Through a $106,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, HACC now transmits technology courses to 12 public school districts and two vocational technical schools through wireless computers, the Internet, and compressed video classrooms. The project introduces students to the required technological skills that are required for most jobs in today's economy while earning college credit. An added benefit is the ability to reach rural students where limited access to the Internet and qualified high school technology may exist. Rural areas are not the only places the program can work. U.S. Census Bureau statistics show the "digital divide" exists in central city areas where only seven to ten percent of lower income households have access to the Internet. Not limited to the traditional geographic boundaries of the college campus, college programs for high schools can easily be replicated in urban communities.
The Community College Futures Assembly, an organization at the Institute of Higher Education, University of Florida, presents the Bellwether Award annually. Two-year colleges are recognized for outstanding and innovative programs and practices that lead community colleges into the future.
HACC is a finalist in the Planning, Governance & Finance category that acknowledges programs or activities designed and successfully implemented to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the community college.
One of the ten community colleges nominated will be presented the 2003 Bellwether Award at the Community College Futures Assembly conference in Florida, held in early February. Presenters of the HACC program to the assembly will be Dr. Edna Baehre, HACC president, Jennifer Weaver, dean of the Gettysburg Campus, Diane Bittle, computer information systems instructor, and Shannon Harvey, director, educational services at the Gettysburg Campus.