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Bucknell Community College Scholars Program Brings Students Closer to Their Dreams

When Rubiliz Murchison entered Community College of Philadelphia in 2010, she was a mother of a new born, and she worked full-time. Even though she juggled challenging coursework, and the responsibilities of a job and parenthood, she graduated in May 2017 with an associate degree.

This fall, she enrolled in Bucknell University, heading toward her goal to become a doctor.

Her career path began through the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program (BCCSP), which facilitates the transition of community college students from Bucknell’s five partner institutions, which, along with our institution, includes Harrisburg Area Community College, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Montgomery County Community College and Garrett College (Md.). When the scholars program was implemented, it was funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Bucknell now fully funds the program.

Murchinson was one of six students from the College to attend the six-week program in Summer 2016. To qualify, students must demonstrate leadership skills, meet income requirements, have a 3.5 grade-point average, have completed at least 12 college level credits and plan to complete an associate’s degree before transfer.

A total of 30 students from the partnering community colleges participated in the summer program.  “When I went over to Bucknell, I was expecting to get an education, but I left with 30 new friends and more knowledge than I ever thought. My experience there motivated me to go to medical school. The professors on campus do so much research and I want to be involved in that. Before my experience at Bucknell, doing research and becoming a doctor was faint from my mind. Now it is concrete and not a question,” said Murchinson. “It was really a life changing experience for me.”

The 26-year-old Kensington native said she fell in love with Bucknell’s bucolic campus, the professors and the array of student social activities and applied to the university for admission in Fall 2017. Murchison and the other BCCSP students admitted to Bucknell were awarded a full tuition scholarship valued at more than $50,000 a year to complete two years towards a bachelor’s degree.

Since the inception of BCCSP  11 years ago, 61 of the College’s students have completed the Bucknell summer program.