Dec 05, 2019

HACC President Hosts Virtual News Conference

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Initiatives and activities at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, were addressed Dec. 5, 2019, during a virtual news conference hosted by HACC President and CEO John J. “Ski” Sygielski, MBA, Ed.D.
Outstanding Achievements and Initiatives
Highlights of recent achievements and initiatives include the following:
Academics and Workforce Development
Student Affairs

Technology and Innovation

Public Relations, Marketing and Fundraising

State of Higher Education
National Challenges
Challenges faced at HACC and other postsecondary institutions across the country include declines in enrollment, demographic shifts, fast-paced technology trends, changing teaching methods and resource pressures.
State Challenges
Despite advocacy efforts by community college presidents, students and employees, the Commonwealth has not adequately increased funding levels for the state’s 14 community colleges.
HACC Challenges
As enrollments decline in Central Pennsylvania and nationally, HACC faces increasing competition from four-year institutions, including aggressive marketing by those offering online degrees.
HACC students also face serious personal challenges, including food insecurity, housing, finances and trauma that interfere with their goals of further education.

HACC Budget Deficits
Over the past decade, HACC has experienced decreases in various sources and enrollment declines by about 25% as operating expenses continued to grow. As a result, the 2019 fiscal year-end operating loss projection is $3 million, and the projected 2020 fiscal year-end budgeted operating loss is approximately $2.7 million (amount is tentative and subject to change).

Additional information about HACC’s 2019-20 budget can be found here:
HACC’s Reorganization

One-College Reorganization
HACC is going through a reorganization to remain fiscally stable and to continue providing outstanding educational services to our students and our communities. The HACC Board of Trustees has charged us with completing our reorganization by July 1, 2020, to ensure HACC avoids becoming another statistic in the nationwide trend of college closings. This includes:

Clinical Mental Health Counseling
The decision to end clinical mental health counseling in mid-September 2019 resulted from an internal review of counseling data and HACC’s reorganization. HACC is one of four community colleges in Pennsylvania to outsource mental health counseling.
HACC recently signed an agreement with Mazzitti & Sullivan to provide free mental health counseling services and 24/7 access for students.

Additional information regarding clinical mental health counseling at HACC is available in the College’s online newsroom:
Live at Rose Lehrman Performing Artist Series
The Live at Rose Lehrman (LARL) series will end in March 2020. The decision was informed by financial losses, declining attendance and market saturation.
HACC’s Lebanon Campus
The College is in discussion with potential buyers at HACC’s Lebanon Campus. Only 50% of the campus is currently being used for classes and services. However, HACC remains committed to students, employees and the Lebanon community.
HACC is conducting a review of multiple areas as a potential cost-savings measure, including the bookstores; facilities and grounds keeping; and public safety and security. This research does not mean that these services will be automatically outsourced. An earlier review of custodial services and payroll concluded these operations will not be outsourced.
There will need to be a significant financial benefit to the College to make the transition to outsourcing services. In addition, the vendor would need to provide the same level of quality or higher quality of service. If the College moves forward with outsourcing any services, we will make sure we can do so with minimal or no interruption in service to our employees and, most especially, our students.
The majority of Pennsylvania community colleges are already outsourcing some or all of these functions.

Invest. Impact. Inspire. Campaign for HACC
The HACC Foundation is devoting its full attention to the College’s area of greatest need: raising funds to support the Bruce E. Cooper Student Center.
After a renovation that was completed in August 2017, the Cooper Student Center has been transformed into an attractive, modern facility that has enhanced the student experience and become the central location of student services and activities.
Each day, the new Cooper Student Center serves more than 7,500 students, 400 full-time employees and countless visitors.
The Vision for HACC’s Future
Key goals shaping the vision for HACC’s future are to:  
In addition, the following topics were broached during the news conference:
Reorganization Critical to HACC’s Success
HACC is reorganizing to a One-College model to better serve students and provide a sustainable future. As noted above, HACC has experienced decreases in various sources and enrollment declines by about 25% over the past decade as operating expenses continued to grow.
The reorganization is moving forward with a targeted completion of June 2020 to address these factors and ensure that HACC does not become another statistic in the closing of postsecondary institutions across the country.
Recruitment and Retention Efforts
To address the declining number of graduating high school students, HACC’s recruitment efforts are focusing on a growing number of nontraditional, adult students and reaching out to more diverse populations, including students of color and those who are underrepresented and underserved.
In addition, HACC is continuing to develop partnerships with companies to enhance their employees’ skills. The College works with business and industries as a portable training resource.
HACC’s Presence Continues in Midtown Harrisburg
HACC is not leaving Midtown.
HACC’s Trade and Technology Center in Midtown includes Midtown 1 at Fourth and Reily streets and Midtown 2 at Third and Reily streets. In 2018, HACC announced its plan to relocate the College’s trade and technology programs from Midtown 2 to other buildings on HACC campuses once the current lease expires in June 2022.
HACC owns Midtown 1, which is thriving with over 20 programs. HACC will maintain its presence in the Midtown area and is committed to its success.
About HACC
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges. HACC offers approximately 100 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to approximately 19,000 learners. Also, the College serves learners at its Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses; through virtual learning; and via workforce development and continuing education training. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), follow us on Instagram (@HACC_edu), like us on Facebook ( and use #HACCNews.