January 5, 2018
Commission Update
Sharing how PA's community colleges are responsive to the needs of the local communities they serve.

Pennsylvania CC News

PA Community Colleges Offer Apprenticeship Readiness Programs
Four Pennsylvania community college created an apprenticeship readiness program to train students for masonry, plumbing, roofing, and other building and construction trades. Next month, Butler County Community College will offer a free month-long program to provide nationally recognized curriculum, including classroom instruction combined with hands-on training. Through a partnership with the state Department of Labor and Industry, Community College of Beaver County, Westmoreland County, Community College of Beaver County, and BC3 offer the tuition-free apprenticeship orientation. The readiness program introduces students to tools, materials, and safety measures, thus preparing them to enter the full apprenticeship program. Western Pennsylvania employers are seeking skilled trade workers to fill construction jobs, sparked by the building of Shell's Chemical ethane cracker plant which will require nearly 6,000 temporary workers over the next five years.

Ninth grade students are half way through the first year of the Parkway Center City Middle College, where they have the opportunity to earn an associate's degree from the Community College of Philadelphia while earning a high school diploma. Last fall, the Mayor of Philadelphia visited the model program which gives an educational advantage to these first-generation college bound students. Currently, 25% of the students in the Spring Garden high school are enrolled in the middle college with a goal of 100% by 2021.
New classrooms, technology upgrades, clinical and mechanical laboratories are part of the multi-phase renovations at Bucks County Community College's Founders Hall. The completion of the first phase includes two engineering and physics labs, a 3-D printer, new computer lab and a project room which will greet students and faculty when they return for the spring semester this month. The college is responding to regional workforce needs in STEM and nursing fields which require specialized training.

This spring, the Raven's Claw Golf Club will host the LPGA Invitational. The event is a qualifying tournament which will also showcase health, wellness, and giving back to the local community. Funds raised from sponsorships and sales will benefit the Foundation for Pottstown Education, which partners with Montgomery County Community College to provided dual enrollment opportunities for Pottstown School District students. In Fall 2016, approximately 2,127 high school students were enrolled in dual credit courses with MC3.
Community college and university students have a lot on their minds: getting to class, submitting assignments on time, passing exams, and for many, they wonder whether or not they will have anything to eat. An ACCT Report released last year highlights the national trends of basic needs insecurity in Higher Education. Pennsylvania students enrolled in postsecondary education face similar challenges of paying for books, tuition, transportation, and housing and often don't qualify for public assistance. According to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank statistics, 10% of those seeking their assistance are students.  Many PA Community Colleges have food pantries and pop-up options to help make hunger one less concern for students in their paths to success including:  

The following PA Community Colleges are members of the College and University Food Bank Alliance:  the Community College of Allegheny County, Montgomery County Community College and Community College of Philadelphia. 

  PA Community College Student Success  

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