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CC Press & Blog

Press & Public Engagement


August 25, 2021

Here’s what’s being said about classes starting at the Milton MakerSpace!

Click on “The Daily Item” to Read the Article

TIME, education project forge partnership

MILTON — The Improved Milton Experience (TIME) has forged a partnership with the Susquehanna Valley Community Education Partnership (SVCEP) which will see mini courses being offered through TIME’s Milton MakerSpace location, in the Milton Moose Family Center.

The partnership was announced during a presentation made Wednesday by TIME President Amanda Bradley to Milton Borough Council. TIME and the SVCEP also issued a press release, in conjunction with the meeting, highlighting the partnership.

The SVCEP is an effort to launch a community college in the valley. Representatives with the effort are seeking letters of support to have commissioners in a four-county area levy a $1.14 per-month tax on households to help fund the college.

In the press release, it was noted the mini courses will focus on manufacturing technology, culinary arts and graphic arts. Participants will learn to use equipment such as 3D printers and CNC engravers.

Bradley told council that MakerSpaces are focused on science, technology, engineering the arts and math education.

“We want to make sure we are fostering entrepreneurs and small businesses that can eventually go into the downtown,” Bradley said.

While developing its MakerSpace areas, she said TIME unexpectedly forged the partnership with the SVCEP.

According to Bradley, TIME will provide the equipment and spaces for the classes to be held. The SVCEP will provide the instructors and curriculum.

Classes will be offered throughout the fall, with plans for 2022 offerings to be evaluated in November.

Following the meeting, Bradley said the cost and duration of classes will vary from one to another.

“These non-credit classes introduce learners, on a small scale, to innovative technology used to manufacture products and can propel learners to enroll in credit-bearing community college courses,” Dr. Lenaire Ahlum, SVCEP executive director, said in the press release.

WNEP News Article









May 18, 2021





5/18/21 WKOK Sunrise: Meghan Beck



Valley needs its own new community college

As part of its economic recovery plan, the new administration in Washington has proposed making community college free for all Americans. Across the nation, affordable, accessible community colleges are a major tool for economic and workforce development.

Since the closing of Williamsport Area Community College in 1989, however, our region has lacked this essential resource for economic growth and self-sufficiency.

Fortunately, the Susquehanna Valley Community Education Project (SVCEP) has been working to establish a local, independent, public community college to serve the unique economic needs of Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Montour counties, with enrollment starting as soon as 2023.

Having access to a local community college means residents can upgrade their skills without leaving home, job or community. Having an independent community college governed by a local board of trustees means we can generate a skilled workforce that will attract and retain new businesses, while meeting the recruiting needs of current employers.

In the landscape of American higher education, community colleges are unique. As public, open-enrollment institutions, there are no barriers to entry for prospective students. Community colleges are also affordable. For the proposed community college in the Susquehanna Valley,

the current federal Pell grant will cover more than 90% of student tuition and fees.

More than 1.7 million Pennsylvanians have unpaid student loans — over $36,000 per student, on average. With an affordable, local community college option, many more students can achieve the career earnings benefit of higher education without being saddled with debt.

The new community college will also be full service. Unlike extension programs or online degrees, our own community college will offer wrap-around services like Career Pathways, which help students successfully navigate from their first day in the classroom to their first day on the job — and beyond.

Stackable, transferrable credits earned through the new community college will allow students to gain career-enhancing vocational credentials quickly, while continuing to build credits over time toward a two- or four-year degree. This flexibility benefits all students, whether they are recent high school graduates, career changers, or returning to the workforce after a break.

Moreover, the new community college will work with local employers to create training programs tailored toward in-demand skills. This is a win-win: through community college partnerships, employers have access to a skilled pool of potential employees, and students are assured that their education will lead to hiring opportunities within their own communities.

No other form of higher education is so responsive, targeted, and successful in meeting the needs of both students and employers.

The community college value proposition extends beyond career prep. As an anchor institution, the new community college can offer low-cost community educational programming in subject areas such as cooking, personal finance, gardening, home repair, and arts and craft, all taught by local experts. It can provide a public venue for all kinds of community events, from concerts to conferences, as well.

So, if community colleges are so great, what’s the catch? According to Pennsylvania law, every new community college must have a local fiscal sponsor. Statewide, experience shows that the most stable and consistent source of local funding for a community college is county-level sponsorship.

We need the commissioners of Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Montour counties to vote to sponsor the new community college. SVCEP’s model calculates that for less than the price of a cup of coffee (about $1.15) per household per month, we can make this opportunity a reality.

This small change now will have large long-term benefits. Early this year, SVCEP completed a major 10-year economic impact study showing the likely return on investment for the new community college. The results are compelling.

The study calculates that a local community college serving the four-county region would bring an additional $78.5 million in total new income to the Valley in its first 10 years. This revenue would pay back the initial capital investment in just 2.9 years. Year over year, every taxpayer dollar invested would generate an expected ROI of 26.4%.

With a national campaign to make affordable, accessible community college available to every American, we can bring new federal investment to our region and turbocharge our local economy — if our county commissioners authorize a resolution of sponsorship for our own new community college.

Join me and over 4,000 other local leaders, businesses, and community members in supporting SVCEP Contact your county commissioners and ask them to pass a resolution of fiscal sponsorship to make our own new community college a reality.

Debra Sulai, Ph.D., serves as President of the Lewisburg Borough Council.


My Turn



Mark Lawrence


Justin Strawser

Community college project seeking support from Milton Area School District


Economic Impact Forecast Findings Reported

Press Conference January 28, 2021







The SVCEP Press Conference Recording live from the Central PA Chamber of Commerce link



Nikki Krize, WNEP, College in the Works for Central PA Link





Matt Catrillo, WKOK, Study-Big Economic Growth With New Community College Link



Justin Strawser, The Daily Item, Study – New Community College Could Generate $78.5 million Into Regional Economy Link



Matt Farrand, The Standard Journal,  Community College Backers Find Partner Link




Leon Bogdan, The Press Enterprise Link




Newsradio 1070 WKOK

Thank YOU, Mark Lawrence and Sunbury Broadcasting, for the opportunity to share on WKOK Sunrise!

Listen to the update on the New Community College for Susquehanna Valley hat this link:



CARES Act Funding for Community Colleges

A Report By Dr. Lenaire Ahlum, Executive Director, Susquehanna Valley Community Education Project

April 3, 2020

Summary Introduction

Information for this report was gathered from a live webinar with the American Association of Community Colleges held on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 from 2:00 to 3:30 PM. It includes links to the webinar recording, slides, and the estimated disbursements to Pennsylvania and the nations community colleges and some discussion highlights.

The webinar was hosted by Dr. Martha Parham, Senior Vice President of Public Relations

Presenters were: Dr. Walter Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges

David Baime – Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Policy Analysis

James Hermes – Associate Vice President, Government Relations

Webinar Links

Webinar Recording – AACC – CARES Act and Community Colleges  

This link contains the full presentation and discussion including Q & A at the end.

Webinar Slides – AACC and CARES Act and Community Colleges

These are the slides for the webinar that show the different buckets of funding.

Public Community Colleges – Estimates_for_CARES_Act_Funding.pdf

A pdf of the nations community colleges and the estimated funding for each. The estimates are based on 75% of Pell Grant FTE’s tuition and 25% non-Pell Grant FTE tuition. There is no funding for non-credit course enrollments.

Discussion Highlights

$3.3 Billion is going directly to the community college sector but there is not a time frame for the distributions

Governors received $2.95 Billion to distribute to K-12 and higher education.

$345 Million for Dislocated Workers Assistance by US Dept. of Labor

S.3273 Access to Careers Act of 2020 Kaine and Young

Senators Tim Kaine and Todd Young preparing this funding for anticipated surge in fall community college enrollments.

Growing interest in funding infrastructure programs in manufacturing for economic development leading to national self- reliance to be included in FY 2021 Budget Appropriations.

Community Colleges Combat COVID -19

New Jersey – Bergen County Community College

Coronavirus Testing Site Opens at Bergen Community College in Paramus


Nebraska -Metropolitan Community College

Community college builds face shields for Omaha hospital

Community college builds face shields for Omaha hospital

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha hospital system concerned about protecting medical staff

who treat those infected with a highly contagious new coronavirus has turned to a local community college for help.



Texas – Austin Community College

Prepares personal protective equipment kits for health care workers

ACC’s Pharmacy Technology Program alone gathered approximately 2,000 pairs of gloves, 500 gowns and hundreds of masks.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Community College (ACC) is doing its part to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health care workers and first responders in need amid the coronavirus pandemic.



Greater Susquehanna Valley Community College Summit NEWS

The Daily Item

Saturday, October 20, 2018









































Timely Guidance for Community College Leaders

Practical Leadership in Community Colleges: Navigating Today’s Challenges, the much anticipated book George R. Boggs co-authored with Christine J. McPhail, is set to release this July. We were fortunate to be able to sit down with Boggs and McPhail to learn more about this project. During our conversation, he explored many challenges community college leaders face today and provided insight into how to overcome those obstacles.

George R. Boggs is the Superintendent and President Emeritus at Palomar College and President and CEO Emeritus of the American Association of Community Colleges. He has an impressive track record of steering community colleges through uncertain times. Christine J. McPhail is Emerita Professor of higher education and Founder of the Community College Leadership Doctoral Program at Morgan State University.

*The following has been edited for length and clarity.

Why did you decide to write this book? What did you see happening in the community college landscape, and what did you see missing in the current literature on community college leadership?

Leadership of the nation’s community colleges has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades—and it is more challenging than ever. The issues that leaders deal with today include increasing demands to improve college completion rates, increased accountability, enrollment and funding instability, new funding formulas based on student success measures, student unrest, safety and security, cyber security threats, racial tensions, weapons on campus, and many others. Our book is intended to assist leaders at all levels in the institution to anticipate, manage, and deal effectively with today’s complex issues. The book provides case studies and suggestions for leaders to use to facilitate discussions and planning at their institutions. Leaders need to prepare their teams to focus on practical solutions to emerging issues before they become disruptive, costly, or even dangerous.

You dedicate one chapter to the access mission of community colleges and another to issues of accountability. How do you see these two issues intersecting? How would you advise community college leaders to measure success?

Colleges are being held accountable for providing access to higher education and training for students. Although access has been a point of pride for those of us involved with community colleges, we are still not as successful as we need to be. Low-income populations and racial minorities do not attend college at rates that we would like to see. As states have disinvested in higher education and tuition costs have increased, the cost of college has become a barrier for some potential students.

However, the focus on accountability has recently shifted away from just access to student success. Measuring success is still unfinished business in the community college sector. Simply looking at graduation rates does not provide the complete picture. Selective institutions may be able to improve success rates by limiting access to those most likely to succeed; open admissions institutions have a societal obligation to protect access. For community colleges that have expanded their missions to include baccalaureate programs, the open-access mission needs to remain a priority.

In the book, you discuss the importance of increasing completion rates for an increasingly diverse set of students without lowering the bar. What are some of the most promising practices you’ve seen for improving community college student persistence and completion?

Student engagement is one of the most important determinants of student success. The Center for the Study of Community College Engagement has been assisting institutions to measure and improve student engagement for several years. The Achieving the Dream Initiative has verified that early enrollment in a college success skills or freshman experience class is effective. Of course, InsideTrack has documented the significant positive effect of coaching. The American Association of Community Colleges has begun a guided pathways initiative that is focused on helping students to enroll in course sequences that will assist them to be successful.

Several community colleges have begun to collaborate with K-12 institutions in order to improve college readiness. Some additional promising practices to improve student success include: the transparent pathways that are being implemented in Completion by Design Institutions; K-12 partnerships such as those at Long Beach City College in California and Harper College in Illinois; and focus on effective pedagogy such as Culturally Responsive Teaching as practiced at the Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland.

What are the primary obstacles that prevent institutions from implementing these practices more broadly? What barriers to organizational change and agility most often get in the way? And conversely, what prevents the discontinuation of ineffective practices?

Our book addresses institutional change, barriers to change, and how to implement change successfully. Colleges are among the most change resistant and tradition-bound institutions.

Institutional change is a people-intensive process, and people are creatures of habit, hardwired to resist adopting new mind-sets, practices, and behaviors. In our book, we discuss change management processes comprehensively. We recommend strategies that leaders can use to capture the hearts and minds of people who need to operate differently to deliver the desired results.

Are there any institutions or institutional leaders you would like to highlight as modeling the best practices described in the book?

Completion by Design (CBD) Colleges

Over the past four years, CBD colleges have aligned policies, programs and practices to create Guided Pathways that support students to be more successful. This is a bold, innovative, and aggressive approach to student success because it requires total institutional alignment of people, structures, and culture. The CBD colleges are making significant progress on the very complex completion problem. http://completionbydesign.org

Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges

Leader colleges have shown three years of sustained improvement of 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. Additionally, each college has successfully implemented at least one student success intervention or initiative that is advancing student outcomes that are of sufficient scale to benefit a substantial proportion of students. http://achievingthedream.org/press_release/14942/achieving-the-dream-announces-2015-leader-colleges

Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

Colleges are recognized for performance and improvements in learning, graduation, workforce outcomes, and equitable outcomes for all students, focusing on those in traditionally underserved racial/ethnic groups (African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American) and those from low-income backgrounds. http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/2015aspenprize

Is there anything else that you’d like to share with our audience?

Practical Leadership in Community Colleges: Navigating Today’s Challenges is a different kind of book than others dealing with leadership. It is focused on practical solutions to the issues that can keep leaders up at night.

The book provides practical tools and models based upon research and years of professional observations. The issues to consider and case scenarios that are included in each chapter provide leaders with points of discussion for cabinet or committee meetings. Readers can use the information immediately.

The book provides practical examples of how to master the complexity of organizational culture and how to navigate and lead within them effectively.
Today’s issues and challenges require a new way of conducting college business. We provide readers with tools and strategies that will enable them to develop the leadership skills and perspectives needed to effectively navigate the increasingly complex issues facing community colleges.

Practical Leadership in Community Colleges: Navigating Today’s Challenges, available in July, offers a path forward through the challenges community colleges face every day.


Public invited to fundraising launch


Public invited to fundraising launch

NORTHUMBERLAND — The Susquehanna Valley Community Education Project will launch its fundraising efforts on Thursday, January 28, at a 5:30 p.m. reception at Zartman Construction, 3000 Point Township Drive.

The public is invited to attend this inaugural event kicking off efforts to raise $80,000 to cover expenses as the board and volunteers move forward on bringing a community college to the Susquehanna Valley.

Richard Shoch, Community Education Project board chairman and a Northumberland County commissioner, will emcee the event and provide an update on the progress of establishing the community college. Bob Garrett, president and CEO of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, will talk about the positive economic impact when educational opportunities are enhanced.

Shoch encouraged people to learn more about the community college efforts by attending this event.

“This project receives no public funding currently because it’s just getting off the ground. However, there are expenses associated with getting the college going. Our board of directors has already raised over $10,000 by each making a contribution which was matched by an anonymous donor.” Shoch said. “We believe in this college and what it can do for our region. We hope that others will see the value too.”

The Susquehanna Valley Community Education Project Board is will begin offering mini courses in March, including Navigating the Route to College, Job Hunting & Getting Hired and Statistics for Dummies.

For more information on the community college initiative, the January fundraising launch, or the upcoming courses, call 570.898.4334 or go to www.newcommunitycollege. org.

Average Annual Tuition And Fees (2014-2015)
Community Colleges – $3,347 (public, in-district)
4 Year Colleges – $9,139 (public, in-state)