PennSuburban Chamber Adds ‘Greater Montgomery County’ To Name

Location of Whitpain Township in Montgomery County

Location of Whitpain Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whitpain Township, PA – A new name, a new website, a social media campaign, and new ways for local businesses to meet and greet.

Those are just some of the perks now being offered by the former PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce, now known as of Wednesday as the PennSuburban Chamber of Greater Montgomery County.

“We’re really excited to keep our name, keep the logo, but add that geographic reference, so if we talk to folks who don’t know who we are, we can at least tell them where we are,” said CEO Pam Kelly.

Read more: http://www.thereporteronline.com/business/20141029/pennsuburban-chamber-adds-greater-montgomery-county-to-name

Tourism District Proposed For Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA – Officials are hoping that as the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, a collective effort of the borough’s revitalization efforts will result in greater sums of grant money and tourist dollars.

Steve Bamford, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. outlined a plan to borough council Tuesday that would see the many attractions clustered near Pottstown’s western gateway joining together in pursuit of funding and marketing.

The joint undertaking as part of a “tourism and recreation district” includes: Pottsgrove Manor, the Carousel at Pottstown, theColebrookdale Railroad, Manatawny Green miniature golf, Memorial Park with the splash park and Trilogy Park BMX track, Montgomery County Community College’s art gallery, the Schuylkill River Trail,Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill Heritage Area’s River of Revolutions interpretive center.

“There are some in place, some underway and some nearly ready,” Bamford told The Mercury Friday, referring to the state of the various sites.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20141014/tourism-district-proposed-for-pottstown

The Hill School, Borough, And Pottstown School District Plan Second Pottstown CARES Clean-Up Event

POTTSTOWN, PA –About 700 volunteers from the Borough of Pottstown, The Hill School, the
Pottstown School District,and other organizations will again combine forces to demonstrate their
commitment to our hometown during the second annual CARES clean-up event to be held on Friday,
October 24, from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Rain date will be Monday, October 27.

Click here to view (and share) a short documentary created by Hill School student Jake Trombley
(Douglassville, Pa.) about last year’s CARES project and its impact on Pottstown.
(http://www.thehill.org/CARESvideo)

The clean-up will occur in a targeted area of Pottstown, from High Street north to Beech Street,
and Manatawny Street east to Edgewood Street.

All 515 Hill School students as well as Hill faculty and staff; at least 50 Pottstown High School students
and numerous faculty members; and many Borough workers and officials will be dispersed to weed,
pick up trash, and complete other “spruce up” tasks in public spaces in the core downtown area. In
addition, about a dozen volunteers from the Montgomery County Community College as well as
additional individuals from other community businesses and organizations will join the students and
other workers on their clean-up teams.

E-waste collector ReduxTech will be on hand to accept any old items that had electricity running
through them for recycling. The collection truck will be located in The Hill School Center For The
Arts parking lot off Beech Street from 9 a.m. to noon on October 24.

In addition, the Pottstown School District is running a blood drive in the High School gymnasium
from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Individuals interested in making a donation at the Pottstown High School
on October 24 may send an email to Pottstown faculty member Mark Agnew at
magnew@pottstownsd.org. Drop-in blood donations are also welcomed.

The CARES organizers ask that Pottstown area residents support our community by also
stopping by the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities at 57 North Franklin Street and
donating nonperishable food, laundry detergent, toiletries, warm clothing, and other items that will be
greatly appreciated by area families in need at this time. The Cluster will be accepting donations on the
CARES day (October 24) from 9 a.m. to noon.

Numerous organizations have contributed funding, tools, supplies, or other support to the CARES
endeavor. The generosity of the United Way and Home Depot provided funding for a Pottstown
CARES Community Tool Share Shed from which community individuals and organizations may
borrow tools. Interested parties should contact Katie Scanlan, High Meadows Foundation Sustainability
Chair at The Hill School, at kscanlan@thehill.org or 610-705-7277. CARES asks that tool borrowers
contribute one additional rake, shovel, or broom for each tool used and returned in order to helpexpand
the tool share program.

Organizations that wish to make additional donations of time, materials, or funding toward
CARES should contact Scanlan at the email address or phone number above; take donations of work
gloves, trash and leaf bags, or tools to Borough Hall at 100 E. High Street; or email
PottstownCARES@pottstown.org with suggestions or questions.

The massive CARES day volunteer crew will assemble under Hill’s former hockey rink roof at
8:30 a.m. on October 24 to receive instructions and participate in a group photo. All volunteers are
asked to wear blue – a “school color” shared by The Hill, the Pottstown School District, and the
Borough. Pre-organized teams then will disperse to their designated project areas until about noon,
when they will return to Hill for a picnic buffet lunch prepared by Sodexo, Hill’s food service provider.
Sodexo is generously donating the meals for all volunteers as well as Hill students and personnel.

The initial, joint CARES (Community, Awareness, Responsibility, Empowerment, and Sustainability)
endeavor was conceived in the spring of 2013 during conversations between Borough Manager Mark
Flanders, Pottstown School Superintendent Dr. Jeff Sparagana, and Hill School Headmaster Zachary
Lehman. The three leaders envisioned a collaborative project that would help to “spruce up” a
designated area in the core of Pottstown while boosting community pride. The CARES planning team
hopes these events will motivate Pottstown residents to engage in ongoing clean-ups of their own in
their immediate neighborhoods.

CARES project organizers wish to give special thanks to the Pottstown Police Department and
Emergency Services organizations and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for their support.

Registration Open For MCCC’s 20th Annual Technology & Learning Conference

Blue Bell, Pa.— Registration is going on now for Montgomery County Community College’s 20th Annual Technology and Learning Conference, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, in Blue Bell, Pa.

The cost of attending the conference is $25 and includes all conference materials, parking, continental breakfast and lunch. For registration information, including step-by-step directions to guide you through the registration process, visit http://www.mc3.edu/campus-life/techconf.

To help celebrate Montgomery County Community College’s 50th anniversary, this year’s keynote address will be given by MCCC alumnus Kwan Morrow. Morrow has been involved with Internet marketing and communication since 2001. He currently owns KM Digital Relations, which provides consulting, training and other services to businesses and educators who wish to engage their digital communities and achieve specific objectives.

During the keynote, Morrow will address the impact that digital and social technologies have on students and education. He’ll discuss best practices for using digital technology to promote student success and preparing students to thrive in the quickly evolving digital world.

MCCC’s Technology and Learning Conference provides a forum for participants to share state-of-the-art information technologies, to contribute to a vision of the future of information technology in the academic enterprise, and to exchange ideas and best practices for incorporating technology, security and learning.

Designed for higher education and K-12 faculty and administrators, the conference is divided into several threads, which include Teaching and Learning; Metrics and Measurement; Technologies to Leverage Student Success; Security and Identity Management; Emerging Technologies; Sharing Resources; and e-Learning. Session types include forums, hands-on labs, poster sessions and panel discussions.

To learn more, visit http://www.mc3.edu/campus-life/techconf or email techday@mc3.edu.

MCCC & GCC: Global Connections For Regional Impact

Global Corporate College (2)Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Community colleges have a proven track record in building the economic growth of the regions they serve by offering employers customized workforce development and training. But some institutions—like Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), with campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, Pa.—are thinking even bigger.

Close to 50 colleges and universities across the United States are part of the Global Corporate College (GCC), an international network that provides corporations with quality and consistent workforce training curricula for employees regardless of location, language and learning needs. Currently, GCC has global partners in 24 countries, which, according to its website, makes it the largest, multi-modal human capital development network in the world. Through a partnership with Growth Development Associates (GDA), GCC institutions also have access to extensive sales management and training curricula.

“Each GCC partner college has access to the largest body of incumbent worker training curriculum,” explains Dr. Brook Hunt, director of MCCC’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD). “As a result, this curriculum enables the colleges to build custom solutions for our customers at our competitors’ ‘off the shelf’ prices.”

Since 2012, Montgomery County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD) has partnered with both GCC and GDA to provide custom training programs and industry forums for dozens of employers in the Greater Philadelphia business community. Clients include Cobham PLC, Lansdale; Blommer Chocolate, East Greenville; Pointroll, King of Prussia; HP Hood LLC, Hatfield and Philadelphia; SKF USA, Lansdale; Stein Seal, Kulpsville; and Curtiss-Wright, EST Group, Hatfield, among others.

Those employers cite positive experiences with GCC and GDA customized training.

“Through CWD and Global Corporate College, we customized a training program for over 50 employees…based on [their] needs and the company’s training goals,” said Joanne Reagan, senior human resources manager for HP Hood, LLC. “The training program was well received. We look forward to continuing our partnership with CWD and GCC.”

“Curtiss-Wright, EST Group, partnered with CWD and Growth Development Associates to energize our sales training efforts,” says Drew Bergman, director, sales and marketing. “The program that GDA developed was specifically tailored to our business, and has resulted in increased staff focus on closing techniques and supported a current initiative to gain “add-on” product accessory sales.  The results have been outstanding.  Our staff came away charged up and excited to put the techniques to use.”

For its efforts, MCCC was recognized with three distinguished awards during GCC’s annual Institute in Indianapolis over the summer. Dr. Brook Hunt was one of two recipients of the inaugural Spirit of Global Corporate College Award, given in recognition of an individual’s exemplary commitment, spirit and contribution toward fulfilling the mission of GCC.

MCCC was also earned nine “Pig” awards for securing or expanding GCC and GDA contracts and was the only 2014 “Poodle” award recipient, which is awarded to institutions that bring in five or more new contracts.

To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development, visit http://www.mc3.edu, click on Areas of Study, then Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, followed by Center for Workforce Development.

Focus On Student Learning Earns MCCC Recertification As Achieving The Dream Leader College

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Blue Bell/Pottstown/Lansdale, Pa.Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) continues to position itself at the forefront of student learning with recertification as a Leader College by Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count (ATD), a national non-profit organization committed to helping more community college students succeed.

Even before joining ATD in 2006, MCCC was hard at work improving student learning outcomes by placing student access and success as top priorities in its strategic planning.

“Montgomery County Community College takes a holistic approach to student success,” explained Dr. Karen A. Stout, president.  “By leveraging data to align our strategic planning efforts and budget decisions with student success goals, we are able to continually make improvements and remove barriers that impact retention and completion. At the same time, we’re able to engage faculty, administrators and staff from across disciplines and departments in our student success work.”

As part of its overarching Student Success Initiative, MCCC faculty and staff systematically examine all aspects of its students’ educational experiences both inside and outside the classroom—from enhancing student services, like advising and mentoring; to identifying and developing interventions for at-risk cohorts; to redesigning developmental curriculum and placement; to strengthening its focus on completion and increasing transfer opportunities.

Several of the College’s student success projects have national appeal. For example, Barbara Lontz, assistant professor of mathematics at MCCC, developed a new way of teaching basic developmental math by conceptual units rather than topics. Her curriculum, “Concepts of Numbers,” encourages active learning by starting with a problem, solving it as a group, and then learning the applicable algorithms. The method has increased basic math success rates by 20 percent and math confidence rates by 20-35 percent at MCCC, and institutions are adopting Lontz’s curriculum and textbook across the U.S. “Concepts of Numbers” was honored as a national 2010 “Innovation of the Year” recipient by the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Another example of a project with broad appeal is “Montco Money Matters” a multimedia financial literacy prototype that helps students understand how to pay for college. The 30-minute, self-guided pilot program, funded through a Next Generation Learning Challenges EDUCAUSE grant, introduces students to the concept of paying for college through topics such as financial aid, loans, grants, scholarships and the long-term implications of current and future debt. The project’s next steps are 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.

In addition to its work with Achieving the Dream and EDUCAUSE, MCCC’s student access and success efforts continue to gain momentum with President Stout’s participation in White House Summit for College Opportunity. First held in December 2013 and continuing through next year, the Summit has enabled MCCC to further develop initiatives around student advising and planning, financial literacy and mentoring—specifically designed to improve college access and completion for at-risk students.

MCCC is one of 16 institutions in the country to be recertified as Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges in 2014. ATD also welcomed 16 new Leader College institutions to its ranks, bringing the total number of active Leader Colleges to 79. Other Pennsylvania institutions earning recertification this year include Community College of Beaver County, Community College of Philadelphia, and Delaware County Community College.

According to Achieving the Dream, Leader Colleges demonstrate the way in which data can inform policy and practice to help community college students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for families, communities, and the nation as a whole.

To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s Student Success Initiative, visit its website at mc3.edu or its Think Success blog at mc3success.wordpress.com. To learn more about the work of Achieving the Dream, visit www,achievingthedream.org.

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.

MCCC Earns GVF Platinum Sustainability Award For Transportation Initiatives

MCCC

GVF Assistant Director Maureen Farrell (far right) and Action News Anchor Matt O’Donnell (far left) present (from left) Peggy Lee-Clark, MCCC executive director of government relations, and Dr. Celeste Schwartz, MCCC vice president for information technology and college services, with a platinum level sustainability award.

King of Prussia, Pa.— For the fourth consecutive year, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) earned a platinum-level sustainability award from the Greater Valley Forge Management Association (GVF) on Sept. 8 during the organization’s annual Sustainability Breakfast. MCCC was one of 32 organizations recognized for sustainability efforts in 2014.

MCCC partners with GVF to operate a campus shuttle service between its Blue Bell and Pottstown campuses and, for the first time this fall, between its Blue Bell campus and Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale. Last year, more than 10,400 riders took advantage of the free, 20-passenger shuttle, which is equipped with wi-fi to support student success.

On Earth Day 2014, MCCC and GVF introduced a new vehicle that runs on compressed natural gas (CNG), which, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, will further reduce emissions by 11 tons of carbon dioxide over the next year based on the 28,560 miles driven and 3,483 gallons of diesel fuel used in 2013. Prior to the introduction of the CNG vehicle, MCCC’s shuttle program helped to eliminate approximately 54,527 metric tons of carbon emissions and reduce vehicle usage by 522,144 miles annually.

In addition to the shuttle program, MCCC also employs Zimride, an industry leading rideshare service that provides a safe and easy way for students and staff to arrange carpooling through college community network that fully integrates with Facebook. Since launching Zimride in 2011, MCCC’s network has logged 1,461,492 carpool miles.

At the College’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, drivers of electric, hybrid, and conventional vehicles that average 25 MPG or greater, as well as carpoolers and shuttle riders, have the opportunity to park in a designated, convenient 185-space parking lot adjacent to the Advanced Technology Center. Electric vehicle charging stations are available in the Green Lot, as well as in the South Hall parking lot at the West Campus in Pottstown.

Other transportation initiatives include a Segway program for public safety officers in Pottstown, electric and hybrid vehicles for public safety and facilities staff in Blue Bell, and an increased effort to promote bicycle accessibility at all MCCC locations.

Since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, Montgomery County Community College has put into place policies and procedures to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. As a result of its efforts, MCCC is a two-time recipient of Second Nature’s national Climate Leadership Award.  To learn more about MCCC’s sustainability initiative, visit http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

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

Patrick Callihan To Speak At TCN Meeting On September 16th

Patrick Callihan Executive Director, Tech Impact

Patrick Callihan
Executive Director, Tech Impact

Patrick Callihan is the Executive Director for Tech Impact, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that nonprofits can use technology to better serve our world.  His background includes over 25 years of technology leadership and operations management.  As part of Tech Impact, Mr. Callihan led the development of national cloud-based service offerings for nonprofits under the brand npCloud (www.npcloud.org), providing organizations access to computing technology specifically designed for nonprofits.  Mr. Callihan also strongly believes in impacting his local community and led the launch of ITWorks (www.itworks.org); a program within Tech Impact that serves at-risk-youth with 21st century job skills.  He is an active member of the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executives Group (GPSEG), Society for Information Management (Philadelphia chapter), C-Suite, and a member of the Cloud Computing Consortium at Stevens Institute of Technology.  Mr. Callihan will speak on the following topic:

 

Cloud Computing: Can Your Organization Benefit?

Cloud computing is one of the latest trends in Information Technology.  Mr. Callihan will demystify what cloud computing is and how it can benefit your organization.  Learn about the risks and benefits and specific programs available to help reduce your organization’s costs and increase efficiency.  Also learn how to utilize cloud computing to collaborate.

TCN Membership Meeting

Tuesday, September 16th, 8am-10:30am

Montgomery County Community College, West Campus

South Hall Community Room
101 College Drive, Pottstown

 

Join a TCN Committee.
Committees will meet 9am-10:30am

Caregivers Support  Community Partners Against Abuse  Environmental Health & Safety  Homeless Services  Workforce Development  Youth Development 

 

Registration required.  Click here to register or call 610-705-3301.

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.

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.”

Pottstown School Board Vice President Dennis Wausnock Dies At 77

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — The word most spoken by those reflecting on Tuesday’s death of longtime public official Dennis Wausnock, who served in public offices in the borough for more than 20 years, was “dedicated.”

Wausnock, 77, died Tuesday at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center after a long battle with congestive heart failure.

A U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War, Wausnock’s public service included 16 years on the Pottstown Borough Council, where he served as both vice president and president.

He was three years into his second four-year term on the Pottstown School Board, also serving as vice president, when he passed away.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140820/pottstown-school-board-vice-president-dennis-wausnock-dies-at-77

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.

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.

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.

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.