Chester Upland Superintendent Gregory Shannon, Receiver Joe Watkins,
and Neumann Dean Robert Bunnell discuss the “parent university” partnership
outside the school district offices.
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Beginning fall 2014, the Chester Upland School District and Neumann University will launch a partnership to offer Chester Upland School District parents an opportunity to earn associate, baccalaureate and/or graduate degrees.
A series of free workshops will be available this summer for parents and Chester Upland School District employees who are interested in enrolling at Neumann in the fall in the new Chester Upland Parent University. These workshops will earn those who complete the entire series a free college credit and afford them the opportunity to learn about technological fluency, academic readiness, financial aid, and university support services.
Two information sessions are scheduled in June for parents to learn more about the associate, bachelor and master degree programs at Neumann. The first session is scheduled for Wednesday, June 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Showalter Multipurpose Room at the STEM School, 1100 West 10th Street in Chester. Call 610-447-3615 to reserve a seat.
The second session is scheduled for Thursday, June 19, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development at Neumann University in Aston. Call 610-361-5208 to reserve a seat for this session.
"Neumann University is eager to collaborate with the Chester Upland School District to offer parents of youngsters in Chester Upland schools a broad array of degree programs," said Dr. Robert Bunnell, Dean of Neumann's Continuing Adult and Professional Studies Division. "We are confident that our free summer workshop series will provide valuable opportunities for higher education and career advancement."
“Parents are a child’s first teachers, and we want to give them the knowledge and the tools to be the best teachers they can be, reinforcing at home what their children are learning at school,” said Chester Upland School District Superintendent Gregory Shannon.
“Community partners like Neumann University are vitally important to our efforts to lift Chester Upland School District from its status as the most academically and fiscally challenged district in the state to a fully functioning place of learning,” said Receiver Joe Watkins. “Our students are as capable as any others in the state. Our goal is to provide effective teaching and learning at school and at home so students can reach their full potential.”
Chester Upland School District’s Chief of Staff Claudia Averette, the champion for Parent University, encouraged parents to enroll in the program at Neumann University. “I was an adult learner myself, returning to college as a wife and mother of two children,” she said. “I felt it was important to show my children how much I value education and to be a role model for them. I’ve never been sorry.”
Ms. Averette said Parent University’s partnership with Neumann will provide a supportive structure for adult students from the school district. For example, the partnership will make school facilities available for study groups to meet and will help organize a support system in collaboration with the new adult students.
Neumann’s financial aid staff, which is well versed in working with adult learners, is eager to assist and guide parents through the financial aid process, removing all barriers and anxiety, added Dr. Bunnell.
The new program with Neumann University is the latest of a number of programs offered by the new administration in the Chester Upland School District. During the current school year, the district has sponsored workshops in life skills and partnered with the American Reading Company to teach parents how to work with their children at home encouraging them to read.
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