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PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 9, 2008: - Community College of Philadelphia will host a unique faculty recruitment event featuring Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president, LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens, N.Y., and co-author of Minding the Dream: The Process and Practice of the American Community College.

The open house will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 10 at the College’s Center for Business and Industry at 18th and Callowhill streets. Mellow will speak at 9 a.m.

A nationally-respected advocate for community colleges, Mellow is known for demanding equity for community colleges in a higher education system which she says heavily favors four-year institutions. She argues that the way higher education is categorized, defined and financed works to the detriment of community colleges even though they educate nearly half (11.9 million) of all undergraduates (24 million). In addition, 300,000 of the 1.5 million students who earn bachelor’s degrees each year do so after transferring from community colleges.

"Higher education funding and quality assessment is still premised on what are now nostalgic memories of traditional-aged, upper-middle class college students," Mellow said in a recent interview with the Inside Higher Ed, a Web-based magazine. "Unless we let go of this myth and realistically face the modern demographics of the U.S. college population – who goes and who should go to college – the relevance and status of American higher education in a competitive global education market will erode."

Mellow’s talk and book signing will be followed by several workshops that will allow potential recruits the opportunity to network with current faculty while gaining a firsthand view of the teaching opportunities available at Community College of Philadelphia.

The College is holding this faculty recruitment fair in an effort to find qualified applicants to fill anticipated openings for the 2009-2010 academic year. Presently, the College expect openings in the following areas: Accounting, Biology, Computer Information Systems, Culinary Arts, Management, Philosophy, Nursing, History, English and Learning Lab. The event is open to qualified applicants, including adjunct faculty and graduate students from other institutions.

Like many community colleges across the nation, it is a challenge for Community College of Philadelphia to find and recruit qualified professors, especially in the fields of Science and Nursing. But given the national economic crisis, tight job market and growing number of layoffs, teaching positions may draw more interest than usual.

Mellow has written more than 30 articles on community colleges, economic development, diversity, faculty development, job training and pedagogical innovation. She is a consulting editor for Change Magazine, the national magazine for higher education.

A social psychologist with extensive experience in higher education, Mellow became president of LaGuardia Community College in August 2000. The Long Island City institution is one of the most ethnically diverse campuses in the nation, with more than 50,000 students from more than 160 different countries. LaGuardia has the lowest tuition of the schools within the City University of New York system.

Mellow has served in various capacities at community colleges in Maryland, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey: as adjunct faculty, tenured faculty, academic dean, provost and president. In addition, she was the director of the Women’s Center at the University of Connecticut and the director of the Project on Women and Technology.

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 3, 2008 –When they head to the voting booth in November, Californians will be deciding on a referendum that would ban same-sex marriage in their state. Earlier this year, a group of Pennsylvania legislators introduced the Marriage Protection Act, which proposed a similar ban in the Commonwealth, although that legislation ultimately stalled.

For such hot-button social issues that require an educated and aware public in order to reach a representative opinion, deliberative polling can be a useful strategy. A deliberative poll indicates what a community as a whole might think about a particular issue if that community had time to become informed about the issue through an intensive deliberative process.

On Saturday, Sept. 27, approximately 400 participants will convene at sites across Pennsylvania for the first statewide "Deliberative Poll® on the Issue of Marriage in America," which is being presented by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Program for Deliberative Democracy (SPPDD). Community College of Philadelphia is one of four host sites for the poll, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Other host sites include Slippery Rock University, Shippensburg University and Carnegie Mellon University.

"Recent court and state actions regarding the issue of same-sex marriage present an opportunity to highlight the advantages of a more deliberative democracy," said Robert Cavalier, a teaching professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon, who is also an SPPDD co-director. "We will be able to see Americans come together and participate in an informed, well-structured conversation – the kind envisioned by our founding fathers – about a challenging social values issue."

"The deliberative poll will set a much better stage for discussion than the current sound bite-ridden, bumper-sticker battlefield," Cavalier said.

A deliberative poll begins when a random sample of the population receives information on a particular issue. For this poll, participants selected from voter registration records from the counties surrounding the four sites will read background materials on the historical, religious and societal aspects of marriage. The materials also compare and contrast the Pennsylvania legislature’s Marriage Protection Act with the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriages and the Vermont legislation that legalized civil unions in that state.

On the day of the poll, the participants gather in small, moderated groups to discuss and deliberate the topic amongst themselves and with experts and then respond to a survey. The post-survey results will be tabulated by the evening of the event.

Among other things, Community College of Philadelphia recruited faculty and students to serve as moderators and facilitators on the day of the poll, conducted training sessions for the moderators and facilitators and obtained experts for our panel.

As the federal government continues its current trend of allowing the states' discretion to shape policies on these types of issues, the deliberative poll could emerge as a valuable tool in gauging the electorate’s beliefs. The process can also be conducted for a fraction of the cost of mass media and advertising campaigns traditionally used to shape opinion, Cavalier noted.

The SPPDD, which is housed at Carnegie Mellon, is collaborating with Chatham University’s Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy in sponsoring the event. The two programs are also implementing community and legislative outreach strategies so that the participants’ opinions are known to legislators as they debate this timely issue.

"How often have we heard decision-makers bemoan the absence of quality information about what the public really thinks about an issue?" said Allyson Lowe, director of the Center and a political scientist at Chatham. "The deliberative poll is an answer to that problem. It educates citizens and provides meaningful poll results to politicians."

"If knowledge is power, now politicians and citizens will have more of both," Lowe said.

More information is available at http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/caae/dp.

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 2, 2008 –Community College of Philadelphia announces the appointment of three new deans to head key departments, as the College, with an enrollment of 34,000 students, enters a period of restructuring and growth.

"This is an exciting time for the College, and these are experienced administrators who can help us better meet the educational needs of our students," said Stephen M. Curtis, president of Community College of Philadelphia.

The new deans are:

Yvonne Chang, Ph.D.,the New dean of the Division of Adult and Community Education, formerly was at Mercer County Community College, where she was director of The Center for Continuing Studies.

Born in Taiwan, Chang earned her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications at Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan. She came to the United States to attend the University of Hawaii, where she earned a Master’s degree in Communications. Chang subsequently earned a Doctorate in International and Development Education, Administration and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Although she has lived in at least six states since arriving in America, Chang regards Pennsylvania as her home because she met and married her husband and gave birth to her two daughters while in Pittsburgh.

Chang said she is looking forward to the challenge of creating an array of affordable continuing education and lifelong learning programs. “This is really my dream job,” Chang said.

Prior to Mercer County Community College, Chang served as Continuing Education program manager at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, Orangeburg, S.C.; program director for Continuing Education, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck-Hackensack, N.J.; and senior coordinator for Continuing Education and Outreach for the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Lisa Wilson Cooper, the new dean of the Division of Educational Support Services, comes from the University of the Pacific-Stockton in California, where she was interim assistant to the provost and director of the Educational Resource Center.

Cooper is a Philadelphia native and graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She received a bachelor’s degree in History and International Relations from Goucher College in Towson, Md.; a Master of Arts degree in Psychological Services at Marymount University, Arlington, Va.; a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University, Villanova, Pa.; and currently she is a doctoral candidate at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Cooper held a variety of positions during her six years at the University of the Pacific-Stockton. Previously, she served as an assistant professor at Northern Virginia Community College, Woodbridge Va., and as an assistant director/senior counselor in Student Support Services at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Cooper said the new job at the College is a homecoming of sorts. “I still have family and good friends here,” Cooper said of the city. Professionally, Cooper said she was impressed by the College’s commitment both to providing affordable access to higher education for city residents and to Achieving the Dream, a multiyear national initiative to help more community college students succeed, particularly student groups that traditionally have faced significant barriers to success, including students of color and low-income students.

Ronald C. Jackson, the new dean of Students,was formerly the dean of Students at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. Originally from Southfield, Mich., Jackson earned a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He also received a master's degree in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Jackson said his first year in Philadelphia will be spent "largely listening and learning."
"The biggest challenge of a new institution is to learn the student demographic and the dynamics," Jackson said. "I think the major pitfall is to bring what you've done at your previous institution and to try and make it fit."

Before joining Marymount Manhattan College, Jackson worked in the Office of Residence Life at William Patterson University of New Jersey and in the Office of Student Development and Activities at Columbia University, New York City.

PHILADELPHIA, August 21, 2008–Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey will honor Kal and Lucille Rudman for their generosity, and accept their latest donation to a college scholarship program at 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 28, in the main auditorium at Philadelphia Police Headquarters, 8th and Race Streets.

Since 2002, the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation has helped Philadelphia police officers go to Community College of Philadelphia by supplying scholarships to pay for tuition and fees. The program pays tuition and fees for officers taking a three-credit course in the College's Justice Curriculum.

Police officers can attend courses in subjects, such as Organized Crime, Justice and Physics, taught by the College's faculty, at the Philadelphia Police Academy or at the College's Main or Regional Center campuses. Since its inception, the Rudman Foundation has provided 214 students with grants totaling $72,808. That total will grow on Aug. 28, when the Rudmans present Commissioner Ramsey with a check for $10,584 to cover tuition grants this fall for 24 police officers.

Kal Rudman is a Philadelphia native and a music and show business pioneer and legend. He is the founder and publisher of six radio and music industry publications, including The Friday Morning Quarterback. He and his wife are noted philanthropists. Their foundation is particularly interested in education and public safety. "Community colleges train 80 percent of the country’s police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians," according to a July 2008 USA Today article.

PHILADELPHIA, August 07, 2008–Starting this fall, Community College of Philadelphia will provide Philadelphia residents who have 30 or more college credits the opportunity to earn an associate's degree without incurring tuition or fees.

In a city where only one out of every five residents has a degree, the My Degree Now initiative will provide a path to economic opportunity for Philadelphians who, for one reason or another, never obtained a degree.

"By providing educational opportunities, the College works to benefit residents and the city as a whole. When companies enhance their employees' knowledge, they grow and prosper, as does Philadelphia's economy," said Stephen M. Curtis, president of Community College of Philadelphia.

"My Degree Now is offering a wonderful opportunity for Philadelphians who are working to reach their goals while pursuing pathways that will lead to exciting opportunities. My administration wants to see the number of residents with a four-year bachelor degree double over the next five to 10 years, and this program is a step in the right direction," Mayor Nutter said.

President Curtis unveiled the My Degree Now program at a press conference Thursday, Aug. 7, at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce's headquarters at The Bellevue, 200 S. Broad Street. He was joined by Mayor Nutter and top executives from Wachovia, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Gas Works and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

My Degree Now will allow Philadelphia residents with 30 or more transferable college credits to earn an associate's degree with no out-of-pocket costs for tuition or fees. The pilot program is funded by $100,000 from a gracious donor.

To be eligible for My Degree Now, residents must apply for financial aid grants, have been out of college for at least two years and must agree to complete their associate’s degree requirements in three years or less. My Degree Now will cover tuition and fees not met by financial aid. It also will provide up to $200 a semester for textbooks to employees whose employers are interested in this partnership with the College.

My Degree Now is one way the College is seeking to help the city achieve Mayor Nutter's goal of substantially increasing the number of residents who have college degrees over the next five to ten years.

Only 20 percent of Philadelphians have college degrees, placing Philadelphia near the bottom (92nd out of the country’s 100 largest cities) in percentage of college-educated residents, according to a 2007 report by the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, a nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board appointed by the mayor.

Among the 80 percent of Philadelphians without a college degree are 80,000 prime working-age adults, 25 to 45 years old, with at least one year of college to their credit, the report said. My Degree Now aims to entice members of this group back into the classroom to upgrade their job skills by earning an associate’s degree, and possibly continuing on the path to a bachelor’s degree using one of the College’s transfer or dual enrollment programs.

Employers and individuals interested in participating in My Degree Now should call 215-751-8254, e-mail Mydegreenow@ccp.edu, or visit the Web site at www.ccp.edu/site/mydegreenow.

My Degree Now is one of several initiatives launched by the College this year to assist Mayor Nutter and the city in significantly growing the number of Philadelphians with college degrees.

In July, in support of Mayor Nutter’s educational initiative, the College announced it would freeze student tuition and fees this year. The current tuition for a full-time student taking 24 credits a year is $3,528.

The College also announced in March that it would expand its First Class free program to members of the Hispanic, African-American and Asian chambers of commerce. First Class had previously been available only to members of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The program allows chamber members, who have never taken a college course, the opportunity to take their first class free of charge at the College.

The College also offers Opportunity Now, a tuition-free program that waives tuition for a maximum of 12 credits in one semester for Philadelphia residents who have been laid off from full-time employment due to an economic downturn.

PHILADELPHIA–Mayor Michael A. Nutter and representatives from Wachovia, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Gas Works and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce will join Community College of Philadelphia officials on Aug. 7 to make an important education announcement.


  • Mayor Michael Nutter
  • Stephen Curtis, president, Community College of Philadelphia
  • Mark Schweiker, president and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
  • Kevin Dow, vice president, community affairs manager, Wachovia
  • Stephen Hart, assistant vice president of Human Resources, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
  • Lorraine Webb, vice president of Organizational Development, Philadelphia Gas Works


My Degree Now -- a new education initiative that will enable Philadelphians to earn college degrees without incurring debt


3 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 7


Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce's DiBona Room on the 7th floor of The Bellevue, 200 South Broad Street

PHILADELPHIA, July 08, 2008–Community College of Philadelphia President Stephen M. Curtis announced that as the new fiscal year begins, for the first time in nearly two decades, there will be no increase in tuition or fees for students this academic year.

"Community College of Philadelphia will play a crucial role in helping attain Mayor Nutter's education goals, one of which is to turn Philadelphia into the nation's premiere education city," President Curtis said. "More than 80 percent of our graduates remain in Philadelphia, helping the city build a strong workforce and economy."

The tuition freeze is made possible by Mayor Nutter's and City Council's decision to increase funding for the College by $4 million for a total of $28.47 million in fiscal 2008-2009. Currently, tuition for a full-time student taking 24 credits a year is $3,528, the highest tuition of any community college in the state and significantly higher than the average tuition of $2,400 for community colleges nationally.

Student tuition and fees account for approximately 49 percent of the College's current $111 million operating budget, up from approximately 40 percent in fiscal year 2000.

President Curtis said the increase in city support provides an important opportunity to reduce the financial pressures on current and prospective students. In return, the College has agreed to join the City in an initiative in which the College will seek to produce an additional 1,000 associate's degree or certificate holders by 2012, offer $50,000-plus in free training to city employees and work with city agencies to strengthen the city's economic development efforts.

PHILADELPHIA, June 30, 2008–Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey will help launch the third issue of the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation's Pathways magazine at a luncheon at 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, July 9, at the College's Center for Business and Industry, 18th and Callowhill streets.

Pathways  spotlights the Philadelphia business community and business leaders and highlights how the College prepares students for various professions. It is published twice a year and focuses on career-related topics.

This issue’s theme is Law and Society. The cover story is an interview with nationally recognized civil right’s law pioneer William T. Coleman, Jr., senior partner at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. Coleman, a Philadelphia native, has been an advisor to seven U.S. presidents, including current President Bush. He was the first black in Philadelphia history to join a white law firm, the first black to clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court and the first black to serve in a cabinet-level position in a Republican administration.

Also featured is an interview with Police Commissioner Ramsey, who was the police chief for Washington D.C. for about a decade before coming to Philadelphia. He was hired by Mayor Michael A. Nutter to run Philadelphia’s 6,600-member police department. Ramsey immediately announced plans to hire 500 new uniformed officers and support staff to help stem the rising tide of gun violence and create a safer city. Ramsey told Pathways he will reach out to Community College of Philadelphia and other area colleges and universities to find qualified personnel. “One of the things I would like to do is form partnerships with the college and universities here in Philadelphia,” Ramsey said.

Other articles in the magazine showcase the College’s Paralegal and Justice programs and the College’s Center for Law and Society, which fosters a rich learning environment for student achievement and research, encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, stimulates innovative course and programmatic development and serves as a resource to professionals and other academic institutions.

PHILADELPHIA, June 11, 2008–The high cost of college education forced José Rivera, a PGW customer service representative, to withdraw from school before obtaining a degree. Now, PGW and Community College of Philadelphia are teaming up to give him a pathway back.

In a first of its kind arrangement with PGW, Community College of Philadelphia is offering a 12-week, associate degree program with most classes at PGW's headquarters at 9th Street and Montgomery Avenue in North Philadelphia. Rivera was one of 20 students attending the first class on June 4. Classes will continue from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., one night a week, throughout the summer.

The innovative program is designed to allow PGW employees the opportunity to pursue an advanced education. A graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School, Rivera, 27, of North Philadelphia previously pursued a degree at Temple University, but had to withdraw after completing one semester. “Unfortunately, the cost was too much,” he said.

He has worked at PGW as a customer service representative for four years, and advanced education will help him to move ahead in the organization. “A lot of the jobs at PGW require a degree and I don"t have one,” Rivera said.

He hopes the 12-week program will enable him to obtain an Associate"s Degree in Business Administration.

Administrators from PGW and Community College of Philadelphia commended Rivera and his classmates during the first night of class for signing up for the program and encouraged them to persevere. “Continue what you are doing to obtain your educational goals,” said Lorraine Webb, PGW"s vice president of Organizational Development.

"Education is a great equalizer in society,” said Waverly Coleman, executive director of Community College of Philadelphia"s Corporate Solutions division, which offers employers on-site educational and training programs. “I encourage you to have the mindset that education is a lifelong pursuit.”

PHILADELPHIA, June 9, 2008–Tracy Jarlee was 13 years old when her family fled war-torn Liberia and came to Philadelphia. That was seven years ago. Now, Jarlee will be graduating as salutatorian from Community College of Philadelphia's Advanced Tech at College program with a year of college credits, as well as graduating as valedictorian from Bartram High School.

The Advanced Tech at College commencement will be at 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 11, in Room BG-10 in the Bonnell Building at 17th and Spring Garden streets. Later this month, Jarlee will graduate from Bartram.

ATC allows high school students to earn up to 24 college credits while completing their last two years of high school at the College. Jarlee is one of 26 students graduating from the dual enrollment program this year.

"High school was a very hectic environment and I would not have had the same opportunity as I got in the [ATC] program. I've had a chance to extend my mind more than I would have with the high school environment," Jarlee said.

Jarlee plans to continue at the College for another year to earn her Associate’s degree before transferring to Temple University. She wants to become a medical doctor.

ATC has enrolled a total of 120 students since 2004. Of the 89 students who have completed the two-year program, 96 percent have gone on to attend college.

Cameo Pritchett, a William Penn High School senior graduating from ATC this month, also is heading to college – Kutztown University – to study education. Pritchett eventually wants to teach middle-school and possibly become a principal. :"Right now, my focus is on really trying to help inner-city youth," Pritchett said.

The ATC graduates, some of whom had to overcome tremendous odds, say the College staff worked hard to help them succeed. "There is no chance of your grades slipping because they stay on top of you and help you get tutoring if you need it," Jarlee said. "There really is no excuse to fail."

She said she jumped at the opportunity to leave the chaotic environment at Bartram for the quieter, more supportive College campus. "I got to learn much more," she said. "There is more teacher and student interaction, more class presentation, and you get over your fears of presenting. When you are listening to different people presenting, you also learn from them."

Monique Henry, an 18-year-old senior who will be graduating from ATC and from Germantown High School as class valedictorian, liked the challenge of college-level courses. "The teachers made us work on our own and grow. I feel that I am more prepared for college as a result," said Henry, who is headed to Pace University this fall with a full scholarship that can take her through graduate school if she stays on track.

ATC Director Linda Hansell said the program has succeeded in its mission to prepare high school students for a seamless transition to college. "Part of the reason for the program’s success is that we have developed an enriched academic content that is complimented by mentoring, tutoring and special senior projects that the students do," Hansell said. "We have a very well-rounded program."

ATC admits about 30 students each year from low-performing high schools in the Philadelphia School District. To qualify, students must have at least a 2.5 grade point average, and they must have maintained an attendance record of at least 90 percent in their freshman and sophomore years.