“My first encounter with the Philadelphia Center came in the early 1970s when my younger sister, a Hope College junior, undertook her student teaching in inner city Philadelphia. Her accounts of the challenges and opportunities wrapped up in that semester sounded so grown up! She was actually living and working in a major metropolis—and she wasn’t yet 21! Over the years, that combination of “growing up” and significant experiential opportunities has continued to resonate for my students. I have counseled dozens of them to spend a semester in Philly, and I have yet to have a single sour note reported back to me (except for the student who decided to change her major away from sociology; but that was a “success” story, too). Most of my students have been involved in the criminal justice program, and the wide variety of options they have is truly remarkable. To a person, they have raved about the lessons learned—and the maturation they have undergone. My admiration for the Philadelphia Center program has only strengthened, and I foresee recommending it well into the future.” Donald Luidens, Professor, Sociology & Social Work, Hope College
“I have been working closely with TPC staff for two years now. I regard this program as the model in off campus programs in which they create a learning environment that challenges students while supporting students. I have seen my Albion students come back empowered and excited for the next stage in their academic and professional careers. As an educator, this is always the goal. Thank you TPC.” Vicki Baker, Assistant Professor of Economics and Management, Albion College.
“One of the “manifest functions” of the Philly Program, as I’ve pushed it for years, is that students get the chance to “try out” potential occupations for themselves. To see that this is, in fact, what transpires, was most gratifying. I heard from many of them that their career aspirations were affirmed—and (perhaps equally important) from others that theirs were significantly redirected.” Dr. Donald A. Luidens on his visit to The Philadelphia Center, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Hope College
“I have been fortunate for more than fifteen years to have been associated with the Philadelphia Center, as university liaison and as a member of the Center’s Advisory Board. This relationship has given me the opportunity to visit the Center every few years - to be updated on changes to the program, attend classes, and most importantly, to visit the students working at their placements. I have visited students working in all types of situations – students placed with the prosecutor’s office, Women Against Rape (WAR), a law journal, a large bank, city/regional planning, the Franklin Institute, environmental advocacy group, advertising company, securities broker, children’s museum, investment banker, travel agent, minor-league baseball team - the list goes on and on. In every visit, I noted through my discussions with the students’ supervisors that the students were not viewed as interns, but as productive members of the team. The students were treated professionally by their employers, and the students looked and carried themselves as professionals. I don’t recall finding any students who were not enthusiastic about what they were doing, or what they were learning. An observation that I really keyed on was the use of the words ‘us’ and ‘we’, not ‘they’ and ‘them’. The students, in discussing their work, always made mention of what ‘we’ were doing, or how something happened that affected ‘us’. They clearly were not dissociated from the work experience as the terms ‘they’ and ‘them’ would have indicated. The Philadelphia Center is as good an off-campus program as you will find—it provides more “bang for the buck”, and a superior return on investment in an academic experience.” Cliff Cook, Professor of Accounting, Ohio Wesleyan University
“I have always found that the classes and work-learning opportunities offered by The Philadelphia Center have been very clearly consonant with Kenyon’s mission as a liberal arts college that also prepares students who are specifically interested in Psychology.” Dr. Michael Levine, Professor of Psychology, Kenyon College
“Otterbein students who have participated in the Philadelphia Center have consistently told us that not only did they really enjoy the experience but that it also made them much more employable after graduation.” Chuck Vedder, Otterbein College, Director of International Student Programs and Program Liaison