For the first time, and in response to community demand, Delaware County Community College is offering a Mandarin Chinese course starting with the fall 2012 semester.
Offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Elementary Chinese (Mandarin) course (Chi 101) will introduce students to the fundamentals of Mandarin by focusing on the development of functional competence in the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), as well as Chinese cultural knowledge.
Students completing this course will master the Chinese pronunciation system (Hanyu Pinyin), basic Simplified Chinese characters, and basic Chinese grammar. Course emphasis is placed on actual verbal communication. A second course (Chi 102) will follow in spring 2013.
In order to assist the practice and mastery of the language for students, this course is being offered as a Supplemental Instruction (SI) course.
There are three hours of class instruction plus two 50-minute SI sessions each week. The sessions are facilitated by an SI leader who will review course work and lead conversation practice activities. The SI sessions are required of all students enrolled in the course.
“Chinese is one of 15 languages designated by the U.S. Government as a ‘critical language,’ which refers to languages that are critical to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. These languages are often perceived as being too complex and difficult to learn for most English-speakers, and as a result, we have a shortage of people who are bilingual in the critical languages,” said Assistant Dean of Communications, Arts and Humanities Sabuur Abdul-Kareem.
Chinese is spoken by over one billion people around the world, roughly one-fifth of the world’s population, mainly in Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore and Southeast Asia. While there are many dialects, Mandarin is spoken by about 70 percent of Chinese people.
If you are interested in an international career or want to increase your international/intercultural competence, consider studying Chinese with us at the College.
“We hope that the evening format will meet the needs of both our full-time students and others interested in learning another language,” said Abdul-Kareem.
The College also offers two other critical languages, Russian and Arabic. In addition to language study, students can add certificates in Global Studies or Latino-American Studies–Spanish Language to their academic program.
Students studying a critical language can also apply for the Critical Language Scholarship Program of the United States Department of State to study in intensive summer language institutes.
To register for this and other courses, please visit www.dccc.edu or call 1 (877) 912-DCCC (3222).
Delaware County Community College (DCCC) was recently recognized as a leader in the national student completion movement Achieving the Dream, a national non-profit that helps 3.5 million community college students stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree.
“The work of improving student success is very difficult, critically important and urgent,” said William Trueheart, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Delaware County Community College has carefully analyzed student outcomes and has implemented sustained positive student-centered changes. They deserve enormous recognition for their focus on equity and excellence, and for their extraordinary contributions to their communities and our nation.”
DCCC was one of 23 institutions designated as a 2011 Leader College. DCCC achieved Leader College status by raising graduation rates and closing achievement gaps. Achieving the Dream institutions that have met high standards of practice and performance are recognized as “Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges.”
Every new Leader College has pioneered promising practices and policies to help more students succeed including college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, student success courses, developmental course redesign, curriculum redesign, cooperative learning, learning communities and intensive and individualized advising.
In addition to being a Leader College, DCCC has also shown three years of sustained student success on at least one of the following measures of performance: course completion, advancement from remedial to credit-bearing courses, completion of college-level math and English courses, term-to-term and year-to-year retention, and completion of certificates or degrees.
“We are excited to be recognized as a Leader College,” said Dr. Virginia Carter, provost of DCCC. “Since we began our relationship with the Achieving the Dream organization, student success became a college priority that involved everyone. Initiatives and processes to help each student move towards his/her educational goal are integrated into the fabric of the college — from fiscal planning to hiring and program development. The recognition is a tribute to the dedication of our faculty, staff and communities.
“Our mission has always been to help all students achieve their dream. It’s about raising the bar for everybody to be able to succeed and then closing the gap. If there is some defining factor about a group not succeeding, we have to then figure out a way to help them succeed.”
DCCC was selected to participate in Achieving the Dream in 2006 by a national panel made up of community college experts. Since then, the college has increased fall-to-spring retention from 68 percent in 2007 to 73 percent in 2011.
This improvement is associated with a combination of interventions including English conferencing, supplemental instruction, JumpStart Math, Academy for College Excellence, reading/counselor pairings, new student orientation and mentoring.
Delaware County Community College will be teaming up with J. Lewis Crozer Library in Chester to offer residents an opportunity to further their education through the college General Educational Development (GED) program.
The program, which is funded by a federal grant issued by the PA Department of Education and the Bureau of Adult Basic Literacy Education, enables residents to a brighter future by completing their education.
The mission of the program is to teach basic skills and assist learners in developing life and job readiness skills in order to move into the workforce, training programs and higher education. This program is designed to improve basic skills in reading comprehension, writing and math in preparation for the examinations. High school graduates may attend to improve job skills or prepare for college entrance exams.
“Our GED program goal is to create a direct channel between students who complete the GED test and higher education,” explains Karen Kozachyn, Associate Dean of Community and Corporate Education. “The faculty and staff support students by connecting them with peer mentors and career counselors in hopes that they would continue their education at the College.”
The classes will be held at the library on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Classes will include reading comprehension, writing, basic math skill review and GED test preparation. The program is open to residents 18-years and older who have not gone through the traditional primary and secondary education process. The GED classes will cover Social Studies, Science, Literature, Writing and Math.
“I think it’s a good idea for Chester to be teaming up with Delaware County Community College to offer residents a chance to receive their GED,” said Ariyana Hudson, former participant of the GED program. “I had my daughter at a young age and wasn’t fortunate to graduate from high school, but I knew I wanted to further my education. I participated in the GED program at the library in Chester last year and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
“The program really helps you improve your skills as well as prepare you for a better future. The staff is really great. They explain everything thoroughly and if you need additional help in certain areas they are willing to work with you. I really appreciate them for everything that they have done for me and it is experience I will never forget.”
Schedules and class request forms may be obtained at the J. Lewis Crozer Library or at any Delaware County Community College location. Pre-registrations for the classes are required. No-walk-ins will be accepted.
For more information on the GED classes, call (484) 237-6244.
Delaware County Community College is continuing to offer adults a better career path through its New Choices Career Development program.
Established in 1983, New Choices is a career exploration and job re-entry program that provides individual and group support, career planning workshops, employer contacts, networking opportunities, résumé writing assistance, interviewing techniques and basic computer skills.
The program is designed to help single parents, displaced homemakers and individuals in transition achieve economic security and self-sufficiency.
Some of the services in the program include vocational assessment, development of an individualized career plan and job placement assistance. There are currently 25 new clients enrolled in the program.
“Our goal of the program has always been to empower individuals in transition so they can participate fully in planning and achieving their career, educational and personal goals by improving self-esteem, and building self-confidence,” said Joan Kelly, counselor of the New Choices Career Development program.
The program’s staff engages employers from large corporations, small businesses and local non-profit organizations to participate in classroom presentations, conduct mock interviews with students, share information about particular industries, provide networking opportunities and offer information about job openings. Many program graduates find jobs with employers who participate in the program.
“When you’re a single parent it’s sometimes hard to not only find time for yourself between work and caring for your child, but it’s also extremely hard to incorporate school into that equation as well,” said Monique Baxter, a former client of the New Choices Career Development program. “For me, it was an easy decision to participate in a program like this because the counselors provide you with the tools to further your career. They help you not only obtain your dreams, but to also provide a better future for your children.
“It was a struggle for me at first, but I don’t regret going to the program at all,” she said. “Because of this program I not only have a better job in a field that I love; I also have the confidence to compete with some of the best in the industry.”
Qualified individuals may receive transportation or child care assistance when funding is available. Scholarships may also be available to New Choices graduates. Classes for the program are offered three times per year including January, March and October.
All of the classes are held at the Marple Campus in Media (901 South Media Line Road), the Southeast Center in Sharon Hill (2000 Elmwood Ave., Curtis Building) and the Exton Center (906 and 912 Springdale Drive, Whiteland Business Park). Evening classes are also available at the Marple Campus.
For more information on the New Choices Career Development program call (610) 359-5232.
Community college steps up to National Junior College Athletic Association
As the spring sports season kicks off at Delaware County Community College (DCCC), the Phantoms are facing a new level of competition.
This season marks the athletic program’s move into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). As members of Region XIX of the NJCAA, the Phantoms strive to continue to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
“The move to the NJCAA will allow our student athletes to compete at a national level against stronger competition,” said Andrew Johnson Jr., director of wellness, athletics and recreation. “Our association with Region XIX and the NJCAA will also promote stronger academic standards for our student-athletes so they will be better prepared to transfer to a four-year institution.”
Founded in the 1930s, the NJCAA serves as the national governing body for two-year college athletic programs and is the second-largest intercollegiate sports organization in the United States.
The college’s transition into the association began earlier this month with the baseball team. The other six sports men’s and women’s basketball, golf, soccer, tennis and volleyball—will follow suit for the 2012-13 academic year.
The move comes on the heels of a historic win by the men’s basketball team. In their final season in the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference, the Phantoms beat out Community College of Philadelphia last month with a final score of 85-72, winning the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference championship. The hard-fought victory marks the first championship the team has seen in 16 years.
“From the beginning of the season the guys were built to be champions. They bought into the system that the coaches and I laid down and the hard work paid off,” said Dwayne Saunders, coach of DCCC men’s basketball. “To have the championship label and enter the history books at Delaware County Community College is an awesome feeling. We ended the season on a good note and hopefully the momentum we had this season will carry over to next season, especially since we will be a part of the NJCAA.”
As the Phantoms look to next season in the NJCAA, they plan to remain consistent, bring in more talent and continue to win.
Moving to the NJCAA will also give the team the opportunity to compete at the national level against stronger competition. The association also promotes stronger academic standards, so students will be better prepared to transfer to a four-year institution.
“Having won the championship will give our program and College more notoriety and will help us get more students and talented athletes to come to the College,” Johnson said. “It also gives me, the coaches and the players more confidence as we make the move to the NJCAA. I know after watching this team perform this year that we are ready to compete at a national level.”
A 59-year-old great-grandmother from Yeadon and a 19-year-old associate minister from Folcroft were among the more than 1,400 students who graduated from Delaware County Community College (DCCC) recently at a ceremony held at Villanova University’s Pavilion building.
Bonnie Tyler, a business management major, wife of 40 years, mother of two, grandmother of five, and great-grandmother of three, reinvented herself at DCCC after 15 years of working as an administrative assistant for Pep Boys and at a local Montessori school.
After working for many years, she determined that she needed to go back to school to update her skills and learn about the new rules of the 21st century workplace. President Barack Obama also inspired Tyler’s decision to go back to school.
“After you have worked for a while you realize that you need to catch up on technology and what is new out here,” she said. “What really inspired me to go back to school after all these years was President Obama during his election year. He talked about the important of education and how no matter what obstacles may be in our way we can do it.
“After hearing his message on education I said ‘I’m going back to school and I can do this,’” she added. “In order to get further in life, you need a good education. The president not only inspired me to go back, but his message also gave me the extra push that I needed. I’m the first out of my mother’s children to graduate from college.”
Tyler learned about age discrimination, sexual harassment and other workplace rules at DCCC. She also became close friends with students from other cultures.
“My experience at DCCC was very knowledgeable,” Tyler said. “The overall atmosphere was very friendly. I became really good friends with people from other cultures, especially students who were African. Some of the students from Africa couldn’t speak too well, so I was tutoring them and helping them with their English and studies. The students at DCCC also helped me out in some of my studies.”
In the future, Tyler plans to turn her hobby of planning weddings for friends and members of her church, 19th Street Baptist in South Philadelphia, into a full-fledged wedding and event planning business. She hasn’t ruled out furthering her education and getting her bachelor’s degree.
“Getting an education is very rewarding and I found it to be fun,” she said. “My plan was to just get my associate’s degree. I would like a bachelor’s degree, but just not right now; maybe in five years. The door will always be open for that plan. It’s never too late to get an education.”
Statistics show nontraditional students such as Tyler are returning to school — often community colleges — to increase their skills, earn degrees or to attain shorter-term, non-credit certificates. Nearly 388,000 students age 50 and older were enrolled in community colleges in 2009, the most recent data available, according to the American Association of Community Colleges based in Washington, D.C.
Traditional age students like Lance Bennett of Folcroft, were also among DCCC graduates. Bennett earned an associate in arts degree in communication arts. He plans to transfer to Eastern University, where he will double major in communications studies and philosophy.
“I chose DCCC to continue my education because it was a really reasonable college, especially for those who come from low-income families,” he said. “The college really prepares you to transfer to a four-year institution. I was able to do a lot of networking and got to develop my leadership skills while I was there. The teachers helped me and allowed me to also see my full potential. My overall experience at DCCC was great.”
An associate minister in his church, Second Baptist Church in Media, Bennett was president of Campus Bible Fellowship. He took advantage of a program at the College that allows him to transfer credits to Eastern University, a four-year school where he will start as a junior in the honors program.
“The goals that I have for myself, does not end with DCCC,” he said. “I want to be a college professor and teach communications. I want to write a couple books including a textbook for communications.
“I also want to be able to mentor a lot of young Black males,” Bennett added. “I believe that a lot of young Black men don’t have the resources that they need, especially if they don’t have a male figure in their life, so they need someone from the outside to help mentor them and show them that you can achieve personally and professionally.”
While Bennett is already looking forward to the future, he is still reveling in his recent accomplishment. He hopes that through his accomplishments he will be able to inspire other people.
“When my graduation came, I was extremely proud because I accomplished my goal at DCCC, which was to graduate from the college in two years,” he said. “If I could give advice to high school or other college students, I would tell them to make goals for yourself and be active on campus. I would also tell them to keep going, stay focused and work hard. If you do those things, you will succeed and accomplish everything that you want.”
Twenty-eight students in the Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program recently graduated from Delaware County Community College’s General Educational Development (GED) program.
Held annually, the College’s GED graduation ceremony gives students the opportunity to be recognized and commended for their hard work, determination and dedication.
Along with family and friends, students listened as keynote speaker Therese Norton, of Avondale, spoke of her experiences after graduating from the GED program in 2011.
Norton is now a student at Delaware County Community College where she’s earning an associate of art degree.
Current graduates Joshua Grant, of Essington, and Fawna Williams, of Downingtown, also spoke to the audience about the importance of achieving this goal and how they hope it will impact their futures.
In program year 2011–12, more than 70 Delaware County Community College students obtained their GED certificate thanks to this free program, which is funded by a federal grant issued by the PA Department of Education and ABLE.
The program makes it possible for residents to complete their education, thereby opening doors to more career opportunities.
The program is open to residents 18 years and older who have not gone through the traditional primary and secondary education process. GED classes, taught in a classroom setting, cover social studies, science, literature, writing and math. Students also have access to a career counselor who provides guidance and recommendations throughout the program.
Applications for fall classes can be found online at www.dccc.edu/community-services/ged. For additional information about the program, please call Jody Harman at (484) 237-6244.