The Philadelphia Center

Discover Your Direction in Life

High Impact

Since 1967, The Philadelphia Center (TPC) has provided a substantial academic learning experience to undergraduate liberal arts students. As an experiential education program, TPC complies directly with the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education’s definition of an internship as a deliberative form of learning that involves doing, reflection, and feedback for improvement – all in support of learning goals and objectives.  To illustrate this accomplishment, the list below highlights TPC components, arranged by the six common elements of a high-impact program as defined by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Effort – Students devote considerable time and effort to purposeful tasks and examine their level of investment in each activity. At TPC, students are engaged in structured and substantial efforts in their internship, coursework, and city experiences:

Relationships – Students must develop a meaningful relationship with another person such as a faculty, staff member, student, coworker or supervisor.  At TPC, meaningful relationships are the foundation of our program.  Alumni consistently state that the three most important relationships they developed while participating in the program were:

Difference – Students experience diversity through contact with people who are different from themselves and who challenge them to develop new ways of thinking about and responding to novel circumstances.  Since Philadelphia is one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, it offers students multiple avenues to experience difference:

Feedback – Students are provided with numerous informal and structured feedback opportunities.  TPC’s feedback mechanisms account for individualized learning objectives, which help each student maximize their experiences. 

Application- Students have opportunities to see how their learning works in different settings.  The integration, synthesis, and application of knowledge are essential to deep, meaningful learning experiences, and these activities are practiced in a variety of ways at TPC.

Reflection – Students develop a greater sense of self by learning to become more aware of their beliefs and values. Reflection is a critical component of all TPC learning.

Our unique model has provided a substantial learning experience for more than 6,700 students from 80 schools and 50 countries.  By participating in our program, students learn how to become more competent in understanding, talking with, relating to, and working with people who they perceive as different from themselves.  When coupled with their academic learning and internship, such experiences have made TPC a dynamic, rewarding, and transformative off-campus program since 1967.