January 26, 2018
Commission Update
Sharing how PA's community colleges are responsive to the needs of the local communities they serve.

Pennsylvania CC News

Dual Credit begins the career pathway for many students throughout the Commonwealth and the nation. Benefits of dual enrollment include increased opportunities for access to rigorous college-level courses, exposure to the college-going culture, and reduced costs of tuition and fees. As the semester for high school students began earlier this month, many are also earning college course credits and possibly an associate degree upon graduation this Spring. This week's newsletter features the success of Pennsylvania students in dual enrollment programs at Pennsylvania Community Colleges. Access archived newsletters on the Commission's website: PA Community Colleges.org
A grant from the Grable Foundation will continue to introduce Western Pennsylvania high school students to  Community College of Beaver County 's innovative dual credit enrollment opportunities. The AIM for the Future Friday Career days bring students to campus for a half day to build awareness of CCBC's High School Academies in aviation, allied health, STEM fields, law, public safety, corrections and security administration.  The grant supports  AIM for the Future Fridays-Career  A wareness,  I nspire Learning,  M ake your Dream Happen  campus visits intended to inspire students to enroll in CCBC High School Academies and begin their educational and career pathway for in-demand careers. CCBC Academy dual enrollment students build critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they program robots, use high-fidelity simulation manikins, and simulate crime scenes. 

CCBC's Aviation Academy builds career pathways for students to become pilots, air traffic controllers, and unmanned aerial vehicle operators through a combination of classroom learning and real-world experiences, such as a full-motion flight simulator. Launched in 2015, this innovative dual enrollment model now enrolls students from more than 40 school districts. Students can successfully complete up to one year of their associate degree program (28 credits) and many academy graduates can complete a bachelor degree in three years or less. 
Three siblings are familiar with the many options to earn college credit while still in high school. Nathanial, who enrolled in dual credit and earned his associate degree from  Lehigh Carbon Community College , is now at Stanford. His younger brother Josiah attends LCCC in the morning and completes high school courses at the Career and Technical institute in the afternoon. Their younger sister, Ruth, is utilizing the online option to take Spanish and a psychology course. This family is like many who are choosing options to help students accelerate their learning while reducing the costs of tuition for families.
Other students, who may not have chosen to attend college after high school, are earning credits at LCCC and choosing postsecondary education pathways. Before enrolling in dual credit, some do not believe they are college material, but after completing the rigorous curriculum, are motivated personally and academically.
CCP Provides Multiple Dual Credit Pathways to increase the College-going Rate in Philly Youth
Dual enrollment programs offer many benefits for students. The CCRC at Columbia University conducted studies in Florida, New York City and California and found that dual enrollment participation is positively related to a range of college outcomes, including college enrollment and persistence, greater credit accumulation and higher college GPA.
  • The Community College of Philadelphia recently created the city's first and only Middle College High School with a cohort of ninth graders who are halfway through their first year of the Parkway Center City Middle College, where Mayor Kenney recently visited. 
  • The summer ACE, or Advance College Experience program, boasts the highest number of enrollees and percentage of students earning credits since its inception.
Youngest Graduate of MCCC Earns College Credit while Maturing Academically and Personally
When Himani Devabhaktuni graduated from  Montgomery County Community College , she was the youngest graduate from the college. The 14-year old earned her associate degree in Liberal Studies as a dual credit student while still in middle school. Himani was a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society and is planning to pursue a pre-med or biology degree.
The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC) has announced scholarships available for Pennsylvania students who demonstrate community service and leadership and demonstrate financial need. Junior and Senior Harrisburg City High School students enrolled in college-level courses through  HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College may qualify for the Leader Scholarship and Grove Family Fund. TFEC is one of 37 partners with the American Education Services/PHEAA's Partnership for Access to Higher Education (PATH) Program.  Each year, educational scholarships positively impact the community by providing financial support for qualifying students to pursue careers.
RJ Krishnaswamy, is not your typical college student: he is a 10-year-old on track to graduate summa cum laude with an Associate of Science in Computer Information Technology from the  Community College of Allegheny County.   He is enrolled in CCAC's Dual Enrollment program, which offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credit, experience college-level coursework and get a head start on earning a college credential while still in high school.
Currently in his fourth semester at CCAC, RJ attends college trigonometry and web development classes. RJ is also beginning to learn physics and calculus. When he graduates from high school and earns his associate degree at CCAC, RJ would like to attend Carnegie Mellon University to become a computer scientist.
FirstEnergy's Power Systems Institute (PSI) line worker training program at  Reading Area Community College combines classroom learning with hands-on training in the field with actual line crews. Paul Simser earned his associate degree from the two-year program and began his career as a line worker at Met-Ed. The demand for trade workers, including line workers and substation electricians, continues to grow and the electric utility field is sustainable and rewarding. FirstEnergy employees have opportunities for growth within the company. As a line worker, Simser gets to travel and sees the delight when the lights in a community are turned on.
Stephanie Turin was presented the 2017-18 Full-Time Faculty Teaching Excellence Award by the  Westmoreland County Community College  students, faculty and administrators. Ms. Turin, assistant professor of Human Services/Social Work, was nominated by a student and chosen by her peers because of her excellence in teaching and her numerous contributions both in an out of the classroom. She spent 25 years in the field of social work and provides real-world knowledge to her students. Turin started a college human service/social work club for students, participates in community projects and serves on area advisory boards.

  PA Community College Student Success  


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