MCCC Creates Writing Course Just For Military Veterans

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —Area military veterans now have a creative outlet to share their experiences with people who understand them best – fellow veterans. 

This fall, the Montgomery County Community College West Campus in Pottstown will offer a new course, English 265 HYBW2, also known as Intro to Creative Writing for Veterans. The course is limited to guest veterans from the community and current MCCC veteran students. 

The three-credit course, which was created by Susan Buchler, assistant professor of English; and Denise Williams, veterans’ resource specialist, will be held on alternating Monday evenings. The workshop setting of the course will include sharing written work such as creative non-fiction, short stories and poetry, and discussing select pieces of literature that are relevant to the course theme – freedom through writing. The course also includes an online component.  

“Back in civilian life, veterans often find there is no place to put memories and experiences and no one to share them with except others who’ve had similar experiences,” said Williams. “Through writing comes the most fascinating, heartfelt poetic work that is engaging and liberating.” 

Buchler, who has had several veterans in her writing courses at MCCC over the years, said the philosophy of the course is to help make the process of writing less threatening, and to create an atmosphere for veterans where there is a shared bond and trust. 

“This course will allow veterans writers to evolve at a unique comfort level,” Buchler said. “Writing about their experiences gives them the opportunity to find their voice and express their deepest feelings and emotions. Studies have shown that, through writing, an individual can find freedom, peach of mind, improved mood and all together healing.” 

The 15-week course runs from August 30 through December 19 and will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. in South Hall 249 on the MCCC West Campus at 101 College Drive in Pottstown. For more information contact Williams at dwilliam2@mc3.edu or Buchler at sbuchler@mc3.edu. To register, visit http://bit.ly/2oud0Qs. 

Montgomery County Community College is recognized by Military Times as a Best for Vets College, and G.I. Jobs magazine named MCCC a Silver Medal Military Friendly school. The Veterans Resource Center at MCCC, with offices on the Central Campus in Blue Bell and on the West Campus in Pottstown, serves more than 450 veterans, service members and spouse/dependents with their transition to college.  

About Montgomery County Community College 
For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.  

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu. 

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Montgomery County Community College To Provide Student Housing – At Gwynedd Mercy University

Dormitory at Gwynedd Mercy University

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —Montgomery County Community College recently signed an agreement with Gwynedd Mercy University to provide housing for MCCC students.

Through the agreement, which was signed in December, MCCC students can select to live on campus at Gwynedd Mercy for the same room and board rates that University students pay. MCCC, which is on Route 202 in Blue Bell, Pa., is less than four miles from the University, located on Sumneytown Pike in Gwynedd Valley, Pa.

According to Philip Needles, vice president for student services at MCCC, the College receives inquiries each year, especially from international students and culinary arts students, about the availability of student housing.

“I think this a winning partnership for both MCCC and Gwynedd Mercy University, and a great example of how local institutions can work together to address students’ needs,” Needles said.

Danielle Gross, director of public affairs for the Pennsylvania Commission for Community College, said she believes the agreement is unique in the Commonwealth. “Articulation agreements between community colleges and four-year institutions are common, but we don’t know of any other such agreement related to student housing,” Gross said.

Currently, the College serves 178 international students from 51 different countries, especially in programs such as culinary arts and business. International students who have enrolled at MCCC in the past have had to seek off-campus housing in the area which can be cost prohibitive.

The College hopes to increase enrollment by providing student housing at Gwynedd Mercy University, but the housing option will be open to all students who choose to experience that aspect of college life.

Gwynedd Mercy University sees the agreement as an opportunity to further strengthen its relationship with MCCC and attract more transfer students from the local two-year college with which it has an articulation agreement. The housing agreement will also provide an additional revenue stream for the University. The cost of room and board at Gwynedd Mercy ranges from $5,570 per semester for housing and a 10-meal plan to $6,270 per semester for a 19-meal plan for the 2017-18 academic year.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to offer Montgomery County Community College students an affordable and convenient way to experience all the benefits of living on a college campus,” said Cheryl Lynn Horsey, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment and student services at Gwynedd Mercy University. “Students who choose to take advantage of this option will have access to all the co-curricular programming offered to GMercyU students, including on-campus events, service opportunities, and our very popular and growing intramural sports and recreation program.”

The agreement also provides MCCC students with an excellent path forward to any number of baccalaureate degrees offered at Gwynedd Mercy University, Horsey added. “Essentially, students can live on campus all four years, spending their first two years taking classes at MCCC and the next two years taking classes at GMercyU.”

About Montgomery County Community College
For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes nearly 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu.

About Gwynedd Mercy University
Gwynedd Mercy University prepares students to become top professionals in the fields of business and education, nursing and other health professions, and the arts and sciences. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1948, Gwynedd Mercy University is a Catholic, co-educational institution offering more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University’s Main Campus is situated on 160 beautiful private acres in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, just 30 minutes from Philadelphia. The University also offers online/accelerated degree programs for working adults with campuses conveniently located in East Norriton, Philadelphia and Bensalem. Learn more at gmercyu.edu, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Montgomery County Community College High School Completion Program Earns National Honor

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA — A Montgomery County Community College program designed to make sure struggling high school students do not slip through the cracks of the education system has earned a national honor.

The Gateway to College program at MCCC is one of only eight programs nationwide to receive the Excellence Award from the Gateway to College National Network. The Network includes more than 40 programs at community colleges throughout the country.

Through Gateway to College, students who have dropped out of high school or are significantly off track complete their high school diplomas at college-based programs such as the one at MCCC while simultaneously earning college credits toward a post-secondary degree or certificate.

Currently, the Gateway to College Program at MCCC serves 45 students from 18 school districts in Montgomery and surrounding counties. Established at MCCC in 2013, the program has help 83 students earn their high school diplomas and matriculate at MCCC.

To achieve the award, the MCCC program surpassed established benchmarks in all four categories including first-term grades, one-year persistence, two-year persistence and graduation rate, according to Gateway to College National Network President Emily Froimson.

“Your program is an exemplar for all of our partners and high school reengagement programs across the country,” Froimson wrote. “We are encouraged by your success and look to your program to be a model and a leader within our network.”

Keima Sheriff, director of the MCCC Gateway to College program, said the staff and students in the program were excited to receive the award.

“This award is a tribute to the caring, hard-working staff of the Montgomery County Community College Gateway to College Program, and the students who have worked so hard toward completing their high school diplomas,” Sheriff said. “Many of these students, for one reason or another, had nearly given up on completing high school, but through this program, they find an inner strength and confidence that they need to achieve their educational goals.”

About Montgomery County Community College
For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu.

Montgomery County Community College Offering Three Open Houses This Spring

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College will hold three open houses this spring, and students who attend will be eligible to win a scholarship for a three-credit course. 

To register, visit http://www.mc3.edu/springopenhouse or call 215-628-2969 for Central Campus, 610-427-4984 for West Campus, or 267-646-5970 for The Culinary Arts Institute. 

The West Campus in Pottstown, Pa. will host an open house on Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The West Campus is located at 101 College Drive. 

The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College in Lansdale, Pa. will host an open house on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Culinary Arts Institute is located at 1400 Forty Foot Road.  

The Central Campus in Blue Bell, Pa. will host an open house on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Central Campus is located at 340 DeKalb Pike.  

Both the Central and West Campus open houses will provide information about the College’s associate degree and certificate programs, an opportunity to meet our award winning faculty, as well as information about the admissions process, paying for college, student success programs, academic support, transfer opportunities, the University Center, and student organizations and clubs, among other topics.  

At The Culinary Arts Institute’s open house, attendees will watch two CAI students battle to win a one thousand dollar prize in The Clemens Food Group Bacon Breakfast Recipe Contest, and will have the opportunity to tour the kitchens and classrooms while learning about Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts and Hospitality associate degree programs, as well as Culinary Enthusiast classes and other non-credit offerings. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the admissions process, financial aid, scholarships and the transfer partnership with Johnson & Wales University, among other topics. 

Five three-credit course scholarships will be raffled at the Central Campus open house, and three three-credit scholarships will be raffled at both the West Campus and Culinary Arts Institute open houses. Students must be present to win, and fees are not included. 

About Montgomery County Community College 
For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.   

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu.   

Leading Social Justice Advocate Lateefah Simon To Speak At Montgomery County Community College March 28

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —Lateefah Simon, a nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and racial justice, will discuss how solutions to big problems often begin with one person who is willing to act when she visits Montgomery County Community College on Tuesday, March 28, at 12:30 p.m. for the annual Richard K. Bennett Distinguished Lectureship for Peace and Social Justice. 

The lecture will be held in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, with a simulcast to MCCC’s South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The community is invited to attend this free presentation, but tickets are required. To reserve seats, visit www.mc3.edu/BennettLecture or call 215-641-6518. 

Simon has more than 20 years of executive experience advancing opportunities for communities of color and low-income communities. She gives hope to thousands of families who are struggling to overcome the challenges of poverty and discrimination.  

She currently serves as president of the Akonadi Foundation, a charitable group that funds community projects in the San Francisco Bay area. She has received several honors for her work including being the youngest woman ever to be named a MacArthur “Genius” Grant Fellow. She also was included on the first ever Power List in O Magazine, received the Remarkable Woman Award from Lifetime TV, and was honored by JFK Presidential Library with a Fenn Award. 

This presentation is part of the ongoing Richard K. Bennett Distinguished Lectureship for Peace and Social Justice series which was established at the College in 1981. The lectureship reflects the ideals of Richard Bennett, a Quaker who devoted his life work to accomplishing peace and justice through non-violent efforts.   

West End Student Theatre Brings ‘Reckless’ To The Stage At Montgomery County Community College West Campus In April

Pottstown, PA —The Montgomery County Community College West End Student Theatre brings Craig Lucas’s comedy/drama Reckless to the stage April 20-22 at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown. 

On December 24, Rachel is informed by her guilt-ridden husband that he has hired a hitman to kill her – Merry Christmas! She scrambles out into the night alone, and finds a wild, wonderful web of people and events which allow her to become the hero of her own (almost sane) story. The production contains adult themes and language. 

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists’ Play Services, Reckless is directed by Tim Gallagher and assistant director Zach Clark, with stage direction by Jeff Chernesky. It is produced and designed by students in the Theatre Production Workshop and the West End Student Theatre. 

The cast and crew includes Maliah Buxton of Collegeville, Mika Cave of Bechtelsville, Sebastian Coates of Douglassville, William Cox of Red Hill, Tess Devlin of Collegeville, Duncan DeVore of Perkiomenville, Joseph Donley of Pottstown, Phoebe Kancianic of Pottstown, Derek Peterson of Reading, Shaun Reed of Lancaster, Erik Reyes of Pottstown, Toby Troyer, Hailee Tyson of Sanatoga, and Kayla Velasquez of Royersford. 

Performances will be held April 20 – 22 at 7 p.m., and a special daytime performance on April 21 at 12:30 p.m. in the South Hall Community Room at 101 College Drive in Pottstown, Pa. General admission is $10, and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, please visit www.mc3.edu/theater or call 215-641-6518. 

Proceeds from the production will benefit the Theatre Arts Merit Scholarship fund at the College. 

About Montgomery County Community College 

For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.   

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu.  

Local Entrepreneurs Make Pitch For Start-Up Funding At Montgomery County Community College

Jennifer Green (on stage, right) and service dog Echo are joined by Christina Finello (on stage, left) to make their pitch for start-up funding for Alpha Bravo Canine to the panel of judges Tuesday at Montgomery County Community College.

Blue Bell, PA — Jennifer Green doubled over in her chair, breathing rapidly with her hand to her face. Echo, a 16-month-old chocolate lab, recognized the signs of a panic attack and sprang into action, nuzzling his owner’s hand and climbing onto her lap to apply pressure to her chest to help calm her down.

Green, however, wasn’t really having a panic attack, she was demonstrating the training Echo received to assist military veterans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. The demonstration was part of her pitch to receive up to $20,000 in funding for her non-profit business, Alpha Bravo Canine.

Alpha Bravo Canine was one of six start-up businesses which made their pitch for funding to a panel of judges on Tuesday at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell as part of the Karen A. Stout Start-Up Accelerator Fund, named for the College’s former president.

Now in its second year, the Fund provides fledging businesses with much-needed capital to help take them to the next level in their business development. The Fund is run by the Montgomery County Community College Foundation and the College’s Division of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives.

After giving their presentation, the entrepreneurs faced questions from a panel of judges that included Jay Bown, president of Industrial Investments, Inc. of Blue Bell; Bob Rosenthal, partner in the real estate firm of Envision Land Use in Wayne; Gaetan Giannini, dean of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives at MCCC; Arline Stephan, vice president for Institutional Advancement at MCCC; and Phil Needles, vice president of Student Services at MCCC.

Josh Hoffman, co-founder of Game Plan, a mobile-app that helps people make personalized group decisions on where to dine, pitched his business to the panel and said he was very pleased with the feedback and advice he received.

“I thought it went pretty well,” Hoffman said. “When you get me up there, that’s what gives me energy.”

“Having their feedback is crucial for us growing and understanding what we need to work on,” Green said. “We appreciate the opportunity to do this no matter the outcome.”

That outcome will be determined in the next few weeks as the judges review each entrepreneur’s presentation and proposal and make decisions about funding. After receiving funding, those businesses will continue to work with the College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies to set key milestones and deliverables in the start-up of their business and to monitor their progress and outcomes.

Other business making pitches to the judges on Tuesday included Cryten, Inc., which provides information technology staffing and recruitment services to organizations; NeuroFlow, a software solution which promises to change the way we see brain health; Reentry USA, a reentry database for ex-offenders which promises to help reduce recidivism and improve public safety; and iCareQuality.us, which develops scalable, open source technology to advance the science of the healthcare industry.

“This Fund is about identifying and working with start-ups with strong potential and helping them grow and prosper so they can have a greater impact on Montgomery County and the region,” Stephan said.

Young Artists To Show Their Creations At 39th Annual High School Exhibition And Competition At MCCC

“Staring Back” a mixed media sculpture by Natalie Rock of Germantown Academy.

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA –Budding artists from Montgomery County will exhibit their multi-media creations during the 39th Annual Montgomery County High School Exhibition & Competition from March 8 to 31 at the Montgomery County Community College Fine Arts Center Gallery, 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, Pa. 

The juried show will include about 150 pieces by 144 artists representing 17 different high schools in the County. Schools were permitted to submit up to 10 works selected by art teachers at those schools. The creations were then juried by Linda Crane an independent artist who taught art for 33 years in local school districts.   

“After teaching art locally for more than three decades, I continue to be impressed by the creativity and breadth of our young artists in the region,” Crane said. “I am confident that art enthusiasts who visit the exhibition will be similarly impressed with and inspired by these artists and their creations.” 

A reception and awards ceremony featuring the artists will be held on Wednesday, March 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Gallery. 

Students with works in the exhibition represent Abington High School, Calvary Baptist School, Cheltenham High School, Germantown Academy, Hatboro-Horsham High School, Jenkintown High School, La Salle College High School, Lower Moreland High School, North Penn High School, The Pathway School, Perkiomen Valley High School, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Souderton High School, Springfield Township High School, Spring-Ford High School, Upper Dublin High School and Upper Merion Area High School.  

The social media hashtag for the show is #mcccarts. 

The Fine Arts Center Gallery, features the artwork of local, regional and national artists through an array of exhibitions. It is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Gallery will be closed March 13-19 for spring break. For more information, visit the website at www.mc3.edu/arts/fine-arts/art-wc, or follow us on facebook.com/destinationarts. 

For more information on Linda Crane and her art work, visit www.lindacranestudio.com. 

Montgomery County Community College Central Campus Presenting Short Play Festival In April

Blue Bell, PA —Could you confront a person who tried to destroy you? How about leave your life a solar system away to be with someone you love? Six one-act plays explore these questions and more in the Short Play Festival coming to the stage at Montgomery County Community College April 6-9.

Chosen and directed by student artists at Montgomery County Community College, the Short Play Festival offers young, fresh productions by playwrights ranging from Chekhov to Neil LaBute.

Performances will be held April 6-8 at 7 p.m., April 7 at 12:30 p.m., and the finale on April 9 at 2 p.m. in the Science Center Black Box Theatre at 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell.

The student directors are drawn from the Directing: World of the Stage course at the College, and the plays are produced and designed by students in the Theatre Arts Production Workshop and the Drama Club. Two of the plays are directed by theatre faculty member Rob Heller, who also oversees the entire project.

Selected plays include:

·         Dancing with the Devil by Brooke Berman, director by student Dajzane Meadows-Sanderlin of Upper Darby, Pa.

·         I’m Going to Stop Pretending (That I Didn’t Break our Heart) by Neil LaBute, directed by student Alondra Santos-Castillo of Norristown, Pa.

·         The Proposal by Anton Chekhov, directed by student Kevin Sene of Norristown, Pa.

·         Under Lubianka Square by Constance Congdon, directed by student Shelby Poston of Pottstown, Pa.

·         Fledging by Nathan Alan Davis, director by Rob Heller

·         Space by Kelly P. Luck, directed by Rob Heller

Cast members for the six plays include Dee Brown of Philadelphia, Kaeleigh Dequevado of Springfield Township, Luke Fletcher of Ambler, Amber Grier of Philadelphia, Matt Heller of Erdenheim, Kalif Johnson of Lansdale, Alex Kilcullen of King of Prussia, Lauren Ralston of Horsham, Gordon Rose of Fort Washington, Jordayn Ross of Norristown, Bill Smith of Rockledge, Shea Walker of Blue Bell, Jess Weigand of Norristown and Dan Wurtz of Jenkintown.

General admission is $10, and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.mc3.edu/theater or call 215-641-6518. Proceeds from the production will benefit the Theatre Arts Merit Scholarship fund at the College.

About Montgomery County Community College
For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu .

The Culinary Arts Institute Of Montgomery County Community College Hosting Culinary And Hospitality Job Fairs 

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —Area residents interested in career opportunities in restaurants, casinos, corporate dining operations, grocery stores or senior living facilities are invited to attend two upcoming job fairs hosted by The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College in Lansdale, Pa. on March 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Dress for success, bring an updated resume and get ready to meet employers, gather information and apply for jobs. 

The Culinary Arts Institute is located at 1400 Forty Foot Road in Lansdale. For more information, call 267-646-5970. 

About Montgomery County Community College    
For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes nearly 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.    

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu.    

MCCC Center For Workforce Development Offers Professional Development Series For Business Owners, Entrepreneurs And Managers

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Area business owners, managers and entrepreneurs can prepare to take their businesses to the next level with a series of non-credit professional development courses taught by industry experts being offered by the Montgomery County Community College Center for Workforce Development.

The Center for Workforce Development will offer five seminars on timely, relevant topics including social media marketing, ESOPs and profitability, succession planning, employment law and strategic negotiation on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. from April 6 to May 4 on the College’s Central Campus at 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, Pa.

Social Media Marketing (April 4, Parkhouse Hall Room 309): Tap into the power of social media marketing through exploration of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others. Learn how to establish a social presence that fits your brand, organic posting and scheduling techniques, and targeting paid social advertising. Taught by Devin Concannon, who has managed search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization, paid search, and social media across a digital agency, a Fortune 500, a late stage, and early stage startup. (Course Code: BICBC 1041).

ESOPs and Profitability (April 13, Parkhouse Hall Room 101):  As the Baby-Boomers age, tens of thousands of businesses will be sold over the next decade. Forward-thinking owners are looking for ways to grow their enterprises, take care of their families, and reward the employees integral to their success. This course, led by the Kevin McPhillips, CEO of the non-profit Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership, provides an overview of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan basics. Participants will learn how they can be paid handsomely for some or all of their business, while dramatically improving productivity, and rewarding and engaging employees. (Course Code: BICBC 1042).

Succession Planning (April 20, Parkhouse Hall Room 101):  Banks usually require key man life insurance on closely held corporations. Good companies always coach future leaders for success. Learn how to develop a succession plan within your organization and why it is important. Taught by Eapen Johnson, a senior level human resources executive with more than 20 years of experience. (Course Code: BICBC 1043).

Employment Law (April 27, Parkhouse Hall Room 101):  Stay abreast of recent changes in employment law that can affect your business. Taught by Meloney Sallie-Dosunmu, a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant and recognized expert on human resources, leadership and management.  (Course Code: BICBC 1044)

Strategic Negotiation (May 4, Parkhouse Hall Room 101):  Provides individuals at all career stages, including rising managers, with skills to improve negotiation and performance. Learn to approach transactions strategically, think critically, and motivate behavior. Taught by Jeffrey T. Tucker, chair of the Employment Law Practice Group and a member of the Education, Business, and Municipal Law Practice Groups of the Bethlehem, Pa. based law firm of King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul. (Course Code: BICBC 1045)

Each session is $125, or you can register for all five sessions for $500 – a $125 savings. To register, call 215-641-6397, and provide the Course Code associated with each session for which you would like to register. If registering for all five sessions, use the Course Code BICBC 1040.

About Montgomery County Community College

For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu.

MCCC, Pottstown Organizations Hold Children’s Dental Sealant Program

Pottstown, PA — The Dental Hygiene program at Montgomery County Community College is partnering with the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation and Community Health and Dental Care to offer a free Children’s Dental Sealant program on Saturday, March 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During this community outreach event, children ages 6 to 14 will received free oral examinations and sealant application performed by licensed dental hygienists in consultation with a licensed dentist. The College’s dental hygiene students will provide support services. A dental sealant is a clear, preventive coating placed on permanent back teeth to prevent dental decay.

The sealant program will be held at Community Health and Dental Care, 11 Robinson St., Suite 100, Pottstown. Space is limited, and appointments are required. Call 610-326-7405 to make an appointment or for additional information.

About Montgomery County Community College

For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes nearly 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visithttp://www.mc3.edu.

MCCC’s Sustainability And Innovation Hub In Pottstown Earns Montgomery Award For Excellent Planning And Design

Montgomery County Community College received one of the Montgomery County Planning Commission’s Montgomery 2016 award for the planning and design of its Sustainability and Innovation Hub. From left: Jill Blumhardt, Montgomery County Planning Commission board member; Dulcie F. Flaharty, Vice Chair, Montgomery County Planning Commission, Dr. David DiMattio, Vice President of West Campus; Dr. Kevin Pollock, MCCC President; and Jaime Garrido, Associate Vice President for Facililties and Construction at MCCC.

Montgomery County Community College received one of the Montgomery County Planning Commission’s Montgomery 2016 award for the planning and design of its Sustainability and Innovation Hub. From left: Jill Blumhardt, Montgomery County Planning Commission board member; Dulcie F. Flaharty, Vice Chair, Montgomery County Planning Commission, Dr. David DiMattio, Vice President of West Campus; Dr. Kevin Pollock, MCCC President; and Jaime Garrido, Associate Vice President for Facililties and Construction at MCCC.

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA— The Montgomery County Planning Commission recently  presented Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) with a 2016 Montgomery Award for the planning and design of its Sustainability and Innovation Hub at 140 College Drive, Pottstown.

MCCC was one of five award recipients to receive this honor during a recent awards ceremony held at Theatre Horizon in Norristown. The other recipients are The Courts of Spring Mill Station, Whitemarsh Township; Narberth Place, Narberth Borough; Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, East Norriton Township; and Reliance Crossing, Souderton Borough. Additionally, Paul W. Meyer, the F. Otto Haas Executive of the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, received the 2016 Planning Advocate Award.

MCCC’s Hub not only has programs in sustainability and innovation, but the building and property are themselves models of these principles. During the course of six years, MCCC transformed the building, a former energy substation, and three-acre brownfield site into a state-of-the-art center for education, innovation and conservation.

“The building is a sustainable energy hub outside–with the wind turbines, green roof and impervious parking lot—and inside—with programs in aquaponics, hydroponics, robotics, engineering and software development,” said Vice President of West Campus Dr. David DiMattio. “The Hub also represents collaboration with the community, through partnerships with the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage area, Riverfront Park, Schuylkill River Trail and Pottstown Borough.”

The architect for the project was Murray Associates Architects of Harrisburg, and the engineering company was Bruce Brooks and Associates of Philadelphia.

Pottstown Borough transferred the property to MCCC in 2007. The rehabilitation was both part of Pottstown’s Redevelopment Plan, as outlined in its 2003 “Riverfront & Memorial Parks Master Plan,” and a way for MCCC to expand its West Campus.

Starting in 2010, MCCC developed the site in three extensive phases, concluding in 2016 with the opening of the Hub on April 18.

Phase I started with the installation of a 202-space parking lot. The innovative design uses bioretention and includes the planting of more than 130 native plants and trees. Through an EPA grant, MCCC installed energy-saving LED lighting.

Phase II included abatement and cleaning of mold, lead and asbestos from the building and involved preparing the building’s south side infrastructure for demolition and remediation. MCCC replaced the leaking roof with an eco-friendly green roof; added a new entrance, handicap-accessible ramp and energy efficient windows; and updated water and sewer services.

Between Phases II and III, MCCC installed four wind turbines on the property. The turbines produce a collective 4,000 watts of energy–enough to power the LED parking lot lighting. The turbines were designed as a demonstration project to teach students and the community about alternative energy production.

Phase III involved the construction of the Hub’s classrooms and innovation spaces in the building’s south side. The Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area (SRHA) has its headquarters in the north side of the building since 2002, which also includes the River of Revolutions Interpretative Center for visitors.

The Hub’s first floor features an aquaponics and hydroponics teaching laboratory, which supports MCCC’s interdisciplinary Environmental Studies degree program, as well as future programs in the areas such as greenhouse technology, food production, horticulture and landscape design. Aquaponics and hydroponics involve growing fish and soil-less plants in a symbiotic system.

The Hub’s second floor features an Engineering Design Center, which supports MCCC’s Engineering Technology program and prepares graduates for careers in the advanced technology fields of instrumentation, communications and mechanical structures and systems. In this space, MCCC students, faculty and community businesses are working with robotics and 3D printing.

The Hub’s mezzanine floor is a flexible innovation space that can be used by the community, as well as for classes. MCCC holds its new Software Developer Academy in this area.

For more information about MCCC’s Sustainability and Innovation Hub, contact Dr. David DiMattio at ddmatti@mc3.edu or 610-819-2070.

MCCC Student Theatre To Present “Slip Shot” – Nov. 10, 11 And 12

slipshot-470-w-textPottstown, PA—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) West End Student Theatre and Theatre Arts program are proud to present “Slip/Shot,” a drama by Philadelphia playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger. Show dates are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. with a special afternoon performance Friday, Nov. 11 at 12:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the College’s South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown, PA.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, visit

https://www.mc3.edu/arts/student-performance or call 215-641-6518.

During this mesmerizing drama, a rookie police officer finds even an accident can have paralyzing consequences when his gun goes off in an encounter with a young African-American man. Did his gun slip, or was it shot? A heartbreaking performance about violence, fear, and our need to move forward. This production contains adult themes and language.

“Slip/Shot” earned the Brown Martin Award and the Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play. Additionally, it was named one of the “Top 10 Productions of 2012” by “Philadelphia Weekly.”

“This is thoughtful and engaging work that encourages us to talk to each other,” says West End Student Theatre Advisor Tim Gallagher.

Directed by Samantha Clarke and stage managed by Morgan Carrasquillo, the cast includes James Rodgers, Maliah Buxton, Hailee Tyson, Erik Reyes, Zach Clark, Jeff Chernesky, and Phoebe Johnson. The production is designed, produced and presented by the students of the Theatre Production Workshop and West End Student Theatre, which includes Derek Peterson, Kayla Velasquez, Toby Taylor, Morgan Carrasquillo, Erika Blue, Maliah Buxton, Quin Newman Zachary Clark, Joe Donley, Tess Devlin, under the guidance of Chris Kleckner.

MCCC Medical Assisting Graduates Earn 100 Percent Pass Rate On National Certification Examination

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —One-hundred percent of Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) 2016 Medical Assisting Certificate Program graduates who participated in the American Medical Technologist’s certification examination for Registered Medical Assistants passed the examination and attained their national certification credential.

The 27 students are: Gabrielle Altomare, North Wales; Joyce Birmingham, Pottstown; Michelle Bruce, Telford; Olivia Buszta, Pottstown; Anna Chandler, Boyertown; Courtney Cravero, Blue Bell; Allyson Forbes, Douglassville; Vanessa Fosco, Norristown; Lakshmiee Gosine, Telford; Rebecca Hanson, Hatfield; Ashley Heffner, Gilbertsville; Rockeisha Kelsey, Norristown; Rachel Krantz, Collegeville; Allison Lackovich, Willow Grove; Nicole Lentz, Pottstown; Maria Martinez; Jaclyn Murphy, Pottstown; Kaitlyn Murphy, Schwenksville; Carmen Orellana, Elkins Park; Elizabeth Raihl, Pottstown; Bridget Rapp, Gilbertsville; Isabella Rotta, Royersford; Jessica Ruben, King of Prussia; Toni Sacerdote, Pottstown; Natasha Scott, Lansdale; Gina Stella, Lansdale; and Vania Trujillo, Souderton.

Since its inception in 2001, the Medical Assisting Program has achieved a cumulative pass rate of 99.5 percent on the RMA national credentialing exam. The program is offered at both West Campus in Pottstown and Central Campus in Blue Bell.

Medical assistants serve a vital role in healthcare delivery, particularly in the care management of a growing aging population. Employers, including hospitals and larger medical practices, are more likely to hire a medical assistant who has demonstrated professionalism through the attainment of the RMA occupational credential.

MCCC’s Medical Assisting Certificate Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs on recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board.

For additional information, contact Medical Assisting Program Director Kathleen Schreiner at 610-718-1812 or email kschreiner@mc3.edu.

MCCC To Celebrate 30 Years Of Arts Excellence With 2016-17 Lively Arts Season

Blue Bell, PA —Montgomery County Community College will celebrate three decades of bringing world-class entertainment, soul-enriching music, peerless comedy and thought-provoking discussion to the community through its 2016-17 Lively Arts season.

Since 1986, the Lively Art series has connected the community through electrifying musical, dance and theater performances, stimulating workshops and lectures, Young Arts Explorers events and meet-the-artist receptions. This year’s season promises even more with its family series and a new film series. Visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts or call 215-641-6518 for more information and tickets.

The series continues with a host of musical, theater and comedy performances, including:

·      The Capitol Steps (Oct. 16) – The popular, award-winning group will share its special brand of satirical political humor – just in time for the presidential election – through song parodies and skits that play off recent headlines.

·      Repertorio Español’s Production of “El Quijote” (Oct. 22) – The classic story of the Man of La Mancha is told in Spanish with English captions by experienced and emerging Latino theater artists.

·      The Joey Alexander Trio (Nov. 6) – Child prodigy Joey Alexander, a 13-year-old self-taught Indonesian jazz pianist who released his first album in 2015, has performed for Herbie Hancock and Bill Clinton and at prestigious jazz festivals.

·      Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland (Dec. 4) – Venerated Memphis-born jazz musician and composer Charles Lloyd, who has played with such legends as B.B. King and Bobbie “Blue” Bland and has recorded with The Doors and the Beach Boys, brings his mastery of tenor saxophone, flute, piano and more to audiences in a blend of jazz, world music and other genres.

·      Aaron Diehl Quartet featuring Warren Wolf (Feb. 11) – Diehl, a Juilliard grad and Cole Porter jazz fellow who has toured with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, is joined by Berklee-trained multi-instrumentalist and recording artist Warren Wolf for an evening of jazz blended with hip-hop, funk, rock and world music.

·      Cyrille Aimée (Feb. 18) – The jazz vocalist and French native, who has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as “astonishingly creative…with a brilliant sound, fresh ideas [and] impeccable rhythm,” brings a gypsy sensibility to her singing.

·      James “Blood” Ulmer Odyssey Trio (Feb. 25) – Ulmer, a jazz and blues guitarist, singer and recording artist, applies his southern roots in gospel toward a highly individualized sound described as “a cross between Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Mike Bloomfield.”

·      Monnette Sudler’s Philadelphia Guitar Summit “Chord Nation” (Mar. 4) –Philadelphia-native guitar expert Monnette Sudler will present “Chord Nation,” featuring M’OUD Swing Moroccan Oriental Jazz, Paul Bollenback Portraits of Space and Time Quartet with Orin Evans, Mike Boone and Byron Landham, Gloria Galanta Harp Jazz Ensemble featuring Monnette Sudler and introducing Nasir Dickerson, soloist bringing his African melodies on the African harp-Kora.

·      Sébastien Lépine (Mar. 12) –  Lépine – the award-winning Canadian cellist, chamber musician, conductor and composer who breathes new life into classical music – will join forces with 4 Ailes, a string quartet that has performed all over Quebec and shared the stage with Ingrid St.-Pierre and other accomplished artists.

·      Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (Apr. 1) – The Grammy-winning pianist, composer and founding artistic director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance performs with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which has preserved the music of his father, the legendary Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill.

·      Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Apr. 7) – Known as the “bad boys of jazz,” this troupe of seven brothers from the south side of Chicago formed a group as children under their trumpet-playing father, Kelan Phil Cohran, and has played with everyone from Prince to Mick Jones of The Clash.

·      Koresh Dance Company (Apr. 29) – Now in its 25th year, this acclaimed dance company led by Israeli founder Ronen “Roni” Koresh has toured extensively and been praised for its “rich, multicultural blend of intensity and physicality” offering “all the finesse and grace of a ballet with the athleticism of an Olympic sport.”

New this year in honor of the Lively Arts’ 30th anniversary, the College will debut a film series sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation On Screen/In Person. Films include:

·      You Belong to Me (Oct. 18, 3 p.m.), an expose of what it meant to be an African American in the Jim Crow South in the 1950s as seen through the lens of a bizarre sex- and race-related murder.

·      Love thy Nature (Nov. 8, 4 p.m.), a cinematic journey narrated by Liam Neeson about the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world.

·      Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save our World’s Children (Feb. 8, 3 p.m.), which profiles the man who led a revolution in vaccine innovation that saved millions of young lives.

·      Real Boy (Mar. 21, 7 p.m.), a coming-of-age story about a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice as a musician, a friend, a son and a man.

·      States of Grace (Apr. 13, 3 p.m.), an award-winning portrait of devotion and trust that documents one woman’s fight to restore her life with her partner and teenage daughter after a tragic accident results in a seven-week coma and a dozen surgeries.

In its annual Young Arts Explorers series, the College will engage children through highly entertaining, educational performances, including:

·      Janet’s Planets (Jan. 26), a live performance from Janet Ivey of the popular TV show in which she explores science, technology, engineering, art, math and the wonders of the galaxy through an imaginative, interactive learning adventure

·      Seussical (Jan. 27), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs

For its new Family Series, the College will engage audiences of all ages with:

·      Seussical (Jan. 28), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs ·

Okee Dokee Brothers (Mar. 11), the Grammy-winning performers who use family-oriented Americana folk music to inspire kids to go outside, be creative and gain a greater respect for the natural world and their communities

The Lively Arts Series events are held in the Science Center Theater at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

For more information, visit mc3.edu/livelyarts, email livelyarts@mc3.edu or call the Box Office at 215-641-6518. Follow the College’s “Destination Arts” page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DestinationArts.

Learn More About MCCC At Fall Open Houses

Blue Bell/Pottstown/Lansdale, PA—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will hold three open houses this fall to provide prospective students and their families with information about the College’s programs, campuses and activities. To register, visithttp://www.mc3.edu/fallopenhouse or call 215-628-2969 for Central Campus, 610-427-4984 for West Campus or 267-646-5970 for The Culinary Arts Institute.

The College’s Central Campus, located at 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, will host an open house on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 9 to 11 a.m.

The College’s West Campus, located at 101 College Drive in Pottstown, will host an open house on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 9 to 11 a.m.

The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College, located at 1400 Forty Foot Road in Lansdale, will host an open house on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m.-noon.

Both the Central and West Campus open houses will provide information about the College’s 100+ associate degree and certificate programs, as well as information about the admissions process, paying for college, academic support, transfer opportunities, the Virtual Campus, the University Center, intercollegiate athletics and student organizations and clubs, among other topics. Tours will be given and alumni will be on hand to speak with students and families.

At The Culinary Arts Institute’s open house in the Towamencin Town Square complex, attendees will have the opportunity to tour the kitchens and classrooms while learning about Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts and Hospitality associate degree programs, as well as Culinary Enthusiast classes and other non-credit offerings. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the admissions process, financial aid, scholarships, and the transfer partnership with Johnson & Wales University, among other topics.

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

In Celebration Of National Park Service’s Centennial Anniversary – SRHA & MCCC Partner To Host Nationally Touring Art Quilt Exhibit W/Opening Reception Oct. 5

wings-of-fire-melani-k-brewer

Wings of Fire by Melani K. Brewer

Pottstown, PA—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) and the Schuylkill River Heritage Area (SRHA) will present a traveling juried art quilt exhibit, “Piecing Together a Changing Planet,” which illustrates how pollution and climate change have affected national parks.

The 26-quilt exhibit has been on display at national parks and partner venues since 2014 and is continuing its journey across the country in celebration of the National Park Service’s Centennial Anniversary this year. Since the exhibit started, it has been seen by nearly a quarter-million people, according to Gary Bremen, a park ranger who helped to coordinate the exhibit.

The exhibit will be held at at MCCC’s Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown, from Oct. 3 through 28 with an opening reception on Wednesday, October 5, 5-7 p.m. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the community—everyone is welcome.

The Last Resort by Mary Rhopa la Cierra

The Last Resort by Mary Rhopa la Cierra

The quilted artwork was created by Florida members of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), a 3,000-member international organization dedicated to the promotion of art quilt. In addition to traditional stitching and piecing, this type of quilting features graphic design and layering of pieces of fabric, creating a dramatic, three-dimensional effect. As a result, butterflies appear to flutter from treetops, while glaciers seem to melt into oceans.

According to exhibit curator Maya Schonenberger, “The artists’ goal is to help open people’s eyes to the beauty of nature that surrounds them, and share their concern for its loss.”

Over the years, climate changes, particularly the warming of the atmosphere, has created many changes in the environment, which are often evident in America’s national parks.

“Stories of how artists have played a crucial role in environmental protection are legion,” said Bremen. “The arts convey beauty, fragility and urgency in ways that touch the heart and soul, thus opening the mind as well.”

Last Leaf by Linda S. Hoffmeister

Last Leaf by Linda S. Hoffmeister

The national tour of Piecing Together a Changing Planet is made possible by SAQA and Biscayne National Park, with financial support from the National Park Service’s Climate Change Response Program, the South Florida National Parks Trust, Les Bouquinistes Book Club and an anonymous donor.

For more information about the Schuylkill River Heritage Association, visit http://www.schuylkillriver.org/.

The Fine Arts Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday, 8;30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed weekends. For more information about MCCC, visit http://www.mc3.edu.

MCCC GED Program Reaches Milestone Of 1,000 Graduates

GED 2016 Group: Sixty-one students graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s GED program on June 15, 2016. Included in this class is the program’s 1,000th graduate.  Photo by Sandi Yanisko

GED 2016 Group: Sixty-one students graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s GED program on June 15, 2016. Included in this class is the program’s 1,000th graduate. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Pottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) General Education Diploma (GED) program reached a milestone during its annual graduation ceremony on June 15. Among the 61 individuals who earned their diplomas was the program’s 1,000th graduate.

Introduced in 2006, MCCC’s six-week GED program is among the most accelerated in the state. Students spend one week of intensive study in each GED subject—reading and language arts, science, social studies and math—then they take the respective test. The program alternates between day and evening classes every six weeks to accommodate as many students as possible.

The GED program and tests are free to Montgomery County residents, thanks to generous sponsorship from Montco Works, Montgomery County’s Workforce Investment Board. The program costs $100 for out-of-county students.

At least 20 of this year’s graduates are already enrolled in credit courses at MCCC. Graduate speaker Timothy Ream, of Schwenksville, is one of them.

“In the last nine months, I have accomplished more than I did in nine years,” Ream told the audience of graduates, family and friends during his remarks. “I’m currently taking summer classes at Montco, and I have a 3.5 GPA. I know it’s not a 4.0, but it’s better than the 0.6 GPA I left high school with.”

Following his emotion-filled speech, Ream surprised GED Program Coordinator Ed Sasek by presenting him with a plaque on behalf of the graduates.

“This man has dedicated his whole life to adult education,” shared Ream.

MCCC Assistant Professor of Geography Samuel Wallace provided the keynote address, during which he shared the story of his father, who earned his GED after surviving polio.

“My father never attended a year of school, not uncommon in a 1940s Kansas dustbowl,” he said. “After surviving polio, he realized he would never again make money with his legs and back. He got a GED and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in science and engineering.”

Wallace shared that his father wrote the first set of guidelines for federal highway maintenance.

“Your career is not the one you thought you would have when you were 16. A GED is one way to get a second strike at the ball. It’s your jumpstart,” he said.

Janet Rojas, youth research and performance coordinator for Montco Works, presented the graduates with their diplomas. She was joined by Dr. David DiMattio, vice president of the West Campus; Nicole Henderson, dean of student affairs; and Peggy Schmidt, chair of the Workforce Investment Board Youth Council.

In her closing remarks, Schmidt drew applause with a reference to ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” television show.

“You, tonight, have in your hands your own Mirrorball Trophy,” said Schmidt. “You are on the steps of an exciting future. So get out and DANCE!”

To learn more about the GED program or GED testing services, visit http://www.mc3.edu/adm-fin-aid/ged.

Learn About MCCC Nursing Program During Summer Info Sessions

Nursing Lab

Students work with a simulated patient in Montgomery County Community College’s Nursing Laboratory.

Blue Bell, PA — The community is invited to explore nursing career opportunities at Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, during information sessions this summer.

Sessions will be offered on June 15 and June 21 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and on July 27, Aug. 4 and Aug. 10 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. All sessions will be held in room 218 of MCCC’s Advanced Technology Center, except for the July 27 session, which will be held in room 212. Sessions are free of charge and are open to the public. Pre-registration is not required.

During the information sessions, participants will learn about MCCC’s Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Nursing degree program, which prepares graduates for careers as caring, professional nurses who employ critical thinking skills to the nursing process in order to care for clients in a variety of health care settings. Participants will learn about the program’s admissions requirements, competitive application process, laboratory and clinical experiences, and transfer opportunities.

The U.S. Department of Labor projects a higher-than-average 16 percent job growth rate for Registered Nurses (RN) through 2024, due, in part, to increased demand for health care services by an aging population and greater access to health care as result of health care insurance reform.

To learn more about MCCC’s Nursing program, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics/areas-of-study/health-sciences/nursing.