The higher education system in Pennsylvania is comprised of 260 universities and colleges of which 74 are private-for-profit schools, 124 are private nonprofit institutions while 62 are public higher learning institutions. In General, there are four types of higher learning institutions in Pennsylvania and the US at large. The first type is the public four-year universities and colleges such as the Pennsylvania State University, which confer graduate degrees. Secondly, we have Private for-profit schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, which offer vocational education and do not get public capital. Private nonprofit institutions are the other type, which is mainly financed by endowments and gifts. The fourth type is the public two-year schools, which prepare students for the four-year schools and normally confer associate degrees. In this line, this essay involves contrasting between the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pennsylvania using the block method to gain a comprehensive overview of the distinctive features of each institution.
Established in 1855, Penn State, as it is commonly known, is the largest public university in Pennsylvania. The University is among the Public Ivies due to the quality undergraduate, graduate, continuing and professional education that it offers through online and resident instruction across its 24 campuses in the State. Most of these campuses provide the first two years of undergraduate education in addition to few four-year degree courses. It is through these transfers that over half of the undergraduate students who finish their programs at the University Park continue with their baccalaureate at another campus. Some of the faculties in the institution include Penn State College of Medicine, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Penn State World Campus, Penn State Law, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. The academic programs offered across the above-mentioned campuses and faculties include 160 baccalaureate degree courses, 160 graduate degree courses and 90 associate degrees. With regards to research, the university has been granted about $863million with about $524million being granted by the federal government. Additionally, Penn State records annual expenditure in engineering and scientific research that is constantly among the top across the United States. From these researches, the university generates about $2billion annually into the State's economy through taxes, job opportunities and new technologies. Finally, Penn State prides itself in its rich sports fraternity consisting of 15 women's and 16 men's intercollegiate athletics teams. Among the students admitted between 2004 and 2007, 89% of them graduated, which is a superior success rate to the 82% recorded by NCAA Division I. Since 1991, the university has won 92 Big Ten tournaments and 74 national championships as from 1924. From the above descriptions, it can be seen that Penn State is among the premier universities in the US with regards to the provision of quality of education and research activities in technology and engineering, in addition to providing good opportunities in co-curricular activities through its strong athletic team.
On the other hand, the University of Pennsylvania, or Penn, as it is commonly referred to, is the oldest higher learning institution in Pennsylvania. It was established in 1740. Additionally, this university is among the Private Ivy League research universities in the US providing both baccalaureate, graduate and professional studies across its three campuses. As opposed to the inter-campus transfer system at Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania provides specific coordinated dual degree programs whereby students are conferred with degrees from several schools after meeting the graduation requirements for these schools. These programs include Nursing and Healthcare Management, Computer and Cognitive Science, and the Accelerated 7-year Bio-Dental course. The faculties offering the above programs include the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Nursing. Through its research and innovations, Penn has been able to generate more revenue for the State of Pennsylvania compared to Penn State. For instance, in 2015, Penn generated $14.3 billion compared to the $2billion generated by Penn State. Additionally, Penn's research expenditure in the 2015 financial year was $850million. The research division at Penn is recognized for several contributions in technology and medicine such as the design of the first electronic computer, the dialysis machine and the hepatitis B vaccine. Finally, Penn also provides recreation and athletic opportunities to its students through intercollegiate championships in 17 and 16 sports for men and women respectively. These sports include but not limited to fencing, soccer, basketball, swimming, and baseball. The university recorded 10287 students competing in 10 special events and 9 intramural leagues in the 2015-16 academic year. From the description above, the University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League institution offering dual degree and four-year degree programs across its faculties. It also takes pride in its rich research, and athletics and recreation facilities.
As a conclusion, this essay involved contrasting between the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pennsylvania to better understand the distinctive features of each institution. It can be inferred that the Pennsylvania State University is among the leading universities in the US with regards to the provision of quality of education, inter-campus transfers research activities in technology and engineering, in addition to providing good opportunities in co-curricular activities through its strong athletic team. On the other hand, the University of Pennsylvania is a private university recognized for its coordinated dual-degree programs, research contributions in technology and medicine, as well as recreation and sports facilities. Both institutions are members of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
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