MCCC Hosts 10th Annual Straight Talk Program: ‘Building Resilience In Today’s Diverse Families’

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—The Montgomery County Teen Parent Task Force, in collaboration with Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), will host its 10th annual Straight Talk program on Wednesday, Oct. 22 from 6:30-9 p.m. The topic is “Building Resilience in Today’s Diverse Families.”

The program will be held in the Science Center Theater at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, with video-conferencing to South Hall 221 at MCCC’s West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The program is free and is open to the public; guests are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food for MCCC’s “Stock Up For Success” food pantry, which provides free breakfast and lunch items to students in need. Pre-registration is requested to Fran Wasserman at 215-688-0538 or franwasserman@verizon.net.

The Straight Talk program will include a keynote address by Abby Grasso, social services liaison with Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital, followed by a panel discussion and question and answer session. Panelists include Ron Husted, coordinator of the Fatherhood Program with Child, Home & Community, Inc., and Wendell Griffith, coordinator of mentoring services at MCCC. Literature and resources will also be available before and after the presentation.

Learn About Programs & More At MCCC Fall Open Houses

Blue Bell/Pottstown/Lansdale, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College will hold three open houses this fall to provide prospective students and the community with information about the College’s programs, campuses and activities. The open houses are free of charge and are open to the public. For more information and to pre-register, visit mc3.edu/open house or call 215-641-6551.

The College’s West Campus, located at 101 College Drive in Pottstown, will host an open house on Thursday, Oct. 16, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. in the South Hall Community Room.

The College’s Central Campus, located at 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, will host an open house on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m.-noon in Parkhouse Hall.

Both open houses will provide prospective students and their families with information about MCCC’s credit and non-credit programs. Admissions representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the admissions process, transfer opportunities, e-learning, financial aid and intercollegiate athletics, among other topics, and members of the College’s faculty will share information on the 100+ associate degree and certificate programs that are part of a comprehensive curriculum.

The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College will also host an open house on Saturday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m.-noon at its new facility located at 1400 Forty Foot Road in Lansdale, Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the kitchens and classrooms while learning about MCCC’s Culinary Arts and Pastry and Baking Arts associate degree programs, as well as its Culinary Enthusiast classes. Student Success Center advisors will be on hand to answer questions about the admissions process and financial aid, among other topics.

To learn more about all the Montgomery County Community College has to offer, visit http://www.mc3.edu online.

Montgomery County Community College Announces Summer 2014 Dean’s List

Blue Bell/Pottstown/Lansdale, Pa.—Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez is pleased to announce the summer 2014 Dean’s List at Montgomery County Community College. The Dean’s List recognizes full-time students who have earned at least 12 cumulative credits at the College and who have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher.

Dean’s List honorees are listed by area of residence.

Abington: Chad Davenport, David Robbins

Ambler: Brian Bailey

Audubon: Neil Ahern, Collin Bomgardner

Bala Cynwyd: Anthony Klaumenzer

Birdsboro: Tanesha Killgore

Blue Bell: Sarah Frank

Bryn Mawr: Eliel Ytterberg

Collegeville: Lindsay Bly, Salvatore Natale

Conshohocken: Kye Ho Kim, Ali Mohammed

Doylestown: Kenneth Stephon

Dresher: Peter Vernacchio

Eagleville: Daniel Buttorff

East Greenville: Rebecca Levengood

Fleetwood: Vivian Wentzel

Fort Washington: Tony Vernacchio

Glenside: Simba Allen-Martin, Crystal Nieman

Green Lane: James Cox

Harleysville: Zachary Boccella

Hatfield: Kasey Dietrich

Huntingdon Valley: Hryhory Yakymiv

Jenkintown: Sunghee Lee

King of Prussia: Joshua Differ

Lansdale: Thomas Catagnus, Tram Hoang, Matthew Prestifilippo, Brian Sirocka, Nicole Troy

Norristown: Wesley Hamilton

North Wales: Yoon Kim, Christopher Mills, Daniel O’Connell

Oreland: Matthew Will

Pennsburg: Kyle Fairchild

Philadelphia: Elizabeth Bergland, Katelyn Kallas

Phoenixville: Darlene Cornelison, Kaley Wohlgemuth

Plymouth Meeting: Brian Leahy, Scott Lukens

Pottstown: Brian Brown, Nick Centofanti, Kathleen Galligan, Leif Hums, Luke Moser, Meghan Oberholtzer, Victoria Smurthwaite, Sean White

Roslyn: Angela Tate

Royersford: Kelley Burris, Heather Holmes

Schwenksville: Christopher Wood

Souderton: Frank VanDerBogart-Maiorana

Spring City: Jonathan Carville, Daniel Samanen

Trappe: Brian O’Donnell

Willow Grove: Robert Wiley, Molly Wyman

Community Invited To Annual Montgomery County Regional College Fair

Plymouth Meeting, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will partner with Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC) to present the annual Montgomery County Regional College Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 8 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. As a result of renovations to MCCC’s gymnasiums, the fair will be held at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, 201 East Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting. The event is free and is open to the public.

For information, contact admissions@mc3.edu or 215-641-6551. An updated list of participating colleges and universities will be posted to MCCC’s Facebook page at facebook.com/MontgomeryCountyCC prior to the event.

Representatives from more than 160 accredited colleges and universities will be on hand to speak with students and their parents about admissions criteria and procedures. High school students in grades 10, 11 and 12 are encouraged to attend along with their parents and friends. The fair will also be beneficial for transfer and adult students, as well as for college students seeking a place to take courses while home for the summer.

Financial aid officers from local colleges and guidance counselors from Montgomery County high schools will be prepared to answer questions regarding paying for college and the college search process. In addition, representatives from lending institutions and financial advisors will offer information about their services.

Admissions and financial aid workshops with both be offered at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. During the “Introduction to Admissions” workshop, participants will learn about application procedures, writing an entrance essay, early action and early decision options, scheduling a campus visit and other relevant topics. During the “Financial Aid” workshop, participates will get an overview of the financial aid process.

Norristown Code Enforcement Manager Resigns After Investigation

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — Code Enforcement Manager Joseph Januzelli was forced to resign Monday after Municipal Administrator Crandall Jones concluded an investigation into a Norristown resident’s complaint that a district justice allegedly rented an apartment to her without securing the required, annual rental license from the code enforcement department.

Eileen Schwartz complained at the Sept. 2 council meeting that her roof collapsed into her apartment earlier this year. Schwartz said she had rented the apartment in the 400 block of West Fornance Street from Norristown District Justice Francis Lawrence for more than nine years and that Lawrence had never obtained a rental license for the apartment.

Council members ordered Jones to investigate whether Lawrence had obtained a rental license.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140908/norristown-code-enforcement-manager-resigns-after-investigation

Tourism Touted As Means To Rejuvenate Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — “Tourism” might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you say “Pottstown,” but as far as Bill Fitzgerald is concerned, that won’t be true for long.

Fitzgerald is the president of the newly reconstituted Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board and he was in town last week to talk to Pottstown Borough Council about how his organization can help promote what Pottstown has to offer.

Tourism is on the upswing in Montgomery County, Fitzgerald said, and Pottstown is well-positioned to benefit from that trend, Fitzgerald said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140908/tourism-touted-as-means-to-rejuvenate-pottstown

Residents Facing Evictions At Jenkintown High Rise

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, P...

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some 200 Jenkintown residents, many of them elderly, are losing their apartments due to a dispute between local officials and the property owner.

“We’re the pawns in this,” said Marshall Jones, 93. “[The owner] is saying, ‘If you won’t do it our way, we’ll just close it down.’ “

Jones has lived in the Colonade high-rise apartments on Old York Road, in the Jenkintown section of Abington Township, for 16 years. He and other residents have had a string of complaints about leaks, electrical outages, broken elevators, cold water, broken heaters, and other issues, many of which ended up in the courts.

In 2012, the building was cited for more than 200 code violations, and the township’s solicitor was “looking into criminal charges,” according to an Inquirer report.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140904_Residents_facing_evictions_at_Jenkintown_high_rise.html#FfYzbjqVDIYStHix.99

Conshohocken Council Approves $10.5 Million Bid For Borough Hall, Offices

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA — Council approved the apparently low bid of $10.5 million to construct the Conshohocken Borough Hall and police station and retail spaces in the former Verizon building Wednesday night, contingent on a favorable review of the contractor’s qualifications by the borough engineer.

Borough Engineer Paul Hughes said he will review TN Ward Co. of Lower Merion, and the contract can be signed after Sept. 15.

Hughes opened the $10,497,600 electronic bid from TN Ward Friday, along with nine alternate bid options to give council leeway to trim the ultimate cost of the project. Allied Construction Services of Philadelphia bid $10,583,439, and Murphy Quigley Co. Inc. of Lower Merion bid $12,976,000 for the general contract.

Hughes recommended authorizing an intent to award the base bid and five alternate bid items with a total cost of $10,709,600 on Wednesday night.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/government-and-politics/20140903/conshohocken-council-approves-105-million-bid-for-borough-hall-offices

MCCC Offers Workshop To Help Adults Transition Into College‏

Sept. 3, 2014, Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will continue to offer its popular Career Transition Workshop for adults who may be thinking about returning to college.

The next workshop will be held on Thursday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m.-noon. in the Advanced Technology Center, room 101, at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The workshop is open to all adults and is free of charge, although pre-registration is requested. For more information or to RSVP, contact Denise Collins at 215-619-7313 or dcollins@mc3.edu.

During the workshop, prospective students will get an overview of the resources available to help them transition into college. Topics include using MCCC’s website and online registration tools, financial aid, assessment of credits for prior learning, stackable credentials, career pathways and job search tools.

After the initial session, MCCC advisors will follow up with participants one-on-one to help them identify programs and pathways that are right for them.

“Our goal is help adult learners be comfortable and successful at the College. We want this to be a place where they can get back on track with their education and transition into new careers,” said Denise Collins, who manages the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant at MCCC.

The grant is helping MCCC to develop a robust Prior Learning Assessment model and stackable credentials for adult students as part of the JobTrakPA framework—a joint initiative of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges to train and place underemployed and unemployed residents of the Commonwealth in high demand jobs.

The workshop also connects to MCCC’s participation in the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, which looks to train 10,000 baby boomers for high-demand jobs through 2015.

MCCC, Montgomery County Host Presentation On Addiction

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— The Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol and Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Student Support and Referral Team will host “The Other Faces of Addiction,” a program designed to help individuals cope with a loved one’s addiction, on Wednesday, Oct. 1 from 6:30-8 p.m.

The free program will take place at MCCC’s Central Campus, Science Center room 214, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and will be simulcast to the West Campus, South Hall room 221, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

During the presentation, participants will learn strategies to care for one’s own life while living with a loved one’s addiction. Family members will share their strategies and triumphs, and Mana Mobile Massage will provide information on self-care, yoga and meditation.

To learn more, contact Eileen Lafferty at 610-278-3538 or elaffert@montcopa.org.

Greater Norristown Police Athletic League International Festival Slated For Sept. 4

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — The Greater Norristown Police Athletic League’s (GNPAL) 14th Annual International Festival, “A Wine and Food Extravaganza” will be held at the Plymouth Country Club Thursday, Sept. 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event, benefiting GNPAL programs, will feature live entertainment, a silent auction/raffle and an extensive menu featuring some of the area’s top culinary talents.

“The international food and wine festival is all about supporting our organization and the work we do in the community,” said GNPAL Executive Director Brett Wells.

“It’s our only big fundraiser of the year. We raise about 20 percent of our annual budget in just this one event,” Wells explained.

More than 100 local business have signed on as sponsors and 25 restaurants and vendors will be on hand to serve an estimated 1,000 to 1,300 guests.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140901/greater-norristown-police-athletic-league-international-festival-slated-for-sept-4

EITC Funding Helps Qualifying Families With Preschool Costs At MCCC

Blue Bell, Pa.—The Children’s Center at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is offering subsidized preschool education to low-income families for the 2014-15 academic year through Educational Investment Tax Credit (EITC) funding from North Penn United Way.

Funding is available for children ages three and four with a household income that is under 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and who live in the North Penn or Souderton school districts. Those who qualify will have 70 percent of their weekly child care tuition covered. Funding is available on a first-come, first served basis and is open to current MCCC students and members of the community.

To learn more, contact MCCC Children’s Center Director Debbie Ravacon at 215-641-6618 or dravacon@mc3.edu.

The Children’s Center, which is located at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, is a fully licensed child care center that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). It is recognized by NAEYC as an exemplary early childhood education program in the nation for its work to engage diverse families, has a top Keystone Stars rating of four, and is a consistent recipient of the Start4 Merit Award.

Research identifies cost and accessibility to affordable child care as reasons why lower-income students do not complete college. The Children’s Center supports MCCC’s strategic goal to expand access to education and increase student success by offering accessible child care at discounted rates and flexible schedules to maximize affordability.

For more information about MCCC’s Children’s Center, visit mc3.edu/student-resources/child-care.

Registration for fall semester classes at Montgomery County Community College is going on now. Classes are available in 14, 10 and seven-week sessions that start on Aug. 27, Sept. 24 and Oct. 15. Visit mc3.edu/Fall2014 to learn more.

MCCC, Kutztown University Officials Sign First ‘Reverse Transfer’ Agreement Between Community College And State System Institutions In Commonwealth

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout and Kutztown University Acting President Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto sign the first reverse transfer agreement between a community college and State System institution in Pennsylvania. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout and Kutztown University Acting President Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto sign the first reverse transfer agreement between a community college and State System institution in Pennsylvania. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) and Kutztown University (KU) signed a “reverse transfer” agreement on Aug. 20—the first agreement of its kind between a community college and a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (State System) university.

Under the new agreement, students who complete at least 15 credits at MCCC now have the opportunity to transfer credits they earn at Kutztown back to Montgomery in order to earn an associate’s degree in a parallel field en route to earning a bachelor’s degree.

According to MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout, the agreement builds on Montgomery’s strategic efforts to increase student access, progression and completion rates, and on work being done nationally to support community college degree completion.

“The associate’s degree has value and is an important credential for community college students,” said Dr. Stout. “By earning an associate’s degree, students demonstrate their ability to complete an area of study, which can help them in the job market or with career advancement while pursing their baccalaureate degree. While we encourage our students to earn their degree before transferring, it’s important for us to understand that our students take multiple pathways to complete their education.”

Close to 70 percent of MCCC students enter the College each year with the intention to transfer to a four-year institution, and Kutztown is a popular choice. In fact, last year, 182 of the College’s students transferred an average 44 credits to KU.

The institutions’ leaders envision that the new agreement will serve as a model partnership for Pennsylvania community colleges and State System institutions. MCCC and KU are not strangers to such innovation; in 2007, Montgomery became the first community college with which Kutztown signed a dual-admissions and core-to-core transfer agreement.

“Kutztown University is excited to once again partner with Montgomery County Community College in developing another program to benefit students of our region,” said Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, KU’s acting president.  “Serving students is at the core of all that we do, and this is truly a student-centric program.”

MCCC Holds Open Houses For High-Demand JobTrakPA Career Programs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will hold open houses in Blue Bell and Pottstown for individuals interested in learning more about its high-demand JobTrakPA career programs. Fall programs include Wastewater Technician; Health Information Technology; Medical Billing and Coding; and Warehouse and Logistics.

The open houses will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. at MCCC’s Central Campus, Parkhouse Hall room 112, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and on Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the College’s West Campus, South Hall room 221, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

JobTrakPA programs are funded in whole or in part by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor—Employment and Training Administration. The programs are designed to educate and train displaced workers in high-demand occupations. Deferred payment plans are available.

According to the U.S Department of Labor, 57 percent of workers in trade-related fields hold only a high school diploma or its equivalent, and close to 60 percent of Pennsylvania’s trade workers are between 40 and 60 years of age. Employers cite a critical shortage of qualified workers to fill jobs in the growing industries of advanced manufacturing, energy and health care technology.

For more information about JobTrakPA programs at Montgomery County Community College, visit http://www.mc3.edu/workforcedevelopment/jobtrak, call the JobTrakPA hotline at 215-461-1468 or email jobtrakpa@mc3.edu.

New Certificate Launched To Fill Pharmacy Technician Demand

Blue Bell, Pa.—Pharmacy technician jobs are expected to grow by 20 percent through 2022—nine percent higher than the average growth rate for all occupations nationally according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. The demand holds true in Pennsylvania as well; the Commonwealth is ranked fourth among states in the number of pharmacy technicians currently employed.

To help fill the demand in this growing field, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is introducing a Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Completion program this fall. Classes are held Saturdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. starting Oct. 4 and ending Dec. 20 at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Program tuition is $1,638. To learn more, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics, select areas of study, health sciences, and career training programs or call 215-641-6374.

MCCC’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Completion program is comprised of 55 hours of classroom instruction along with Health 21, a 21-hour online component that provides an overview of the health care industry. Students are required to complete homework assignments, as well as mid-term and final exams. Upon successful completion, graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health care professionals. Fifty-three percent of technicians are employed in pharmacies and drug stores, with others employed in hospitals, general merchandise and grocery stores, and ambulatory health care services. Positions may be full or part time and often include evenings and weekends.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reports that candidates with formal training or prior experience have the best opportunity for employment as pharmacy technicians. In 2012, the median salary for pharmacy technicians was $29,320 nationally.

GIS Certificate Of Completion: Cross-Industry Appeal In Competitive Job Market

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, has applications far beyond maps and geography.

Law enforcement, health care, urban planning, economics, environmental science, history, business, real estate and information technology—these are just some of the growing number of industries that incorporate GIS into their daily work.

In fact, according to Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Assistant Professor of Geography Samuel Wallace, virtually every field of study today uses some form of GIS, making knowledge of its use critical for students and employees across all disciplines.

“GIS requires people who have basic understanding of spatial relationships, along with the system software,” said Wallace.

MCCC offers a nine-credit Certificate of Completion program in GIS that provides students with valuable skills that can lead to immediate employment in a GIS-related field. The program is ideal for current students, as well as for working individuals who want to add a GIS credential to their resume.

The College’s GIS program prepares students to operate industry leader ESRI’s ArcGIS 10.2 software. The Certificate of Completion is comprised of three courses: Introduction to Geographic Information, Map Design in GIS and GIS Applications. Courses are offered evenings to accommodate working adults, and the entire certificate can be completed in under a year.

The intro course, GEO 210, is being offered Thursday evenings this fall at MCCC’s West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The next course, GEO 220, is tentatively scheduled to run at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, in spring 2015.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, GIS-related occupations are expected to grow by 20 percent overall through 2022—nine percent higher than the average occupation growth rate.

To learn more about GIS at MCCC, email Assistant Professor Samuel Wallace at swallace@mc3.edu.

Fall semester classes at Montgomery County Community College begin on Aug. 27. Visit http://www.mc3.edu/fall2014 for registration information.

Montgomery County Special Olympics Honors Partnership With MCCC

Special Olympics copy (5)Blue Bell, Pa.—Special Olympics Pennsylvania, Montgomery County (SOPMC) athletes presented Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) with a banner on Aug. 7 to celebrate more than 20 years of partnership.

The College hosts SOPMC soccer and cross-country teams at its Central Campus in Blue Bell, and many of its students, staff and alumni are SOPMC volunteers. In 2008, when MCCC reintroduced its intercollegiate athletics program, the Mustangs immediately got involved to support Special Olympics, which provides year-round training and competition to individuals with intellectual disabilities.

“Community engagement and community service are vital components of our athletics program. We want our student athletes to realize the importance of serving others,” said Bruce Bach, MCCC Director of Athletics.

Last year, the College’s athletes completed over 1,800 hours of community service, 181 of which were spent volunteering with SOPMC. The Mustangs assist with the organization’s annual volleyball and basketball tournaments—events that Bach says his athletes “look forward to every season.”

During the banner presentation on Aug. 7, Special Olympics athlete Samantha Weitz, Lansdale, thanked the College for its support.

“The continuous support you give me and my fellow athletes empowers us on and off the playing field. Thanks to you, Special Olympics can offer opportunities like this to thousands of athletes…just like me who have gifts, talents and skills to share with our community,” said Weitz, who is a Special Olympics Global Messenger, meaning she is trained to be a spokesperson for the organization.

Special Olympics athletes, along with Scott Otterbein, Special Olympics Montgomery County Manager and Track Coach, and Jill Schoeniger, Soccer Coach, then presented the banner to MCCC representatives Dr. Kathrine Swanson, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and Bruce Bach, Director of Athletics.

According to Otterbein, since taking the volunteer position as County Manager in January, his management team has focused on increasing visibility and raising awareness of Special Olympics, which offers 18 sports in 34 locations throughout Montgomery County.

“We’ve been working to recognize and praise our partner sites such as Montgomery County Community College, which provides us with access to soccer fields and adjoining fields for our long distance running program. The banner is both a symbolic and tangible sign of our appreciation,” he said.

To learn more about Special Olympics Pennsylvania, Montgomery County, visit http://www.specialolympicsmontco.org.

Montgomery County Community College’s Mustangs compete in Region 19 of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). To learn more, visit http://www.mustangsathletics.com.

MCCC President Returns To White House For College Opportunity Working Session

Karen Stout 2013Washington D.C.Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) President Dr. Karen A. Stout returns to the White House Aug. 12 to continue the national dialog on college readiness that began on Jan. 16, 2014 during a summit convened by U.S. President Barack Obama. That summit saw approximately 140 leaders from higher education, philanthropic organizations, businesses and local and state governments launch a plan of action for increasing college opportunity for low-income and disadvantaged students.

Summit participants are reconvening Aug. 12 to provide updates on their institutional commitments made in January and to discuss challenges and next steps. MCCC’s commitments include three specific initiatives aimed improving access for low-income and disadvantaged students. These include redesigning student entry and advising processes, developing a multi-platform model for student engagement, and expanding its minority student mentoring initiative.

First, to improve student entry and advising processes, MCCC launched a pilot Student Success Network in March.  The network includes college-wide mid-term reporting, which garnered a 96 percent faculty participation rate and positive student and faculty feedback. The network also employs Starfish Retention and Connect software, through which students are able to see and connect with members of their student success team—advisors, faculty and staff from other support programs, like veterans’ resources and disability services. Faculty can refer students to tutoring and can address concerns and reinforce positive academic behaviors throughout the semester. These tools will be brought to scale this fall.

In September, MCCC will also launch student educational planning, which requires advisors to meet with all first-time college students prior to spring registration to map out their educational plans for their entire degree programs. In addition, analytical tools, including student and advisor dashboards, will be available by end of 2014.

MCCC also made significant progress on its second commitment—developing a multi-platform model for student engagement—by creating a “Montco Money Matters” financial literacy prototype. The module introduces students to the concept of paying for college. The 30-minute, self-guided program introduces students to concepts of financial aid, loans and grants; highlights the long-term implications of loans and future debt; and makes them aware of other resources, like scholarships, to help pay for college.

A total of 425 students actively engaged in the pilot program during a seven-week period. Of those, 95 percent of students who provided feedback indicated they will recommend the online resources to others, and 80 percent said the course will influence future academic decisions. MCCC’s next step is to build out additional modules under the umbrella of financial literacy and to make the program accessible to school districts within Montgomery County and to the general population at large.

Finally, MCCC delivered on its third commitment to transition its Minority Male Mentoring Program (MMMP) into a Minority Student Mentoring Initiative (MSMI). Twenty-five African-American and Latina female students joined MSMI in spring 2014, comprising almost 27 percent of all participants. The program connects students with caring mentors for guidance and support while providing opportunities for civic engagement, academic advisement, personal development and leadership development. The participants’ cumulative GPA is currently 2.45, up from 2.15 three years ago.

All three programs are part of MCCC’s overarching Student Success Initiative, which works to expand access to higher education and increase student success through process improvements and support strategies that reduce the barriers for students to complete their education. In 2011, MCCC was designed as an Achieving the Dream Leader College, an elite group of 73 community colleges across the country that have demonstrated committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement, and systematic institutional improvement. In February, MCCC earned the prestigious Leah Meyer Austin Award from Achieving the Dream for its continued improvement of student access and success.

During her 13-year tenure as MCCC President, Dr. Stout’s unwavering commitment to student access and success has impacted thousands of students, their families, and the community. In addition to laying the groundwork for MCCC’s selection as an Achieving the Dream Leader College, Dr. Stout helped to design and launch the College’s first comprehensive Honors Program and Minority Student Mentoring Program; expand support services for student veterans; re-introduce MCCC’s intercollegiate athletics program; collaborate with the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board to deliver GED instruction to more than 800 community residents; and re-energize the College’s facilities to enhance teaching and learning, among many other accomplishments.

The impact of Dr. Stout’s leadership extends nationally, evidenced by her selection to participate in the White House’s College Opportunity initiatives. A passionate advocate for community colleges, Dr. Stout serves as Chair of the President’s Advisory Board to the Community College Research Center at Columbia University Teacher’s College and is a Commissioner with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. She previously served as a member of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Board of Directors and as co-chair of the American Association of Community College’s (AACC) 21st-Century Initiative Steering Committee.

Dr. Stout holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in English from University of Delaware, as well as a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Baltimore.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Announces Schuylkill River Trail Patrols

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COURTHOUSE — The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department will be randomly sending up to three motorcycle-riding deputies to different parts of the Schuylkill River Trail to provide an extra level of security to trail users.

“We just want the people to know that those trails are a jewel to Montgomery County. They are used by thousands and thousands of people every year. Fortunately there are very little problems up there, but I’m all about preventing problems rather than trying to figure them out afterwards,” Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono said on Friday.

Bono said when he was the Norristown chief of police he did the same thing to protect trail users in the Norristown section of the trail.

“Now that I have a countywide position, our cycles are able to ride the entire trail,” he said.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140808/montgomery-county-sheriffs-department-announces-schuylkill-river-trail-patrols

MCCC Business Students Rank Eighth In National Competition

Nashville, Tenn.— Building on their success at Phi Beta Lambda’s (PBL) Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in the spring, Montgomery County Community College students Lindsey Montague, Wyncote, and Jacob Robertston, Malvern, gave a repeat performance on the national stage this summer.

Montague and Robertson, both members of MCCC’s PBL chapter, were awarded eighth place in the Business Decision Making competition at PBL’s National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tenn. in June. They qualified for the national competition by taking first place at the state level.

“This is a huge accomplishment for Lindsey and Jacob, who competed against students from four-year colleges and universities from across the country, many of whom recently graduated with bachelor’s degrees,” said Eileen Kearney, assistant professor of marketing and PBL advisor at MCCC. “Their success speaks to the quality of education at Montgomery County Community College and the value of organizations like Phi Beta Lambda in preparing students for their careers after college.”

MCCC student Ariel Mookherji, Plymouth Meeting, was also elected to the office of National Eastern Regional Vice President during the conference. Mookherji, who enrolled at MCCC to complete prerequisites toward an MBA in Marketing, previously served as the College’s PBL chapter president and as PA State vice president. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Design from Moore College of Art and Design, and she ultimately hopes to work at a marketing firm or with a non-profit organization.

Each year, thousands of students from across the country attend PBL’s National Leadership Conference. Along with the competitions, students attend workshops and business events during the conference.

Phi Beta Lambda is a student-led, collegiate-level organization of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). For more information, visit fbla-pbl.org.