The Lancaster Partnership Program (LPP) is celebrating its 24th year. Millersville University formed a partnership with three area companies in 1988 to enhance the educational future of Lancaster’s socioeconomically disadvantaged high school students. This program offers resources and support for students who graduate from high school, pursue a postsecondary education, and receive financial support if they attend Millersville University.
Students are required to complete the academic curriculum of the LPP, which includes between 90 and 100 percent participation in college readiness and mentoring workshops, taking the PSAT and SAT exams, attending J.P. McCaskey High School for at least 11th and 12th grade and graduating with a 2.50 grade-point average or better. Additionally, students must meet the University’s admission requirements to be enrolled. Reviews of the student’s academic progress are completed on a semester-by-semester basis once they receive acceptance.
According to Dr. M. William Redmond, Jr., assistant vice president for academic services and pre-collegiate programs, the program’s top accomplishments include that 73 percent of the LPP students have pursued a postsecondary education at a variety of institutions, a participation increase of 65 percent in the African-American and Latino population and more than $2.2 million of financial aid has been awarded to LPP students.
“I wanted to go to college, but as a first-generation college student I had no idea how I was going to get there. I heard about the LPP through a teacher who encouraged me to join. I heard great things about the program and knew that the program could and would help me get into college,” said Christina Pantoja, assistant director of admissions at Millersville and former LPP student.
Inspiring, influential and enlightening are the words that Pantoja used to describe the program. She graduated from Millersville with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and also worked as a teacher’s assistant for Dr. Kimberly Mahaffy, associate professor of sociology and director of Latino studies on campus.
“All of my unanswered questions, doubts and concerns were answered or put at ease by the individuals I worked with in the Lancaster Partnership Program. It was truly a blessing in my life, and once I completed my degree I felt so grateful to the program and just want to help out in any way that I can,” shared Pantoja.
In the coming years the LPP plans to strengthen its relationships with the staff and administration at J.P. McCaskey High School in addition to corporate mentors. “It is our goal to retain the students that are involved in the LPP, and we envision that more LPP students will decide to attend Millersville University after they graduate,” explained Redmond.
The corporate partners of LPP include Alcoa Foundation, Armstrong Foundation, Fulton Bank, The Hershey Foods Company, Securus, Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. (Steinman Foundation), Pepperidge Farms (Campbell’s Soup Foundation), Tyco TE Connectivity, Wells Fargo Foundation and William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
For more information, visit the LPP website.