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History of Portage Learning

Portage Learning is the name given to the college courses and specialty programs offered by NursingABC, Inc.  The below information is a history of NursingABC, Inc., up until the launch of Portage Learning in 2011. 

1972 - 2000

• In 1972, Dr. Ken Hartman, Professor of Organic Chemistry at Geneva College, was commissioned by Jameson Hospital School of Nursing (New Castle, PA) to develop a program of instruction in lab chemistry. The course was to be taught to a group of nursing school applicants who were deficient in required high school chemistry. The course met two evenings per week, for six weeks, during the next five years.

• Due to the need for students to take this chemistry course during the daytime hours, the course was taught in one-on-one meetings between Dr. Hartman and each student as an independent study.

• High school equivalent algebra and lab-biology courses were added to the curriculum as requested by the five nursing schools that were using the program.

• Several area high schools began to send students for instruction in chemistry.

• Several area radiology schools began to use the program as a method for their under-prepared applicants to meet entrance requirements, and high school equivalent geometry and lab-physics courses were added to the curriculum as requested by these schools.

2002 - 2004

• To accommodate a greater number of students, the curriculum was offered by distance-learning methods and was given the name "NursingABC", making possible the completion of the course from the comfort of home and alleviating most of the inconveniences associated with travel to a classroom.

• High school equivalent algebra II and basic math courses were added to the curriculum.

• An advance-placement equivalent (or CLEP-prep) psychology course was added to the curriculum enabling students to earn college credit for General Psychology.


• The entire NursingABC program underwent accreditation by the Middle States Association Commission on Secondary Schools.

• NursingABC received Middle States Accreditation on October 28, 2005.

2006 - 2010

• A online dosage conversion tutorial and a math remediation tutorial were created and made available to nursing students and faculty via the NursingABC website.

• A new website was commissioned to allow students to enhance the course delivery and content and provide a better educational experience for the students. 


• NursingABC partnered with a Middle States accredited college in order to begin to offer college level courses to students.  The college program was launched under the brand name Portage and can be found at