There are 24 campuses in the Penn State system. The one that gets the most attention is University Park, but what about the other 23? That’s where we come in with our newest 23 part series, Better Know a Branch Campus, inspired by Stephen Colbert’s Better Know a District. Next up: The Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Name: The Pennsylvania College of Technology, or Penn Tech for short. It’s not a branch campus, but rather a campus associated with Penn State. So this starts our “new” series, “Better Know An Associated Campus!”
President: Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour
Enrollment: There are 5,638 total students at Penn Tech. However, the full-time equivalent at the school is 5,026.
Location: Penn Tech is nestled in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The campus is approximately 63 miles from State College, 179 miles from Philadelphia and 196 miles from Pittsburgh. It’s also 1.3 miles away from the third oldest ballpark in minor league baseball, Historic Bowman Field.
Sports: There are 16 intercollegiate teams at Penn Tech: men’s and women’s archery, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s volleyball and wrestling. The school is in a bit of a transition phase, as it will join the North Eastern Athletic Conference next year. Also, the school’s nickname is the Wildcats. That’s a new one.
Fun Fact: The list of club sports at Penn Tech is all over the place (in a good way) and features sports like martial arts and powerlifting. Its archery team is one of the best in the nation. Also, Penn Tech was open 24/7 during World War II to help provide war production training.
History: When the school first opened in 1941, it was known as the Williamsport Technical Institute. The WTI led to the creation of the Williamsport Area Community College, and, in 1989, the school changed its name to the Pennsylvania College of Technology and officially became affiliated with Penn State.
Right Now: The most interesting thing about Penn Tech is that the school has four branch campuses of its own. It also has 304 full-time and 150 part-time faculty members. 1,710 students live in on-campus housing, and the school offers many majors under six academic schools.
The one story this week comes in from an anonymous Williamsport resident:
“Penn Tech is essentially Williamsport south. Every fucking kid you hated in high schools ends up at Penn Tech before they graduate. Some start there, but they all end up there. Homesick? Penn State. Failing out of IUP? Penn Tech. Got kicked out Lock Haven for selling cocaine and picking up hookers? Penn Tech is there for you. And at every Williamsport High party, there is at least one creepy Penn Tech kid who got invited by his cousin lurking in the corner, just waiting for the first high school sophomore who just drank her first beer to stumble by and strike up a conversation about his new pickup truck. The most exciting god damn thing to every happen to Penn Tech was when Snooki came here four years ago — the place actually sold out and kids were scalping tickets outside — if that gives you any idea what it is like.
“In all seriousness, the campus is quite beautiful. The big-ass American flag in the middle of campus puts Betsy Ross to shame and can be seen from all over Williamsport. 90 percent of the campus goes to Sheetz every single night — the ambitious cross the street to Burger King. It used to be a community college, but the affiliation with Penn State gave it a little more prestige to people who come out of state for some of the unique majors or associate programs. If you can get over all the hick music and Williamsport High School war stories everywhere you look, it’s not such a bad place.”
Next Time: Penn State World Campus! It was supposed to be the campus I did this week, but break threw me off. If you have any cool stories from attending World Campus, let me know.
Previous Better Know a Branch Campus features: Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Erie, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton, York.