December 8, 2020
Volume 2 | Issue 49
Your Weekly Community College Update
Community colleges play an important role in educating and training current and future generations of workers,
in addition to providing affordable and responsive higher education to thousands of Pennsylvanians every year.
PA Community College Alumnus is First African-American Student Accepted into Prestigious Program
A Community College of Philadelphia alumnus, Nafees Norris, recently became the first African-American student accepted into the master’s program in Biopharmaceutical Process Engineering at Thomas Jefferson University. He is the first in his family to go to college.
Virtual Talk Therapy Aims to Improve Student Mental Health
In a recent update, Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, President of Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), shared, " therapy is one treatment method that has the ability to make a tremendous positive impact on student mental health support... After offering free access to online therapy, [MCCC] saw more than 325 students sign up since the program launch."
Meet TK: Finding the Future at 40
TK Ly, a nursing student, chose HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, after researching affordable postsecondary schools that met the pre-requisites for graduate school. TK decided to focus on nursing to “take advantage of the top-rated area program and faculty to jump-start my medical career.” TK plans to graduate from HACC in 2021, and ultimately earn a doctorate in nursing anesthesia.
Continuing Coverage
PA Community Colleges Respond to COVID-19 as Situation Evolves
Pennsylvania community colleges continue to evaluate their response to COVID-19. As guidance changes, the most up-to-date information from each community college is available through the Commission's website.
Milestones & Congratulations
Happy (belated) Birthday to Sen. Pat Browne, Sen. Camera Bartolotta, Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, and Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill. May you enjoy a happy, healthy year!

Congratulations to Natalie Kitzko on her recent retirement! Ms. Kitzko, the second-longest-serving employee in Butler County Community College history, officially ended a 52-year, four-month and 27-day career on Friday, November 30. Thank you for your many years of dedicated service!