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The Things We Do Not See

The Things We Do Not See

Notes from the President Chris Gray, Ph.D. | Founding President, Erie County Community College of Pennsylvania  As promised, I’m continuing my discussion of barriers faced by community college students in this post. In many ways, cognitive hurdles provide easier...

Hurdles Shouldn’t Be a Thing

Hurdles Shouldn’t Be a Thing

The comprehensive community college is an open-access institution, and it’s one that thus should be available to all comers.  With the right support, anyone should be able to realize an educational objective, which is what we promise to provide to our students.  We believe that the hurdles should be an Olympic event showcased every four years, not a way of life for students

What Actually Is an Associate’s Degree?

What Actually Is an Associate’s Degree?

Notes from the President Chris Gray, Ph.D. | Founding President, Erie County Community College of Pennsylvania  EC3PA is built differently than the other institutions of higher learning here in Erie County. In these posts, we’ve discussed some of the differences,...

So Who’s “Typical” Anyway?

So Who’s “Typical” Anyway?

Higher education usually operates on a “typical student” model, and most strategic institutional discussions are built upon a particular set of assumptions about who students are; in 2021, this “typical” student is most commonly assumed to be an eighteen-year-old, high school graduate, first-time-in-any-college (FTIAC) student attending a public in-state college or university in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

You May Ask Yourself…How Did We Get Here?

You May Ask Yourself…How Did We Get Here?

Despite being the fourth most populous city, Erie’s closest in-state community college is Butler County Community College, and it is located over one hundred miles away in Butler, Pennsylvania.  While Pennsylvania law stipulates that community colleges need to be located within commuting distance, Erie residents faced a long commute— an insurmountable barrier in many cases.

Just Start

Just Start

I’m not supposed to be here.  A kid from central Illinois from a family with no college education is not supposed to become a theatre professor and then a dean and then an upper-level academic administrator.  And he certainly isn’t supposed to become a college president.  I’m a statistical anomaly, and the road that led me here was one punctuated by bouts of imposter syndrome and a stubborn, willful perseverance despite barriers thrown in my path.