Community College of Philadelphia and John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School Unveil the 100 Steps Dual Enrollment Program

A new dual enrollment program, the "100 Steps" program, was announced between Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) and John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School on May 9 at the all-girls high school. Named for the mere 100-step distance between the two academic campuses, the program will provide the opportunity for the girls to simultaneously earn a high school diploma from Hallahan High School and an associate degree from CCP.

“Research has shown that dual enrollment programs and early college programs for high school students work,” said Dr. Guy Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia. “They, in fact, enable students to get a head start on their college education [and] enable them to save an incredible amount of money.”

A first-of-its-kind partnership for a high school in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the program will commence with two cohorts for the 2019-2020 school year. Students from the class of 2023 will enter either the Health Care Studies or Business program, and a few selected students from the class of 2022 will enter the Business program. The inaugural class of 100 Steps will complete a five-week, first-year experience course at CCP this summer.

“By looking forward into what education in tomorrow’s world will look like, the vision to promote joint and expanded learning opportunities ... will guarantee that Hallahan produces graduates of purpose and vision and leads the way for a bright future for all,” said Denise Kassekert, president of Hallahan High School.

Work on the collaboration began back in November of 2017. Over that time, joint faculty and administration have ensured a comprehensive and academically rigorous curriculum that splits the students' schedules between CCP and Hallahan High School.

Major champions of the 100 Steps program include Dr. Judith Gay, CCP vice president for Strategic Initiatives and chief of staff; Dr. David E. Thomas, CCP associate vice president of Strategic Initiatives and Dean, Access and Community Engagement; Michelle Beachy, principal of Hallahan High School; Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott, Secondary Schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Catholic Education chief academic officer and superintendent; and Irene Horstmann Hannan, Faith in the Future Foundation chief executive officer.

The 100 Steps initiative is only the latest program offered by CCP that provides academic opportunities for high school students to enroll in its college-level courses and experience an environment in higher education. Most recently, six senior high school students graduated with their associate degrees from CCP through MC2, a special dual enrollment program created between CCP and Mathematics, Science and Technology (MaST) Community Charter School in 2015.

“I could have my bachelor’s degree by the time I’m 20,” said William Hartner, a graduate from the MC2 program who was accepted to both Duquesne University and Temple University for political science. “The two-year head-start really does help out a lot and it will save me financially too. Being here is a different experience from high school. It's different classes, so that prepares me for whatever college I do decide to attend.”

To learn more about high school student programs offered at Community College of Philadelphia.