MCCC Ranks Among Top Community Colleges In Nation For Technology

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College is ranked second in the country for its use of technology according to a recent Digital Community Colleges Survey issued by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education (CDE). The 250 data-point survey analyzes how community colleges use digital technologies to improve services to students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

MCCC, with campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, Pa., has ranked in the survey’s top 10 large community colleges since CDE introduced it a decade ago.

“Technology, itself, does not lead to innovation. But combined with vision, creativity and leadership, technology has the power to revolutionize teaching and learning,” said Dr. Celeste Schwartz, vice president for technology and college services.

Under the leadership of MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout, Schwartz and her team of IT professionals empower faculty and staff to use technology to inform decision making, to improve access and completion, and to provide students with state-of-the-art real-world learning experiences.

Over the past year, MCCC has implemented technology tools in several key student success areas—advising and student planning, financial literacy and mobile access—and has introduced academic certificate programs in key STEM disciplines like cloud computing, cyber security, and biotechnology.

To improve student entry and advising processes, MCCC launched a Student Success Network, which includes student academic planner, early alert, and a student facing success dashboard, 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.

The redesigned process also includes an education planning tool that empowers students to map out their entire academic program progression and improves meaningful interaction between students and advisors. Analytical tools, including student and advisor dashboards, round out the Student Success Network.

Financial literacy is critical to student completion, and MCCC developed and launched a “Montco Money Matters” prototype through support from EDUCAUSE’s Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) Breakthrough Models Incubator (BMI). The open-source, online tool introduces first-time 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.

MCCC is currently building on the success of it financial literacy prototype to include digital and civic literacy, which, like Montco Money Matters, will be publically accessible through Blackboard CourseSites and will engage students through video, social media and other interactive tools.

“The ‘new literacy’ programs, at their heart, focus on building the skills that students will need to be successful at all levels of their education and career, especially as they transition from high school to college,” said Schwartz, who is a key member of the design team along with faculty and staff from across the institution.

Much of MCCC’s technology is being developed with a “mobile-first” approach—necessary given that 86 percent of MCCC’s students use smartphones. This year, the College launched a new mobile app in partnership with Ellucian Go! MCCC also continues to build access through its Virtual Campus, which affords e-learners the opportunity to have a more robust college experience.

Having access to the latest technology, state-of-the-art learning spaces and instructional design experts empowers MCCC’s faculty to develop and refine curricula that prepares students for a competitive and ever-changing marketplace. Over the past year, MCCC introduced new high-tech certificate programs in the emerging fields of cloud computing, cyber security and biotechnology/biomanufacturing, along with associate’s degrees in life sciences, sound recording and music technology, and environmental studies.

MCCC also bolstered existing programs in engineering technology, health services management, criminal justice, health and fitness professional, management, culinary arts and education—all of which integrate the latest technology to ensure graduates are prepared for the demands of 21st century workforce.

All accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in CDC’s survey within three classifications based on enrollment. MCCC, with more than 24,000 students annually, competes in the large college category. To learn more about the survey, visit centerdigitaled.com.

Unisys Plans 1,800 Job Cuts

Unisys shares were down as much as 8 percent in early trading after the Blue Bell-based computer service company’s chief executive, Peter Altabef, told investors sales were down 5 percent in the past three months, due largely to weaker foreign revenues as the U.S. dollar strengthened.

The company plans an 8 percent “worldwide” reduction in its workforce, which totalled 23,000 last year. Severance and restructuring will cost $300 million, resulting in $200 million in yearly savings, the company added.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Unisys-plans-2000-job-cuts.html#Tv2iHY82ZSyg8f73.99

Arline Stephan Named Vice President Of Development, External Relations At MCCC

Montgomery County Community College Foundation

Montgomery County Community College Foundation

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) welcomes Arline Stephan, of Yardley, as its new vice president of development and external relations. In that capacity, she oversees the College’s Foundation, as well as the areas of alumni relations, marketing and communications, public grants, lively arts and fine arts galleries.

Stephan first came to MCCC in 2012 as the executive director of the College’s Foundation. In that role, she managed the Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, Futures Rising, which launched in November 2014. The campaign runs through June 2015 and has already exceeded its $9 million goal.

With more than 24 years of development experience, Stephan has served in leadership positions at major universities and health care systems, including Rutgers University, Thomas Jefferson University and Capital Health System. She became involved nationally with the women and philanthropy movement in the early 1990s, has started three successful women’s giving circles and has been a speaker at many conferences and to groups about the power of women and giving. She has also served on numerous fundraising and community boards throughout her career.

Prior to working in the field of development, Stephan held administrative and management positions in health care and higher education. She attended Austin Community College and earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

About the Montgomery County Community College Foundation

Established in 1983, the Montgomery County Community College Foundation operates exclusively to provide support and assistance to the College in developing the programs, facilities and services to carry out the mission and functions of the College. The Foundation carries out this purpose by encoura­ging, soliciting, receiving, holding, investing and administer­ing gifts of funds and property, and making expenditures to, or for the benefit of, the College. For more information, visit http://mc3.edu/futuresrising.

MCCC Medical Assisting Program Earns Maximum Reaccreditation

PHOTO: Medical Assisting students perform free health screenings each semester for Montgomery County Community College students, faculty and staff. Photo by Matt Carlin

PHOTO: Medical Assisting students perform free health screenings each semester for Montgomery County Community College students, faculty and staff. Photo by Matt Carlin

BlueBell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Medical Assisting program recently received full reaccreditation through 2022 from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) upon recommendation from the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). The eight-year accreditation is the maximum award possible, and MCCC met CAAHEP’s required standards and objectives without any recommendations or suggestions.

Introduced in 2003, the 34-credit Medical Assisting certificate is comprised of classroom instruction, on-campus laboratory simulations and practical experience at affiliated clinical sites. The program is offered at both MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell and West Campus in Pottstown. A total of 222 students have graduated from the program over the past 12 years.

Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks that keep the offices of health practitioners running smoothly.

“Nationally-credentialed Medical Assistants assist in meeting the community’s workforce demands for qualified health care professionals,” said Kathleen Schreiner, director of medical office professions at MCCC.

Graduates from the MCCC’s program qualify to complete the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certification examination for Certified Medical Assistants (CMA) and/or the American Medical Technologists (AMT) certification examination for Registered Medical Assistants (RMA).

“Our graduates have achieved an eight-year cumulative pass rate of 97.66 percent on the national credentialing examination,” shared Schreiner. “Employers regularly seek our Montgomery County Community College graduates to meet their workforce needs because of our reputation for preparing well-qualified health care professionals.”

Medical Assisting graduates may choose to enter the workforce immediately upon certification or may apply their credits toward MCCC’s Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Health Services Management.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” employment opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow by 29 percent through 2022, which is significantly higher than the average growth rate of 11 percent for all occupations. In 2012, the median wage for medical assistants was $29,370, nationally.

To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s Medical Assisting program, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics and choose Areas of Study, followed by Health Sciences and Medical Assisting.

MCCC Students Named To All-PA Academic Team, Two As Coca-Cola Silver Scholars

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout (center) stands with the College’s All-Pennsylvania Academic Team honorees: (from left) Caitlin Moser, Angelina Sirak, Kendra Houck and Heidi Hunsberger. The students were honored during a banquet and award ceremony on April 13 in Harrisburg. Photo courtesy of the PA Commission for Community Colleges.

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout (center) stands with the College’s All-Pennsylvania Academic Team honorees: (from left) Caitlin Moser, Angelina Sirak, Kendra Houck and Heidi Hunsberger. The students were honored during a banquet and award ceremony on April 13 in Harrisburg. Photo courtesy of the PA Commission for Community Colleges.

Harrisburg, Pa.—The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges (PACCC) recognized 44 students from across the Commonwealth—including four from Montgomery County Community College—as members of the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team on April 13 in Harrisburg.  According to PACCC, the awards recognize an exceptional group of community college students who have achieved excellence and demonstrated a commitment to their colleges and communities.

In partnership with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), All-PA Academic Team honorees are awarded two-year scholarships to any of the PASSHE institutions. Additional scholarship money is awarded by Coca-Cola to students based on their All-USA Community College Academic Team application scores.

Two MCCC students—Kendra Houck, Pottstown, and Heidi Hunsberger, Norristown, were named Coca-Cola Silver Scholars, which awards them an additional $1,250 in scholarship funds. They are joined by Caitlin Moser, Schwenksville, and Angelina Sirak, Green Lane, in representing MCCC on the 2015 All-PA Academic Team.

As a dual enrollment student, Kendra Houck, 18, will earn an associate’s degree from MCCC only a few days after graduating from high school. At MCCC, Houck serves as president of the Beta Tau Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and as a senator with the West Campus Student Government Association, and she is a member of the West End Student Theatre drama club. She plans to transfer to Gwynedd Mercy University in the fall to study clinical psychology.

Heidi Hunsberger, 33, will graduate from MCCC in June with an associate’s degree in liberal studies before transferring to Thomas Jefferson University to study occupational therapy in an accelerated bachelor’s and master’s degree program. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and is a dedicated volunteer with the Special Olympics Bowling League.

Caitlin Moser, 24, discovered a passion for history at MCCC’s West Campus, citing late Assistant Professor of History Ryan Johnson as inspiring her to pursue a career as a history professor. She graduated from MCCC in December is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts degree program in history at LaSalle University. During her time at MCCC, Moser was a member of the Beta Tau Lambda chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Liberal Studies major Angelina Sirak, 20, is an Honors Program Scholar and a Mustangs Scholar Athlete. She is a three-sport student athlete—playing soccer, basketball and soccer, and she serves as the treasurer of the Honors Club and as a member of the Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and the Hola Club. Sirak plans to transfer to a PASSHE institution to study sports journalism.

To be eligible for the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team, students must have completed at least 36 credits at the time of application and must maintain a 3.5 grade point average. To learn more and to see a full list of recipients, visit htt://www.pacommunitycolleges.org.

RecycleMania Results: MCCC Ranks Top In PA, 6th In U.S. For Minimizing Waste

RM_logo_2015-01Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa—Montgomery County Community College’s efforts to cut waste over the last decade have propelled it to the top of the score sheet in RecycleMania’s 2015 competition. In the category of waste minimization, MCCC ranked first among higher education institutions in Pennsylvania, fifth among public two-year colleges nationally, and sixth overall among all colleges and universities in the country, making it MCCC’s most successful RecycleMania finish in eight years of competition.

RecycleMania’s Waste Minimization category measures an institution’s total waste—trash and recycling collected during the eight-week competition—and divides it by the number of students, faculty and staff on campus to calculate the amount of waste per person. MCCC collected only 8.395 pounds of waste per capita—almost half of the per capita amount collected in 2014.

“Less waste per capita means that our efforts to educate the campus community about the importance of reducing and reusing, in addition to recycling, are paying off,” said Jaime Garrido, associate vice president for facilities and construction at MCCC. “For example, the College invested in water filling stations that have eliminated more than 108,000 plastic bottles from recycling or waste streams over the past three years—that’s close to 14 miles of plastic bottles!”

In addition to waste minimization, RecycleMania also ranks institutions according to volume and percentage of recycling collected during the competition.

In the Per Capita Classic category, MCCC finished 17th in Pennsylvania, with 1.884 pounds of recycling per capita. This positioned the College as 20th among two-year institutions nationally, and 289th overall.

In the Grand Champion category, MCCC scored a 22.447 percent cumulative recycling rate, positioning it 13th in Pennsylvania, 16th among two-year institutions nationally, and 175th overall.

MCCC collected a cumulative 17,960 pounds of recycling, ranking it 15th in Pennsylvania, 20th among two-year institutions nationally, and 274th overall in the Gorilla Prize category.

RecycleMania is an eight-week nationwide competition, held Feb. 1 through March 28, during which colleges and universities competed to see who could reduce, reuse and recycle the most campus waste. MCCC has participated for eight consecutive years.

Nationally, 390 institutions recycled or composted 80.1 million pounds of materials, preventing the release of 129,411 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere. According to the U.S. EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), MCCC’s recycling efforts during the competition resulted in a greenhouse gas reduction of 33 MTCO2E, which translates to the energy consumption of three households or the emissions of six cars.

MCCC was among the first institutions in the country to sign American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007. The College’s sustainability efforts are led by a team of faculty, students, administrators, support staff, alumni and community members that comprise the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council.

To learn more about MCCC’s Sustainability Initiative, visit its “Think Green” blog at http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

To learn more about RecycleMania or to view the full list of results, visit http://www.recyclemaniacs.org.

Two Arrested In Death Of Pottstown Man

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Pottstown Borough Police Chief F. Richard Drumheller announce the arrest of Richard Collins and Mariah Walton for first degree murder, conspiracy, and related offenses. These arrests are the result of a joint investigation into a homicide, which occurred in the area of Washington and Beech Streets, Pottstown Borough.

On Friday, March 20, 2015 at 11:27 AM, the Pottstown Borough Police Department responded to Washington and Beech Streets for an unresponsive person. The victim, Artie Bradley, age 38, of Pottstown was pronounced dead at the scene. On Saturday, March 21, 2015, an autopsy was performed on the body of Artie Bradley at the Montgomery County Morgue. The autopsy revealed that Bradley died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The manner of death was ruled homicide.

The Pottstown Borough Police Department and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau conducted a lengthy investigation, incorporating witness accounts, video surveillance, and various other technological tools they were able to piece together the murder of Artie Bradley. The investigation uncovered an existing relationship between Bradley, Collins and Walton. In the months leading up to Bradley’s murder, Collins and Bradley had a falling out over money.

The soured relationship between Collins, Walton, and Bradley culminated on March 20, 2015 when Collins and Walton were called to assist in an altercation against Bradley’s paramour. This altercation provided Collins and Walton the opportunity to facilitate a confrontation between Collins and Bradley, resulting in Collins fatally shooting the victim, Bradley.

The defendants will be arraigned at Magisterial District Judge Scott Palladino’s Court, which is located at 1 Security Plaza, Suite 101 in Pottstown at 12:30 today.

The cases will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Samantha Cauffman.

Montco Invites Public To Come Hear About The Exciting Future Of Transit In Montgomery County

Norristown, PA – Montgomery County, in partnership with SEPTA, Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association, The Partnership TMA, and TransNet, is presenting “Your Transit Dollars at Work” on Thursday, April 16, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the Whitemarsh Township building, 616 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill.

The event will focus on the exciting future of transit in Montgomery County. Representatives from the Montgomery County Planning Commission, SEPTA, and local transportation management associations will be on hand to present information, answer questions, and listen to comments.

Participants will have an opportunity to learn about SEPTA’s draft capital plan with station improvements and system upgrades, current commuting alternatives, and Montco’s plan for the future as highlighted in Montco 2040: A Shared Vision, Montgomery County’s nationally awarded new comprehensive plan.

The public is invited to participate and see the impressive vision plan for transit in Montgomery County and to discover what new transit funding is doing for county citizens. Additional information and online registration are available at http://www.montcopa.org/PlanningTransit. Montgomery County’s new comprehensive plan is available at http://www.montcopa.org/Montco2040. Please contact Crystal Gilchrist at 610-278-3734 or via email at cgilchri@montcopa.org with any questions.

MCCC Celebrates Earth Day With Sustainability Festival And Speaker

PHOTO: Yalmaz Siddiqui, senior director of environmental and supplier diversity strategy with Office Depot, will deliver an Earth Day presentation titled “Purchasing For Positive Impact,” on April 15 at 12:20 p.m. in the Science Center Theater at Montgomery County Community College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, with a simulcast to the South Hall Community Room at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The presentation is free and is open to the public. Download tickets at mc3.edu/livelyarts

PHOTO: Yalmaz Siddiqui, senior director of environmental and supplier diversity strategy with Office Depot, will deliver an Earth Day presentation titled “Purchasing For Positive Impact,” on April 15 at 12:20 p.m. in the Science Center Theater at Montgomery County Community College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, with a simulcast to the South Hall Community Room at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The presentation is free and is open to the public. Download tickets at mc3.edu/livelyarts

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will join communities across the world in celebrating Earth Day 2015 with a series of activities that engage students and community members with the institution’s sustainability efforts. For information, visit MCCC’s “Think Green” blog at http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

While Earth Day itself is observed annually on April 22, MCCC’s celebration kicks off with a Sustainability Festival on April 15 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the quad at Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and in the South Hall Community Room at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. Free and open to the public, both events will feature student and College exhibits, as well as information and activities from green vendors and community organizations. The Central Campus festival will also include a student ceramic arts sale and an eco-car exhibit.

Also on April 15, Yalmaz Siddiqui, senior director of environmental and supplier diversity strategy with Office Depot, will deliver a keynote presentation titled “Purchasing For Positive Impact,” at 12:20 p.m. in the Science Center Theater at the Central Campus, with a simulcast to the South Hall Community Room at the West Campus. The presentation is free and is open to the public; however, tickets are required. Free tickets can be reserved and downloaded at mc3.edu/livelyarts.

Siddiqui has led global environmental strategy efforts at Office Depot since 2006 and supplier diversity strategy efforts since 2014. He helped initiate and integrate environmental initiatives into all functional areas of the organization, resulting in Office Depot earning the number one rank as America’s “Greenest Large Retailer” by “Newsweek Magazine” for three years.

Office Depot helped MCCC launch its Green Office Initiative in 2013. The initiative empowers offices to progress through a four-tier program based on sustainable purchasing and practices that ultimately save both resources and money. MCCC’s Green Office Initiative earned two awards last year: the Greener Purchasing Award from the Philadelphia Area Collegiate Cooperative and the Community College Leadership in Greener Purchasing Award from Office Depot.

In addition to the public events on April 15, MCCC will host programs for its students, faculty and staff through April 22. These include a World Café-style five-year planning session facilitated by MCCC’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council and a “Service Rewind” celebration that recognizes student community service projects and activities.

Since signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, sustainability has become a core value at Montgomery County Community College and is incorporated into the institution’s strategic plan, core curriculum, and in everyday best practices as they relate to facilities management, campus operations and transportation. Chaired by President Dr. Karen A. Stout, a team of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members comprise the Climate Commitment Advisory Council, which guides sustainability efforts toward attaining carbon neutrality by 2050.

To learn more about the MCCC’s Sustainability Initiative, visit http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

Upcoming April Activities At The Althouse Arboretum

Friends of the Arboretum

Monday, April 13th, 6:30 pm
Under the Pavillion

A group of interested friends, neighbors and students who come together to share ideas, resources, and possibilities to enrich the Arboretum experience for all. You can volunteer your time and talent, or become part of a community team to discuss, plan and work together to make our land a first-class outdoor destination for the community.Come join us and explore the possibilities! Everyone invited!

Free Tree Tender Training for you?

Thursday evenings  April 16, 23, 30, from 6:00 -9:00pm.
Chester Springs (33 minutes south of the Arboretum)

The PA Horticulture Society has offered to provide us with free trees if we have individuals with Tree Tender Training. The SAVE Alliance Foundation has offered to pay for anyone to take the training who agrees to complete the training and volunteer time to plant trees at the Althouse Arboretum. We can carpool from the Arboretum. How about it?

During three energetic sessions learn the basics of tree planting and care including tree biology, identification, stresses, planting , pruning and root care – and how to use these skills in your home landscape and in helping to restore the tree canopy in your neighborhood and the region. Skills to use at home too!

Register by this Monday by contacting khamilton@thesavealliance.org

Click here for more information about the Althouse Arboretum:

https://althousearboretum.wordpress.com/

Montco Commissioners Kick Off Second Phase Of Lafayette Street Extension Project

NORRISTOWN, PA – The first phase has been completed, and now the second phase of a road project that will eventually connect Norristown to the Pennsylvania Turnpike will begin.

Despite the cold on Wednesday, the Montgomery County commissioners broke ground on the $12.9 million second phase of the project, which will extend Lafayette Street to Diamond Avenue in Plymouth Township. The second phase will also reconstruct and widen Diamond Avenue from the Pennsylvania Turnpike bridge to the Norristown border at Ross Street.

“Many of us were here together months ago when we kicked off phase one of the Lafayette Street extension project. Today we’re here to talk about ramping up phase two of the Lafayette Street extension project,” commissioners’ Chairman Josh Shapiro told a crowd of county employees and local officials involved in the project.

Shapiro told the group that they will begin to see traffic slow down as the second phase makes its way through its expected completion date of spring 2017, but he added there will not be detours on Ridge Pike in Plymouth Township.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150408/commissioners-kick-off-second-phase-of-lafayette-street-extension-project

Norristown Area High School Students Stage Walkout In Protest Of Alleged Racist Post By School Employee

WEST NORRITON TOWNSHIP, PA – More than 100 Norristown Area High School students staged a walkout Tuesday morning in protest of what they said were racist comments posted to the Internet by a school employee.

The peaceful protest was organized via Twitter following the employee’s two-day suspension, which the students and some parents said was too light a punishment.

“Basically, we’re protesting, standing up for what we believe,” said student protestor Imani Meade.

An employee “posted a racist statement that went viral for Norristown High School,” Meade said.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150407/norristown-area-high-school-students-stage-walkout-in-protest-of-alleged-racist-post-by-school-employee

Two Shooting Victims — One Fatal — Found In Plymouth Were Shot In Norristown

NORRISTOWN, PA – A 28-year-old man who was shot in Norristown Monday night was discovered mortally wounded in Plymouth Township, according to a press release issued by the Norristown Police Department and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office.

Police were called to the 1200 block of Locust Street at 8:52 p.m. and discovered shell casings and other evidence at the scene. Norristown police said two people were shot. The release stated that while police were investigating, the victim was found in Plymouth Township.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150407/two-shooting-victims-x2014-one-fatal-x2014-found-in-plymouth-were-shot-in-norristown

Norristown Police Collaborate With Social Services For ‘Whole Government’ Initiative

Editor’s note:  Alas, Pottstown leadership doesn’t seem to get this concept.  Two thumbs up to Norristown leadership for being proactive and thinking outside of the box.  We like what we are seeing.

NORRISTOWN, PA – Police are called with increasing frequency for complaints about a homeless man with mental health issues. A boy who lives in a household familiar to authorities for domestic issues has started skipping school and breaking curfew. An unemployed mother of three with no previous criminal record is arrested for drug possession.

These are examples of bad situations that many law enforcement officials agree often get worse.

But what if that was not necessarily the case? What if police and other public health and safety professionals collaborated on these cases using a comprehensive strategy that enabled them to mitigate risk factors and intervene to address small infractions before they snowball into larger ones, effectively reducing and preventing crime?

That is the goal of the Whole of Government concept, presented at the 2015 International Conference on Proven Collaborative Strategies for Improved Community Wellness and Safety recently held at the King of Prussia Radisson and conducted by the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute (PSJSI). The concept, which has a proven track record of success in Canada, is being implemented by a small number of forward-thinking law enforcement agencies in the U.S., including Norristown.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150404/norristown-police-collaborate-with-social-services-for-whole-government-initiative

Some Pennsylvania Towns Evict Tenants Based On 911 Calls

Despite a state law signed last year to avoid such circumstances, some communities are still applying parts of local ordinances that allow them to have “disruptive” tenants evicted if more than a few calls to 911 have been made from a residence — even when those calls result from domestic abuse.

The American Civil Liberties Union is involved in a current case in Verona and worked with a woman in Mount Oliver who faced a similar situation last summer. In 2013, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against Norristown, Pa., after the organization said officials there pushed for the eviction of a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.

Sara Rose, an attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said it’s hard to tell how often these types of ordinances —  intended to prevent disruptive behavior — are being used as punishment when tenants call 911. Several municipalities in the state have such ordinances, but Ms. Rose said she’s not aware of any towns that have repealed or changed them since then-Gov. Tom Corbett signed the new law in November.

“Just having it creates a chilling effect on tenants who might be afraid to call the police,” she said.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2015/04/04/Some-Pennsylvania-towns-evicting-tenants-based-on-911-calls/stories/201504040090

MCCC Radiography Program Earns Maximum Reaccreditation

PHOTO: Students work in the state-of-the-art radiography simulation laboratory at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

PHOTO: Students work in the state-of-the-art radiography simulation laboratory at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Radiography program recently received full reaccreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) through 2022. The eight-year accreditation is the maximum award possible, and MCCC met JRCERT’s required standards and objectives without any recommendations or suggestions.

“This rigorous programmatic accreditation process speaks to the quality of our program, which is validated by the successes of our graduates. Graduating from a JRCERT accredited program assures students that they will receive educational excellence that promotes the quality and safety of patient care,” shared Debra Poelhuis, director of MCCC’s Radiography program. “Not only are our graduates highly successful in passing their national certifying examination, but they are well respected for their clinical expertise. This is a model program whose graduates serve the needs of this community in many ways.”

MCCC introduced its Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) degree program in Radiography in 2003 in response to a documented shortage of radiologic technologists in the tri-county region. The program, based at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown, integrates theory, on-campus laboratory simulations and clinical competency experiences at area hospitals.

Since its introduction 12 years ago, more than 120 students have graduated from the program, and for six consecutive years, 100 percent of the program’s students passed the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) National Certifying Exam. Graduates may choose to enter the workforce immediately upon certification or may choose to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees in radiography or a related health sciences field.

Certified radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging procedures, including x-ray, CT scan, MRI and mammography to assist in the diagnosis of illness. More than half are employed in hospitals, but jobs are also available in physician offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories and outpatient care centers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” employment opportunities for radiologic technologists are expected to grow by 21 percent through 2022, significantly higher than the average growth rate of 11 percent for all occupations. In 2012, the median wage for radiologic technologists was $54,620.

To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s Radiography program, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics and choose Areas of Study, followed by Health Sciences and Radiography.

Dr. Karen Stout Establishes Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund In Support Of Student Completion At MCCC

PHOTO: Dr. Karen A. Stout (center) stands with officers from Montgomery County Community College’s Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Student officers include (from left) Reginald Harris, secretary; Michelle Sikora, vice president of service; Jennifer Cutler, vice president of scholarship; Mamata Tharima, president; Raymond Straughter, vice president of fellowship; Thomas DeLucia, secretary; and Wilfredo Montijo, vice president of leadership.   Photo by John Welsh

PHOTO: Dr. Karen A. Stout (center) stands with officers from Montgomery County Community College’s Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Student officers include (from left) Reginald Harris, secretary; Michelle Sikora, vice president of service; Jennifer Cutler, vice president of scholarship; Mamata Tharima, president; Raymond Straughter, vice president of fellowship; Thomas DeLucia, secretary; and Wilfredo Montijo, vice president of leadership. Photo by John Welsh

Blue Bell Pa.—To encourage and inspire students to become part of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) President Karen A. Stout has generously pledged $30,000 to establish a Phi Theta Kappa Annual Challenge Fund through the College’s Foundation.

Phi Theta Kappa membership offers students a significant advantage when it comes to college success and completion. In fact, a recent national study reveals that PTK members in Pennsylvania have an overall success rate of 92 percent—that’s four times higher than the success rate for all of the state’s community college students.

However, despite the documented impact, only 14 percent of PTK-eligible students nationally join the organization. With a current membership fee of $60, cost is a likely barrier for many eligible students.

The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund will support qualified students by defraying half the cost of a PTK membership, while challenging students to match the remaining cost. Students must be eligible for Pell Grant funding and PTK membership to qualify. Members of PTK must maintain a 3.5 GPA and must have completed at least 12 credits.

As a member of MCCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapters—Alpha Kappa Zeta at the Central Campus in Blue Bell or Beta Tau Lambda at the West Campus in Pottstown—students are afforded the opportunity to grow as scholars and servant leaders. By working with their peers and faculty advisors, PTK members examine real-life issues facing their communities, while gaining leadership skills through the organization’s Honors in Action programming.

For example, this year’s PTK chapters collected more than 500 pairs of shoes for the community organization In Ian’s Boots; cleaned up a portion of the Schuylkill River; and partnered with Theatre Horizon and the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center in Norristown on a community education/public art project. In addition, both of MCCC’s chapters achieved the distinction of Five Star Status—the highest level of national recognition possible—for progressing through the organization’s Five Star Chapter Development Plan.

PTK members also have access to exclusive transfer scholarship information and opportunities, which will help them continue their education after graduating from MCCC.

The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund is part of the Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Futures Rising: The Campaign for Montgomery County Community College,” which looks to raise $9 million for student scholarships. To learn more or to get involved, visit http://www.mc3.edu/futures.

Anisha Robinson Keeys Appointed To MCCC Board Of Trustees

ANISHA ROBINSON KEEYSBlue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College is pleased to announce the appointment of Anisha Robinson Keeys, of Norristown, to its Board of Trustees by the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. The 15-person Board of Trustees is the policy and governing body of Montgomery County Community College.

With 18 years of fundraising and marketing experience, Robinson Keeys serves as Chief Executive Officer of Lance + Lee Planning. She advises corporations and philanthropists on how to make the largest impact with their money. She also helps organizations and thought leaders with corporate fundraising and organizational development.

In addition to operating a consulting practice, Robinson Keeys has held leadership roles with a variety of organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and Teach For America.

Robinson Keeys is a frequent speaker at conferences and leadership retreats across the country.

She is also the author of the book and curriculum “Get Corporate Sponsorship: A Step By Step Guide To Securing Funding From Corporations” and “51 Retailers That Want To Help You Raise Money.”

Robinson Keeys holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Chestnut Hill College. She is also a member of the institution’s Woman Donors Network, where she serves as an advisor for the Reflective Democracy Initiative. She also serves on the board of directors for the Columbia North YMCA, Rosebug 1919 Foundation, Livingbattlefield and the Solomon Principal Group.

Expanded Archaeological Adventure On Tap For MCCC Students At The Speaker’s House

Photos by Alana J. Mauger Field School 1: Montgomery County Community College student Cydney Rader, Skippack, shows an artifact that was found during 2014’s Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe.

Photos by Alana J. Mauger
Field School 1: Montgomery County Community College student Cydney Rader, Skippack, shows an artifact that was found during 2014’s Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe.

Trappe, Pa.—This summer, students don’t need to travel far to gain world-class archaeological field experience. In fact, students who participate in the Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe, Pa. can earn up to six college credits through a unique partnership with Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) while they get hands-on experience at an active archaeology site.

In its seventh year, the Archaeology Field School is comprised of two intensive three-week sessions led by archaeologist Dr. Lydia Garver at The Speaker’s House, which was the home of Frederick Muhlenberg, first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and first signer of the Bill of Rights.

The program runs Tuesdays-Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The first session is held May 26-June 13, and the second session runs from June 16-July 3. No previous experience is necessary, and the program is open to anyone age 15 or over.  The Field School is ideal for students who are interested in studying anthropology, history or museum studies, as well for students who enjoy working and learning outdoors. To learn more, visit http://www/speakershouse.org/fieldschool or contact Lisa Minardi at info@speakershouse.org.

Participants will receive training in excavation techniques, record keeping, artifact identification, processing, cataloging, and classification. This summer, excavation in the first session will focus on a large pit feature filled with 19th-century kitchen artifacts and the remnants of an 18th-century smokehouse, along with another small outbuilding. During the second session, students will complete closing excavation tasks and learn to curate, analyze and research artifacts found during the first session. Field trips and guest lectures will also be offered.

Photos by Alana J. Mauger Field School 2: Archaeology Field School students Chuck Cannon (left), Harleysville, and Brad James, Towamencin, excavate the area around an outbuilding wall last summer.

Photos by Alana J. Mauger
Field School 2: Archaeology Field School students Chuck Cannon (left), Harleysville, and Brad James, Towamencin, excavate the area around an outbuilding wall last summer.

Students can earn three college credits per three-week session for their participation in the Field School by enrolling through MCCC. To enroll as a guest student, visit mc3.edu/admissions, select course selection and registration, then follow the instructions for guest students. Current MCCC students and alumni should register through Web Advisor by logging into the MyMC3 Portal. The course titles are Archaeology Field School I (ANT 120) and Archaeology Field School II (ANT 121).

Enrollment is limited to 20 participants per session, and preference will be given to students taking the course for credit through MCCC. Students will pay standard MCCC tuition and fees. Tuition information is available at http://www.mc3.edu/admissions. All participants will receive a complimentary 2015 student membership in The Speaker’s House.

Built in 1763 by German immigrant John Schrack, The Speaker’s House was owned by the Muhlenberg family from 1781-1803. Other notable owners include Charles Albrecht, a piano maker; Dr. Lewis Royer, physician and legislator; and Ursinus College, which used the house as a dormitory from 1924-1944. The property is also the location of a general store, built in 1782 by Frederick Muhlenberg, and is one of the few archaeological sites in the region that yields information on commercial as well as domestic activities.