Blog

Focus on: Northampton Community College

Each month, the Commission highlights one of Pennsylvania’s 14 public community colleges.

This month, we share information about Northampton Community College.

Pennsylvania’s Community Colleges Reach Out to Students of Shuttered Schools

Pennsylvania’s Community Colleges Reach Out to Students of Shuttered Schools

HARRISBURG— Many of Pennsylvania’s 14 public community colleges are reaching out to students whose for-profit colleges recently closed their doors.  Since late August, three for-profit colleges with 13 campuses in the state– Cambria-Rowe Business College, DuBois Business College, and ITT Technical Institute, have closed.

Pennsylvania community colleges with locations near the shuttered campuses are taking steps to reach out to those students who are interested in continuing or completing their education.  The colleges are working with state and federal regulators to formulate plans to determine the best options for displaced students.

“Pennsylvania’s community colleges truly reflect the needs of their communities,” said Luzerne County Community College President Tom Leary, who also serves as Board Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, “and assisting these displaced students helps to further our mission of increasing access to quality, affordable higher education in Pennsylvania.”

Last year, Pennsylvania’s community colleges served nearly 314,000 students from every county in Pennsylvania. The average annual tuition and fees at the community colleges for 2016-17 for students in sponsored districts is $4,132.71 – a fraction of the cost of attending a for-profit college.

A brief outline of Pennsylvania community college outreach for students affected by for-profit school closures is below.  The list is accurate as of September 8, 2016, but colleges may add additional sessions as they see fit.  Contact information for the colleges may be found at the hyperlinks, or in the body of the list where a link is not listed.

In addition, the United States Department of Education has an information page for displaced ITT students, and is offering webinars through September 22.

Community College Outreach for Students Affected by For-Profit Closures:

Community College of Allegheny County – The college is providing orientation/information sessions at CCAC Allegheny Campus on the North Side on Thursday, September 15 and Tuesday, September 20. The CCAC West Hills Center in Oakdale will host information sessions on Tuesday, September 13, Wednesday, September 21, and Tuesday, October 4.

Community College of Beaver County – The college will hold an open house for ITT students on Wednesday September 8 from 4-6 pm in the Community Education Center Board Room. The college is working with individual students on a case-by-case basis and will engage students by utilizing social media and traditional media. The College Admissions office may be reached at 724-480-3504 or admissions@ccbc.edu.

Bucks County Community College – Hosted an information night for ITT students on Wednesday, September 7, with approximately 20 students in attendance.  The College will information sessions on Thursday September 15 at the Lower Bucks Campus from 6-8 pm and on Wednesday September 21 at the Newtown Campus from 3-5 pm. Interested students may contact Admissions Director Marlene Barlow at 215-968-8137 or Lower Bucks Campus Executive Director Jim Sell at 267-685-4801.

Butler County Community College – The college is working closely with Dubois Business College Students at the Dubois & Oil City Campuses. They are also hosting ITT sessions at Lawrence Crossing on Monday, September 19 at 6:00 p.m., and at LindenPointe on Tuesday, September 20 15 6:00 p.m.

Delaware County Community College – The college has posted contact information on their website for displaced ITT students.

HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College – HACC will work with students on an individual basis, and reach out to students using a variety of print and digital tactics including billboards, web videos, media outreach, and social media messages. Students can contact Allen Norton, Admissions Counselor at ajnorton@hacc.edu or 717-780-2409.

Lehigh Carbon Community College – The college will work with students on an individual basis. The Admissions office may be reached at admissions@lccc.edu or 610-799-1575.

Luzerne County Community College – The college will hold information sessions at Scranton and Nanticoke campuses on Monday, September 12 and Tuesday, September 13.

Montgomery County Community College– The college will host information sessions on Wednesday, Sept. 14at MCCC’s West Campus, and  Thursday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Central Campus.

Northampton Community College – Interested students should contact James McCarthy, Director of Admissions, 610-861-5506, jrmccarthy@northampton.edu

Penn Highlands Community College – The college worked with Cambria Rowe students during their transition, and 40 former CRBC students are currently enrolled at Penn Highlands. The College is ready to assist ITT and DBC students.

Community College of Philadelphia – The college will host a “Fast-Track to Enrollment for ITT Students Day” on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Students may visit www.ccp.edu/itt, fill out the form, and an Enrollment Services representative will be in touch.

Reading Area Community College – Students can contact Kay Litman, Dean of Enrollment Management, at 610-372-4721 x5073 or Klitman@racc.edu.

Westmoreland County Community College – The college will accept Cambria Rowe students, and is assisting ITT Tech students. “Westmoreland 101” information sessions will be held at all locations September 14 from 6-7 p.m. There will be a transfer day for ITT Tech students at the college’s Bushy Run Center on Tuesday October 11 from 2-6 p.m. The college will accept ITT Tech credits and encourages students to meet one on one with college staff to discuss transfer options. Students can call 724-925-4077 to schedule an appointment with an admissions counselor. The college will host a credit evaluation day on September 20 from 2-6 pm at the New Kensington Center. The college is also creating a special 8-week session of classes that will align with ITT Tech programs starting October 17. Classes will be held at the New Kensington and Bushy Run Centers, as well as online.

 

Focus on the Community College of Beaver County

Each month, the Commission highlights one of Pennsylvania’s 14 public community colleges.

This month, we share information about the Community College of Beaver County.

Focus on Montgomery County Community College

Each month, the Commission highlights one of Pennsylvania’s 14 public community colleges.

This month, we share information about Montgomery County Community College.

PA Community College Supporters Gather at Capitol for Annual Lobby Day

Pennsylvania community college students, trustees, faculty and staff joined together at the Capitol today to advocate for an increased funding level in the 2016-17 fiscal year budget as part of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges’ annual Lobby Day.

The colleges support the budget proposed by the Wolf Administration, which suggests providing an additional $11.3 million in operations funding and $48.869 million in total capital funding for the community colleges.

“While the scope of the colleges’ efforts is wide-ranging, higher education and workforce training are at the core of every community college initiative,” said Mr. Thomas P. Leary, President of Luzerne County Community College and Board Chair of the Commission. “If the Commonwealth is to sustain its economic recovery and attract new industries, it will need to invest in the institutions and programs that provide highly skilled and trained employees to support those industries.”

The mission of Pennsylvania’s community colleges is to provide high-quality, affordable and accessible higher education and workforce training in the Commonwealth.

“Pennsylvania’s community colleges are flexible and responsive to the needs of their communities,” said Sen. Bob Mensch, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Community College Caucus. “Whether the colleges are partnering with schools in the K-12 community, other institutions of higher education, or employers, community colleges address the educational and workforce needs of all Pennsylvanians.”

In the 2014-15 academic year, Pennsylvania’s community colleges enrolled nearly 314,000 students from all 67 counties in the state, making community colleges the largest providers of higher education in Pennsylvania.  In that same year, they provided a foundation for more than 34,500 students who sought transfer to four-year institutions, and provided $11.3 million in customized training which allowed Pennsylvanians to either acquire new skills or upgrade existing skills.

“Pennsylvania’s community colleges are vital to developing and growing the Commonwealth’s workforce,” said Representative Stan Saylor, Chair of the Pennsylvania House Education Committee. “By working together with employers in their region, community colleges help to ensure that Pennsylvania’s workforce has the skills and education that businesses need.”

Last week, the Commission joined with the State System of Pennsylvania to announce a statewide reverse transfer agreement, which provides an opportunity for students who have transferred from a community college in Pennsylvania to a State System university to receive an associate’s degree once they earn a total of at least 60 credits.

“Pennsylvania’s community colleges provide an accessible, high-quality, affordable education and workforce training to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians each year,” said Representative James R. Roebuck, who serves as minority chair of the House Education Committee and is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the Community College of Philadelphia. “I will continue to work with my colleagues in the General Assembly to ensure the colleges receive adequate funding so that they may continue on their vitally important mission.”

In addition to the rally, approximately 275 Pennsylvania community college students spent the day visiting with their local legislators to advocate on behalf of the community colleges’ FY 16-17 budget request. The colleges also set up displays highlighting the varied, cutting-edge subjects that community college students in Pennsylvania are studying, including nursing, aquaponics, and STEM programs.

###

The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a voluntary membership association for Pennsylvania’s community colleges.  Its members include the college presidents, members of the colleges’ boards of trustees, and key college administrators.  The Commission represents the interests of and advocates for the collective needs of the community colleges to federal and state policymakers.  For more information, please visit www.pacommunitycolleges.org.

 

Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges

April 4-5, 2016 in Harrisburg, PA.

Details to follow.

PA community colleges, State System universities sign statewide ‘reverse transfer’ agreement

PA community colleges, State System universities sign statewide ‘reverse transfer’ agreement

Initiative allows former community college students to obtain associate’s degree with credits they’ve already earned

Harrisburg – Students who began their studies at a community college in Pennsylvania before transferring to a university within Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education might already have earned enough credits to receive their first degree.  And now there’s an easy way for them to get it, through the newly launched “reverse transfer” initiative.

The 14 community colleges in the state and 14 State System universities today signed a statewide reverse transfer agreement that will allow students who have earned at least 60 total credits to apply for an associate’s degree from the community college where they started.

Receiving the degree could immediately enhance the student’s earning potential, even as he or she continues working toward a bachelor’s degree or other certification or credential at a State System university.

“The State System universities and the community colleges are natural partners,” said State System Chancellor Frank T. Brogan. “This agreement is another example of how we can work together on behalf of students all across the Commonwealth. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

“Collaborating with the State System on this agreement is the next step in the commitment of Pennsylvania’s community colleges to increase student completion rates to benefit both students individually and the Commonwealth as a whole,” said Luzerne County Community College President Thomas P. Leary, who also serves as chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.

A student who earns an associate’s degree is more likely to complete the work necessary to receive a bachelor’s degree. “If their studies toward a bachelor’s degree are interrupted for any reason, with this program, they will still have their associate’s degree, which will benefit them as they prepare to enter the workforce or will help enable them to move up the career ladder,” said Elizabeth Bolden, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.

Many students who initially enroll at a community college do so with the intent of eventually earning a bachelor’s degree, staying long enough to earn an associate’s degree before transferring to a four-year college or university. Some leave before earning a degree, either to transfer or to go directly into the workforce.

The Reverse Transfer Program gives those who transferred without a credential a pathway to their first college degree.

“Several State System universities already have reverse transfer agreements in place with their neighboring community college. This new agreement expands the program statewide, making it available to many more students across Pennsylvania,” said Millersville University of Pennsylvania President John Anderson.

Students who began their postsecondary education at any community college in Pennsylvania and earned a minimum of 45 credits before transferring to any State System university can participate in the new program. Eligible credits may include those earned through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Credit by Exam and the military.

A student must have enrolled at a State System university within five years of leaving the community college and have earned at least 15 additional credits at a State System university to be considered for the program. Their State System credits will be transferred back to the community college and applied to the requirements for the associate’s degree.

The State System universities will identify eligible students once they complete the 60 total credits and invite them to participate in the reverse transfer program. If interested, the eligible students will fill out a release form and their State System university transcript will be sent to the community college for review and evaluation.

If approved, the community college will award the degree. Students will not be charged either a graduation or transcript fee by either institution involved.

The first degrees could be awarded through the program as early as this summer. Many students likely already are eligible. Others could be once the current semester ends in May.

“The reverse transfer agreement is particularly helpful for students called to military service,” said Jessica Shingara, a business management major at Millersville University and former student at Harrisburg Area Community College who spent five years in the U.S. Navy, where she was stationed aboard the USS John Paul Jones. “Having long breaks from school can add stress to an already stressful situation, and having this program promotes an easy transition from serving to studying.”

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of undergraduate and graduate education in the Commonwealth, with about 107,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more who are enrolled in certificate and other career-development programs. Collectively, the 14 universities that comprise the State System offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas. Nearly 520,000 State System university alumni live in Pennsylvania.

The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. The universities also operate branch campuses in Oil City (Clarion), Freeport and Punxsutawney (IUP), and Clearfield (Lock Haven), and offer classes and programs at several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and in Center City in Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a voluntary membership association for Pennsylvania’s community colleges, which collectively are the largest providers of undergraduate education in the state, serving nearly 314,000 students in 2014-15. 

 Pennsylvania’s community colleges are Bucks County Community College, Butler County Community College, Community College of Allegheny County, Community College of Beaver County, Community College of Philadelphia, Delaware County Community College, HACC – Central Pennsylvania’s Community College,  Lehigh Carbon Community College, Luzerne County Community College, Montgomery County Community College, Northampton Community College, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, Reading Area Community College and Westmoreland County Community College. The colleges operate 26 campuses and 84 instructional sites and centers, serving students from every county in the Commonwealth.

 

 

 

PA Commission for Community Colleges testifies before House Appropriations Committee

On March 3, 2016, the PA Commission for Community Colleges testified before the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee.

Our written testimony is available here.