Officials from Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (BU) will formalize an agreement on Thursday,

March 29, at 10 a.m., which will enable students with an LCCC Associate's Degree to transition to a Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership program.

The program, which is a new major for BU, was approved earlier this year by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). The program is the first of its kind in the 14 PASSHE institutions and only the second in the Commonwealth.

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership addresses the growing demand for technical skills combined with professional skills, according to Tim Phillips, chair of instructional technology at BU. A student who has earned an Associate of Applied Science degree from a community college will build upon that degree with courses in information technology, communications studies, accounting, business education, information and technology management and general education. The program also will be open to those already in the workforce.

The new BU program is a partnership with LCCC and the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI), both located in Schnecksville. All bachelor's degree requirements may be completed at LCCC and students enrolled at LCTI can enter the program at the high school level. The first class will enroll in fall 2012.

"Today marks such a great step forward for community colleges in the applied sciences area. The new Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership is truly a pathway which enables so many students new opportunities and they can enter the program wherever they are in their educational and/or professional careers," said LCCC President Donald Snyder.

"It is a tremendous honor to have developed this program with two of the College's long-time partners - one of our four-year partners, Bloomsburg University, and our partner and neighbor, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute. We are working together and providing an innovative approach to prepare all people with a college degree to meet the growing need for employability and technical skills."

"We are delighted to provide this learning opportunity for students in the Lehigh Valley," said BU President David Soltz. "This partnership guarantees that students with a strong technical background can gain the skills they need to bridge the divide between information technology professionals and business leaders for employment in Pennsylvania."

Kathleen Howley, PASSHE's senior associate vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, said offering the BU program at LCCC brings added convenience for students as they gain the skills they need for advancement in their careers.

"The education of technical professionals is recognized as being of vital importance to the commonwealth and the nation," she said."This innovative program's co-location model does more than bring Bloomsburg's program to LCCC's campus. It is designed to translate into partnerships with other Pennsylvania community colleges so other students will have an opportunity to advance in their careers."

Details on BU's new Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership can be found on both college websites – www.bu.edu http://www.bu.edu/ and www.lccc.edu http://www.lccc.edu/ .