Academic Success

Academic Success


Community College of Philadelphia strives to provide intellectually rigorous teaching and learning opportunities that bring out the best in faculty and students alike. Continuous professional development, trainings and mentorships allow faculty to hone their skills while working to enhance learning for students. An engaged, dedicated faculty serves as the keystone needed for students to achieve.


Celebrating What’s New at CCP

The start of fall 2019 welcomed new students and programs at the College, generating lots of excitement. On Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, the College invited prospective and current students and the community to campus to check out What’s New at CCP for a day of fun.

Faculty and staff were on hand in the Bonnell Circle to showcase what was new—and outstanding—at the College. Department representatives lined the walkways to talk with individuals about new course offerings.

The event teased the upcoming announcement about the College’s new mascot, and attendees received “Pawsport” cards to get stamped at each department’s station, encouraging them to browse and learn about the new fall programs and degree options.

Entertainment didn’t stop there. The College’s record label, Spring Garden Records, and the Power 99 Street Team provided the soundtrack for the day. The College also encouraged attendees to give back to the community by bringing school supplies for students of Spring Garden School or donating food items for the College’s food pantry.



Advanced Manufacturing
Black Studies
Business Leadership
Fashion Merchandising

and Marketing

Massage Therapy
Tourism & Hospitality


and More!


Service Learning: Combining Education with Community Service

Service Learning: Combining Education with Community Service

Connecting students to situations where they can use their knowledge and develop leadership skills outside of the classroom while helping others, service-learning opportunities provide experiences that link the College with the community. The Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership provided volunteer opportunities and service-learning resources to nine classes this academic year, reaching nearly 332 students.


The Institute partnered a College English as a Second Language (ESL) class with Employment 2Day for a Better 2Morrow, a program run by the Communities in Schools of Philadelphia, whose clients were aging out of the foster system.


“My students taught public speaking, formal email writing and goal development skills to their service-learning partners. They also gave them a campus tour and talked about their experiences at the College. By the end of the project, my students had achieved an array of high order thinking skills that I had not anticipated. These skills, consequently, improved their final exam grades and boosted their self-esteem. Our service-learning partners were eager and movated to enroll at the College.”

— SOTIRIA KOUI, assistant professor, English and ESL


KEYS Offers a Helping Hand

Keystone Education Yields Success (KEYS) is a service provided by the Division of Access and Community Engagement (DACE), which assists students who receive public assistance (TANF and SNAP) with academic support and resources from within and outside of the College. The KEYS program saw twenty of its students graduate in May 2020, one of whom was Tria Jones, mother of four who just completed the College’s Nursing program.

Jones found a ready-made network that was highly skilled at addressing classroom success as well as quality of life issues such as employment, housing insecurity, financial literacy and life skills. Her daughter Jannat Williams, now a full-time College student and KEYS participant, found use in multiple Division of Access and Community Engagement resources as she entered the College through Gateway to College.

Tria Jones, KEYS participant and Nursing graduate

“KEYS, they have just been a support in so many ways. Whether it is receiving a book allowance for textbooks or helping with transportation to school, or just talking when doubts set in… everyone in that office has really been there for me. Every student should be entitled to these supports.”


—TRIA JONES, KEYS participant and Nursing graduate

Health Care
Grads Continue
to Excel

Guided by expert and accomplished faculty, our health care graduates regularly demonstrate excellence with high pass rates, many times outperforming four-year students. Their skills and experience are in high demand in the Philadelphia region.

Health Care Grads Continue to Excel

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in spring 2020, Nursing students were ready to help in their communities.



Nursing Program Breeds Success

Nursing Program Breeds Success

The College’s Nursing program is designed to prepare students for beginning staff nurse positions in acute, long-term care and community-based facilities. Staff nurses plan, provide and evaluate nursing care for individual health maintenance or health promotion needs.

Upon successful completion of the curriculum, students receive an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree and are eligible to sit for the state licensure examination.

The program also prepares students to face real-time public health issues by providing opportunities to help Philadelphians in their communities. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Nursing students were trained on Naloxone, or Narcan, administration, which is used to help reverse an opioid overdose. They also volunteered in neighborhoods like Kensington to see how the opioid crisis is affecting Philadelphians firsthand.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in spring 2020, Nursing students were ready to help in their communities. A grant with the Independence Foundation provided students internships to provide screening and testing for COVID-19 in collaboration with community partners. The internships allowed students to make a real difference in neighborhoods across the city, while also helping to boost their clinical skills.

Meanwhile, the Nursing Class of 2020 faced heartbreak, job loss, the loss of siblings and/or parents, COVID-19 and other monumental challenges. During spring break, tragedy stuck. Janette Reyes, a popular classmate, was killed in a car accident, leaving her family and her peers heartbroken. However, thanks to the help of a supportive faculty, every student who was in the class in spring 2020 completed the Nursing program.

Due to social distancing guidelines, the College was unable to host its traditional nurses pinning ceremony, planned for May 1, 2020. That night, graduates gathered virtually, with each contributing a favorite song, as they shared photos and poignant memories of the journey.


“When I started nursing school, I had a one-year-old and I was pregnant. I had a C-section and a week later had to be back in school because we had a written exam. Just the support of the teachers, my clinical instructors... everyone was so supportive in all of my difficult times, accommodating me so that I can nurse or pump during clinicals and other things. Just…whoa, it was just such a journey!”

—NATALYA ZUYEVYCH, Class of 2020 Nursing graduate

Diversity Fellowship Program

Preparing and Mentoring Faculty: The Diversity Fellowship Program

Offering valuable professional experience, higher education career preparation workshops and mentorship by full-time faculty, this program provides a guided approach to individuals who want to teach at the College. Facilitated by Debonair Oates-Primus, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, the program included three visiting lecturer fellowships: Shante Antrom, Business Leadership; Justin Griggs, Foundational Math; and Judy Ransom Cruz, Criminal Justice; with one micro-fellowship: Malika Rahman, Criminal Justice.

The four faculty members made a positive impact on our community with their accomplishments:

  • A campus-wide Race Talk series in partnership with the College’s Diversity Certificate Program
  • Addition of culturally responsive mindfulness curriculum to the First Year Experience 101 course
  • Creation of a summer bridge program aimed at improving Math placement test scores of students from underrepresented groups
  • Victimology course to be offered in 2021
  • Panel during Law and Society Week focusing on the relationship between Black and brown communities and law enforcement in Philadelphia

Diversity Certificate Program: Education Through Dialogue

Sessions addressing a range of diversity issues continued this year through the Diversity Certificate Program, which helps faculty and staff improve their cultural competencies through safe spaces, meaningful conversations and hands-on activities. It is facilitated by leaders Faye Allard, Ph.D., associate professor of Social Science and Debonair Oates-Primus, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and coordinator of the Black Studies program and the Diversity Fellowship program. Participants have different goals within reach: a Bronze Certificate for completing four training events, a Silver for eight events, and Gold for 12 events plus a diversity project and capstone interview.


High School Students Get the College Experience Early


High School Students Get the College Experience Early

The College offers several dual enrollment programs in which students are enrolled in both high school and college concurrently and taking college-level courses:



Advance at College:

Provides eligible Philadelphia 11th and 12th grade students and students actively pursuing a high school equivalency the opportunity to enroll in college-level and developmental courses

Advance College Experience:

Allows motivated rising 9th through 12th grade students and students actively pursuing their GED to take credit-bearing courses at the College in the summer

Parkway Center City Middle College Partnership:

In partnership with the School District of Philadelphia, beginning the summer before 9th grade, students take a blend of high school and college courses, earning their high school diploma and associate degree in Liberal Arts upon high school graduation

Advanced Senior Year:

In partnership with the School District, up to 60 students enroll in a maximum of 30 credits, completing their entire 12th grade year at the College


MaST Community Charter Schools enroll a maximum of 25 students at the Northeast Regional Center, earning their high school diploma and associate degree in either Business or Health Care Studies

Mastery Senior Year Program:

Mastery Charters enroll up to 60 students in a maximum of 30 credits, completing their entire 12th grade year at the College

Gateway to College:

In partnership with the School District, up to 130 students (ages 16 to 21, over-aged and under-credited) take a combination of college and high school courses to complete their high school diploma and earn college credits

The Helms Academy Adult High School:

In partnership with Goodwill Industries and Drexel University’s Dornsife Center, adults returning to school earn their high school diploma and take college courses offered on-site at the Dornsife Center


Abrupt Switch to Online Learning Prompts Collective College-wide Response

Abrupt Switch to Online Learning Prompts Collective College-wide Response

As the College community returned to campus in the days after spring break in 2020, alerts and notifications about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), including safety measures to follow and steps the College was taking to monitor the situation, were sent to students, faculty and staff. Once the virus began to spread through Philadelphia, Dr. Generals decided that the College would postpone or cancel all events and activities planned on its Main Campus and its Northeast, Northwest and West Regional Centers through March 31, 2020.

It quickly became clear that the virus was continuing to spread and the difficult decision was made to transition all courses online throughout the rest of the spring semester.

Faculty had to adapt their courses to online learning, administrators worked primarily from home, and students moved to continue their studies virtually, all in a matter of days.

While everything was changing around the College, it was important to keep the community safe and informed during a very uncertain time. Immediately, the College began preparing to make available remote student resources so that students could maintain academic success.

Dedicated resources, like the following, were created so that the College community could retain the latest updates and remain connected to student supports:

  • A CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) web page provided up-to-date information regarding the College’s response to COVID-19.
  • THE VIRTUAL STUDENT RESOURCE CENTER allowed remote access to the College’s academic, financial and community support and resources. There, students could schedule virtual meetings and appointments, and digitally communicate with staff for assistance.
  • COMMUNITY STARTS HERE, a weekly e-newsletter to share resources from around the College and throughout the city of Philadelphia with students, faculty and staff, was created.
  • VIRTUAL TUTORIALS personally created by faculty detailed how to use and access Canvas and Zoom, and assisted students new and unfamiliar to online learning.
  • A LAPTOP LOANER PROGRAM, through which faculty were able to request laptops for students so they could continue their learning online, was established.

Though the pandemic provided new sets of challenges for the entire community, College students, faculty and staff ultimately banded together to make the rest of the spring 2020 semester as successful as possible.


Registering and Educating Students with #CCP Votes

Registering and Educating Students with #CCP Votes

The Institute and partners marked Voter Registration Day on Sept. 24, 2019, with an event to increase registration among students and discuss the benefits of voting. New voting machines were on hand for students to operate and ask questions. Efforts resulted in registering 100 new voters and substantial press coverage for the College.


Focus on the Arts: Faculty Performing Their Craft

Students at the College learn from professionals who, like them, sing, act and exhibit their artwork. Here are some of our faculty sharing their talents outside of the classroom, making them better performers and educators.


President’s Awards Highlight Faculty and Staff Dedication and Achievement

Dr. Generals announced the recipients of the annual accolades in a Zoom event with the College community. These honors, customarily bestowed toward the end of the spring semester, were celebrated in summer 2020. Faculty promotions were also announced at the event.

President’s Award for Diversity

Rainah Chambliss – Administrative Associate, Workforce and Economic Innovation

President’s Award for Civility & Collegiality

Ida Swindle-Jewell – Office Administrative Associate,
Office of Student Engagement/Center for Student Leadership Development
Richard Kopp – Dean of Students, Office of Student Engagement
Natalie Fein – Counseling Center

President’s Awards for Service to the College

Michael Miles – Community Engagement Specialist, Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership
Dr. Mary Anne Celenza – Dean, Math, Science and Health Careers
Bianca Cummings – Manager, Enrollment Management Support

President’s Award for Fostering Student Success

Genesis Muse – Associate Director, Office of Financial Aid
John Joyce – Associate Professor, English Department
The Meditation Group – a team of employees from the Counseling Center
(Catherine McCrane, Maureen Rush-Bogutz, Valerie Dorn, Michael Remshard)

Innovation of the Year Award - Grady's Community Garden

Jenavia Weaver – Director of Student Engagement, Academic and Student Success Division,
Center for Student Leadership Development

Lindback Award Winner

Dr. Debonair Oates-Primus, Assistant Professor, English

Lindback Award Winner - Dr. Debonair Oates-Primus, Assistant Professor, English

Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

Deirdre Garrity-Benjamin
James Barry Johnson
Jeffrey Markovitz, Ph.D.
Jalyn Warren

Promotion from Associate Professor to Professor

Girija Nagaswami, Ed.D.

Promotion from Instructor to Assistant Professor

Ruqayyah Archie
Ryan Bing
Edith Birnbaum
Allison Constable
Melissa Damatta
Michael Hackett
Laurence Liss
Eketerina Mashkina
Kristen Miah
Michelle Nixon-Alicea
Corinne Schreiber
Seve Torres