PA-CAP

Pennsylvania College Access Program

The Pennsylvania College Access Program (PA-CAP) is a nonprofit statewide educational workforce development outreach program working to provide assistance to individuals completing applications for college, business and technical schools. PA CAP assists individuals who might otherwise never have the opportunity to attend or graduate from college.

What We provide

PA CAP provides assistance in completing applications for colleges, business and technical schools and the completion of financial aid applications (FAFSA). We also assist individuals in clearing the default on their student loans, enabling them to complete their education.

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Mission and Overview

Established in June 2000 PA-CAP encourage and enable high school students and residents the ability to enroll and graduate from college, business and or technical schools.  We want individuals to become a valuable component in the changing labor pool by providing culturally relevant, comprehensive college preparation information and assistance. Although open to the community, the program targets students who are low income and the first of their family to attend post-secondary education programs.  We assist everyone regardless of academic history, grade point average, family income, citizenship status, ethnicity, special education eligibility, delinquency or juvenile criminal history.

The Need for PA-CAP

All high school students in Pennsylvania need professional guidance and support to complete a post-secondary education. Unfortunately this support is not always readily available. As Dr. Helen S. Faison, Former Pittsburgh Schools Superintendent & Director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute stated,

“[Although] all high schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are required to provide professional services for their students, and in most instances the counselors who provide these services are highly qualified. However, the large number of students assigned to counselors due to budget constraints, makes it difficult for counselors to service all students sufficiently. The counselor-student ratio in most schools makes it impossible for all students to receive the help that is needed in a timely manner during a very critical time in their lives.”

The Purpose

The Pennsylvania College Access Program provides direct access to college preparatory services to low-income seniors from financially disadvantaged districts throughout the region. Eighty percent of these students are the first in their families to attend college. The program operates through local high schools, where College Access Coordinators provide comprehensive college readiness services including college and career awareness workshops, individual advising, motivational speakers, and scholarship and financial aid assistance. The College Access Program also helps schools develop their ability to provide comprehensive college assistance and supports a “college going culture” which includes a college preparation course sequence.

The specialized services provided by the PA-CAP System, designed to increase the likelihood of students successfully achieving a post-secondary education, guided students through the admission and financial aid application processes.

Veterans

PA-CAP provides assistance to veterans and their families to ensure access and success in getting a higher education.  Many veterans have the GI Bill but may also qualify for other benefits. We also assist veterans community and other issues.  Please contact our staff for assistance. We thank you for your service and want to ensure that you are assisted in any way possible.

Expungement of Criminal Records and Pardons

PA-CAP wants to ensure that all individuals are employable in the community to build  a strong workforce.  One of our services that we provide is legal assistance to help individuals in the courts, hearings, administrative or legal boards or before any authority’s.  This also include helping individuals clear their backgrounds by an expungement or pardon. All individuals in Pennsylvania should call 412-330-1454 or visit www.paexps.com.

HOMLESS OUTREACH & ADVOCACY

Pennsylvania College Access Program cares about the community and makes every effort to use our non-profit status to help others to help themselves. One of our major concerns is working to assist the homeless with supplies and shelter. We have a Director of Homeless Outreach & Advocacy who is responsible to carry out this mission in helping those in need.