PITTSBURGH—The Community College of Allegheny County has been selected by Pennsylvania Campus Compact (PACC) and the Corporation for National and Community Service to host a PACC*VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) member for a post-secondary education project that will support efforts to eradicate poverty and provide service learning and employment opportunities for students.
As part of the Expanding Civic Engagement program, the VISTA member will further CCAC’s efforts over the next three years to increase the college’s involvement with civic engagement and service learning opportunities for students who receive Federal Work Study funds, as well as other students interested in performing community service. The VISTA member also will provide assistance in locating employment opportunities for students and will help facilitate placement in organizations that provide mentoring, tutoring, housing, food distribution, health screening, neighborhood programming, military and veteran services and more.
The volunteer, who should be in place by May 2016, will collaborate with college administrators who work with targeted student populations such as the My Brother’s Keeper national initiative, the local Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship Program and other community-based organizations.
Char Gray-Sorensen, MDiv, PhD, executive director, PACC, said in a letter to CCAC President Quintin Bullock, “We look forward to our partnership with you and are excited to see both the impact of the Expanding Civic Engagement (program) and the vital work your VISTA accomplishes to eradicate poverty. Congratulations!”
Goals of the Expanding Civic Engagement program include:
- Development of a data bank of community service organizations/agencies in Allegheny County and areas of Washington County to be accessed by faculty and staff
- A 20-percent or more increase in the number of students employed through the Federal Work Study Program to work in community service agencies or the college’s offices
- At least a 35-percent increase in the number of African-American males employed through the Federal Work Study Program
- Establishment of a faculty development program(s) related to infusing service learning/civic engagement in courses
Pennsylvania Campus Compact VISTA (PACC*VISTA) members serve directly at host campuses across Pennsylvania to support programming in the areas of K-12 readiness and success, college access and success, food security and nutrition, access to health care, veteran and military families, and other poverty-related issues. PACC*VISTA members act as volunteer recruiters, trainers and special projects consultants, increasing the capacity of both the community and the campus to identify and address pressing community needs. Currently, there are 23 PACC*VISTA members placed at campuses across Pennsylvania.
About the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
CCAC annually educates nearly 30,000 credit students through more than 150 degree, certificate, diploma and transfer programs and offers thousands of students access to noncredit and workforce development courses. The learning-centered institution’s mission is to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society. CCAC’s quality programs enable students to transfer credits to approximately 500 colleges and universities and support regional workforce needs with accessible instruction available day, evening, weekend and online in Allegheny County and beyond. Visit www.ccac.edu to learn more.