January 12, 2018
Commission Update
Sharing how PA's community colleges are responsive to the needs of the local communities they serve.

Pennsylvania CC News

LCCC Meeting Workforce Development Demands in the Lehigh Valley
The  Commercial Driver's License and manufacturing programs at Lehigh Carbon Community College were highlighted during a visit by the Governor on January 9th. Lehigh Valley students and local employers shared the importance of the CDL safety training which utilizes both classroom and hands-on instruction. Last year, LCCC trained 225 people in the CDL program, preparing drivers to pass the CDL Class A exam for operating heavy trucks or the Class B exam to drive school buses, delivery trucks or dump trucks.
Employers such as Mack Trucks, West Side Hammer Electric, National Freight, and others participated in a roundtable discussion with students and instructors during the Governor's visitLCCC President, Ann Beiber noted the college partners with employers to address the workforce needs in the region's transportation and manufacturing industries. In the Lehigh Valley, the commercial driving industry continues to grow with an increase of 56% in employment from 2011 to 2016.

Lehigh Carbon Community College was founded in 1966 and served 9,740 credit and 4,600 noncredit students in 2015-16 from Lehigh, Carbon, Schuylkill and surrounding counties, offering programs of study in business, education, communication, computer science, technology, humanities, health care, science, engineering and math.
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association CEO, the PA Association of School Administrators Executive Director and the  PA Commission for Community Colleges President/CEO penned a letter to the Governor encouraging investment in dual enrollment in the upcoming FY 18-19 budget. Students who enroll in dual credit with one of the 14 Pennsylvania community colleges while still in high school see a number of benefits including a reduction in the average time to completion, savings in tuition and fees, and an increased graduation rate in both high school and higher education.
In order for the Commonwealth to meet the educational attainment goal of 60% of Pennsylvanians earning a degree or credential by 2025, more students will need access to these types of college pathways. Dual enrollment courses provide rigorous academic coursework while providing motivation and confidence for additional postsecondary completion after high school.
Success stories abound from graduates such as Ryan Hoffman, who accumulate 63 college credits and received his associate's degree from
Reading Area Community College before graduating from high school.  Carly Cernic completed a full year of college at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College before she enrolled at University of Pittsburgh, allowing her to complete her Bachelor's in only three years. A number of students graduate high school with college courses and sometimes their associate's degree, thus motivating them to continue on their successful paths without the burden of student debt.
PACCC will continue to advocate for dedicated funding for dual enrollment in the upcoming budget. Increased access and opportunities for high school students completing college courses benefits the students, their families and ultimately the Commonwealth in achieving economic competitiveness.

During his senior year as a homeschool high school student, William Davies enrolled in the Luzerne County Community College "Early College" program on campus. Like other students, he had to become eligible by completing the SAT or college placement tests while maintaining a sufficient GPA in his high school studies. He has an interest in computer science spurred by a night class in HTML at Luzerne. The professor encouraged Davies to continue his pursuits in more advanced programming by enrolling in Luzerne's Early College. His experience was invaluable in serving as a springboard for his future higher education goals and he credits the quality of the instruction provided by the opportunities at Luzerne.  

An information and recruiting session will be held at the Bucks County Community College Upper Bucks Campus, which will offer metalwork training for the first time at this   location. The program was initially started in direct response to local manufacturers who were challenged by the inability to find skilled employees. The training teaches skills for good-paying manufacturing positions after students earn a certification of completion, the OSHA10 and Forklift Safety Training Certification, and pass the Measurement, Materials, and Safety Certification. The job placement rate for graduates in the advanced manufacturing program is 90%. 
The Philadelphia Community honored and remembered  Delaware County Community College Fire Science graduate, Lt. Matt LeTourneau who lost his life in the line of duty on January 6th. A portrait of the fallen firefighter   will commemorate his family's sacrifice and provide tribute to his dedication and service. 

  PA Community College Student Success  

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