April 13, 2018
Commission Update

Sharing how PA's community colleges are responsive to the needs of the local communities they serve.

News from Pennsylvania's community colleges

Students, administrators, trustees and policymakers filled the State Capitol main rotunda on Tuesday, April 10 to express their support for Pennsylvania's 14 community colleges and to call for increased funding to the colleges' operating appropriation.

The annual community college advocacy day included passionate speeches by Bucks County Community College President and Commission Chair Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, HACC-Central Pennsylvania's Community College Trustee Jonathan Bowser, state Rep. Jim Marshall, state Rep. and Democratic Education Committee Chairman James Roebuck Jr., state Rep. and Community College of Philadelphia alumnus Joanna McClinton and state Rep. Christopher Rabb.

Students along with college administrators and trustees spent the morning in meetings with legislators and legislative staff to promote the outstanding work being done at Pennsylvania community colleges. The colleges requested a $10.6 million increase in operating funds for the FY 2018-19 state budget to allow them to continue to offer quality affordable education, training and workforce development that meet industry needs.

High-achieving Pennsylvania community college students were honored Monday, April 9 at an awards banquet at the Harrisburg Hilton.

It's the 24 th year the Commission for Community Colleges has joined Phi Theta Kappa to honor transfer students who have been nominated by their colleges to the All-PA Academic Transfer Team.

Reading Area Community College student Amie Croteau was recognized as this year's New Century Scholar, and delivered an inspiring speech to the attendees. Scholarships sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation were also awarded to several students.

The majority of the awardees will graduate and continue their education at a baccalaureate degree-granting college or university.

In addition to being the All-PA Academic Transfer Team New Century Scholar, Reading Area Community College student Amie Croteau was recently awarded a $40,000 transfer scholarship through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Amie was one of 47 students to receive the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, among about 2,500 students who applied for it. She will receive up to $40,000 annually for a maximum of three years to complete her bachelor's degree.

In addition to the monetary award, the scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising from foundation staff to guide them through the processes of transitioning to a four-year school and preparing for their careers. The foundation will additionally provide opportunities for internships, study abroad and graduate school funding.

Amie, a mother of two, graduates in May with a degree in business administration and web application development and will be continuing on to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania where she will major in Technical Leadership. Her career goal is to be a software development manager and she plans to start a web development business to focus on all aspects of e-commerce including websites, social media, graphics, content campaigns and multimedia.

Legislators laud community colleges and applaud advocacy efforts
Several Pennsylvania lawmakers took to Twitter following community college advocacy day at the Capitol to show their support for community colleges.

State Rep. and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Joe Markosek tweeted: " The hardworking (Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges) visited the Capitol today to urge PA's continued support of its schools. I am a supporter, & visited with some passionate students who shared with me how community colleges are making a difference in their lives."

Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Jay Costa posted a video and tweeted: " April is #CommunityCollegeMonth. I started my post-high school education at Community College of Allegheny County. I went on to earn a four-year degree, graduate from police academy and later went on to law school, but I wouldn't be where I am without my start in community college."

While state Rep. Joanna McClinton tweeted: " Community Colleges in Pennsylvania are essential for providing a pathway from poverty to employment. I rallied for more funding and opportunities for these schools that deliver affordable education for our youth and training for our communities."
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