Pennsylvania State University (PSU) began as a small school that taught liberal arts, classical languages and mathematics in 1855. It remained of modest size until 1862, with the introduction of the Morrill Land-Grant Act. The Morrill Land-Grant Act permitted states to sell federal land and invest the proceeds. The monies resulting from the sale would then be used as income to support colleges. The Morrill Land-Grant Act wanted to ensure that the schools who benefitted from the grant maintained a focus on instruction in agriculture, industrial arts, and mechanical engineering and other forms of practical education. The school experienced a name change to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania; and at that time, was the only college in the state that took advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act passed by Congress. Today, PSU is a state wide system of schools and colleges which offer an even wider variety of educational opportunities, for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to students within the country and around the world. Pennsylvania State University encompasses 19 campuses, 12 colleges and 4 schools.
Pennsylvania State Altoona (PSA) is a four-year, full service university offering 8 associate degree programs, 20 baccalaureate degree programs, and certificate programs. Degrees can be acquired in the following areas: arts and humanities, business and engineering, education, human resources and the social sciences, mathematics and the natural sciences. In addition, PSA offers the first two years of course work in majors that can be completed at other Penn State campuses. Penn State Altoona began as a university in 1939. The campus is just 2 miles from downtown Altoona and has a full time faculty of nearly 200. The part time staff numbers approximately 150.