York Town Square

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Further education plans, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Post-high-school prospects rising

York County Academy on North Beaver Street is seen in 1922. It was the earliest forerunner of York College of Pennsylvania. The historic building, which also served as York County USO headquarters in World War II, was demolished in the 1960s. Today, a parking lot across from St. John Episcopal Church covers the site, but the academy’s old gymnasium still stands in the back corner of the lot. York County Academy and York Collegiate Institute later merged and their successor became four-year York College of Pennsylvania in 1968. Background posts: Old King’s Mill-Smurfit Stone site giving way to information age and Central Pennsylvania histories make smart part of summer reading stack and New York College book provides insight into school, community.
Another in an ongoing series on providing historic background on YorkCounts community indicators:
YorkCounts: The percentage of high school students planning to attend postsecondary institutions is up in most York County school districts.
Background: With people often foregoing high school degrees historically, it follows that the percentage furthering their education after high school would be low.
That helps explain why York has never been considered a college town and the fact that no full college held classes here until 1968… .

This was York Collegiate Institute’s first building at Duke Street and College Avenue. It burned down in 1885 and was replaced by an even more magnificent building. Its successor was knocked down in the 1960s, and a playground occupies the site next to the Voni B. Grimes Gym. That gym is the college’s former gymnasium.
York College let the community know about its new, four-year status with the following newsletter note in early 1968, according to Carol McCleary Innerst’s “York College of Pennsylvania”:

Mid-February’s mail brought the good news from the Department of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Effective September 1, 1968, York Junior College will become YORK COLLEGE of Pennsylvania. …Next fall’s freshman, the class of 1972, will be the first alumni of the four-year College… .

The initial slate of four-year majors: accounting, behavorial sciences, business management, English, history and social science, medical technology.
Today, times are changing for the better. York College is planting new buildings on newly acquired acreage, and Penn State York seems to be always adding four-year degrees.
Harrisburg Area Community College is acquiring space to expand in a city industrial park. And news came two weeks ago that the Art Institute of York will offer a bachelor of science degree.
County residents now have many postsecondary options on home soil.
Other posts in this series:
Farmland preservation, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Ag use outpacing population growth
Further education plans, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Post-high-school prospects rising
Teen motherhood, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Despite historic occurrence among Pennsylvania Dutch, rate is falling
High school graduation, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Rising after a low start.
Tobacco usage, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: Rooted in York County’s past.
Bias-related incidents, YorkCounts quality-of-life indicator: ‘A concern in York County’ .