Community College of Philadelphia: Average Results for Above-Average Cost

Pew report says graduation rates and job training are behind.

Community College of Philadelphia.

Community College of Philadelphia.

The Community College of Philadelphia is delivering average results at above average prices, according to a new report from Pew Charitable Trusts.

Although CCP students earned associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees (from other institutions) at average or below average rates, it’s the most expensive public community college in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

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CCP has also struggled to provide the job training that some employers require, Pew found.

The college has a mixed record on workforce development and training for local workers and employers. Since the Great Recession, Philadelphia firms reduced their use of CCP’s corporate and contract training offerings to a larger extent than did firms at other Pennsylvania colleges.

Graduation rates, however, are climbing. The institution produced 1,993 graduates in the 2013–14 academic year, the highest number since its founding 50 years ago. Also, African-American and Asian students are slightly more likely to graduate from CCP than from similar institutions.

The wide-ranging report also examined the school’s revenue sources, showing some serious changes in the past 10 years. Student funds climbed from 45 percent in 2004 to 61 percent in 2014. State funds fell from 31 percent to 23 percent. City funds went from 19 percent to 15 percent.



Jobs data was hard to come by in the study because CCP only recently started tracking it via state labor records, Pew reported. But what we do know sounds promising: In 2013, roughly half of CCP graduates from “career programs” got jobs in their related majors, up from 34 percent in 2012.

The college’s job training programs also faltered, Pew said.

Donald Generals, president of CCP, called it an “insightful review” saying that the report drew many of the same conclusions that the school has found through its own research.

“Like all colleges and universities in this country, we recognize that much more needs to be done to increase graduation rates and student success,” he said. “We also recognize the importance of further aligning our program and curriculum efforts behind the economic and workforce needs of the city and surrounding region.”

In response, the college is expanding programming efforts in workforce and economic development.

“We are in the process of hiring a senior level vice president to work with the surrounding business and industry leaders to foster partnerships centered around the training and economic needs of the community,” said Generals. “These efforts will result in a broader offering of certificates and industry-based credentials that will enable students to either transition into the workplace or continue their education — or both.”