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PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 22, 2010 —The Facility Management program at Community College of Philadelphia has become the first associate degree program in North America to be accredited by the International Facility Management Association Foundation.

The College officially received the maximum six-year accreditation at the national conference of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), Oct. 28-29 in Atlanta, Georgia. IFMA is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for professional facility managers with more than 19,000 members.

The IFMA Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that is separate from IFMA, works for the public good by promoting priority research and educational opportunities for the advancement of facility management. The foundation created the Accredited Degree Program in 1996 to promote excellence in facility management undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Worldwide, the only other IFMA Foundation accredited associate degree program is Temasek Polytechnic, a three-year technical school in Singapore. The IFMA Foundation has accredited a total of 17 degree programs.

Miles Grosbard, chair of the College's Department of Architecture, Design and Construction, said other community colleges seeking IFMA Foundation accreditation are using Community College of Philadelphia as a model. “We have been contacted by community colleges in Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida who are interested in recreating our degree program at their institutions,” he said.

“Since its inception, the IFMA Foundation and the International Facility Management Association have vigorously supported the educational needs of current and future members as well as non-member facility management professionals,” said Steve Lockwood, the foundation’s director of academic affairs.

Facility management is a profession that encompasses multiple disciplines to ensure functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process and technology. The College first offered the associate degree in Facility Management in 2007. As a result of the accreditation, current and future students in the College’s program can apply and compete for scholarships from the IFMA Foundation.
To learn more about the IFMA Foundation, visit www.ifmafoundation.org. For more information about IFMA, visit www.ifma.org.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 19, 2010 —Community College of Philadelphia will host the nationally acclaimed Beyond the Bricks film and community forum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sat., Nov. 6 in the Great Hall at the College’s Winnet Building on 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.

Beyond the Bricks is a documentary produced by Washington Koen Media Productions (WKMP) of New York. The film follows two African-American boys as they struggle to stay on track in the Newark, N.J. public school system. The documentary will be followed by a town hall meeting that will address how communities, working together, can create solutions to address the problems facing black male students, more than half of whom do not graduate from high school.

The town hall meeting will bring together educators, community leaders, policymakers, parents and students to discuss the issues exposed by WKMP’s powerful documentary.

Some of the featured speakers who will participate in the town hall meeting at the College include: the Honorable U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah; Marc Lamont Hill, associate professor of English Education at Columbia University and author of Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Identity; Chuck Williams, assistant clinical professor at the Goodwin College of Professional Studies at Drexel University and director of the Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence; Stacy E. Holland, co-president and COO of Philadelphia Youth Network and a Community College of Philadelphia trustee; and Salome Thomas-El, an award-winning teacher and former principal of the Russell Byers Charter School in Philadelphia, and author of the books, I Choose to Stay: A Black Teacher Refuses to Desert the Inner City and The Immortality of Influence.

Philadelphia is the fifth stop on the national tour of eight U.S. cities. Community College of Philadelphia is the only community college in the nation to host the film and forum.

“The lack of quality education is at once a local issue and a national dilemma, a school problem and a community concern,” said Ouida Washington, producer of Beyond the Bricks and a partner in WKMP. “Our goal is to make necessary change happen, not only where we visit with this campaign, but also beyond. There are many examples of models and approaches that are working across the nation, and we think these ideas need to be shared so they can be replicated and even spur new ideas.”

Directed and edited by WKMP partner Derek Koen, Beyond the Bricks has won support from the Open Society Institute’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement, The Diversity Council, The Black Male Development Symposium and Project GRAD Philadelphia. WKMP has additional strategic partnerships with the United Negro College Fund, TheGrio.com and BET Network’s Centric TV Online (Centrictv.com) to help spread the word about the campaign’s initiatives, national tour and groundbreaking DVD documentary.

In conjunction with the Beyond The Bricks web platform (www.beyondthebricksproject.com), communities across the country are being encouraged to connect and share ideas, discuss their developments, track progress and work together to establish objectives and goals that can be applied for future success.

A recent report by The Schott Foundation for Public Education found that the graduation rate for black males nationally is only 47 percent, compared with 78 percent for their white counterparts. In the School District of Philadelphia, only 45 percent of black males graduate in four years, making the need for conversation and actionable solutions more critical than ever.

Community College of Philadelphia has implemented several programs to help address the high dropout rate among African-American males. One program is Advance at College, a partnership with the School District of Philadelphia that allows 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses while still in high school. Another program is the Center for Male Engagement, a mentoring program that focuses on assisting male students to achieve their education goals.

The Beyond the Bricks event is free and open to the public. Register to attend the event at: http://philadelphiabtbtownhall.eventbrite.com/. To view the film’s trailer, visit: http://www.beyondthebricksproject.com/content/trailer.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 12, 2010 —Anne Ewers, president and chief executive officer of the Kimmel Center, and Kenny Gamble, song producer/writer and community developer, will join the College to launch the latest issue of the College’s magazine, Pathways.

The breakfast launch will take place at 8 a.m., Monday, Oct. 18 at the College’s Center for Business and Industry, 18th and Callowhill streets.

Ewers is the cover story for the fall issue of Pathways, which focuses on the College’s art and music programs and the importance of art and music to Greater Philadelphia. The magazine also features an interview with Gamble about how he got started in the music business, his community development corporation and his tips for students interested in careers in music.

Pathways is a color magazine that highlights the academic programs, courses, faculty, students and staff at the College, as well as prominent leaders and significant issues in the region.

An Illinois native, Ewers oversees a $35 million annual budget and nearly 500 full- and part-time employees who operate the $235 million Kimmel Center, home to six cultural and entertainment entities including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and American Theater Arts for Youth.

Ewers also is in charge of operations at the nearby Merriam Theater, as well as the Academy of Music, the home to the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet.

In the cover story, Ewers discusses her future plans for the Kimmel Center, how she got started in music as a performer and then as a business executive, and the upcoming Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, April 7 – May 1, 2011. Ewers was one of the driving forces behind the festival, which will involve more than 100 performing, visual and cultural entities and 32 newly commissioned works of art throughout Philadelphia.

“It’s an opportunity to really put the spotlight on the arts in Philadelphia. There's so much that we have to offer and the world needs to know," she told Pathways.

Philadelphia native Kenny Gamble, a legendary rhythm and blues song writer/producer and influential community developer, talks to Pathways about how he got involved in the music business and what was behind his creation in 1993 of Universal Community Homes, a nonprofit community development corporation which has built and rehabilitated many homes and schools in the Greater Philadelphia area.

A National Academy of Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, Gamble told Pathways that one of the great things about music, art and culture is that they have a life of their own that lasts and permeates society.
“Music, art and culture outlive the generations they come from,” Gamble said, adding that they not only shape society, but provide valuable windows of insight into past civilizations.

During the 1960s, Gamble said he worked as a medical technician at Jefferson Hospital, owned a record store in South Philadelphia, wrote songs and performed at night. His advice to students interested in music as a career – pursue your dream, but also keep "a lot of irons in the fire" so that you can pay your bills while learning the nuances of the music business.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 19, 2010 —Kara Crombie, a professor in Community College of Philadelphia’s Photographic Imaging Department, is a recipient of  the 2010 Pew Fellowships in the Arts (PFA) award.

Crombie is a talented video artist and photographer working with animation. She is one of 12 new PFA fellows—all of them local artists, who work in a wide variety of artistic disciplines, including classical music, tap dance, architectural design and jewelry making.

“I see my work as representation of the first generation to grow up entirely under the umbrella of a ‘read-write’ culture,” Crombie says, referring to the current digital age, in which society interprets, reformulates and shares information, as opposed to merely consuming it.

Crombie is interested in exploring the ways in which our environments inform our identities and vice versa. Her new animated series, Aloof Hills, addresses contemporary American “taboos,” such as interracial relationships and drug and alcohol use, and does so in a historic setting. Crombie’s characters are Civil War-era paper dolls, and her landscapes include paintings and YouTube video clips.

She has had solo exhibitions at Vox Populi Gallery and Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, and she has participated in group exhibitions at the Tate Modern in London, Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and elsewhere.

Crombie joined the College faculty in September 2010. Prior to that, she was an adjunct professor at Moore College of Art and Design. She received a bachelor degree in Art History and Photography from the University of Pittsburgh in 1996, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2001. She also has taught at the University of the Arts. Prior honors include The Fleisher Art Memorial Wind Challenge in 2008.

The PFA is a program of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. It provides “no strings attached” fellowships of $60,000 over one to two years to artists of exemplary talent in the five-county Philadelphia area. Artists are selected based on the merit of their work, dedication to their professional practice and the potential impact that the fellowship will have on their subsequent creative endeavors. Fellowships may be awarded to artists at any stage of their career development. This year’s fellows range in age from 32 to 85.

Pew Fellowships in the Arts was established by The Pew Charitable Trusts in 1991 and awards grants to artists working in a wide variety of performing, visual, and literary disciplines. The program is in its 19th year and has awarded 244 fellowships to 249 artists, for a total investment of more than $12.5 million in the creative and professional development of working artists in the Philadelphia area.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 08, 2010 —Community College of Philadelphia’s Campus Security, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Fire Department, will hold a Fire Safety and Prevention Seminar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12 at the College’s Bonnell Auditorium on 16th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.

The seminar is for all age groups and will include the children from the College’s Day Care Center. The children will be taught to Stop, Drop and Roll in the event of a fire, as well as other fire safety and prevention techniques.

The Philadelphia Fire Department will have on hand fire trucks including Rescue 1 and Engine 13 and their firefighting crews. During the seminar, Campus Security and the Philadelphia Fire Department will conduct lifesaving fire safety and prevention scenarios showing how to stay low under the smoke, and go; check the door for heat, and find a second way out to safety; and to stop, drop and roll in the event of a fire.

What: Community College of Philadelphia Fire Prevention Seminar
When: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12
Where: Bonnell Auditorium (Room BG-10), on 16th Street between Callowhill and Spring Garden Streets

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 01, 2010 —Community College of Philadelphia today received its third consecutive designation as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education from the National League for Nursing. The prestigious award recognizes the Nursing department’s sustained, evidenced-based and substantive innovation in creating environments where student learning and professional development are enhanced.

This latest honor is for the period 2010-2015, and was announced today at the National League for Nursing’s 2010 Education Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NLN is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education, offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants and public policy initiatives to its 30,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.

“The NLN is proud to recognize those schools whose faculty is doing the outstanding work that sets them apart from others,” NLN President Dr. Cathleen Shultz said.

“It is our hope that by publicly acknowledging these best academic practices, we will succeed in setting the bar higher in nursing programs across the board to ensure that those entering the profession will be as well prepared as they can for the 21st century health care needs of the American people,” NLN Chief Executive Officer Dr. Beverly Malone said.

In 2004, the College was one of the first schools in the country to receive the Center of Excellence designation. The College received a second excellence award for 2007-2010.

“We are honored to have been recognized for a third consecutive designation by the National League for Nursing,” Stephen M. Curtis, president of Community College of Philadelphia said.

According to the NLN, schools that are recognized distinguish themselves through sustained, effective innovation and by researching and documenting their effectiveness. They also set high standards and are committed to continuous quality improvement.

Community College of Philadelphia is one of only four Pennsylvania schools to have won Center of Excellence designations since 2004, when the award was created. The other schools are Villanova University in Villanova, Duquesne University and UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing, both in Pittsburgh.

“The Nursing faculty continues to believe strongly that our commitment to students is the hallmark of the Nursing program,” said Barbara McLaughlin, head of the College’s Nursing Department. “Our students inspire our faculty to create a curriculum that is collaborative, dedicated to service and attentive to the development of a spirit of inquiry for students, graduates and faculty.”

An example of the Nursing program’s commitment is the College’s collaboration with the NLN to expand the focus of geriatric nursing in pre-licensure nursing programs through the Fostering Geriatrics in Associate Degree Nursing Education project. This project is laying the foundation to improve care to America’s aging population by increasing the focus on gerontological nursing in more than 900 associate degree nursing programs across the country. The NLN and the College are leading this national project, the second phase of which is funded by grants totaling $683,944 from The John A. Hartford Foundation.

The College’s Nursing graduates are well prepared to succeed in their profession. In 2009, approximately 90 percent of the College’s Nursing graduates who took the state nursing certification exam passed. That is higher than the national pass rate of 88.4 percent. The Nursing program has granted some 4,000 associate degrees since 1967.

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29, 2010 —The Association of Community College Trustees has named Community College of Philadelphia President Stephen M. Curtis the recipient of its 2010 Chief Executive Officer Award for the Northeast Region.

"Community colleges have taken on new roles and increased responsibilities in recent years," said Thomas M. Bennett, ACCT board chair and a trustee at Parkland College in Illinois. "The individuals who have been selected to receive this important recognition are truly vital to their communities and regions."

ACCT’s regional awards recognize trustees, equity programs, chief executive officers, faculty members and professional board staff. As the Northeast Region winner, President Curtis is now eligible to be considered for the prestigious Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Award, which will be announced on Oct. 22 at the 41st Annual ACCT Leadership Congress in Toronto, Canada.

ACCT is a non-profit, educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern more than 1,200 community, technical and junior colleges in the United States and beyond.

President Curtis has served as president of Community College of Philadelphia since 1999. Under his stewardship, there has been a 48 percent increase in graduates since 2000, as well as a 57 percent increase in the number of degrees and certificates awarded. The College has created new initiatives and fostered important alliances with regional employers, government leaders and community groups that have made the College a leader in providing educational programs and workforce development.

Led by President Curtis, the College’s transfer programs to other universities and colleges in the region have become an important vehicle by which students can achieve a baccalaureate degree at other higher education institutions in the Greater Philadelphia area.

President Curtis also is leading the first capital campaign in the College’s 46-year history, which seeks to raise $10 million for scholarships and capital improvements.

"Dr. Curtis has served as President of Community College of Philadelphia for 11 years. During this time, Community College of Philadelphia has experienced increased enrollment growth, dramatic gains in student outcomes, significant expansion of new programs and construction of three major buildings to serve students. Additionally, we have entered the public phase of the College’s first capital campaign," said George E. Davis, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees.

"The success of these initiatives has been possible because of the vision and leadership of Dr. Curtis. He has led our academic growth in program development and assessment of student learning. He has led our support to students by revamping student orientation, developing an early alert system and professional development for faculty which are resulting in positive outcomes in terms of retention and graduation," Davis said.

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 20, 2010 —Community College of Philadelphia welcomes David E. Thomas as the new dean of the Division of Adult and Community Education (DACE) and Joan L. Bush as the new dean of the Division of Educational Support Services.

Thomas previously was the director of Student and School Support Services at the Philadelphia office of Victory Schools Inc., an educational management organization. Before that, he worked as a career counselor at Temple University. He has both a B.S. in Biblical Theology and a B.S. in Secondary Education from Philadelphia Biblical University (PBU). He also earned an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from PBU, and a M.Ed. in Adult and Organizational Development from Temple University

As a youth, Thomas said he knew even then that he was destined for a career advising and counseling others. "Back then, I was always offering my peers advice," said Thomas, a lifelong resident of Southwest Philadelphia.  Now, he said, "I am a professional educator and a professional counselor. I am always teaching somebody something."

Bush comes to the College from Luzerne County Community College (LCCC) in Nanticoke, Pa., where she served as associate dean for Counseling and Student Support Services. Prior to LCCC, Bush was the coordinator of Student Support Services at Pennsylvania State University at Wilkes-Barre, her hometown. She has a B.A. in Sociology from Boston College and an M.A. in Counseling from Marywood University.

Bush said of Greater Philadelphia, "Living and working in a large urban area with diverse cultures and having so much art, music and entertainment at our finger tips has been a goal for quite some time." She also is excited about the diversity of the College’s student body.

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 13, 2010 —Marsha M. Ray brings 20 years of fundraising experience to Community College of Philadelphia starting today as the new vice president for Institutional Advancement and executive director of the College’s Foundation.

As vice president for Institutional Advancement, Ray will be both strategically and operationally responsible for all fundraising for the College, building on the continued success of the College’s ongoing fundraising efforts. Previously, she was associate vice president for Campaign Programs at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

She is a veteran fundraiser, having worked for both higher education and nonprofit institutions, including Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Wyck Association, a nonprofit that advocates and raises funds for a national historic, Quaker house museum and garden in Germantown.

Ray comes at a time when the College is seeking to raise $10 million through its first capital campaign, "Expanding Possibilities: The Campaign for Community College of Philadelphia," for student scholarships and to help pay for $87 million in ongoing capital improvements at the College’s Main Campus and Northeast Regional Center in Northeast Philadelphia.

"We are delighted to welcome Marsha Ray to the College family during such an important period in the College’s history. Her substantial knowledge and experience in fundraising are great assets as the College embarks on its first capital campaign," said Stephen M. Curtis, president of Community College of Philadelphia.

At its Main Campus, the College is building the Pavilion, a 45,000-square-foot facility that will house the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program, high-tech laboratory space, a welcome center, a new dining commons and attractive meeting spaces for classes and corporate training programs. The Main Campus expansion also will include renovations to the College’s Bonnell, West and Mint buildings, all of which are located on 17th and Spring Garden streets.

At the Northeast Regional Center, the College is building a beautiful three-story building that will offer an array of new and expanded programs, a one-stop student services center and resources for local businesses. The expansion project also will include numerous renovations to the existing building located at 12901 Townsend Road.

Both the Main Campus and Northeast Regional Center construction projects are using the latest in environmentally friendly building techniques and are expected to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designations from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system.
In her new position, Ray will represent the College externally to diverse constituencies and work directly with the College’s leading major gift prospects. She also will work with the board of the College’s Foundation, comprised primarily of prominent Philadelphia business and professional leaders and members of the College’s Board of Trustees.

At George Mason University, Ray was responsible for providing strategic leadership and directing all phases of the university’s multi-year, $300 million comprehensive campaign. Prior to George Mason, she was the assistant dean for Development and Alumni Relations at Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts from 2004 to 2008, where she directed a $35 million comprehensive campaign. From 2002 to 2004, she was major gift officer for the University of Pennsylvania. She also was previously director of development for the Morris Arboretum.

Ray holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and a certificate in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

PHILADELPHIA, May. 13, 2010 — Community College of Philadelphia President Stephen M. Curtis has joined the board of directors of the Gateway to College National Network, a nonprofit organization tackling the dropout crisis by influencing changes to the developmental education of high school dropouts and academically underprepared college students.

The National Network has two programs: Gateway to College and Project DEgree. Community College of Philadelphia is one of 27 colleges in 16 states offering a Gateway to College program, which helps high school dropouts (ages 16-21) and students on the verge of dropping out to earn a high school diploma while also earning college credits. Project DEgree helps underprepared college students (ages 18-26) accelerate their progress through developmental education and on to transfer-level college courses.

President Curtis was nominated for a two-year term by the National Network’s leadership team, which is comprised of program directors from six Gateway programs across the country. He was approved by the board of directors in January. "When an estimated 1.3 million people drop out of high school each year, it is crucial to our national economy to provide a way for them to re-engage with the education system and succeed academically," President Curtis said.

Gateway to College National Network funders include: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York; the Foundation to Promote Open Society, a sister organization of the Open Society Institute; The Kresge Foundation; and the Walmart Foundation. Portland Community College created the Gateway to College program in 2000. Nationally, students who have graduated from the Gateway to College program have earned both their high school diploma and an average of 41 semester college credits, putting them well on their way to earning an associate’s degree.

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