WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2014—Today, Community College of Philadelphia’s President Donald Generals Ed.D. will join President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.
The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.
Community College of Philadelphia made the following commitments during the Summit:
- Increase the number of its degree and certificate graduates by 25 percent (500 students) by year 2020.
- Increase the number of its degree and certificate graduates by 35 percent (700 students) by year 2025.
- Increase the number of STEM graduates by 20 percent.
“Through a combination of technological improvements, student retention initiatives and new STEM learning opportunities for students, Community College of Philadelphia is well-positioned to reach these goals,” Dr. Generals said. “These commitments are not only important to our College, they are important to Philadelphia’s ongoing workforce training and development initiatives.”
The College has committed to use technology to improve its degree completion rates by strengthening administrative processes and improving services to students. For example, My Degree Path, a new online tool, can help students stay on track by helping them monitor their graduation requirements. Additionally, the College has developed a new Foundational Math Department giving those who teach developmental math greater flexibility to address student challenges and develop new ideas to help students succeed. The Starfish Early Alert System helps identify students who need extra support. Faculty can send personalized and timely alerts to students, and get help or support early on for those who are at-risk.
In regards to the STEM commitment, the College has focused on multiple strategies including student support and retention initiatives, STEM career exploration, experiential lab work and research experience with industry partnerships. In addition to maintaining those existing strategies, the College now plans to give STEM students key academic support and career pathway information at each stage of their academic progress. It will also increase the number of students who participate in research endeavors, both internally and with external partners. A new engineering club also provides opportunities for research and scientific activities as well as hands-on experiments that can increase students’ grasp of the material and engage them on a deeper level.
Today’s participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The President will announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college. Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.
Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.
To learn more and to view the event live on December 4, visit Whitehouse.gov/College-Opportunity and follow #CollegeOpportunity
Community College of Philadelphia enrolls more than 34,000 credit and non-credit students. The College offers day, evening and weekend classes, as well as classes on the Internet. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook .