Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)

In a previous post, I reported the great things about being a part of Upward Bound. Again, one of the best decisions ever to be made. I say this because I learned about PASSHE through Upward Bound. Without Upward Bound I wouldn’t know what PASSHE is.

When PASSHE was introduced to me I was blind to what it was. It happened to be something I actually knew something about. Many actually don’t know what “PASSHE” stands for (P)ennsylvania (S)tate (S)ystem of (H)igher (E)ducation. PASSHE was founded July 1st of 1983. PASSHE is made up of a total of fourteen university all of which end in “University of Pennsylvania”

In 1857, The Normal School was passed on the last session on May 20th 1857. Because of this being passed, this allowed 12 normal school districts to be established. The School Code of 1911 ordered that the Pennsylvania Commonwealth purchase all the normal schools, which later evolved to state normal schools, then later granted university titles. All of the universities were introduced to liberal arts programs that allowed all 14 to be comprehensive. Most of the schools started off as 2 year programs but eventually became for your programs, and later offered doctoral degrees.

A Little More on the PASSHE Schools…

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Bloomsburg started off as a normal state school of the sixth district. It then became known as Bloomsburg State Teacher College in 1927. Bloomsburg was founded by Henry Carver, who was the school’s first principal in 1826. In the same year, the school dedicated a building to Henry Carver. The building serves as the school’s landmark and is home to many offices and the president of Bloomsburg. July 1983, Bloomsburg became a part of PASSHE and was renamed to be Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania

Cal U goes back to approximately 1852, when California’s community spent tax money and donations to create a school for kindergarten through college courses. By 1864, Cal U’s founders purchased ten acres and moved to what is now the center of its present location. In 1865 Cal U received a charter to be a normal school. In 1874, the institution was renamed South Western Normal School. In 1914 Pennsylvania purchased the school, giving it the name. California State Normal School and converted it into a two-year institute for training of elementary school teachers. Approximately around 1928, Cal U became a four year curriculum school and was renamed the California State Teachers College. In 1962, the school added a graduate program. The school became a part of the State System of Higher Education on July 1, 1983 and it was granted university status under its current name, California University of Pennsylvania.

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Did you know that Cheyney University is thought to be the oldest HBCU schools which is short for “Historically Black Colleges or Universities?” It also became a part of “PASSHE” in 1983 and is the oldest out of the 14 universities. Cheyney was founded on behalf of Richard Humphrey’s. He founded this University so that descendants of African race could obtain education. Cheyney was established February 25th 1837.

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

On September 10th 1867 Clarion University was founded as Carrier Seminary of Western Pennsylvania. Carrier Seminary open and offered a normal program in 1871. Clarion State Normal School, the inheritor to Carrier Seminary. Clarion State Normal School opened its doors on the old Seminary grounds April 12, 1887. The school became a university in the 1980s. By Legislative Act 188 of 1983, all 14 state colleges were taken from the control of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and placed under the command of the newly created Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

East Stroudsburg University, is a state university in northeastern Pennsylvania and is one of the 14 institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. East Stroudsburg Normal School officially opened its doors on September 4, 1893. About 15 professors greeted a group of 320 students who started the two-year programs in elementary and science education. Normal School was originally privately owned, about 1920 ownership was transferred to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. At the same time the name was changed to East Stroudsburg State Normal School. It wasn’t until 1927, the right to grant the degrees of Bachelor of Science in education and Bachelor of Science in health education was granted, and the school’s name then became the State Teachers College at East Stroudsburg. The college’s name was changed to East Stroudsburg State College, mirroring the addition of liberal arts and science curriculum. The college officially became East Stroudsburg University on July 1, 1983.

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

Edinboro University was founded in 1857, previously known as Edinboro Academy, a private training school for Pennsylvania teachers. In 1861, the Edinboro Academy had an alliance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to become the second State Normal School in Pennsylvania, known as the Northwest State Normal School. Further development of the liberal arts to include degree programs outside the field of education resulted in Edinboro becoming Edinboro State College in 1960. In 1983, Pennsylvania established the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, of which Edinboro is a part of

Indiana University of Pennsylvania 

It was known as Indiana Normal School when it was founded in 1875. John Sutton Hall, a building which everything was housed in, still stands today in the heart of the campus. John Sutton Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places. As the school grew, there were many changes as well, such as the name. IUP went from Indiana State Teachers College to Indiana State College in 1959 when it was granted the right to hand out degrees.  And in 1965, it changed its name to Indiana University of Pennsylvania when it offered its first doctoral program.

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Kutztown was first established in the year 1866. Kutztown started off as Keystone Normal School. In about 1928, Kutztown changed the name to Kutztown State Teachers College. Around this time, Kutztown expanded its programs outside of education and did another name change this time to Kutztown State College. It wasn’t until 1960, when finally Kutztown changed their name to Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 1983. This is when Kutztown became a part of PASSHE. Although Kutztown offers undergraduate and graduate programs, they also expanded their programs to liberal, sciences and performing arts.

Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania 

The Central State Normal School, which was a private corporation until 1914. It was legally moved to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Lock Haven was founded in 1870 and was chartered to prepare teachers for the public schools.  After while there were changes in its mission that led to changes in name, to State Teachers College at Lock Haven, which occurred in 1926. In 1960 the school changed its name to Lock Haven State College then to Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in 1983. The last name change occurred when PASSHE was created and Lock Haven University joined the 13 other universities within the State System.

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Mansfield University was founded back to 1857, when it was originally called Mansfield Classical Seminary, which opened January 7 of that year. In April, Mansfield Classical burned to the ground, the owners vowed to rebuild an even bigger and better building. Simon B. Elliott applied for Mansfield Classical Seminary to transition to a State Normal School in 1862. The application was accepted later in December of 1862, and the name changed to Mansfield State Normal School becoming the third State Normal School in Pennsylvania. Mansfield Normal State School transitioned from a 3 year program to a 2 year programs, only to better the chances to become closer to collegiate status. It wasn’t until June of 1926 the school was given the opportunity to open to a 4 year program allowing them to grant collegiate degrees. In 1927, the school’s name transitioned to Mansfield State Teachers College. The Pennsylvania Department of Education expanded their programs to liberal arts making Mansfield, Mansfield Sate College. The school became a part of PASSHE on July 1st 1983.

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

In 1855, Millersville was established in Lancaster County in Millersville PA. It was first known as Lancaster County Normal School, then changed to Lancaster County State Normal School in 1859. Around 1927, Millersville changed again to Millersville State College in 1959 and Millersville later became a state teachers college in 1927. It was renamed Millersville State College in 1959 and officially became Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 1983, joining PASSHE

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Shippensburg University was founded as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School in the year of 1871 and received official recognition and approval by the commonwealth on February 21, 1873.  April 15 of that year, Shippensburg admitted their first class of 217 students from south-central Pennsylvania. Seeing greater potential for the school, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased it in 1917. Over the next few decades, great strides were made. In 1982, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth passed the Senate Bill 506 establishing PASSHE, adding Shippensburg to PASSHE in July 1st of 1983.

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Slippery Rock University opened its doors on March 26, 1889 as Slippery Rock State Normal School, which started off as a 2 year teacher school. The institution was purchase by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth in 1926, it became a 4 year teachers college. In 1960, SRU was awarded to hand out undergraduate and graduate degrees in liberal arts.  July 1st of 1983, they were added to PASSHE. Changing the name Slippery Rock University.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Like all of the other schools, West Chester started off as a Normal school. In 1913, West Chester became the first of the normal schools to be owned outright by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 1927, West Chester became West Chester Teacher College and became a four year program, granting education and training for students who wanted to become teachers. In 1960, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania introduced liberal arts, when this happened the name changed as well to West Chester State College. West Chester changed its name one more time to West Chester University of Pennsylvania on July 1st, 1983.


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