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The Community College of Philadelphia welcomed Pennsylvania's education secretary Wednesday afternoon. Pedro Rivera spoke at the hispanic heritage luncheon at the Spring Garden campus. After the remarks, the group discussed expanding access higher education in the state. Rivera himself is from Philadelphia and a first generation college student.

Tue 11

The Knight Cities Challenge community information session will be held Sept. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St., Pavilion Building, Klein Cube Room.

The Knight Cities Challenge seeks new ideas from innovators in shaping the future of cities. Organizers are looking for projects at the city, neighborhood and block level that can be put to work in one of the 26 Knight communities.

Winning ideas, which will be announced in spring 2017, will share in $5 million. Ideas, which can be submitted by anyone, must focus on one or more of these three criteria: attracting and retaining talented people, expanding economic opportunity and creating a culture of civic engagement.

To register visit www.eventbrite.com/e/knight-cities-challenge-philadelphia-info-session-i-tickets-27180302015.

Like most of the former ITT students who showed up for the Fast Track day, Phillip hopes to enroll for the next CCP semester, starting Oct. 4, but there’s no guarantee and he may have to wait until January.

“The event that we’re having today helps students understand their options and what it will take to enroll here,” said Samuel Hirsch, CCP’s vice president for academic and student success. “We want to offer students from ITT an opportunity to talk to experts here and develop a plan.”

Hirsch said that students have questions about financial aid, academic requirements, programs of study offered, and the steps required to enroll. Students worked directly with CCP staff from admissions and financial aid. In several hours, some students were helped through the entire enrollment process.

The Philadelphia native, 23, had two of the alleged “15 minutes of fame” by giving a very brief address to the crowd of more than 60,000 at Eakins Oval by the Philadelphia Art Museum. He then introduced President Barack Obama, who was making a campaign appearance for Clinton.

That light grew into a beacon as he was encouraged to go to college by friends, family and mentors. He applied to two Pennsylvania universities that offered him substantial aid. In an analysis, seemingly beyond his years, Houston calculated he’d still have outstanding debt at the end of four years. Following another sibling who “plowed the path,” he “took a gamble” on Philadelphia Community College (CCP), giving him only two years of debt.

When developing a student philanthropy program, community college professionals should start by looking at their past projects and being honest about what has been successful and what hasn't. And they should never be afraid to try something new, according to two CASE contributing authors.

It's a lesson that Patti Conroy, director of scholarship programs, and Anne McGrath, development officer, of the Community College of Philadelphia know well. Conroy and McGrath explored their experiences building a student giving campaign at the Community College of Philadelphia in the recently released CASE book, Lasting Impressions: Laying the Foundation for Engaged and Philanthropic Future Alumni.

Dozens of higher-ed centers around the country have already pledged their support for the students left stranded in the wake of last week’s news, including a few in the Philly area like Harcum CollegePeirce CollegeDelaware County Community College and the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP).

The latter even held a “Fast-Track to Enrollment for ITT Students Day” on Sept. 13.

For CCP Vice President for Academic and Student Success Samuel Hirsch, the shutdown of for-profit colleges isn’t remotely a new occurrence. And sadly, each time it happens, the students — young people looking for a better life — are always the victims.

“I think it’s a rather unfortunate situation all the way around,” said Hirsch. “I don’t know the data specifically, but generally for-profits have a high number of minority students. So when things like these happen, it’s another blow to a significant population that we need to support in the city of Philadelphia.”

Patrick Houston '17, a special major in political science and environmental policy, introduced President Barack Obama at a rally held in his hometown in front of the Art Museum this afternoon.

"It was my professors at Community College of Philadelphia eight blocks from here who challenged me to explore the depth of my intellectual capabilities. And it is in daily engagement with my classmates and mentors at Swarthmore College, who strive to bridge the gap between academics and action to tackle issues of social justice in my community. Finally, it is leaders who demonstrate sound moral judgment, the courage to hope for a brighter future, and the initiative to affect change in their communities who inspire me to be the change I want to see in the world."

Wed 14

The Community College of Philadelphia opens its arms to students who fell victim to the sudden closure of a popular for-profit institution.

“I was really devastated when I heard the schools were closing. I was, like what are we going to do?” said 55-year-old Miriam Ferrar from Philadelphia.

She says she was about to start her second semester at ITT when she got word the school was closed.

But she’s happy CCP has opened their doors.

“I’m glad we had the opportunity to come down here, because someone is accepting our transfer credits. I feel good because they didn’t have to, they already have a campus full of students and I just thought it was great that they would welcome us to come,” said Ferrar.

On Tuesday, CCP held an open house for former ITT tech students like Miriam.