SUNBURY — Incoming students at the Sunbury Branch of Lackawanna College will have more opportunities when the fall semester starts Aug. 26.

Philip Campbell, the local college director for the Sunbury branch of Lackawanna, said three new programs will be offered in the fall and a new partnership involving scholarships with Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg has been introduced. They are also exploring whether there's interest among students for an e-sports team.

"It feels like as we continue to add these programs and grow, we're finding the need in the community," said Campbell. "We're continuing to find ways to innovate and lead within the community."

The Sunbury branch of Lackawanna had its first semester starting Aug. 28, 2017, with nearly two dozen students. The college satellite campus is located at the Sunbury Plaza at 1145 N. Fourth St., a site formerly occupied by the McCann School of Business and Technology. Programs are business administration, criminal justice, human services, professional studies, accounting and sports management.

This coming semester, students have the opportunity to pursue an associate's degree in cybersecurity for the regular tuition price as well as two certificate programs for massage therapy, for $7,000, and medical assisting, for $5,000. The cyber security degree can be completed in person, online or a combination of the two, said Campbell.

Campbell said the goal for the massage therapy class is to open up the old massage clinic next door so students can provide services for the general public and complete internships. The profits from the clinic would go back into the program or student scholarship.

The medical assistance program was started because there is a need for employees to check patients in and get them ready for the doctor, said Campbell.

The business partner scholarship program allows students to earn scholarships as long as they continue working. The Knoebels partnership was introduced for this semester. Students must sign a commitment letter stating they will work through the entire season from April through October and be enrolled in an associate or bachelor degree program at Lackawanna, Campbell said.

"Knoebels is excited to launch this partnership with Lackawanna College," said Jon Anderson, Knoebels human resources director. "This is a wonderful opportunity for us to support our team members as they invest in their future."

Lackawanna also has these partnerships with Sheetz and Wegman's. Campbell said they are open to partnering with other businesses to help with employee retention and educating the workforce.

Campbell said an e-sports team, or competitive video games, is being explored. If there is enough interest, a team would be formed for the Fall 2020 semester. Other colleges, such as the Scranton Lackawanna Branch, Lebanon Valley College and Harrisburg University, have e-sports teams, he said.

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