Colleges Compete for Cyber School Students

Oct 18, 2010, 11:07 ET from PA Cyber Charter School

20 Colleges coming to first PA Cyber college fair in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As more and more seniors are graduating from cyber charter schools, colleges and universities show an increased interest in recruiting them, according to a PA Cyber Charter School guidance counselor who is coordinating the first college fair the online school has ever hosted at its Philadelphia office.

With 2,800 juniors and seniors among its nearly 10,000 students - and SAT and ACT scores that beat state and national averages – PA Cyber's college fair has attracted the attention of small colleges like Rosemont and Gwynedd Mercy, and large universities including Penn State, Villanova and Temple.

More than 20 colleges and universities, along with military recruiters and a financial aid agency, plan to attend the event from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School Eastern Support Center, 1553 Chester Pike, Suite 103, Crum Lynne, Pa., according to guidance counselor Michele Fecht.

The event is open to everyone, including home-schooled, private and traditional high school students. Fecht said courtesy preregistrations are welcome but is not required. She may be contacted at or at 1-888-722-9237, extension 1608.

"Students in the cyber schools sometimes get overlooked by colleges. It seems harder for colleges to get their arms around cyber schools," said Deb Erie, director of enrollment management for Penn State University's Brandywine campus. She said it makes sense for Penn State – with 20 regional campuses scattered across the state – to recruit among PA Cyber's students, who reside in nearly all of Pennsylvania's 500 school districts.

Erie said this is only the second time PSU-Brandywine has ever been invited to a college fair hosted by a cyber school. In contrast, she makes recruitment presentations or attends college fairs at nearly all of the high schools and brick-and-mortar charter schools every year in the Philadelphia area.

Institutions participating in the college fair include Temple University, Penn State University, Villanova University, Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, Lock Haven University, Valley Forge Christian College, Holy Family University, Philadelphia Biblical University, Neumann University, Cabrini College, Clarion University, Eastern University, Rosemont College, Kutztown University, Gwynedd Mercy College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Lafayette College, Immaculata University, Delaware County Community College, Montgomery Community College and Philadelphia Community College.

Military service recruiters from the Army, Navy and Marines are to be present, along with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, the state's financial aid agency.

Fecht said most graduates of traditional high schools have never taken even one online course. Familiarity with learning management software systems such as Blackboard is an advantage for cyber school students because all colleges today make extensive use of online testing, curriculum and communications between students and teachers.

"Cyber school graduates are independent learners by definition," said Dr. Nick Trombetta, CEO of PA Cyber. "Seventy percent of PA Cyber graduates tell us they are going on to higher education, and they are going very well prepared."

He noted that recent PA Cyber graduates have been accepted to such prestigious institutions as MIT and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

This year PA Cyber seniors scored 1515 overall on the SAT, higher than either the state (1473) or national (1509) averages. They scored higher than state and national averages on the ACT test: PA Cyber, 22.4; state, 21.9, national, 21.0

PA Cyber, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary, made all 29 AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) performance targets the past two years, and this summer received a five-year charter renewal from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. With nearly 10,000 students from age 4 kindergarten through high school senior, it is the state's largest cyber charter school, and the largest charter school of any type in the nation ever to make AYP. Founded and headquartered in western Pennsylvania, PA Cyber has regional offices in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

Contact: Fred Miller,, 724.777.5918.

SOURCE PA Cyber Charter School