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Harrisburg, Oct. 12, 2012—Guitar-strumming Kerrie Trube’s impassioned video testimonial to the Pell Grant Program that is helping her to pay college tuition captured first place in Community College of Philadelphia’s Speak Up for Pell Video Contest.

“I literally owe my entire education and my current career path to the Pell grant,” says Trube, in her video. "I'm hoping that funding for the Pell grant will continue because I want to go all the way with my education and, eventually, earn a doctorate so that I can help people the best way possible."

Trube, who aspires one day to work as an addiction counselor to celebrities and stars, says without the Pell grant she would not have her current job in an area treatment center. The College provided her with an internship and the facility then hired her as a part-time staff member.

That job, coupled with weekend gigs as a singer with a local band, do not cover tuition and books, says Trube, who is on track to graduate in December. A senior who has maintained a 4.0 grade point average, Trube, 33, is pursuing an Associate’s of Science in Behavioral Health/Human Services. As the contest’s first-place winner, she will receive an iPod touch©. Andrea Marant, aka Iyani Afi, 21, a first-term student who wants to become a nurse, received honorable mention from the judges. The two top videos can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vZS5alzmwzE.

Trube’s video was among 52 submitted by students and faculty in the Speak Up For Pell Video Contest launched on Sept. 25 as part of a student-led drive to focus attention on recent efforts to cut Pell grants and reduce eligibility requirements. The Pell Grant Program provides financial aid for more than nine million college students nationally. Approximately 50 percent of degree- and certificate-seeking students at the College currently rely on the grants to pay at least a portion of their tuition and fees.

In addition to the video contest, 241 students signed an online petition during the event that generated more than 1,000 emails in support of Pell to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegates. There is still time to add your voice to the mix by clicking http://www.ccp.edu/site/savepell/.

Three student judges, Charles Phy, president of the Student Government Association; Laura Melizyaev, a member of Rho Upsilon Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; and Justin Clarke, web content

“Today, there is general agreement that a college education will not necessarily make a person a good police officer, but a good police officer can be made better by having one.”

—Captain Brian K. Strock, Command College Independent Study Project, 2007

WHEN: Tuesday, August 28 at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: Philadelphia Police headquarters, 750 Race Street
Since 2002, the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation has provided 18 grants totaling $159,493 to help 398 Philadelphia police officers pursue higher education. The classes provide greater insights into their jobs, help foster critical thinking, and offer a deeper understanding of the city and its challenges.

PHOTO & INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Kal Rudman; Community College of Philadelphia Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Gregory Murphy; and Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey.
  • Jane Rash, a scholarship recipient who is assigned to the Philadelphia Police Department’s Firearms Training Unit, will speak. She and 21 other police officers, including a colleague, Magdalen Clarke, recently finished summer classes. Rash and Clarke both received As in their Sociology class, where they learned how cultures differ, and that their own cultural lenses can affect how they view and treat different groups. “It was really an eye-opening experience,” Clarke said. “I am in the Northeast. There are so many groups there, Russians, Blacks, Hispanics and Whites. You have to deal with people on a personal basis. . .  I greatly appreciated the class. The fact that Kal and Lucille Rudman paid for it made it even better.” Clarke and Rash, who served as study partners this summer, will continue their education in the fall, taking classes together in Environmental Science and Computer Information Technology. Clarke and Rash will be available for media interviews

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 1, 2012—This fall, Community College of Philadelphia is expanding its online class offerings as well as services at its Regional Centers in Northeast, Northwest and West Philadelphia to meet the strong demand for neighborhood classes and flexible learning options.

The College will launch a new online learning system called Canvas that allows students and instructors to interact more easily and communicate via social media. Online classes and hybrid classes, which combine classroom sessions with online learning, offer the flexibility of studying anywhere, and anytime, without the costs associated with transportation, parking and child care. Online classes accounted for more than 8,600 registrations during the 2011–2012 academic year.

The College’s multiyear, $86 expansion and modernization program has positioned it to enhance student services at the Regional Centers and expand opportunities for clubs and community activities. A Student Life coordinator now spends time at each center developing and promoting programs, events and services for the roughly 6,200 students enrolled at the three locations.

In 2011, construction of a 60,000 square-foot wing nearly doubled the size of the Northeast Regional Center, and the renovations added state-of-the-art classrooms; a café; bookstore; Center for Small Business Education, Growth and Training; community meeting rooms and more.

Moreover, students at that center now can enroll in the Liberal Arts – Honors program that prepares them to transfer to highly competitive four-year institutions. Recent Honors program graduates of Community College of Philadelphia have received scholarships to such highly respected institutions as Bryn Mawr College, Bucknell University and the University of Pennsylvania. Larry Liu, a 2012 graduate who lives in Northeast Philadelphia, won the coveted Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship worth up to $30,000 a year.

This fall, the College will offer a dozen degree programs that can be fully completed at the Northeast Regional Center. Before the expansion, students had an option to complete degrees in Culture, Science and Technology; Liberal Arts – General, Honors or Social/ Behavioral Science. This fall, they also will be able to complete Business Administration, Computer Forensics, Science and Women’s Studies/Gender Studies degrees without attending classes at the Main Campus or another College site. In addition, students who take a mix of online courses and regular classes at the Center can earn degrees in Accounting, Applied Studies, Business and Justice.

The Main Campus will operate on a limited weekend schedule this fall as a cost-saving measure. Regional centers will remain open Monday through Saturday, with additional weekend and evening classes. An analysis by the College determined many of the students currently taking weekend classes at the Main Campus actually live closer to a Regional Center.

Classes begin Sep. 4, so time act now. For more information, go to www.ccp.edu, or visit one of our Regional Centers. The locations are: Northeast, 12901 Townsend Road; Northwest, 1300 Godfrey Avenue; and West at 4725 Chestnut Street.

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 1, 2012—This fall, Community College of Philadelphia is expanding its online class offerings as well as services at its Regional Centers in West, Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia to meet demand for neighborhood classes and flexible learning options.
The College is rolling out a new online learning system called Canvas that allows students and instructors to interact more easily and communicate via social media and video chats. Online classes, and hybrid classes, which combine classroom learning with online learning, afford students the flexibility of studying anywhere, and anytime, without the costs associated with transportation, parking and child care. Online classes accounted for more than 8,600 registrations during the College’s 2011–2012 academic year.

In addition, an ongoing multiyear, $86 million expansion and modernization program has positioned the College to deliver new student services at the Regional Centers and expand opportunities for clubs and community activities. A Student Life coordinator now spends time at each site developing and promoting programs, events and services for the roughly 6,200 students enrolled at the three Regional Centers.

As part of the modernization, the West Regional Center, at 47th and Chestnut streets, expanded last year into an adjacent building, creating space for two new computer classrooms and a Learning Commons that includes a Library, Learning Labs and a Student Academic Computing Center. The new features provide students with access to more research resources, free tutoring and expanded computer access.

Ongoing commercial revitalization is bringing new opportunities to West Philadelphia, which now has more than 80,000 jobs and $2 billion in real estate under construction, according to a 2011 University City District report. “The College is growing along with West Philadelphia,” said President Stephen M. Curtis, Ph.D. “Many of our students there seek the skills, degrees and training required by the companies that are reshaping Philadelphia’s economy.”

The West Regional Center is offering more weekend classes this fall, plus 10 degree programs that can be completed with a combination of online courses and regular classes at the Center. The full-degree options are:

  • Accounting
  • Applied Studies
  • Automotive Technology
  • Business
  • Culture, Science and Technology
  • Justice
  • Liberal Arts – General
  • Liberal Arts – Social/Behavioral Science
  • Science
  • Women’s Studies/Gender Studies

The Main Campus will operate on a limited weekend schedule this fall as a cost-saving measure. Regional Centers will remain open Monday through Saturday, with increased weekend and evening classes. An analysis by the College determined many of the students currently taking weekend classes at the Main Campus actually live closer to a Regional Center.

Classes begin Sep. 4, so act now. For more information, go to www.ccp.edu, or visit one of our Regional Centers. The locations are: West, 4725 Chestnut Street; Northwest, 1300 Godfrey Avenue; and Northeast, at 12901 Townsend Road.

PHILADELPHIA, June 25, 2012—Rashanda Waiters of Germantown discovered last year she was only months away from the life she wanted. She decided on the right career path, and then, found a place where she could get training for free.

Waiters, then a part-time sales person at a local department store, enrolled in the Rudman Nurse Aide program at Community College of Philadelphia last November. The Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation picked up the tab for Waiters and 14 of her classmates.

After passing her state exam, Waiters was hired by the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Philadelphia. Today, her paycheck is twice the size it used to be, and her benefit package includes health care and paid vacation days. Not only did Waiters find a career, she discovered her passion in life. “I love helping people and knowing that I can make a difference,” she says.

As developers revitalize Center City and rehab its historic buildings, former music mogul and “Prophet of Pop” Kal Rudman, founder of the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation, has been quietly investing in the local people. These urban residents, much like historic buildings, need investors who see their true value and worth. Rudman and his wife sponsor a class of Nurse Aide students every year at the College, covering not just tuition, but books and the cost of the state certification exam. They also offer education grants for Philly police officers.

The man known for picking some of music’s biggest stars uses the fortune he has amassed to keep pipelines of local talent flowing to the frontlines of Philadelphia. But that’s not all. This year, the Rudmans will take their brand of community capacity-building to a higher level by simultaneously supporting public educational broadcast programming at Drexel University, Temple University, and now, Community College of Philadelphia. Their most recent $50,000 gift to the community college will establish the Kal and Lucille Rudman Multimedia Project. The gift will help the College continue to expand its TV station, CCPTV (Comcast Channel 53 and FIOS Channel 21).

Having completed one joint project already, the three highly diverse institutions plan to work together again as programming partners, uniting them in common service to the city. “This gift will enable the College to better partner with Temple University and Drexel University, both as production partners and as a training ground for students,” said College President Stephen M. Curtis. “CCPTV strives to incorporate student participation in every aspect of production, content development, management and operation.”

Since 2002, the Rudmans have provided a total of $262,494 to Community College of Philadelphia to help develop workforce skills and talent. This money enabled more than 400 Philadelphia police officers to take career-enhancing classes in the College’s Justice program. The Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation Tuition Grants program was established as a joint venture between Community College of Philadelphia, the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation and the Philadelphia Police Department. Grants for tuition and fees are provided to police officers to attend Justice courses at the Philadelphia Police Academy, or the College’s Main Campus or Regional Centers. “Rudman is planting the seed that develops a better officer,” says Lt. Robert Glenn, a spokesman for the Police Academy Recruit Training Unit. “College makes you a more rounded individual, as well as helping you make better decisions as a police officer.”

The Rudmans also support training for Nurse Aides, a battalion that works on the frontlines of healthcare and provides basic yet important services for sick or disabled clients in private residences, nursing homes and other institutions. Class after class, year after year, the program has transformed the lives of Philadelphia students and the clients they assist. Nurse Aide trainee Bakiir James spoke from the heart when he told the couple at his course completion ceremony, “You have helped us to become rays of sunshine in the lives of very worthy people,” he said.

The couple was driven to help as a result of the difficulty Lucille Rudman had in finding a well-trained certified nurse aide to care for her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Eventually, the family found a nurse aide who helped care for her mother until her death. “She was a wonderful woman and soon became like a member of our family,” Lucille Rudman said. “So, I know there is a crying need out there for more people like her.” 

Dr. Curtis said the Rudmans are “champions of hope” for providing the funds that allow highly motivated students to find life-sustaining career pathways. This short-term training leads to higher-paying jobs. According to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), people with certificates earn, on average, 20 percent more than workers with only high school diplomas. They also can out-earn workers with two-year and four-year degrees.

Born in 1930, Kal Rudman began his music and radio career in 1959 as a Top 40 radio jock, juggling his popular late night show with his day job as a science teacher. It wasn’t long before Rudman moved to Philadelphia’s WDAS, building his success on his passion for rhythm and blues.

His syndicated broadcasts were carried in a number of major markets. Billboard Magazine hired Rudman as its first R&B editor. A few years later, Rudman left to start the first of his six trade publications. He continued to do local radio, as well as nationally syndicated broadcasts. He partnered with Merv Griffin, became the resident music expert on the "TodayShow" and is frequently recognized on the streets for one of his more unusual gigs—as announcer for the World Wrestling Federation.

Over the years, Kal Rudman’s true love has been “giving back” in ways too numerous to count. “The work is never finished,” Rudman once told a reporter. “All I do is connect the dots.”

By helping students, Lucille said, they are reshaping a city. After accepting a bouquet of roses from a grateful class of Nurse Aides in February, she told their latest protégées, “You are going to do a world of good and, for that, we thank you.”

PHILADELPHIA, June 25, 2012—Rashanda Waiters of Germantown discovered last year she was only months away from the life she wanted. She decided on the right career path, and then, found a place where she could get training for free.

Waiters, then a part-time sales person at a local department store, enrolled in the Rudman Nurse Aide program at Community College of Philadelphia last November. The Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation picked up the tab for Waiters and 14 of her classmates.

After passing her state exam, Waiters was hired by the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Philadelphia. Today, her paycheck is twice the size it used to be, and her benefit package includes health care and paid vacation days. Not only did Waiters find a career, she discovered her passion in life. “I love helping people and knowing that I can make a difference,” she says.

As developers revitalize Center City and rehab its historic buildings, former music mogul and “Prophet of Pop” Kal Rudman, founder of the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation, has been quietly investing in the local people. These urban residents, much like historic buildings, need investors who see their true value and worth. Rudman and his wife sponsor a class of Nurse Aide students every year at the College, covering not just tuition, but books and the cost of the state certification exam. They also offer education grants for Philly police officers.

The man known for picking some of music’s biggest stars uses the fortune he has amassed to keep pipelines of local talent flowing to the frontlines of Philadelphia. But that’s not all. This year, the Rudmans will take their brand of community capacity-building to a higher level by simultaneously supporting public educational broadcast programming at Drexel University, Temple University, and now, Community College of Philadelphia. Their most recent $50,000 gift to the community college will establish the Kal and Lucille Rudman Multimedia Project. The gift will help the College continue to expand its TV station, CCPTV (Comcast Channel 53 and FIOS Channel 21).

Having completed one joint project already, the three highly diverse institutions plan to work together again as programming partners, uniting them in common service to the city. “This gift will enable the College to better partner with Temple University and Drexel University, both as production partners and as a training ground for students,” said College President Stephen M. Curtis. “CCPTV strives to incorporate student participation in every aspect of production, content development, management and operation.”

Since 2002, the Rudmans have provided a total of $262,494 to Community College of Philadelphia to help develop workforce skills and talent. This money enabled more than 400 Philadelphia police officers to take career-enhancing classes in the College’s Justice program. The Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation Tuition Grants program was established as a joint venture between Community College of Philadelphia, the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation and the Philadelphia Police Department. Grants for tuition and fees are provided to police officers to attend Justice courses at the Philadelphia Police Academy, or the College’s Main Campus or Regional Centers. “Rudman is planting the seed that develops a better officer,” says Lt. Robert Glenn, a spokesman for the Police Academy Recruit Training Unit. “College makes you a more rounded individual, as well as helping you make better decisions as a police officer.”

The Rudmans also support training for Nurse Aides, a battalion that works on the frontlines of healthcare and provides basic yet important services for sick or disabled clients in private residences, nursing homes and other institutions. Class after class, year after year, the program has transformed the lives of Philadelphia students and the clients they assist. Nurse Aide trainee Bakiir James spoke from the heart when he told the couple at his course completion ceremony, “You have helped us to become rays of sunshine in the lives of very worthy people,” he said.

The couple was driven to help as a result of the difficulty Lucille Rudman had in finding a well-trained certified nurse aide to care for her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Eventually, the family found a nurse aide who helped care for her mother until her death. “She was a wonderful woman and soon became like a member of our family,” Lucille Rudman said. “So, I know there is a crying need out there for more people like her.” 

Dr. Curtis said the Rudmans are “champions of hope” for providing the funds that allow highly motivated students to find life-sustaining career pathways. This short-term training leads to higher-paying jobs. According to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), people with certificates earn, on average, 20 percent more than workers with only high school diplomas. They also can out-earn workers with two-year and four-year degrees.

Born in 1930, Kal Rudman began his music and radio career in 1959 as a Top 40 radio jock, juggling his popular late night show with his day job as a science teacher. It wasn’t long before Rudman moved to Philadelphia’s WDAS, building his success on his passion for rhythm and blues.

His syndicated broadcasts were carried in a number of major markets. Billboard Magazine hired Rudman as its first R&B editor. A few years later, Rudman left to start the first of his six trade publications. He continued to do local radio, as well as nationally syndicated broadcasts. He partnered with Merv Griffin, became the resident music expert on the "TodayShow" and is frequently recognized on the streets for one of his more unusual gigs—as announcer for the World Wrestling Federation.

Over the years, Kal Rudman’s true love has been “giving back” in ways too numerous to count. “The work is never finished,” Rudman once told a reporter. “All I do is connect the dots.”

By helping students, Lucille said, they are reshaping a city. After accepting a bouquet of roses from a grateful class of Nurse Aides in February, she told their latest protégées, “You are going to do a world of good and, for that, we thank you.”

New Grant Offers Summer Training to Get The Unemployed Back to Work

PHILADELPHIA, May 22, 2012—In 2011, Erica Morrison made a decision that has nearly doubled her salary. She enrolled at Community College of Philadelphia to get the training to become a certified pharmacy technician.

After completing the six-week Pharmacy Technician program, which is a part of the Wanamaker Scholars Program, Erica passed the state exam. With her new credential, she now qualified for a job at Keystone Mercy Health Plan paying $7 per hour more than she had been earning at a retail pharmacy. A 75-hour class gave her the basic math skills and knowledge required to work in a pharmacy, a workplace where jobs are going unfilled due to the shortage of skilled applicants. This comprehensive course, including 10 hours of instruction concentrating on mathematics, prepared her to assist the pharmacist in filling prescriptions in a variety of pharmacy settings, including hospital, community, home infusion and mail order pharmacies.

This summer, Community College of Philadelphia will begin accepting eligible unemployed Philadelphians into free, training courses that seek to prepare students for jobs in three critical economic sectors: advanced manufacturing, energy conservation and health care. Some courses can be completed in three months or less. Advanced Manufacturing classes and Energy Conservation classes are now enrolling for the summer kickoff. (The Pharmacy Technician program is not included.)

Dr. Michelle T. Williams, the College's project director for TAACCCT (Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training), says the career coach, Judi Greif, is working closely with PA CareerLink to recruit candidates for these classes, which are funded by a three-year, $20 million TAACCCT grant shared by the state’s 14 community colleges. Each college will identify and conduct courses that address their specific labor market needs. The U.S. Department of Labor initiative aims to address manpower shortages by moving displaced and laid-off workers quickly into high-wage, high-skill occupations.

“Our challenge will be to help laid-off and underemployed workers to understand that short-term and long-term skill retraining is essential if they are to meet the labor demands of Pennsylvania employers, who have made it clear that they prefer candidates with career-specific skills,” said College President Stephen M. Curtis.

Community College of Philadelphia is addressing this challenge by adding short-term, career-specific programs to train 210 laid-off and dislocated workers for jobs in advanced manufacturing, energy conservation and health care. The program offerings include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Training. Classes begin July 9.Recruitment is currently underway for this 10-to-12-week program that teaches core skills and provides hands-on training in electrical and mechanical systems. Students prepare for the Advanced Manufacturing Integrated Systems Technology (AMIST) Level 1 certification. Potential job opportunities include electro mechanical technician, industrial engineering technician and production technician.
  • Energy Conservation (BPI) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. BPI classes begin on June 11 and LEED classes will begin in early August. Recruitment is currently underway for both programs. A number of BPI courses are being offered including Building Analyst, Multifamily Analyst and Envelope, which prepares students to quantify performance and prescribe improvements to help tighten the building envelop. The Energy Efficient Building Operator course prepares individuals to become more proficient in building operations and maintenance and apply energy efficient principles to management of energy operations in larger buildings. Students who successfully complete the training and pass an exam can receive industry-recognized Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification, which can lead to stackable credentials.
  • Healthcare Core Curriculum, This six- to eight-week program is a hybrid class that includes class time and online courses. It provides an introductory foundation for students who have no experience in the health care industry, but who are interested in pursuing careers in that fast-growing field. Students will learn about health care systems, medical terminology, communications, basic computer functions and career options such as the Pharmacy Technician program. Students completing the course receive a certificate of completion. Classes will begin in late August or early September.

All applicants must be residents of Philadelphia, 18 or older with a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and have proof of being currently dislocated or unemployed with priority given to qualified U.S. veterans. Eligibility requirements differ for each career. Students who successfully complete the training and pass an exam will receive an industry-recognized certificate (Advanced Manufacturing and Energy only) and job placement assistance. For information, please email trainforjobs@ccp.edu or call 215-496-6148.

PHILADELPHIA, May 22, 2012 — When 17-year-old Jason Mays joined the U.S. Army in February 2001, the recruiters asked him which job he wanted. Mays replied quickly that he wanted to build robots.

“They laughed and said ‘Son, that’s not something the Army does,’” recalls Mays, who was among the first U.S. troops to enter Iraq in 2003. There, he and his platoon repaired electronic and communications equipment, worked with the base chaplain to keep up morale, and guarded prisoners of war. All the while, he continued to think about his dream job: building robots.

Today, Mays is studying Engineering Science at Community College of Philadelphia—his first step toward a career in robotics. Uncle Sam is picking up the tab for tuition. The 28-year-old veteran received a medical discharge from the Army in 2010.

Mays is among the more than 500,000 veterans who have been leaving military posts for college campuses under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and a bevy of other programs administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Approximately 550 veterans were enrolled in classes during the Spring 2012 term, according to Stephen Bachovin, coordinator for Community College of Philadelphia’s Veterans Resource Office (VRO).

In an effort to assist these and other veterans making life transitions, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah will host “The Fattah Veterans Conference” at the Main Campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23. The free event will be held in the Great Hall in the Winnet Student Life Building on 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets. The Fattah Veterans Conference will offer all veterans an opportunity to connect with key public agencies and with the VRO.

Community College of Philadelphia is recognized as a Military-Friendly College by Military Advanced Education, a magazine for retired military. The College has a variety of programs to support veteran success, as well as their spouses and dependents. “The veteran population has increased 20 percent every semester since the VRO opened in September 2009,” Bachovin says.

The College’s Veterans Resource Office is located in the Winnet Student Life Building, Room S1-19. Call 215 496-8462 for more information, email vro@ccp.edu or visit the office at www.ccp.edu/site/current/registration/veterans/veterans_resource_office.php.

Mays, president of Community College of Philadelphia’s Veterans Club, predicts the number of student veterans will continue to rise. “Virtually every veteran I’ve ever met talks about getting the most out of school,” he says. “They are determined.”

PHILADELPHIA, May 15, 2012 — For the second year in a row, a Community College of Philadelphia student has been selected as one of 60 outstanding community college students to receive the coveted Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Larry Liu, of Northeast Philadelphia, will receive the prestigious award that provides undergraduates up to $30,000 a year, for up to three years, to complete their bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university.

The 20-year-old Liu is but one of dozens of academic standouts in the Community College of Philadelphia Class of 2012. Nine of his classmates already have been accepted at Bryn Mawr College, and at least three others are headed to the University of Pennsylvania. Other students in the College’s Honors program will move on to such highly competitive schools as The New School for Social Research, New York, N.Y.; Oberlin College in Ohio; and Bucknell University.

"The Class of 2012 demonstrates the depth of the academic talent within the city of Philadelphia," said College President Stephen M. Curtis, Ph.D. “Our faculty truly cares about student success, and the staff has created innovative programs to keep students moving toward their long-term academic goals.”

There were 2,258 candidates for associate’s degrees and academic certificates at the College’s  Commencement on May 5, making it the largest graduating class ever.

Liu has applied to University of Pennsylvania, where he hopes to study Economics and Sociology. Liu was born and raised in Austria. When his parents decided to come to America, it presented many academic and life challenges. “When my parents told me about their decision to relocate, I was quite confused and bewildered about this dramatic turn in life,” he said. Despite his doubts, Liu, who was then 17, followed his parents to Philadelphia, while his older brother stayed behind.

Liu finished high school in Philadelphia. When it came time to decide on college, he chose Community College of Philadelphia. The choice was initially based on affordability and Liu’s desire to stay close to his parents. Liu was invited to join the College’s Honors program, which takes on about 75 students each semester. “It has provided me with a challenging and rewarding atmosphere, as well as skills that sharpened my intellectual abilities and propelled my future academic career,” said Liu, who will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average. “It also helped me to get settled in my new country and gave me an opportunity to fulfill the dream my mother had.”

The Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship is the largest private scholarship for two-year and community college transfer students in the country. Since the Undergraduate Transfer program was instituted in 2002, more than 400 students have benefited. The College’s 2011 recipient, Larry Thi, is completing his junior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

PHILADELPHIA, May 15, 2012 — Last week, as she prepared for her May 5 graduation from Community College of Philadelphia, Whitney Lopez paused long enough to remember the faculty who embraced her and kept her education on track after her grandmother died. While she grieved, faculty and counselors formed a support group to check in with her daily, listen as she mourned, and help her keep up with class assignments.

Christopher Thomas, the student speaker at the Commencement ceremony, told his peers just how grateful he was for the multitude of donors who had given scholarships to him and others. He recalled just how close he had come to dropping out of college—a second time. The Dr. Lorraine H. Brown Scholarship in Memory of the Floyd Family he received at the end of his second semester revived his self-confidence.

"My first two semesters were tough because I was still carrying a lot of baggage around with me, but somehow I managed to get seven As and one C in those two semesters, earning a 3.75 Grade Point Average (GPA). However, so severe were the personal issues in my life that even a high GPA wasn’t enough to stop me from seriously thinking about dropping out of the College, just as I had dropped out of Temple University 16 years prior,” he said. “Then I had an epiphany. My outlook changed then, and I resolved to complete my associate’s degree, no matter what."

The donors who came together to help Thomas and Lopez, who between them received five Community College of Philadelphia Foundation scholarships, will get a huge return on their investment. Lopez is one of nine students headed for Bryn Mawr College next fall while Christopher is among three graduates accepted at the University of Pennsylvania.

Community College of Philadelphia, like other institutions, is creating new initiatives to support student success, retention and achievement. Some, like Achieving the Dream, are academically focused to improve student learning outcomes by establishing an early alert system to identify failing students, provide comprehensive student orientation and professional development for faculty. The results are promising. Between 2007 and 2010, the average fall-to-fall semester persistence rate for all first-time students increased by 5 percentage points.

Other initiatives address the life challenges faced by students who need "not a hand out, but a hand up," as Richard S. Downs, emeritus director of the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation likes to say.

The Foundation works in concert with the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) to raise the money that provides a hand up through scholarships, an emergency book fund to help financially-strapped students get textbooks, and grants that create learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom that might not otherwise be possible.

"Thinking outside the box when establishing scholarships helps address the day-to-day struggles of our students and makes a direct impact on their success," said OIA Vice President Marsha Ray. "Gifts like these speak to the core of our mission."

The two-year-old Scholarship to the Finish Line is an example of outside-the-box thinking. Finish Line helps deserving students who are no more than 15 credits away from their associate’s degrees, but who have maxed out their financial aid. So far, 50 students have received tuition scholarships to help them complete their degree.

The Foundation and OIA have raised more than $7.5 million from public and private resources for student scholarships and programs since July 2010. More than 700 scholarships totaling nearly $1 million were awarded in fiscal year 2011.

The "College Family" of current and retired faculty and staff are among the Foundation’s most faithful donors. Current employees can make regular payroll contributions or dig even deeper as did the part-time faculty member who recently gave $100,000 to establish a Creative Writing scholarship. Their generosity continues into retirement with donors like Ruth Rovner, a retired English professor. Rovner supports a yearly scholarship recognizing a student for academic achievement and for success in coping with challenges and overcoming barriers to reach goals. However, the depth of need revealed in the students’ applications inspired Rovner to award not just two, but 11 scholarships in the past two years. “I’ve been so impressed with the outstanding accomplishments of students who have overcome so many obstacles,” she said. “The interaction I have with the recipients has been so rewarding.”

The personal interaction with the student recipients is partly what attracts philanthropists Kal and Lucille Rudman, who are long-standing supporters of the College. Rudman said he also

appreciates the working relationship he has developed with College administrators. “It’s a pleasure to respond to people who want to work with you; people who aren’t afraid to connect with you,” Rudman said.

Through their namesake foundation, the couple support tuition assistance programs that have supported more than 376 Philadelphia police officers attending courses in the College’s Justice program. They also support a Nurse Aide program that provides tuition, books, supplies and the State Board exam fees for up to 20 trainees a year. Some 50 trainees have completed the program since 2008, and the Rudmans were there to see each trainee receive their certificate.

The impact of their gifts is apparent as police officers with college credentials move more quickly into leadership positions within the Police Department, and formerly unemployed or underemployed trainees leave the Nurse Aide program for higher wage jobs and a renewed confidence.

For more information about the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, please call 215-751-8042.

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