GREATER PHILADELPHIA is a region known for its work ethic and steadfast commitment to advancing itself both economically and socially. From attracting businesses to ensuring the future of our schools, cultural organizations and civic enterprises, higher education degree attainment creates opportunities for success and growth in our region. As such, Greater Philadelphia’s future hinges on, more than anything else, the education of its residents.
Talent Greater Philly invites you to learn more about three of the Regional Challenge Honorees. We’ll highlight those who were recognized with the Innovative Practice Honors next week.
HIGHER EDUCATION HONOR
Community College of Philadelphia’s Center for Male Engagement (CME) was created in 2009 to provide a structure of support, information, encouragement and perseverance for African-American males who are attending college for the first time.
CME offers a supportive and private environment where students receive personal, academic and career guidance and learn important life skills, such as time and stress management. CME’s four full-time support coaches are heavily involved in the students’ lives and serve as mentors to the students. They are a source of guidance when it comes to tackling everyday problems and articulating future aspirations.
Although CME is open to all students, its staff focuses efforts on full-time, African-American male students. Program participants must sign a contract to pledge their commitment to attend CME sessions and participate in specific activities, including cultural events, leadership opportunities and mentoring.
Through its directed, structured, and community-oriented in- and out-of-class programming, the Center for Male Engagement takes an innovative approach to fostering student success. CME addresses individual academic needs, learning styles, attitudes, and social and academic backgrounds of students while simultaneously engaging family members as collaborators in students’ academic success.
BUSINESS COMMUNITY HONOR, LARGE EMPLOYER
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) recognizes that encouraging employees to advance their education and skills yields both individual and institutional benefits. CHOP’s Education Assistance Program was created over a decade ago to enable employees to advance both personally and professionally while helping CHOP align workforce needs with institutional business goals.
The Education Assistance Program is an organizational priority supported by policies, practices, governance and funding. The program includes educational advisory and coaching services, tuition reimbursement, scholarship opportunities, and partnerships with local and national colleges and universities. A team of experienced consultants provide one-on-one advising to help employees identify academic interests and goals, create an educational plan, and navigate the financial aid and scholarship landscape. The team also advises employees on how to shorten the time to degree completion by waiving courses based on work experience, prior learning assessments, or internal CHOP training.
CHOP offers tuition assistance to full- and part-time employees for undergraduate and graduate coursework or post-Masters certification programs; scholarships are also available for areas of study that are critical to CHOP’s work. Additionally, CHOP offers employees’ dependents free educational counseling services which help guide families through important decisions such as selecting a college savings plan; navigating the college admissions process; determining the best way to pay for college; and developing strategies for managing existing education debt.
In addition to attracting high-quality employees and promoting professional development, the Education Assistance Program helps CHOP reduce costly employee turnover, improve employee productivity, and facilitate institutional succession planning.
“CHOP is proud to offer an education assistance program that provides our employees with the opportunity to improve their professional development and attain their career goals,” said Robert Croner, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “The Educational Assistance Program has allowed our employees to be on ‘top of their game’ and because the program is comprehensive and competitive it has also helped us to attract and retain invaluable talent.”
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is the nation’s first hospital devoted exclusively to the care of children. Since our start in 1855, CHOP has been the birthplace for many dramatic firsts in pediatric medicine. The Hospital has fostered medical discoveries and innovations that have improved pediatric healthcare and saved countless children’s lives.
BUSINESS COMMUNITY HONOR, SMALL EMPLOYER
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA (Ben Franklin) understands that the strength of a great organization lies in its people. Ben Franklin is committed to helping employees pursue their higher education aspirations through flexible work schedules and an Employee Educational Assistance (EEA) program. Developed in the mid-1990s, the EEA program was created to help employees explore opportunities for growth within the organization and support workers who wish to pursue and complete a postsecondary degree.
Each year, Ben Franklin budgets funds for employees’ educational needs (degree and certificate programs) as well as staff development training for the entire organization. The EEA program is reviewed and updated annually to take into consideration the needs of employees, the increasing cost of education, and the changing demands of the organization..
In addition to attracting high-quality employees and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth, Ben Franklin’s commitment also serves as a retention tool for the company by helping them to avoid costly turnover. Ben Franklin is committed to building and retaining talent in Greater Philadelphia through a commitment to employee development and postsecondary degree completion.
About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA connects people focused on innovation, investments and technology – and making a difference – to achieve their purpose to seed innovation and economic growth in the Greater Philadelphia region. Through its Capital, Counsel & Connections, Ben Franklin works to accelerate the formation and growth of technology-driven enterprises and spur the development, commercialization and adoption of advanced technologies.
ABOUT THE REGIONAL CHALLENGE
The Regional Challenge, now in its second year, was created by Talent Greater Philly to showcase the local businesses and higher education institutions dedicated to the educational advancement of Greater Philadelphia’s residents.