NCC students head to Harrisburg
Eighteen students from Northampton Community College joined students from community colleges across the state in Harrisburg on April 16 to advocate for adequate funding for community colleges in the state budget.
Students left Northampton before dawn to meet with legislators before they went into session.
Aaron Rosengarten, a political science major from NCC, was chosen to speak for community college students throughout the Commonwealth at a news conference in the rotunda of the Capitol building. Rosengarten praised the educational foundation and leadership opportunities community colleges provide for students.
Senator Lisa Boscola of Bethlehem also spoke to that point. Boscola, who co-chairs the Senate Community College Caucus described community colleges as "an affordable launching pad for students as they begin their pathway to a career. They are also a re-launching pad for individuals that have to change careers, or need continued learning at any age."
When he took the mic, Senator Mario Scavello gave a shout out to Northampton's new campus in Monroe County, saying that he is the luckiest legislator in the state because his district includes the newest and greenest community college in the Commonwealth.
Approximately 344,000 students are enrolled in Pennsylvania's fourteen community colleges, making community colleges the largest providers of higher education in Pennsylvania, as well as a source of training for workers seeking to acquire new skills or upgrade existing skills, According to Senator Lloyd Smucker, community colleges return an estimated $41.84 in direct and indirect economic benefits for each dollar of public investment.
On Community College Day visitors to the Capitol got to see displays highlighting innovative programs associated with community colleges. Students who are involved with NCC's East 40 Community Garden spoke enthusiastically about its role in educating students and the community about sustainable agriculture. The proof was in the plants they brought with them!
NCC's president, Dr. Mark Erickson, and several faculty and staff members and trustees joined the students for the busy day on "the Hill."
They are grateful to the following legislators for taking time to meet with them: Senators Lisa Boscola, Pat Browne and Mario Scavello, and Representatives Rosemary Brown, Joe Emrick, Robert Freeman, Marcia Hahn, Julie Harhart, Daniel McNeil, David Parker, Jack Rader and Steve Samuelson.
View more photos from this day in the photo gallery.