Community College as a Pathway to Penn
Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) was the focus of an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer by Susan Snyder this past weekend which highlighted Penn LPS as a pathway to an Ivy League BA degree for students who excel in community colleges.
“Adult students who come to Penn to complete their BA degree are joining an adult undergraduate community of several hundred that is not only integrated into the larger university, [they also] receive the same BA degree as traditional undergraduates,” noted Kathy Urban, Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs at LPS.
Students can attend community college for a lower cost and on a flexible schedule. Because of the transfer credit he received from courses he completed at his previous institution Christopher Thomas was able to enter Penn as a junior. Thomas was recruited by Penn as a high school senior in 1993, but work and family commitments intervened. Nineteen years later, he came to Penn after graduating from the Community College of Philadelphia as a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for students at two year schools.
Danielle Magouirk is another LPS student and PTK member. She finished her BA in psychology at Penn after transferring from Gloucester County College. She is now finishing a graduate degree in school psychology at Rider University.
"There has been a misperception that those who attend community colleges are going there only out of second chance. That's not true,” Rod Risley, executive director of PTK, is quoted in the Inquirer article. Outstanding community college transfer students tend to perform well and participate in the life of the university, so many highly selective schools like Penn are paying attention, he said. A strong GPA at a community college will open the door to a multitude of transfer opportunities for students with elite schools being one of those options.
Still, this pathway to Penn is not always well known or considered a viable option: “My biggest challenge is convincing prospective students that Penn LPS is accessible to high achieving transfer students,” said Kathy Urban. “But I believe our numbers tell the story. We have admitted nearly 500 transfer students in the last 3 years and more than half of these students have completed previous course work at a community college.”
Penn enjoys an over one hundred year commitment to educating non-traditional students, she said. “If you are an adult student completing your BA degree, Penn LPS is the place that will offer you opportunities that are unique in the Ivy League for adult students.”
To see testimonials from former LPS BA students, click here.
And if you are interested in learning more about transferring to LPS, please call a recruiter today: 215-746-6902.