|Pennsylvania State University|
|Chancellor||Dr. Tina Richardson|
|President||Eric J. Barron|
|Colors||Blue and White|
Penn State Lehigh Valley is a commonwealth campus of Pennsylvania State University and it is located in Center Valley, outside of Allentown in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1912, Penn State Lehigh Valley is the oldest of Penn State's commonwealth campuses.
In 1912, Penn State opened its first permanent "branch school" in the attic of an elementary school in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Designed to provide professional training to employees, the Allentown Branch School offered evening courses in engineering. Over the next few decades additional programs were added, including three-year evening programs in engineering, technology, and business administration, as well as "continuation school" offered one day a week for workers in silk mills and other local factories. Eventually the evening programs were compressed into a one-year daytime program designed to meet the needs of returning World War II veterans.
By 1951, the curriculum had expanded to include associate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology, business programs, and graduate credit classes for teachers. The University purchased a converted factory building at 725 Ridge Avenue in Allentown to house the "Allentown Center."
In the 1970s, the Allentown Campus grew rapidly and moved first to larger quarters in the Fogelsville School Building, and then, in 1977, to its campus in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania which was built on a 40-acre (160,000 m2) tract of land donated by Mohr Orchards. Along with the new facilities came a new mission to provide the first two years of Penn State baccalaureate degrees in addition to expanded continuing education programming.
The 1990s brought considerable change and subsequent growth to the campus. Changing its name to Penn State Lehigh Valley to better reflect the community it serves, the campus became part of a college within the University composed of Penn State Lehigh Valley and Penn State Berks. The two-campus college was designated Penn State Berks-Lehigh Valley College. Together the campuses shared faculty and developed four-year baccalaureate degree programs in a number of disciplines.
With the addition of four-year baccalaureate degree programs came an increase in enrollment, and in 2003 Penn State Lehigh Valley opened a second site, the Corporate Learning Center, located at 100 Brodhead Road in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Bethlehem site currently housed continuing education programs as well as the Elementary Education degree program classes.
In 2005 the University restructured across the state, and discontinued the Berks-Lehigh Valley College partnership.
Currently, approximately 900 undergraduate students attend Penn State Lehigh Valley. An additional 3,000 students participate each year in its continuing education programs.
On March 20, 2009 the Penn State University board approved the purchase of the facility owned by Lehigh Valley College in Center Valley. Classes moved to Center Valley in September 2009. Penn State shared the facility with Lehigh Valley College until that school closed in December 2009. The new facility more than doubled the size of the building on the old campus. With the increased space at the Center Valley campus, programs at the Corporate Learning Center were moved to Center Valley and the Corporate Learning was closed at the end of 2010.
Penn State–Lehigh Valley teams participate as a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The Nittany Lions are a member of the Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC). Men's sports include basketball, cross country, golf and soccer; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer and volleyball.
- 'Penn State Board of Trustees Approves Property Purchase in Center Valley'
- "Penn St.-Lehigh Valley". Penn St.-Lehigh Valley. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
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