Penn State Outreach and Online Education helps mobilize the considerable educational resources at Penn State to address current social, cultural, and economic issues facing Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world. We do so through a wide range of initiatives and programs, and with a variety of partners and collaborators. Some of the many ways we strive to make a difference every day include the following:

  • Penn State Outreach and Online Education connects Penn State’s programs, research, and services to the wider community, throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. Our programs reach millions of people annually in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, 50 states, and more than 100 countries.
  • Penn State World Campus serves more than 13,000 students from every state in the nation and 54 countries, studying in more than 100 undergraduate, graduate, and professional education programs.
  • Penn State Continuing Education reaches more than 9,000 learners annually statewide.
  • Shavers Creek Environmental Center hosts some 6,600 visitors each year and provides educational programming for all ages. 
  • Penn State Conferences, camps, competitions, and youth programs engage more than 10,000 individuals each year.
  • Penn State World Campus has been designated as a military-friendly school by G.I. Jobs magazine. The World Campus offers a Military Admissions and Advising Team that includes advisers with recent deployment experience.
  • The Justice and Safety Institute trains more than 1,000 police supervisors from 32 states and Canada each year and is the mandated trainer of child support enforcement officers and deputy sheriffs from every Pennsylvania county.
  • Shavers Creek Environmental Center is a zero-waste facility — reducing, reusing, recycling, or composting 96% of all waste materials — and runs workshops to help businesses and schools reduce waste.
  • The annual National Autism Conference attracts thousands of individuals seeking support and research for children living with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Outreach and Online Education collaborated with Centre County school districts to host a forum on “Preventing School Violence: From Community Awareness to Evidence-Based Policies and Practices,” which also aired on WPSU.
  • In the past five years, clients reported 1,634 jobs created or retained and nearly $124 million in economic benefits as a result of PennTAP assistance.
  • A national conference on child sexual abuse drew nearly 500 people to sessions on child abuse prevention and treatment, personal accounts of impact and recovery from survivors, and a free community forum.
  • Since its founding in 1997, the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has helped start 297 businesses and assisted in the purchase of another 57, helping create 1,593 jobs and save 474 more. Clients credit the SBDC with helping them increase sales by $74.6 million.
  • The Penn State Center: Engaging Pittsburgh collaborated with the city of Pittsburgh on a demonstration storm water mitigation project that planners hope will reduce flooding in Pittsburgh’s Four Mile Run neighborhood and will serve as a model for the rest of the city and beyond.
  • Water Blues, Green Solution, an interactive documentary being produced by Penn State Public Media, looks at sustainable ways to manage America’s water resources in the face of growing demand and crumbling infrastructure.
  • WPSU-TV programming reaches 650,000 homes in 29 counties and WPSU-FM reaches 450,000 homes in 13 central Pennsylvania counties.
  • Eminent speakers, such as Knewton founder Jose Ferreira and researcher Sir John Daniel, share their knowledge through the Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL), Penn State’s research enterprise to improve online learning at and beyond Penn State.
  • Thousands of people access online workforce studies and webinars hosted by the Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, which provides information and resources on natural gas exploration and production. A $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation funds the center’s efforts to enhance the public’s understanding of energy science.

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