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Community College of Philadelphia Trustees Announce Appointment of Donald Generals Jr. as President

Long-time advocate for community colleges will assume new duties by July 1st

Philadelphia, March 25, 2014 – The Board of Trustees today announced that Dr. Donald Generals Jr., a renowned advocate of community colleges who currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey, has been appointed as the next President of Community College of Philadelphia.

Generals, 57, the 6th President of the College, was appointed by the Board following a seven-month national search that drew interest from nearly 50 candidates across the country. The Board is expected to formally ratify his appointment at its next Board meeting on April 3rd.

The search process, among the most open and transparent in the College's history, selected three finalists in early March following weeks of review and candidate interviews by the Search Committee, which has been at work since late August. Dr. Generals' appointment followed visits by each of the finalists to the College's main campus at 17th and Spring Garden St. in Philadelphia's Fairmount section, where each met for interviews over the last week with faculty, staff, students, business and community leaders, and the full Board of Trustees.

Dr. Generals, a veteran educator, administrator and advocate for community colleges as a principal means for inner-city students to achieve academic and career success, succeeds Dr. Judith Gay, who will return to her post as the College's Vice President for Academic Affairs following her tenure as Interim President since August 2013.

"Donald Generals is a dynamic thinker with a deep and longstanding passion about the work of community colleges," said Matthew Bergheiser, Chair of the College's Board of Trustees. "He impressed the Board as a skilled administrator who understands the barriers to education that confront many of our students, and he has built his distinguished career on developing innovative approaches to overcoming them.

"The College has made great strides over the years, and we believe that Dr. Generals will build on the strong foundation already in place while working with all segments of our community to enhance the ability of the College to serve Philadelphians from all walks and stages of life," said Bergheiser.

"I am honored to accept the Board's appointment to serve as the next President of Community College of Philadelphia," said Dr. Generals. "This historic institution, one of the largest in Pennsylvania and one of the largest of its kind in the nation, serves a vital role in providing education and opportunity.

"The College is a place where the American Dream begins for tens of thousands of Philadelphians every year, and I am very excited by the prospect of helping to expand its service of that mission," said Dr. Generals. "I look forward to working with the College's dedicated administration, faculty and staff, as well as with our partners in both the private and public sectors. I think we can achieve great things together for the students and families we serve, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve."

A native of Paterson, New Jersey, Dr. Generals has served since 2008 as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, New Jersey. In that capacity, he led in the development of new academic programs; the development of the college's Education Master Plan -- including an expanded mission for the college's Trenton campus; he increased the programming and course offerings of the college's on-line instructional programs (MercerOnLine); developed the college's Study Abroad program; implemented an extensive redesign of the college's developmental education and ESL programs; and created a program of mini-grants for faculty to innovate, develop and implement new educational initiatives. He currently leads the state-wide effort to redesign the community college sector's General Education curriculum.

In partnership with Quad Learning, Dr. Generals introduced and implemented the American Honors Program – which will provide honors courses and a nation-wide network of support to highly motivated and exceptional students as a means to win admission to the nation's top four-year colleges and universities upon their graduation from Mercer.

Before that, Dr. Generals was the Provost at the Katharine Gibbs School in New York City from 2003 to 2008 where he developed and supervised all Associate Degree and certificate programs. From 2000 to 2003, he was Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at SUNY Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, where among his duties he initiated and led the development and adoption of the college's Core Educational Values; led the development of two new degree programs; and served as Acting President during the President's absences. Between 1984 and 2000, Dr. Generals worked at Passaic County Community College where he served as the Dean of Student and Cultural Affairs between 1995 and 2000.

Dr. Generals has long been active in numerous professional and service organizations, including: the New Jersey Academic Affairs Affinity Group, which he chairs; the National Alliance of Community and Technical Colleges, where he has served as a Board member since 2010; the College Board, Middle States Regional Council; and as a former Commissioner of the Paterson Board of Education.

A veteran teacher and administrator, Dr. Generals is an author and expert on the roots of the progressive education movement in America. He has authored numerous articles for professional trade journals on these and other educational topics, and in 2013, he authored a book entitled, Booker T. Washington: The Architect of Progressive Education. In addition, he has been a featured speaker in support of community colleges for nearly 20 years, including a presentation to the College Board Middle States Forum entitled, "Rising to the Challenge: Supporting Student Success and College Completion at Democracy's Colleges"; and before that, a presentation entitled, "New Jersey's Developmental Education Initiative: Focusing on Student Success."

Dr. Generals has four children. He and his wife, Joann Gonzalez-Generals, and their five- year-old son currently reside in Lawrenceville, NJ. Ms. Gonzalez-Generals serves as the Executive Director for Student Success at Caldwell College in Caldwell, NJ.

Bergheiser also expressed the Board's appreciation to Dr. Gay for her service as Interim President for the last eight months.

"The entire College family owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Gay for her outstanding service to the institution," he said. "She has done a terrific job, and the Board appreciates her commitment to the students, faculty and staff of the College. We are delighted that Dr. Gay will resume her post as Vice President for Academic Affairs, where she will be a tremendous asset as a leading member of the College's leadership team."

Law & Society Week presentation at the Northeast Regional Center that explored the work of the Philadelphia Police Department's Crime Scene Investigation unit.

Memorable scripts require rewrites, feedback from others, more rewrites, and perseverance, according to local filmmaker Ben Hickernell, who spoke to students and guests on February 18 on the Main Campus of Community College of Philadelphia.

The presentation by Hickernell, 35, kicked off the College’s 2014 Poets & Writers Festival, a series of poetry workshops and discussions that offer Philadelphians a glimpse of life as a professional writer.
Hickernell, who runs Philadelphia-based Reconstruction Pictures, showed movie clips he wrote and directed, explained the filmmaking process and urged audience members to hold themselves to a high standard. “In general, the first things you do are crap. You’ve got to get crap out of the way. First drafts are usually not your best,” Hickernell said.

Kelly McQuain, an associate professor of English at the College, and Jeff Markovitz, an instructor and coordinator Creative Writing certificate program, helped to organize the festivities. “It connects students to books, writers and ideas they wouldn't otherwise encounter,” McQuain said. Markovitz added, “It’s connecting our students to the real view from the professional world.”
The festival is a partnership of the Division of Liberal Studies, the Office of Student Life, the English Department, the Center for International Understanding, the Office of Diversity and Equity and the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Poets & Writers Festival events are free and open to the public. Large groups wishing to attend an event are asked to notify the coordinators at jmarkovitz@ccp.edu and mcquain@ccp.edu.

Upcoming Poets & Writers Festival events include:

March 13
Poetry Symposium: Workshops and Readings will take place between 9:40 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Winnet Student Life Building, on the west side of 17th Street, between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets. Sessions are offered at the following times:

  • 9:40 - 11:10 a.m.—Workshop with Valerie Fox and Lynn Levin, authors of “Poems for the Writing: Writing the Cameo Cinquain and the Unanswerable Letter Poem.”
  • 11:20 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.—Workshop with David Groff, author of “Clay: The Turn of the Poem: Taking Your Poetry Past Its Comfort Zone.”
  • 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.—Lunch and a Reading by the Poets. Valerie Fox, Lynn Levin, David Groff, Suzanne Parker.
  • 2:40- 4:10 p.m.—Workshop with Suzanne Parker, author of “Viral: Pushing the Poetic Metaphor.”

March 19
Kevin Powers, “The Yellow Birds”
9 - 10:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Winnet Student Life Building
One Book, One Philadelphia Author Series presents veteran and novelist Kevin Powers, who will read from his National Book Award-nominated novel, “The Yellow Birds”, and will speak on his personal journey as a soldier and writer, as well as his perspectives of the physical and psychological paths navigated by today’s veterans. A book signing will follow.

March 19
Panel Discussion: Returning Home: The Challenges Faced by Today’s Veterans
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Winnet Student Life Building
How do the issues raised in “The Yellow Birds”resonate with student veterans at the College? From experiencing PTSD to attaining an education and finding a job, what kind of obstacles do veterans face as they transition to life at home? Join a panel that will discuss these issues as well as answer audience questions. Panelists include Connie Watson, Psychology Department; Stephen Bachovin, Coordinator of Veterans Programming; Jason Mays, Iraq War veteran and Student Government President; Dr. Howard J. Cohen, Psychologist; and moderator Kelly McQuain, English Department. The event is part of the Diversity Dialogue Series and co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Equity, which will provide lunch for the first 15 people at the event.

April 7
Faculty Showcase of Writers
6 - 9 p.m. in the Sandra E. Klein Cube, Pavilion Building, on the west side of 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets
Featuring: Alan Elyshevitz, Jeff Markovitz, Nick Moudry, Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, Elizabeth Catanese, Diane McManus, Jonathan Pappas, Kate Brady. Thierry Saintine, and Thomas Rush.

Alumni from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses-Greater Philadelphia program gathered March 13 with City officials and a top Goldman Sachs executive for a roundtable discussion and networking event.

More than 70 business owners met at the Kensington design studio of Printfresh, LLC, owned by program alumna Amy Voloshin. They discussed the challenges and opportunities facing business owners in the area and how the program has helped them.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses – Greater Philadelphiais an initiative to help small businesses create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital and business support services.

The program began in 2013 and two cohorts have completed the curriculum which covers accounting, human resources, negotiation and marketing, among other topics. More program information and an application are available online.

During the event, John F. W. Rogers, Executive Vice President of Goldman Sachs addressed the program alumni at the event. Mayor Michael A. Nutter also spoke and Interim President Judith Gay, Ph.D., led a roundtable discussion with 13 program alumni. Other VIPs in attendance: Nicole Pullen Ross, Goldman Sachs Mid-Atlantic Region Head; Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development; and Mark Pinsky, President and CEO of the Opportunity Finance Network and a member of the 10,000 Small Businesses Advisory Council.

"It was a wonderful celebration with almost every one of our alums having a chance to interact with each other, Goldman Sachs officials and key partners of the program. The energy was palpable," said Margaret Berger Bradley, executive director of 10,000 Small Businesses– Greater Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer published a business feature story on March 12 hailing the benefits of the program, headlined "Back to School: Goldman Sachs-CCP Program Benefits Small Businesses". The story is available online.

Middle States Reception and Dinner RSVP

Please use the form to RSVP for the Middle States reception and dinner.

Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Location: Pavilion Building, Klein Cube
Time: Reception 6:15 PM, Dinner 7:00 PM 

(Please RSVP by March 21, 2014)

Philadelphia Inquirer - how 10,000 Small Businesses-Greater Philadelphia has helped area entrepreneurs... 

March
Wed 26

With as little as $1, Community College of Philadelphia students can make a difference in the lives of peers through the new I Pledge campaign.

Students are able to make a donation honoring an individual—an instructor, administrator, counselor, tutor or peer—who has helped them along their educational path at Community College of Philadelphia. These donations will endow the Colonial Spirit Scholarship, created recently to help deserving students.

"This will be a legacy for our students," said Patti Conroy, associate director, Scholarship Programs. "We are asking for students to give whatever they can, no matter the amount. Hopefully, they’re going to keep giving to the scholarship every year."

Pledges thus far have ranged from $1 to $20.

Student donors this semester will be invited to enjoy carnival-style games at the "I Pledge Spirit Carnival" along with their honoree. The event will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 8 in the Great Hall. Those who fulfill their pledges before or during the carnival will gain access to the VIP area.

Each semester, donors and their honorees will be invited to attend a pledge recognition event. During an event last December, as many as 75 faculty and staff were honored through I Pledge donations, Conroy said.

The goal is to raise $2,014 in student donations this year, Conroy said. Faculty and staff are also welcome to contribute; however, the Colonial Spirit Scholarship is funded primarily by students for the benefit of their peers.

Jamere Lawrence, 27, a Business major from West Philadelphia who is a candidate for graduation in May, said the new scholarship gives students a great way to acknowledge memorable teachers and staff members. Lawrence has made several pledges honoring staff members.

"These people have served as mentors, demonstrating leadership skills and life skills, helping me with problems either in the classroom or social settings, and showing me how to get things done," Lawrence said. "When I found out about I Pledge, I thought it was great because through leadership training, we learn that a good leader is someone who gives back."

Students from the Regional Centers can participate by making a make a pledge online, or by sending a check or money order made out to Community College of Philadelphia with I Pledge in the memo to: Office of Institutional Advancement, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA19130. For more information, contact scholarships@ccp.edu or call 215-496-6182.

April Open House RSVP

Please join us for an open house tour of the College.  Please complete the form below to RSVP and save your spot at our next open house. 

Please tell us how many people will be joining you for your tour.
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