Wilkes-Barre Approved For EITC Program

LEHMAN, Pa. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre has been approved as an Educational Improvement Organization (EIO) under the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC) administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

The designation allows businesses to make contributions to Penn State Wilkes-Barre to support four youth programs — Summer Youth Program Day Camps, Women in the Sciences and Engineering, Dual Enrollment Programs, and Science Olympiad — deemed to be “innovative educational programs” under the law and to be considered for Educational Improvement Tax Credits from the state.

The Summer Youth Program Day Camps have been held at Penn State Wilkes-Barre for over 25 years, offering both academic and sports camps for students in grades 1-12. The primary objective of this program is to focus on providing high-quality, engaging, academic enrichment and athletic camps in a friendly, safe and encouraging environment, and to provide camps that are affordable and accessible to children of all socioeconomic backgrounds. The Summer Youth program is unique to the community since each camp is interactive and provides hands-on learning experiences which are developed by seasoned instructors, whose credentials and curriculum have been approved by University Deans.

Women in Sciences and Engineering (WISE), a 3-day program, has been held at Penn State Wilkes-Barre since 2010. Those that participate in this program are young women in the middle grades (grades 6-8) from all walks of life that have an interest in exploring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. The WISE program is unique to the community in that it offers an opportunity for a younger group of girls to explore the career possibilities available in STEM areas. Additionally, the WISE program allows young women to develop self-esteem and enhance their technical abilities through interactive learning activities outside of the traditionally male-dominated classroom. Faculty and staff provide guidance and career counseling in an effort to empower the young women to enroll in STEM-related high school programming, and ultimately STEM careers.

The primary objective of the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Dual Enrollment Program is to offer high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit at a reduced tuition rate. Participants may choose from a variety of Penn State courses offered during the fall, spring or summer semesters. The benefits of this program are designed to encourage a broader range of students to experience postsecondary education by allowing them to concurrently enroll in postsecondary courses and to receive both secondary and postsecondary credits. Dual Enrollment helps to introduce students to advantages of postsecondary education and enhances their preparation for a more successful transition to postsecondary institutions. Penn State Wilkes-Barre offers a tuition reduction, for up to two courses per semester, to any student taking coursework as part of the Dual Enrollment program.

Each year the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus hosts the Northeast Region of the Pennsylvania Science Olympiad. This event brings approximately 1,000 middle and high school students to our campus to compete in science, engineering and technology events. Students compete in 46 different events (23 events for middle school, and 23 events for high school). The goal of the Science Olympiad is to stimulate interest in science through the excitement of competition, with both personal and team awards and medals.

Being able to participate in the EITC program will benefit the programs for a variety of reasons, to include but not limited to:

  • Scholarships for those that do not have the financial means to enroll in the Summer Youth and WISE programs
  • Purchasing materials/curriculum and supplies for Summer Youth and WISE to ensure interactive learning
  • Transportation costs for Summer Youth and WISE field trips which enhances the learning experience, allowing children to see the topics they have learned about “come to life”
  • Providing a daily lunch for all WISE program attendees
  • Promotional costs and camp souvenirs
  • Dual Enrollment tuition assistance
  • Science Olympiad host campus costs
  • Offsetting the cost for the school districts to compete in Science Olympiad

This fiscal year (2016-2017), Penn State Wilkes-Barre will be listed as an approved Educational Improvement Organization with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. We will be listed as the Pennsylvania State University Philanthropic Fund.

If your business earned a profit in the last tax year, you can receive a generous tax credit of up to 90 percent of your gift (up to $750,000 per taxable year), while also making a significant impact on education in the northeast region and beyond.

Penn State Wilkes-Barre provides a world-renowned university in a smaller, more intimate setting. Dedicated staff and teachers have helped students of all ages since the campus’ inception in 1916 and continue to provide excellent education and support. Penn State Wilkes-Barre boasts eight Bachelor’s degrees and four Associate’s degrees and the ability to start one of over 160 degrees at Penn State Wilkes-Barre and continue at another campus. Penn State is committed to equal opportunity and diversity in both its employees and students.

As an eligible EIO, we invite you to partner with Penn State Wilkes-Barre in our efforts to improve the quality of primary and secondary education throughout the northeast region that our campus serves. For more information, please contact Anthony Shipula, director of campus development and alumni relations, at 570.675.9107 or ajs39@psu.edu.