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Seven New Advisors, More Offerings at Community College Of Philadelphia to  Support And Enrich The Learning Experience

Front Row, l-r: Erika Vega, Sherice Chevannes, Madeline DeBot.  Back Row, l-r: Stephanie Graves, Kimberly Harris, Kathryn Birster, Jason RoscoeAs new students enter the College for the 2016-2017 academic year, they will be welcomed by new academic advisors whose sole job is to guide them toward their educational  goals.

The advisors are one of several new programs and initiatives Community College of Philadelphia has implemented this fall to strengthen student success and enrich the learning experience.

President Donald Guy Generals, upon taking the helm of the College in 2014, saw the need for full-time faculty dedicated to help students with prudent course selection, planning and, when needed, interventions to get them back on track.


These seven new full-time advisors are in a new department, dedicated exclusively to student retention, persistence and success. They will work with first year-students enrolled in the larger curriculum majors such as Liberal Arts.

"Faculty academic advisors are a critical link for Community College of Philadelphia students," said Dr. Joan L. Bush, dean of Educational Support Services. "The relationship between a faculty academic advisor and a student involves assisting them in exploring, questioning, planning and implementing strategies to achieve their academic and career goals."

Prior to this year, part-time and full-time faculty handled advising on a drop-in basis. This year, each advisor will have a dedicated student caseload, Dr. Bush said. "They'll be able to get to know the student, follow them, track them and intervene so it will be a very proactive approach," she said.

The new advisors are already at work, preparing for the arrival of students. They are:

Kathryn Birster – Birster spent the last decade working with students in the College's Gateway to College program, which offers an educational option for youth who left high school but now want a second chance. Previously, she served as a secondary school guidance counselor in Philadelphia. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She also has a Master of Science in Education in Psychological Services from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Sherice Chevannes – Chevannes comes to the College from Temple University, where she served as an academic advisor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Westfield (Mass.) State University. She also has a Master of Education in Student Personnel Administration from Springfield College (Mass.). Chevannes also previously served as a first year student academic advisor at Nichols College (Mass.).

Madeleine DeBot – DeBot worked as an academic advisor at the College of Education at Temple University as well as an academic mentor at the University of Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, Computer Applications from the University of Notre Dame (Ind.) She also holds a Master of Arts in Higher Education from the University of Michigan.

Stephanie Graves – Graves served as an academic advisor in the Fox School of Business at Temple University, and at the University of Akron, within the learning and advising centers for Student-Athlete Academic Services. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education – Sports Studies and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from the University of Akron (Ohio).

Kimberly Harris – Harris was an academic advisor at Anne Arundel Community College, Prince George's Community College (Md.), Peirce College, and John Tyler Community College (Va.). She also served as student disabilities coordinator while at Peirce College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Education in Specialization in Guidance and Counseling from Virginia State University.

Jason Roscoe – Roscoe served as an academic advisor at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences, and Lehigh Carbon Community College (Pa.). He also worked as coordinator of minority mentoring/interim director of TRiO Student Support Services at Mansfield. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and holds a Master of Science in Education from Mansfield. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Higher Education.

Erika Vega – Vega, who is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration at Northeastern University, previously worked as a student development specialist /coordinator of instructional support at Ramapo College of New Jersey's Educational Opportunity Fund Program. She also served as a coordinator for the City University of New York (CUNY) Brooklyn College-Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies from City University of New York-Hunter College, and a Master of Science in Education in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to the new, fulltime advisors, this fall the College is unveiling initiatives designed to accelerate the journey from high school to college, and provide state-of-the-art training connecting students with advanced manufacturing, a target, high-growth industry.  New programs include:

  • MC2 Dual Enrollment Program  This partnership between MaST Community Charter School and the College will allow students to graduate high school with a diploma and an associate's degree in Business. A total of 12 MaSt students will be taking college-level classes at the Northeast Regional Center, six of whom are juniors returning for a second year of college-level classes and six who are beginning the dual enrollment program. Participating students take their high school classes at MaST and are transported by bus to the regional center for their college studies. "Joining this program was one of the greatest decisions I've ever made," said Sabrina Fiocca, a returning student. "Even though it is lots of hard work, we're learning at the college level. I feel as though the most important benefits are the ones that come in the end, when we will graduate with an associate's degree in business."
  • Advanced Manufacturing Program The College will offer three technical skills training programs Welding Technology, CNC Precision Machining Technology and Electro-Mechanical/Mechatronics Technology  that will prepare student for various advanced manufacturing career pathways. This job training initiative provides skills to help people advance in robust economic sector. Classes will be held evenings and on Saturdays at Benjamin Franklin High School.
  • First Year Experience Course First-year students will be introduced to ideas and strategies required for college-level success, including critical thinking, cultural competence and institutional knowledge. Students create an appropriate academic plan, financial plan and career/transfer plan in the course of the semester.

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Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 31,000 students annually and offers day, evening and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter.com/CCP.edu. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccp.edu

The idea of free community college has gradually moved to the forefront of the higher education debate. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both agree that college tuition should be free for families making under $125,000, and Clinton has made the initiative part of the official Democratic Party platform.

While the Democrats hashed out their ideas at the Democratic National Convention in South Philadelphia, Community College of Philadelphia and the College Promise Campaign hosted a special screening of “No Greater Odds,” a documentary that highlighted the stories of five community college students at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) as they overcame challenges faced by students who pursue higher education.

Following the screening, Dr. Donald Guy Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia, joined Mary Cathryn Ricker, executive vice president, American Federation of Teachers; Michael Flores, communications and government affairs director, College of Southern Nevada; , Patrick Wirtz, the documentary’s director; and Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor of West Sacramento, for a panel discussion  that underscored the important relationship between community colleges and the actual communities they serve.

“Some of the issues we’ve seen daily through the news relative to our politics, relative to our policies, relative to our social engagement, relative to our economy—all have answers and solutions in what community colleges do,” Dr. Generals said. “For those who are disadvantaged and ostracized to the marginal parts of our society, it is the community colleges that make the difference.”

Community College of Philadelphia, along with other community colleges across the country, is making strides towards a more affordable, universal model. Last year, Community College of Philadelphia introduced its 50th Scholars program, which offsets the remaining tuition balances for incoming Philadelphia high graduate students who qualify.

According to the College Promise Campaign, the average college graduate accumulates $28,000 in student loans. The increasing tuition costs cause low-income families and first-generation college students to lag behind in college enrollment by over 30 percent, compared to their higher income peers.

The College Promise Campaign is focused on driving non-partisan public support to make the first two years of community colleges across the nation as universal, free, and accessible as high school.

“We have to look at the importance, the public good aspects of community colleges, relative to our democracy, our economy, and our way forward as a nation,” Dr. Generals said.

The focus on student success begins long before students actually enroll in college. More and more students are gaining an edge by participating in dual enrollment programs.

On July 14,  nearly 100 higher education practitioners from across the region came together to share best practices in the first-ever Mid Atlantic conference on dual enrollment sponsored by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) and Community College of Philadelphia.

Conference-goers shared information about their policies and programs, funding models and recent innovations and trends. They eagerly exchanged strategies because they all had one goal in common: creating a more effective academic bridge between high school and college for students.

Dr. David E. Thomas, associate vice president for Strategic Initiatives and dean of the College’s Division of Access and Community Engagement (DACE), declared the day-long conference a “smashing success,” and thanked College organizers for their hospitality and “making a positive lasting impression.”

The College serves an average of 1,000 students who are part of dual enrollment programs, including early and middle college programs, such as Gateway to College, Master Charter Schools @ CCP and the Early College Program, its new partnership with MaST Community Charter School, which operates out of the College’s Northeast Regional Center.

For students like Jalil Ross, the Gateway to College program allowed him to get back on track toward achieving his academic goals.  “I was tired of failing, tired of things not working,” said Ross, 20, who entered the program after dropping out of high school during his junior year.

He went on to earn his diploma while earning college credits toward an associate’s degree. “Being in this program has completely changed how I operate in school. I wanted something to work,” Ross said. “This works.”

Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Annette John-Hall, 215-751-8021, anhall@ccp.edu


WHAT: Just in time for back to school, members of the International Student Association (ISA) of Community College of Philadelphia will give away 200 ready-to-go backpacks to incoming first-graders to culminate their ‘Put a Pack on that Back” community service project. ISA students collected the backpacks and supplies throughout the 2015-2016 school year and will distribute them in partnership with Star Parker, a Community College of Philadelphia student who is founder and director of Philly Unite, a local nonprofit that seeks to address the city’s health and wellbeing though community service and performance art projects School supplies will also be available for students in higher grades.

WHEN: Noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 27

WHERE: Olney Recreation Center, 6001 A. Street, Philadelphia Pa. 19120

 

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Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening, and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.

Don’t expect business as usual at Community College of Philadelphia. The city is growing and changing, and the College stands ready to meet the needs of Philadelphia and the students it serves.

Since his arrival two years ago, College President Donald Guy Generals has worked tirelessly to foster a quality learning experience that leads to degree and credential compleDr. Pam Cartertion, workforce readiness, civic engagement and most importantly, student achievement.

“We know from the research amassed by Columbia University’s Community College Research Center, that for students to persist and to achieve academic success, they need clear direction and guidance leading toward a career goal,” Dr. Generals said. “They need to be assisted in identifying that goal and they need to have structures that provide the necessary guidance to ensure that they are in pursuit of their goal. This is a student-centered approach that requires institutional commitment and organization.”

This year, as the College re-positioned itself as the go-to institution for students aspiring for greatness, it welcomed two new deans and an associate vice president who share in that mission. Dr. Pam Carter, Chae Sweet and Dr. Jennifer Roberts all play vital roles in enhancing quality teaching, engaged pedagogy and organized and  proactive support services – all game-changing aspects of the learning experience that help ensure student success.

As Dean of Business and Technology, Dean Carter provides leadership by promoting instructional innovation, enhancing curricular offerings and strengthening program services to meet the diverse needs of students.

Prior to coming to the College, Dean Carter served as assistant dean at the School of Business and Technology Management at Northcentral University. She earned her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Florida State University; a MBA from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Individualized Studies from George Mason University.

 “We want to engage in continuous improvement efforts to strengthen our academic programs, making sure they best align with Philadelphia workforce needs and transfer institution requChae Sweetirements,” she said.

Sweet, dean of Liberal Studies, is responsible for overseeing the College’s largest division. The nine departments of Liberal Studies comprise most of the general education courses in the Liberal Arts program.

Dean Sweet has been instrumental in developing programs for the Guided Pathways model, a ground-breaking initiative focusing on giving students a highly structured learning experience that keeps them on a timely track to achieving their goals.

Beginning in Fall of 2016, her division will launch “First Year Experience 101,” a mandatory first-year course for all Liberal Arts majors that introduces students to ideas and strategies required for college success. At the end of the course, students will be able to map out an academic, financial and transfer/career plan for themselves.

“I intend to make sure the commitment and passion felt by the faculty is translated to students in the form of quality learning experiences and successful completion of academic goals,” Dean Sweet said. “I want students to feel as if they are in a wonderland of opportunity when they are in our programs. I do not want them to feel lost or confused.”

Before coming to Community College of Philadelphia, Dean Sweet served as associate dean of Developmental Education at Passaic County Community College. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Journalism from Rutgers University; an M.F.A. in Fiction from The New School and is currently completing doctoral research in Higher Education Administration at Grambling State University. She is the author of Novel Strategies: A Guide to Effective College Reading.

As the College implements the Guided Pathways model at scale, Dr. Roberts stands on the front lines of ensuring that programs of study are focused, effective and lead to completion.

Dr. Roberts,Dr. Jennifer Roberts the College’s new associate vice president for Academic and Student Success, has made a career of examining and assessing student learning outcomes. At Community College of Philadelphia, she will work with faculty and staff to promote more effective and clear pathways for students.

“Part of my mission is helping students achieve their goal,” she said, adding that she will be reviewing with others multiple student success metrics to determine ways for continued improvement. She will also work with programs regarding academic pathways and various curriculum topics.

 Most recently, Dr. Roberts served as associate vice president for assessment at Northern Virginia Community College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in German from the University of Rhode Island and her master’s and Ph.D. in Germanic Studies from the University of Texas.

Contact: Linda Wallace, 215-751-8082, liswallace@ccp.edu
Annette John-Hall, 215-751-8021, anhall@ccp.edu

 

SILVER SPRING, MD, July 28 – Achieving the Dream (ATD) has selected Community College of Philadelphia, a Leader College in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, to participate in a new initiative to engage part-time faculty as active contributors to the College’s reform efforts under the leadership of full-time faculty.

“We are pleased to have been selected for this grant as it acknowledges and reinforces the College’s commitment to improving student success,” said Dr. Samuel Hirsch, vice president of Academic and Student Success at Community College of Philadelphia. “Increasing opportunities for faculty engagement is a critical strategy. We are fortunate to have such a high level of quality among our faculty, both full- and part-time. This grant provides resources that allow us to actively seek ways to further encourage adjunct faculty engagement.’

Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit organization working with more than 200 colleges to increase student success across the country, is administering the 24-month initiative, which will help the participating colleges strengthen relationships with their adjunct faculties to encourage instructional reform and make all faculty members’ skills and experiences fully available to students.

Adjunct or part-time faculty teach more than half of all students in U.S. community colleges, frequently in students’ first college-level courses and developmental education courses.

The initiative will enable Community College of Philadelphia to provide support for adjunct faculty members and create more opportunities for them to increase their knowledge of and satisfaction with professional learning and build awareness of campus resources and policies.

In addition to placing full-time faculty at the center of the initiative, colleges also are planning to review professional development systems, expand teaching and learning centers, and begin faculty mentoring relationships. Community College of Philadelphia will be implementing an Adjunct Institute to further engage these faculty in the life of the institution, and increase professional development opportunities.

The initiative recognizes that adjunct faculty with close connections to their colleges can be more valuable to their students if they have access to information about college programs and resources, data on student performance and progress, and the informal knowledge developed by full-time faculty.

A team from Community College of Philadelphia will formally begin its work at a launch event on Saturday, July 30, at Evergreen State College, in Olympia, WA. Following the one-day event, the team will participate in the Teaching and Learning National Institute (TLNI), co-sponsored by Achieving the Dream. The TNLI is bringing together faculty teams from 30 community colleges and four-year institutions to develop evidence-based action plans to improve instructional practices, student engagement, and student learning at their campuses.

Achieving the Dream received $2.3 million from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation to fund the project.

 

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About Community College of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening, and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.

About Achieving the Dream

Achieving the Dream is a national nonprofit dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, persist in their studies and earn a college credential. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today Achieving the Dream is leading a comprehensive non-governmental reform network that includes more than 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia. Achieving the Dream helps more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams. Follow us on Twitter @AchieveTheDream. Follow us on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/company/Achieving-the-Dream-inc-

This Saturday, July 30th, SRPS is switching things up. The students and their running leaders are racing to Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) and Temple University to learn about the college opportunities in their own backyard, visit with SRPS college alumni while simultaneously training for the Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon in November.

Donald "Guy" Generals Jr., president of the Community College of Philadelphia, said the issue of college costs transcends party lines, so building consensus should be possible.

"I think if we could get the acrimony out of Washington politics, we could make it happen," he said. "There's never been a more important time than right now to provide greater access to education. I think the momentum is building toward it."

For many leaders of two-year programs, community college completion is a springboard to a four-year degree. The Community College of Philadelphia has agreements in place for dual admissions transfer partnerships with 12 area four-year programs, including Temple and Saint Joseph’s Universities. CCP President Donald Generals said the attention given to community colleges by President Obama’s announcement has only helped his college develop further partnerships in the area.

“President Obama really put the spotlight on community colleges,” he said. “Business and industry is more willing to work with us. Four-year colleges are more willing to work with us.”

Generals’s campus hosted an event this week to celebrate the inclusion of free community college in the Democratic platform and discuss how higher ed leaders can build more momentum behind the idea.

Following the screening, audience members engaged in a panel with Mary Cathryn Ricker, executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers; Dr. Donald Generals, president of the Community College of Philadelphia; Michael Flores, communications and government affairs director at the College of Southern Nevada and James McCoy, associate vice president of academic affairs at the College of Southern Nevada.

The panel focused on the significance of community college, strategies to alleviate student debt and the effects of the Democratic National Convention.

“In the last two decades, we have been ramping up expectations — expecting students to go to higher education because all indicators say that they need to,” Ricker said. “We have this 30-foot expectation that kids are supposed to go to college, but our path for them to get there has not caught up.”

In order to help students prepare for success, many community colleges have started to require pre-orientation, standardized testing and mandatory career advising. The Community College of Philadelphia also requires their students to participate in civic engagement.

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