Johnson College Receives a $25,000 Grant from the Robert Y. Moffat Family Charitable Trust

Johnson College was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Robert Y. Moffat Family Charitable Trust to support the College’s efforts to perform a comprehensive, campus-wide audit to ensure its campus is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Johnson College’s staff want to make sure that the campus is welcoming to all who visit. It is paramount to the College’s institutional goal of promoting equity and inclusion as part of its Strategic Plan. Identifying and resolving accessibility issues throughout campus will achieve this important goal and affirm the College is in compliance with current ADA requirements.

“While our buildings were either designed or retrofitted to be ADA-compliant, we’re always working to improve our campus,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College President & CEO. “We are grateful to the Robert Y. Moffat Family Charitable Trust for this grant that will ensure our campus is accessible to everyone who is enrolled, works and visits Johnson College.”

Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a caring environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance in their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912, and is the region’s premier technical college, offering associate degrees in 15 programs and 3 academic certificates. An emphasis on hands-on instruction is supported by a low student-to-teacher ratio. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional business and industry to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email enroll@johnson.edu, or visit Johnson.edu.

Johnson College Receives $30,000 Through “It’s On Us PA” Grant

Johnson College was one of 42 Pennsylvania institutions of higher education awarded a grant through Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s “It’s On Us PA” initiative. The $30,000 grant will help Johnson College improve campus awareness regarding sexual violence among students, faculty and staff.

The funds will help create an updated curriculum module for all students on the College’s Desire2Learn learning management system. The College will review current institutional policies, processes and resources available for reporting sexual violence and serving the needs of potential victims with a Pennsylvania Title IX consultant who will make recommendations for improved compliance and reporting. The grant will also support updated training for the College’s Title IX coordinator and staff to be sure that Johnson College is following best practice operations for continued campus safety within a climate of proactive leadership

The College’s mission is to be proactive in making students, faculty and staff fully aware of the issue of sexual violence, how to report and what resources are available to assist those in need. Additional grant activities will include a campus-wide It’s On Us program event in the spring where students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to take the It’s On Us pledge against campus violence.

“Our goal is to maintain the excellent record of low to no incidents of sexual violence on our campus,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College president & CEO. “Should the need arise, we want to be proactively prepared to comply with Pennsylvania law. The It’s On Us grant will help us accomplish these goals.”

The It’s On Us PA grant program was created to provide colleges and universities with support and resources necessary to shift campus culture and promote healthy relationships. The grant provides funding from January 2021 through May 2022 to implement strategies on campuses to address goals of the Governor’s It’s On Us PA campaign, which include:

  1. Improve awareness, prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence in schools, colleges, and universities to better serve all students.
  2. Remove/reduce barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting and/or accessing vital resources by creating a more consistent, empowering reporting process for student survivors of gender-based violence.
  3. Demonstrate significant, proactive, and sustainable leadership to change campus culture by challenging Pennsylvania’s education leaders – including college and university presidents, as well as students, teachers, faculty, staff, families, and communities to pledge to improve their institutions’ climate around sexual assault.

Since 2016, the Wolf Administration has awarded 150 It’s On Us PA grants totaling nearly $4 million to more than 70 post-secondary institutions, including public and private two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Johnson College Receives $3,500 PPL Foundation Grant

Johnson College was awarded a $3,500 grant from the PPL Foundation to support its STEM Energy Outreach Program in five northeastern Pennsylvania school districts.  This program will introduce at least 50 middle and high school students to green, renewable energy through solar concepts using an interactive, hands on demonstration. To participate schools must email Kellyn Williams, PhD, Chief Academic Officer at Johnson College at knolan@johnson.edu. Space is limited.

Students will participate in the interactive learning experience by assembling K’nex Education Renewable Energy sets during a live zoom class with Johnson College Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Kellyn Williams. They will also watch online presentations featuring Richard Fornes, Johnson College Electrical Engineering program director, and Cole Hastings Goldstein, Johnson College Advanced Manufacturing program director. The completed K’nex kits will be shared with additional schools as part of future Johnson College STEM Outreach Programs.

“The PPL Foundation grant gives local middle and high school students the opportunity to experience the real-world, hands-on learning our amazing faculty provides students on the Johnson College campus” said Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College President and CEO. “Our STEM Outreach Programs provide local students an introduction to careers within essential industries throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and the country.”  

Johnson College previously presented STEM Outreach Programs at the Scranton School District, Weatherly Middle School, Carbondale High School, Wallenpaupack School District, and Forest City School District.   

The PPL Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process.  Through strategic partnerships, the Foundation supports organizations working to create vibrant, sustainable communities; promote diversity, equity and inclusion; and empower each citizen to fulfill her or his potential. Learn more about the PPL Foundation at https://www.pplweb.com/communities/ppl-foundation/.

(L to R): Dr. Kellyn Williams, Johnson College’s chief academic officer holding a solar powered vehicle students will build, Alana Roberts, regional affairs director at the PPL Foundation, and Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College’s president and CEO, holding a Solar Energy Program t-shirt participating students will receive.