Manor College (visited 7/20/16)
Manor is a 2-year, private college founded by the Sisters of St. Basil and affiliated with the Ukrainian Catholic Church. They have a Ukrainian Heritage center, which unfortunately we didn’t get to see. This is a bit surprising since it’s one way that the school could distinguish itself, and our tour guide himself had emigrated from Ukraine when he was 5. He pointed out where it was located, and we could see a bit of clothing through a window, but that’s as close as we got.
Manor is also unusual in that it’s a private 2-year school with housing provided. Currently, there are only 85 beds on campus, and the admissions rep said that they were not currently at capacity. However, Manor enrolls about 700 students in total; these students are twice as likely to graduate and transfer than students at peer institutions. Over half of the student body self-identify as racial or ethnic minorities.
Jonathan Peri took over as college president about 9 months ago, replacing a president who had been in office for about 30 years. He has already set several plans in motion, and there were quite a few renovations in the works. “You’re here 40 days before the grand unveiling, and if you’re able to come in the fall, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!” he told us at lunch.
This small campus – three buildings making a U around a parking lot – is in need of work. The main academic buildings are reminiscent of an elementary school. Currently, they’re redoing the library, a large room on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the main building. The main area is 2-stories tall with windows stretching floor-to-ceiling, letting in lots of light. The balcony area houses many of the books. Some of the renovations in there include putting trees along the windows, creating study areas along one side of the room, and a computer area on the other side.
Other renovations include tearing up an area behind the dorm to put in “Blue Jay Beach,” a full-sized beach volleyball court, Adirondack chairs, and more. They’re definitely trying to make the area more appealing and resident-friendly. This will be helpful in attracting more students who want to live on campus; I think once that ball gets rolling, more and more students will want to take advantage of the option to live on campus. Our tour guide was very sweet and loved being at Manor; like most students, he is local and commutes to school, “but I’m often here in the evenings hanging out with my friends. I’m teaching a friend to play guitar so we’ll do that in the dorm.”
Students can choose from over 35 AA/AS degrees and Certificate programs within the Allied Health, Legal Studies, Math, and more. There are many hands-on, career-path majors here, including Vet Tech, Paralegal, and Dental Hygiene. They have a full dental clinic on campus, and anyone – students, staff, and community members – can get their teeth cleaned for $20. “Students coming here do so because they’re choosing a smarter career path,” said the President.
They are starting 3 new programs (including Business Admin and Liberal Arts) that will be fully online and entirely equivalent to the on-site programs to allow for more flexibility in students’ learning options. This is the first time that Pennsylvania has allowed students in a program of this sort to use Financial Aid.
Tuition is affordable at just under $16,000 a year – and last year, they even had a tuition freeze. Allied Health Tuition is a bit higher (about $16,700) and Dental Hygiene students pay an additional $1900 lab fee, as well. Room and Board starts at $7500 a year, with single rooms being a bit more.