Reading Area Community College (RACC) is an accredited, comprehensive, open-enrollment education institution that provides the following: Associate degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs; career-focused training; transitional coursework; skills training for business and industry; personal enrichment programs and public service activities. Sponsored by the Berks County Commissioners the College provides affordable access to meet identified community educational needs.
Students from every age, race, religion and many different countries throughout the world choose to study here. Those who are seeking degrees at the college are attracted to programs like nursing, respiratory care, criminal justice and business. Other people pursue individual courses to brush up on a skill or interest, or pursue certification in a variety of subjects. The Community Education/Workforce Development division offers programs like dental assisting, home health aide, veterinary assisting and GED preparation.
The College plays an important part in the business community as well. The new Schmidt Training and Technology Center provides training in senior leadership, manufacturing technology, information technology, workplace readiness and workplace literacy. RACC also partners with other community organizations to enhance the economic vitality of the city and county.
Reading Area Community College was founded on October 1, 1971, and sponsored for 20 years by the Reading School District. Classes were held for the first time on October 13, 1971, with an enrollment of 265 students. The college operated from several buildings throughout Reading during its early years until it acquired the Holiday Inn (the current Berks Hall building) in 1978. On July 1, 1991, the Berks County Board of Commissioners assumed sponsorship of the college. In 1996, the college completed a campus expansion plan that transformed it into an attractive city-based campus.
Early RACC locations
the Original Home of RACC
The Mission Statement adopted by the Reading Area Community College Board of Trustees is as follows:
Reading Area Community College builds communities of learning committed to educational growth and to the economic vitality in our region.
- We strive for excellence in all our actions.
- We promote student learning and personal growth through teaching and mentoring.
- We create welcoming and safe environments where intellectual curiosity and learning can flourish.
- We value the diversity in our community and the richness it brings.
- We connect students to resources within the College and the community at large that best meet their educational needs.
- We are committed to lifelong learning both for students and ourselves.
At RACC we are a community-focused institution.
Reading Area Community College believes in the educational enrichment of each citizen and the economic and cultural development of the community we serve. Therefore, we are committed to providing diversified educational opportunities for citizens to develop their maximum potential and realize their self-worth and dignity.
The College believes that the responsibility of education in a democracy is to extend to all citizens high-quality programs containing a strong general educational component for personal development and quality academic programs that are responsive to the changing world.
The College believes that the educational process includes programming that supports and informs students about the nature and purpose of available curricula, about their own personal and educational qualities, the nature of current employment opportunities, and vibrant, aesthetic and cultural values inherent in a full life. The College believes in challenging students to reach high expectations and goals based on specified learning outcomes in the belief that students learn best by active involvement in the learning process. Therefore, we encourage that creative flow within both faculty and students.
Finally, the College believes that we have a responsibility to contribute to the growth of the community and to encourage its development. Thus, Reading Area Community College devotes its resources as an educational, recreational, civic, and cultural center to the community.
Reading Area Community College reaffirms its commitment to provide access to quality educational experiences and training opportunities for all citizens of Berks County. Reading Area Community College envisions a society which continues to experience rapid technological change, increase demographic diversity and universal acceptance of the global nature of our economy. This information-based society requires higher levels of educational attainment and job skills training in order for individuals to remain productive members in society and in the workplace.
The College (operating under an open admissions policy) fulfills its mission by providing high quality instruction and services to meet the educational and training needs necessary for a healthy Berks County community and a strong economy. The College's supportive environment provides personal attention to individual student needs. Our staff is willing and able to spend the necessary time to ensure both access to and success in lifelong learning opportunities to people from diverse backgrounds. The College develops its human, physical and financial resources to ensure its primary role as a provider of educational, technical and cultural experiences for our community. The College takes a leadership role in establishing partnerships with business and industry, local governments, community organizations and other educational institutions to advance the economic development and cultural enrichment of the city, the county and the region.
Improve student learning
Become increasingly learning centered by providing quality educational programming, both in and out of the classroom, that meets the needs of our students.
Optimize enrollment in response to community needs for learning
Systematically identify student markets, programs, and services to achieve optimal enrollment.
Effectively use technologies, where appropriate, to enhance learning
Make effective use of technology in teaching and learning, providing services, and in communication, with special focus on increased use of on-line learning.
Systematize use of data to improve learning
Create a campus culture that systematically uses data in all decision making.
Enhance campus environments making them more conducive to learning
Create campus environments in support of learning, and respectful of diversity, in which students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity for personal growth and can work effectively.
Increase student readiness for college-level learning
Provide appropriate placement, coursework, student services to address student needs for developmental and ESL education.
Optimize resources in support of learning
Assure the financial well-being and human resource needs of the institution thereby enhancing the ability to respond to varied educational needs of the community.