On Friday, January 17, Community College of Philadelphia professor Pascal Scoles was honored with the 2020 American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Dale P. Parnell Faculty Distinction Recognition. Named for a former AACC President, this award highlights the dedication and achievement of professors who work to make a positive impact within their schools and communities. Professors who are given this award display a strong passion and support for students inside and outside of the classroom, participate in campus committees and programs, and “go above and beyond what is required to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavors.''
With over fifty years of experience in his field, Scoles has become known at Community College of Philadelphia and beyond as a leading voice in the movement toward providing trauma-informed care for students with substance abuse and mental health issues. He worked as coordinator of the Behavioral Health/Human Services program from 1999 until 2012, when he became the director of the Office of Collegiate Recovery Services. Now, Scoles helps remove the obstacles that stand in the way of higher education for students in recovery. Under his guidance, the program has expanded over the years to include “weekly peer-to-peer group meetings, individual coaching/mentoring sessions, support meetings, 12-step meetings, structured activities on and off campus, and access to the College’s many support services, including career counseling and tutoring.” He has been a full-time professor of Behavioral Health/Human Services at the College since 2003 and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a doctorate in Addictions and Health from the University of Pennsylvania.
With a CV that includes the publication of three textbooks and over 45 articles on addiction and recovery, Scoles has spread his passion and knowledge far beyond our campus. He has provided consulting services to treatment facilities, city and state governments, and criminal justice systems, as well as psychotherapy to chemically dependent individuals and their families. This work has earned him a number of awards throughout his career, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Award in 1983, the Impact Corp. Lifetime Achievement Award in Veteran’s Services in 2007, and the City of Philadelphia Faith and Spirituality Award in 2015, among others.
What Scoles is perhaps most known for throughout the College’s campus community is his CCPTV series “Tapestry of Life.” Having hosted and co-produced over 70 episodes since 2011, this program sheds light on the inner workings of addiction and mental health treatment, and holds a microphone to the voices of those who experience these things within Philadelphia.
The AACC Dale P. Parnell Faculty Distinction Recognition award distinguishes teachers who not only exemplify excellence in an academic setting, but who also work outside the classroom to help their students achieve success. While success can mean getting good grades or graduating to some, to others, it can mean getting through the day without slipping on the path to sobriety. Scoles distinguishes himself from other educators not only in the support that he provides to students, but in his constant search for ways to improve and innovate the services which they rely on to change their lives. These innovations can be encapsulated in one of his guiding philosophies; that education can be “a vehicle to and through sobriety.” A native Philadelphian, Scoles’ career embodies his faith in the people of this city, and the College’s mission to provide an education to all of its citizens, no matter where they come from. With this, Scoles gives recovering students the tools to expand the horizon of what they believe to be within the realm of possibilities.