The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 25, 2013

Prison workers offered free college semester

CRESSON — Mount Aloysius College in Cresson has announced the college will offer a tuition-free semester to any displaced worker at SCI-Cresson who feels that higher education might be a viable path to a more secure future.

The tuition break extends to undergraduate, graduate and continuing education courses at Mount Aloysius.

“Our hearts go out to the men and women who may lose their jobs as a result of this transition and to their families,” said Mount Aloysius president Tom Foley, who previously served as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor and Industry and knows firsthand the deep human cost to affected individuals and their families in such situations.

“As we looked within and asked how we could help, this solution emerged as the right response at the right time. We are in a position to help here, and we will.”

Foley said the extension of educational resources is consistent with the college’s mission and is a direct application of the Religious Sisters of Mercy’s core values of justice, hospitality, mercy and service.

“These are our neighbors, and paving a path to a possible new start is one way we can help them when they need it,” Foley said.

College administrators are busy ironing out the logistics of a free semester with the goal of minimizing red tape.

“Certainly applicants will need to file a formal application and choose a course of study,” said Timothy Fulop, vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Mount Aloysius. “The college will cover all tuition costs once admitted.”

The college is notifying representatives of SCI-Cresson workers, including commonwealth and organized labor representatives and legislators and social service agencies that may have contact with displaced workers about the Mount Aloysius educational opportunity.  

Workers can contact the college admissions office and identify themselves as a displaced SCI-Cresson employee.

Information: 886-6383.

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