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PHILADELPHIA, SEPT. 17 – Community College of Philadelphia seeks to provide every neighborhood in the city access to highly-skilled technical careers with its new, conveniently located Advanced Manufacturing courses.

This year, the College launched an historic partnership with the Philadelphia School District’s Benjamin Franklin High School Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, which will allow it to offer technical courses at that location in the evenings and on Saturdays, when high school classes are not in session. The high school is just blocks from the College’s Main Campus near Center City, and major public transportation hubs.

The first three technical training programs begin in October: Welding Technology, CNC Precision Machining Technology and Electro-Mechanical/Mechatronics Technology. All these courses provide a path to high-paying, entry-level careers, with salaries starting at $23 an hour, depending on the industry.

As a result of a new grant, eligible students may be able to attend classes this fall for free. All three advanced manufacturing programs have been approved for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding. Prospective students can contact a local PA CareerLink office to determine if they are eligible to receive vouchers to cover the costs of the training programs..

Advanced manufacturing is a growing industry that uses technology to produce, improve, and design the products people use daily. According to a recent Philadelphia Works report, core industries in advanced manufacturing grew by 13 percent between 2007 and 2013.

The creation of the College’s program came out of a task force, cited in the city’s Office of Manufacturing & Industry 2016 Annual Report, which was charged to come up with ways to best serve students and employers city-wide. “We are partners in the success of students and in the development of its businesses,” said Donald Guy Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia. Classes will run on Saturdays and evenings starting Oct. 1. To learn more, visit the College website.



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.

Dr. Ron McCurdy, a jazz musician and professor of music at the University of Southern California, pays tribute to the works of poet Langston Hughes in a multi-media performance.

The jazz riffs of Ron McCurdy’s sweet trumpet wafted out of the Bonnell Auditorium, piquing the curiosity of passersby. Inside, a sepia image of literary giant Langston Hughes, superimposed on a big screen behind the musicians, provided a fitting backdrop for telling the story of one writer’s struggle for artistic and social freedom.

On Oct. 27, Community College of Philadelphia students watched and listened to a special multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes’ 12-part, epic poem, “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz,” performed Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy, a professor of music at the University of Southern California, who, along with his trio of musicians, traveled from Los Angeles to educate and entertain the College community about jazz, poetry and justice.

Student Life organized and hosted the concert to recognize and celebrate the diversity in all cultures.

“It is important to remember that our students are not only Latino during Latina/o History Month, gay during LGBT History Month, Black during Black History Month, etc. They are these things all the time,” said David Greene, Director of Student Life. “The mission of Student Life is to help students gain a better understanding of themselves and their communities. The Langston Hughes project allows us to achieve that mission.”

Most students kept their hands in their laps when McCurdy asked them to raise their hands if they had ever heard of Hughes - all the more important to learn about a man who was arguably the most important African American poet of the 20th century; a leader of the Harlem Renaissance; a social activist and one of the earliest innovators of the literary art form known as jazz poetry.

With the help of video montages, the concert performance linked the words and music of Hughes' poetry to topical images of people, places, and events, and to the works of the visual artists Langston Hughes admired. Together the words, sounds, and images recreated moments in African American history, which bridged the Harlem Renaissance and the post- World War II Beat writers' coffeehouse jazz poetry world to the looming Black Arts performance explosion of the 1960s.

Perhaps no one on campus understands music’s connection to learning better than Dr. Donald Guy Generals, the College’s president. Dr. Generals, himself a jazz musician, has played the drums at College events and believes that the arts enrich learning and inspire creativity.

Artists such as Hughes, he noted, evoke questions, provide answers and heighten curiosity that is crucial to student success.

“I think the way that you learn, how you learn, and the company that you keep while you learn, are important,” Dr. Generals said in an interview conducted earlier this year. “The environment in which you learn enables you to be innovative because you are around different points of view. Innovation can manifest itself through many ways, through many media and in many formats. To the extent that we foster curricula that encourages creative thinking, I think that adds to the overall direction and soul of the city.”

Hughes originally created “Ask Your Mama” after Newport Jazz Festival of July 1960. The musical scoring of the poem was designed to forge a conversation and a commentary with the music. It remained only in the planning stages when Hughes died in 1967. McCurdy’s discovery of it, and subsequent performance, provides an illuminating learning experience for all who experience it.

Assistant Professor Lisa Johnson's research teaches nurses how to balance their own needs with the needs of their patients.

As part of their job description, registered nurses are expected to carry out emotionally-fraught tasks that most workers simply wouldn’t be able to handle. Treating bloody wounds, caring for the dying infants, consoling grieving families, and constantly adapting to unexpected life and death situations are just some of the stressful duties that nurses must perform on a regular basis.

But how do nurses preserve their own mental health after handling all of the responsibilities of the profession? How do they cope? Who can they talk to?

The truth is, RNs are trained to take care of everybody but themselves, according to Lisa Johnson, assistant professor of Nursing at Community College of Philadelphia. Johnson has done extensive doctoral research on the dichotomy that exists between RNs as caregivers and self-neglectors, which she says plenty of nurses are.

Her study, “Balancing Needs: Pediatric Nurses’ Experiences With Exposure to the Traumatic Events of Children,” presented in July at the 27th International Nursing Research Congress in Capetown, South Africa, bears this out and is advancing approaches to improve nurses’ work environments, self-care, job satisfaction and nurse retention and recruitment.

The turnover rate for bedside RNs increased to 17.2 percent in 2015, up from 16.4 percent in 2014, according to a 2016 report published by Nursing Solutions, Inc.

“Nursing school prepares you for trauma in a health-care setting, but it doesn’t teach you how to handle your own responses to it,” said Johnson, who is also an oncology nurse. .””Self-awareness is key because often times are emotions are contagious without us even realizing it. If I enter a room feeling stressed and anxious, many times it increases the stress and anxiety of those around me, even the youngest of children.”

Johnson’s work goes a long way in addressing the changing needs of a healthcare workforce that provides care in vulnerable communities, all while grappling with changing demographics and emergency situations ranging from extreme weather to mass shootings.

“It is critical that health care educators not only understand the changing health care environment of the future but also recognize that the students in their programs are not the same type of student that sat in classrooms 10 years ago or even five years ago, said Dr. Mary Anne Celenza, dean of the College’s Division of Math, Science and Health Careers. ”The diversity of this generation of new health care workers will not only bring different perspectives to health care, but will also bring more knowledge of cultural differences, greater interest in working in teams and reliance on social media as well as a greater desire to integrate their work into their personal time.”

Community College of Philadelphia, where Johnson works, is the only open-access public institution in the city. She works on a dedicated staff that is leading an effort to create a culturally competent pipeline of health-care workers for the region. Of the nursing students enrolled in the 2014-2015 academic year, approximately 42 percent were white, 33 percent were African American, 9 percent were Asian and 6.5 percent were Hispanic. Twenty-five percent were males.

Whether it be learning how to be aware of their trainees’ emotions, acknowledging them, practicing self-care, or preparing to work in culturally diverse neighborhoods, the nursing program, which has

graduated over 3,500 students since 1968, encourages staff to reflect on contemporary workplace challenges in an effort to prepare students for the issues –emotionally and technical- they eventually will face.

The Department of Nursing at the College just received a $350,000 Workforce Diversity Grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to launch a program that will provide second-year nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds an accelerated pathway to graduation. The primary objective is to increase the pipeline of nurses who have bachelor’s degrees within the City.

Together with the National Nursing Centers Consortium and West Chester University, the program will provide 14 students with mentoring, accelerated coursework, financial support and the opportunity to take as many as nine additional credits toward a bachelor’s degree. In addition, eligible students in both the first and second year of the program received resources such as books, software programs, and financial literacy training. Each of these resources is focused on helping students to succeed in the nursing program.

“The nursing program is committed to increasing diversity of the nursing workforce and addressing social determinants of health in vulnerable communities,” said Dr. Barbara N. McLaughlin, head of the Department of Nursing at the College. “The College draws together students from a wide range of ages and backgrounds and seeks to provide the programs and support they need to achieve their goals.”

In other news, the Department of Nursing at the College received its fourth consecutive designation as a Center of Excellence for creating environments that enhance student learning and professional development from the National League for Nursing. The designation is for the period 2016-2021. a

Red Sand Walk RSVP

Join us as we raise awareness about vulnerabilities that can lead to human trafficking and exploitation.
Participants will be given bags of red sand to pour into the sidewalk cracks along the walk as part of the global Red Sand Project installation, an activist artwork created to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

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