Don’t expect business as usual at Community College of Philadelphia. The city is growing and changing, and the College stands ready to meet the needs of Philadelphia and the students it serves.
Since his arrival two years ago, College President Donald Guy Generals has worked tirelessly to foster a quality learning experience that leads to degree and credential completion, workforce readiness, civic engagement and most importantly, student achievement.
“We know from the research amassed by Columbia University’s Community College Research Center, that for students to persist and to achieve academic success, they need clear direction and guidance leading toward a career goal,” Dr. Generals said. “They need to be assisted in identifying that goal and they need to have structures that provide the necessary guidance to ensure that they are in pursuit of their goal. This is a student-centered approach that requires institutional commitment and organization.”
This year, as the College re-positioned itself as the go-to institution for students aspiring for greatness, it welcomed two new deans and an associate vice president who share in that mission. Dr. Pam Carter, Chae Sweet and Dr. Jennifer Roberts all play vital roles in enhancing quality teaching, engaged pedagogy and organized and proactive support services – all game-changing aspects of the learning experience that help ensure student success.
As Dean of Business and Technology, Dean Carter provides leadership by promoting instructional innovation, enhancing curricular offerings and strengthening program services to meet the diverse needs of students.
Prior to coming to the College, Dean Carter served as assistant dean at the School of Business and Technology Management at Northcentral University. She earned her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Florida State University; a MBA from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Individualized Studies from George Mason University.
“We want to engage in continuous improvement efforts to strengthen our academic programs, making sure they best align with Philadelphia workforce needs and transfer institution requirements,” she said.
Sweet, dean of Liberal Studies, is responsible for overseeing the College’s largest division. The nine departments of Liberal Studies comprise most of the general education courses in the Liberal Arts program.
Dean Sweet has been instrumental in developing programs for the Guided Pathways model, a ground-breaking initiative focusing on giving students a highly structured learning experience that keeps them on a timely track to achieving their goals.
Beginning in Fall of 2016, her division will launch “First Year Experience 101,” a mandatory first-year course for all Liberal Arts majors that introduces students to ideas and strategies required for college success. At the end of the course, students will be able to map out an academic, financial and transfer/career plan for themselves.
“I intend to make sure the commitment and passion felt by the faculty is translated to students in the form of quality learning experiences and successful completion of academic goals,” Dean Sweet said. “I want students to feel as if they are in a wonderland of opportunity when they are in our programs. I do not want them to feel lost or confused.”
Before coming to Community College of Philadelphia, Dean Sweet served as associate dean of Developmental Education at Passaic County Community College. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Journalism from Rutgers University; an M.F.A. in Fiction from The New School and is currently completing doctoral research in Higher Education Administration at Grambling State University. She is the author of Novel Strategies: A Guide to Effective College Reading.
As the College implements the Guided Pathways model at scale, Dr. Roberts stands on the front lines of ensuring that programs of study are focused, effective and lead to completion.
Dr. Roberts, the College’s new associate vice president for Academic and Student Success, has made a career of examining and assessing student learning outcomes. At Community College of Philadelphia, she will work with faculty and staff to promote more effective and clear pathways for students.
“Part of my mission is helping students achieve their goal,” she said, adding that she will be reviewing with others multiple student success metrics to determine ways for continued improvement. She will also work with programs regarding academic pathways and various curriculum topics.
Most recently, Dr. Roberts served as associate vice president for assessment at Northern Virginia Community College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in German from the University of Rhode Island and her master’s and Ph.D. in Germanic Studies from the University of Texas.