Graduate! Philadelphia is working to make education accessible to “comebackers” - Generocity Philly

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Jun. 1, 2015 12:30 pm

Graduate! Philadelphia is working to make education accessible to “comebackers”

Graduate! Philadelphia works with those who have completed some portion of a college degree.

Heading back to college after completing some college can be tough — that’s why Graduate! Philadelphia works with those who have completed some college to get them back on track to getting a degree.

“Graduate! Philadelphia works with comebackers, who are adults who have some college credit and want to complete their degree, said Barbara Mattleman, executive director. “In the city of Philadelphia alone, there’s 70,000 adults in this situation. In the surrounding region, there are at least 200,000 to 300,000 more.”

How the program works is interested students first register online and Graduate! Philadelphia picks up over 120 data points about them, including what their interests are, how many credits they already have, why they want to go back, etc.

“Then they have an appointment, and they come in and talk to one of our College Success Advisors,” Mattleman added. “Our advisor talks about what they’ve written, and talks about what they want to do to study.”

Then once a month, Graduate! Philadelphia has an open house at its office, where they encourage students to bring their transcripts and meet with college advisors.

“They all waive their application fees, but most importantly, when they look at your credits and they can say what they accept, it really gives you a good idea what you need to do to get finished and through school,” Mattleman said. “Our goal would be to try to get the adult to finish school in the quickest way possible so they’re spending the least amount of money to get through.”

Right now, Mattleman said the organization is focused on outreach, and will have a new ambassador in the office in August of this year to help strengthen its outreach efforts.

“I think the most important thing that we’re focusing on now is outreach, because there are new areas that we want to look at,” Mattleman added. “I think that’s something that we need to look more into. I think the outreach is a key piece, because we really need to get into the communities.”

The next open house takes place on June 3. On October 5 Graduate! Philadelphia will celebrate its 10th anniversary on October 5, when the organization will be honoring Maureen, Rush, Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of the University of Pennsylvania Police Department, who is a  “comebacker” who took twelve years to complete her undergraduate degree.

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