Reading, PA – Reading Area Community College Foundational Studies Associate Professor Denise Strohmayr has bee
Reading, PA – Reading Area Community College Foundational Studies Associate Professor Denise Strohmayr has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Recognition from the American Association of Community Colleges. This national award recognizes individuals who make a difference in the classroom by demonstrating passion, showing a willingness to support students inside and outside of the classroom, participating in college committees and going beyond what is required to ensure student success.
“My passion has always been to provide the best possible classroom experience for students to achieve success so it is an incredible honor to receive this award. This recognition would not be possible without the support of my Foundational Studies colleagues and administration who foster a positive and supportive environment for our students to achieve their academic and personal goals,” says Strohmayr.
"Denise is a perfect example of a RACC faculty member who demonstrates a high level of quality student-centered teaching and exemplary service to the college, her profession, and the community," says RACC President Dr. Susan Looney.
A long-time Berks County native, Denise hold a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kutztown University and a master’s degree in organizational management. She is on the Board of Directors of the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks, Inc., and is a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators.
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges. The association represents nearly 1,200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 12 million students.
Chad DeShazo received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. After working at the Reading Eagle for almost 30 years as a photographer and systems specialist, he says he wanted a change. “I wanted to make a difference and make a deeper connection with people.” That is when Chad enrolled at RACC to become a nurse.
For Chad, RACC was his first choice. He was working full-time, had no medical experience and was even squeamish of blood and needles. “I wondered if I was really built for nursing, but after two semesters, I was able to put my fears behind me and run full steam through the program.” Chad was able to attend night classes and evening clinicals while obtaining his associate degree. “This was no easy task. The support I received from the entire nursing department was invaluable. They take their students under their wing and develop them into competent novice nurses.”
Chad, now a registered nurse at Tower Health Reading Hospital on the Heart Failure/Cardiac Telemetry floor, looks forward to mentoring RACC students when they do their clinicals. “During my clinicals, I was repeatedly told that RACC students are well trained and have a great work ethic. I understand that now more than ever and really enjoy working with RACC students. They are always well prepared, and it’s clear their instructors are teaching them well.”
Looking to the future, Chad has been accepted into an RN to MSN degree program. Already having a bachelor’s degree benefits Chad and puts him on track for his graduate degree in nursing. Without the solid education Chad received at RACC none of this would be possible. “RACC’s faculty trained me to become the patient-centered, critical thinking RN that I am today. I can’t say enough about the great experience I had and without hesitation I would recommend RACC to anyone wanting to enter the field.”
The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is pleased to announce that on January 8, 2020 Pennsylvania's 14 community c
The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is pleased to announce that on January 8, 2020 Pennsylvania's 14 community colleges signed a statewide articulation agreement with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). The historic agreement -the first of its kind in the Commonwealth -will provide Pennsylvania community college graduates, employees, and the immediate family of employees the opportunity to enroll at or transfer to SNHU to pursue a bachelor's degree at a 10 percent tuition reduction.
A significant number of Pennsylvania's community college students pursue transfer to four-year institutions and attainment of a baccalaureate degree. Each year, more than 30,000 Pennsylvania community college students transfer, and nearly 85 percent of those transfers are to institutions in Pennsylvania. The colleges currently have thousands of articulation agreements with higher education partners to help our students realize their postsecondary goals. We remain committed to these partnerships and look forward to expanding them as opportunities arise.
However, some of our students prefer the flexibility offered through virtual learning opportunities, and many of our students are challenged by the high cost of higher education -two hurdles that the SNHU partnership seeks to address.
SNHU is already a popular transfer destination for Pennsylvania's community college students, with more than 1,500 community college students currently enrolled. Nearly 500 Pennsylvania community college students transferred to SNHU in the 2018-2019 academic year and SNHU awarded 166 Pennsylvania community college graduates a bachelor's degree in the 2018-2019 academic year. With the articulation agreement and tuition reduction being offered by SNHU to community college graduates, the pathway to a baccalaureate degree will be more seamless and affordable than nearly every other public option in Pennsylvania, depending on a student's program of study and credit load.
The negotiation of this agreement with SNHU demonstrates the commitment of Pennsylvania's community colleges to be efficient, innovative and responsive to the needs of the Commonwealth, its communities, our students, and employers. The Commission and its member colleges will continue to seek additional opportunities to ensure that Pennsylvania can achieve its attainment goal of 60 percent of Pennsylvanians aged 25-64 with a postsecondary degree or industry recognized credential by 2025, with a focus on closing attainment gaps for historically underrepresented populations.
RACC President Dr. Susan Looney appointed to board of newly formed Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation
Reading, PA – On Wednesday, December 18, 2019, a group of Berks County community leaders announced a newly cre
Reading, PA – On Wednesday, December 18, 2019, a group of Berks County community leaders announced a newly created non-profit organization called the Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation (BLWDC). The mission of the BLWDC is to move Latinos out of poverty by providing self-awareness, education, and workforce development training, and empowering them to create greater economic wealth.
Recently appointed to the board of directors is Reading Area Community College President Dr. Susan D. Looney. “It is an honor to be selected to serve on the board of an organization with a mission that so closely ties in with Reading Area Community College’s mission of building communities of learning which are committed to educational growth and the economic vitality of our region,” Dr. Looney says.
The BLWDC will serve as a platform to foster cooperation and investment between the community, business, government, education, and philanthropy sectors. The purpose is to resolve the Latino workforce development gap for marginalized individuals.
“This organization will facilitate community improvement, provide culturally appropriate training and increase employment opportunities for economically and socially disadvantaged members of our community,” says Board Chair Jonathan Encarnacion.
The BLWDC plans to develop a bilingual technology center that will serve as the vehicle to provide training and increase employment opportunities for economically disadvantaged in the Latino community. The training center’s curriculum will include language development courses to advance English Language proficiency, adult education that allows students to achieve their high school equivalency certificate, job readiness training to facilitate entering the workforce, and practical skills training for high demand occupations. It is expected that training programs and other supportive services will be provided in collaboration with other local educational and non-profit organizations.
The organization has launched a regional search for an Executive Director and is projected to begin providing services by the second quarter of 2020. Board members for the newly formed BLWDC include: Jonathan Encarnacion (Chair) Administrative Director, UPMC; Nereida Villanueva (Vice Chair) HR Director, Berks Community Health Center, Jobany Bedoya (Secretary) Coordinator Latino Outreach, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance; Bill Jennings (Treasurer) President and CEO, Reading Hospital; Daniel Betancourt, President and CEO, Community First Fund; Dayana Blandon, Human Resource Generalist, Reading Truck Body; Lizette Epps, Director of Impact and Engagement, Visions Credit Union; Angel Figueroa, CEO, I-LEAD Charter School; Carlos Graupera, President, Spanish American Civic Association, Ramon Melecio, CEO, LinkTech; Pamela Shupp, EVP & COO, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, and John Weidenhammer, President, Weidenhammer Systems Incorporated
To learn more about the Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation, call 610.207.3691.
Reading, PA –December 12, 2019 – Reading Area Community College (RACC) Board of Trustees is pleased to announc
Reading, PA –December 12, 2019 – Reading Area Community College (RACC) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the promotion of Jodi Corbett to the newly created position of associate vice president of community and academic partnerships. Ms. Corbett has held several positions at RACC since 2007, most recently serving as director of academic partnerships since 2014.
In her enhanced leadership role, Ms. Corbett will oversee the development and strengthening of educational partnerships, and develop and oversee college and university transfer partnerships. She will also seek and secure grant opportunities for scholarships and innovative academic projects. She will continue to work collaboratively with faculty and staff to build seamless academic pathways from early college programs to bachelor’s degree programs through the college.
"I am delighted to have Jodi in this new role at the college," says RACC President Dr. Susan D. Looney. "Her exceptional record of success in developing and maintaining key educational and community partnerships, combined with her passion for higher education, will continue to increase the value of our efforts as we expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education in Berks County."
Ms. Corbett led National Endowment for the Humanities professional and curricular development programs focused on increasing content knowledge and infusion of Latino history and culture into curriculum. RACC is Pennsylvania’s only Hispanic Serving Institution in higher education. As an administrator, she completed the Presidents’ Leadership Institute (PLI) in 2017, and is currently co-coordinating the 2019-2020 cohort.
She serves as a member of multiple Chapter 339 school counselor advisory councils, Berks Career & Technology Advisory Council, CareerReadyBerks Pathway Alliance leadership team, and the Reading Science Center Board.
Ms. Corbett is an alumna of Reading Area Community College and Kutztown University.
To learn more about community and academic partnership opportunities with RACC, call 610.607.6219.