Philadelphia City Hall wants its workers to be sharp.

KYW’s Steve Tawa reports that Mayor Nutter today announced the “Returning to Learning Partnership,” a program that will help city workers pursue four-year degrees to boost the city’s college attainment rate.

In his inauguration speech at the beginning of 2008, Mayor Nutter committed to a couple of education goals including increasing the high school graduation rate to at least 80 percent by 2015 and doubling the number of residents with a four-year degree to at least 36 percent by 2018.
“The college attainment rate was 18 percent when I came into office.  It’s now 21 percent.   We’ve had some movement, but nowhere near enough.   We’re not satisfied, and we have much more work to do.”

nutter colleges City of Phila. Sets An Example with Tuition Discounts

(Mayor Nutter, fourth from right, is flanked by officials of schools taking part in the new program.)

Nutter says that several schools — Chestnut Hill College,  Community College of Philadelphia, Peirce College, Philadelphia University, and Rosemont College — have stepped forward with 25-percent tuition discounts for city workers:

“Our employees can work toward a variety of degrees, all the way up to a master’s program, at a more affordable cost. This partnership comes at no cost to the City of Philadelphia.”

And the mayor is encouraging other employers to create a similar system to help working adults get to college and succeed:

“UPS, Independence Blue Cross, and the University of Pennsylvania Health Care System are examples of local employers stepping up to the plate to offer employees the same 25-percent tuition discount.”

Judith Renyi, Rosemont College’s dean of graduate and professional studies (fifth from right in photo),  says her school  just opened a new downtown location on South Broad Street, a block from City Hall:

“They’ll be able to do business degrees, undergraduate, graduate, criminal justice — online.  Or they can come in person.”

Samuel Hirsch (far right) is vice president of student affairs at Community College of Philadelphia:

“This complements our mission, outreach, and partnership with the city in furthering the education of our city residents.”

(Photo by KYW’s Steve Tawa)

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