For Joshua Riojas, RACC was just the beginning of his successful journey. “My professional work experience and education all started at RACC, and the school deserves a tremendous amount of credit in how I have progressed through life professionally.”
Joshua graduated from Conrad Weiser with no immediate plans for a career. He knew a four-year college didn’t suit him, so he chose RACC for his education. “I wanted to keep costs down and since I didn’t take my SATs seriously, I considered community college as my best option.”
While at RACC, Joshua received a Foundation Scholarship which encouraged him to earn more than one degree. Joshua graduated from RACC with two Associate Degrees in Web Site Development and Computer Technology.
One of Joshua’s instructors, Marty Kelly, who is also RACC’s webmaster, gave him an opportunity to work as a work-study in the web department. “Over the years of employment at RACC, Marty was a wonderful supervisor who made every effort to see me thrive academically and professionally. People like Marty are the reason why a student should go to RACC.” Marty not only encouraged and supported Joshua while he was at RACC, but they stayed in touch after graduation and continue to be close friends.
Joshua directly credits RACC for providing him with a pathway not only for transferring to a four-year college but also for gaining employment opportunities. “My education at RACC enabled me to acquire part-time work at the college. Plus, it was instrumental in obtaining an IT Internship at Morgan Corporation, which continued a trickle effect as I transferred to PSU.” Joshua was able to leverage his work experience at RACC to get a web internship in the Marketing and Communications Research Department at Penn State. Joshua ultimately graduated from Penn State with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Computer Science.
Joshua currently works at Cerner Corporation as a System Engineer and as an adjunct lecturer at Penn State, Harrisburg campus. Joshua’s immediate plans moving forward are to continue to explore fields within Computer Science, further his education with various IT/System Administrator certificates and focus on improving his lectures for his college classes.
Joshua feels that RACC was a turning point for him and continues to highly recommend RACC as a starting point for anyone looking to further their education. “RACC provides many dual admission opportunities that facilitate easy transfer of credits; and the classes, instructors and work-study programs help you calculate a trajectory for your career.”
Reading, PA – On Tuesday, September 19, Vice President Kamala Harris marked National Voter Registration Day by
Reading, PA – On Tuesday, September 19, Vice President Kamala Harris marked National Voter Registration Day by participating in a moderated conversation with actress Annie Gonzalez at Reading Area Community College (RACC), a Hispanic-serving institution in Reading, PA. This campus event will be the third stop on the Vice President’s month-long college tour.
Vice President Harris’s “Fight for Our Freedoms" College Tour is a high-energy national swing to mobilize thousands of young people in the ongoing fight for fundamental freedoms and rights. She is set to visit around a dozen campuses including HBCUs, community colleges, apprenticeship programs, state schools, and additional Hispanic-serving institutions. At each stop, the Vice President will focus on key issues that disproportionately impact young people across America – from reproductive freedom and gun safety to climate action, voting rights, LGBTQ+ equality, mental health, and book bans.
“It is truly an honor to have Vice President Harris visit our beautiful campus. I am very proud to have such an opportunity to showcase the great work that our faculty and staff do for our students and the Berks County community,” says RACC President Dr. Susan Looney.
The Vice President’s college tour officially kicked off this week with stops at Hampton University and North Carolina A&T State University. It is a continuation of her dedicated work to energize, engage, and partner with young people throughout the country. She has already been to 13 college campuses this year after visiting 14 schools in 2022. Vice President Harris also regularly meets with young leaders wherever she goes – from climate leaders in Colorado to gun safety advocates in Virginia.
Reading, PA – On Tuesday, August 29, Reading Area Community College (RACC) signed a guaranteed transfer agreem
Reading, PA – On Tuesday, August 29, Reading Area Community College (RACC) signed a guaranteed transfer agreement with Immaculata University in the Miller Center for the Arts on the RACC campus.
RACC President Dr. Susan Looney and Immaculata University President Barbara Lettiere entered the colleges into a Dual Admissions Transfer Agreement to facilitate the transfer of RACC students to Immaculata’s Baccalaureate Degree programs. This agreement applies to students who enter Immaculata as full-time or part-time undergraduate students. RACC students will be guaranteed admission with third year (junior) status at Immaculata. The agreement will apply to RACC graduates with an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science, or Associate in General Studies degree. Immaculata will award academic scholarships annually to all RACC graduates admitted to the college, and all RACC students will also be provided with a Dual Admissions Grant of $1,500 which is renewable each year the student is enrolled as a full-time matriculated undergraduate student. The Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship will also be awarded to Phi Theta Kappa members.
"We are celebrating today a new agreement with Immaculata University, which will open many new doors of opportunity for our graduates. This pathway is the result of great cooperation and collaboration between faculty and deans of our respective institutions and will serve well both the needs of our institutions and, more importantly, those of our students," says Reading Area Community College President, Dr. Susan Looney.
“Immaculata University is proud to partner with RACC in the development of the Dual Admissions Agreement. The agreement clearly and seamlessly lays out the pathways to a bachelor’s degree and subsequent careers. This aligns exactly with what modern students are looking for and actively pursuing,” says Immaculata Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Angela Tekely.
"The availability of student scholarships when transferring a RACC associate degree to Immaculata's Baccalaureate Degree programs makes access to a continuing education easier and will reduce the financial burden for our qualified transferring students," says RACC Director of Academic Partnerships, Kristen M. Marcinko.
About Reading Area Community College
Reading Area Community College is an accredited, comprehensive, open-enrollment education institution that provides associate degree, certificate, and diploma programs, career-focused training, transitional coursework, skills training for business and industry, personal enrichment programs, and public service activities. Sponsored by Berks County, the college provides affordable access to meet identified community educational needs.
About Immaculata University
Immaculata University is a comprehensive, co-ed institution of higher learning that has emphasized academic success, student outcomes, faith-based values and personal growth for more than 100 years. Immaculata University values each student and empowers them to chart their own course.
Offering more than 75 in-demand undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, Immaculata University provides attainable education, personal support and meaningful career pathways to tomorrow’s leaders who are focused on intellectual, personal, professional and spiritual growth. Driven by the Catholic Intellectual tradition and the heritage of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata provides affordable, career-focused education that is accessible to students, regardless of income, location, test scores or academic achievement.
RACC’s Early Childhood Education ESL Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support Program Recognized by Excelencia
Reading, PA (August 15, 2023) – Excelencia in Education has named Reading Area Community College (RACC)’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) English as a second language (ESL) Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support Program a finalist for the 2023 Examples of Excelencia, recognizing the program’s intentionality in serving Latino students through culturally relevant, evidence-based practices. This program is among 19 Examples of Excelencia finalists across the country.
The Early Childhood Education ESL Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support program supports Latino Early Childhood Education students through course embedded ESL tutoring, peer mentoring and the intentional revision of instructional design to support ESL students.
Excelencia is the only national effort to identify, aggregate, and promote evidence-based practices accelerating Latino student success in higher education. As one of this year’s finalists, RACC’s program demonstrates intentionality and impact in improving degree outcomes for Latino and other post-traditional students. The program’s efforts can inform institutional leaders and practitioners that are proactively seeking ways to build and sustain practices tailored to their students and their communities.
“We bring national attention to the Examples of Excelencia finalists because they show what is possible when serving Latino students in their higher education journeys,” said Adriana Rodriguez, Vice President for Programs at Excelencia in Education. “Beyond enrollment, these programs implement replicable practices that answer questions of how best to reach Latino students and support them to and through college in today’s landscape.
RACC’s Early Childhood Education ESL Embedded Tutoring and Peer Support program and the other finalists were selected through a robust review process of 103 program submissions representing higher education institutions and community organizations across 20 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in four categories: associate, baccalaureate, graduate, and community-based organizations. Since 2005, Excelencia has received over 2,000 program submissions, recognized over 400 programs for their impact, and raised and awarded over $2 million to the programs making a difference for Latino students to sustain their work.
“I am deeply grateful for the recognition that this award represents, and I would like to thank Nancy Jackson, Dr. Robin Eckert, and their staff for their tireless dedication to our students,” Dr. Susan Looney, RACC president, says. “Every day, they provide a supportive and nurturing environment that enables our students to thrive. It is their commitment to helping students achieve their dreams that helps to transform the lives within our community.”
All finalist programs will be featured online in Excelencia’s Growing What Works Database — the only national, searchable database for institutional leaders, funders, policymakers, and others interested in effective programs for Latino students.
June 29, 2023 — Reading Area Community College (RACC) was honored at a gala at Kraras Hall in Saints Constanti
June 29, 2023 — Reading Area Community College (RACC) was honored at a gala at Kraras Hall in Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Wyomissing on Thursday, June 29. Accepting the award on behalf of RACC was RACC President, Dr. Susan Looney.
Each year, Centro Hispano Daniel Torres recognizes an institution, organization or individual who makes a positive impact at the center and in Reading’s Latino community with its Amigo Award. RACC was selected as the 2023 Amigo Award winner and honored at the Amigo Award Gala.
“I am deeply grateful for the recognition that this award represents, and I would like to thank everyone at RACC for their tireless dedication to our students. Every day, they provide a supportive and nurturing environment that enables our students to thrive. It is their commitment to helping students achieve their dreams that helps to transform the lives within our community,” says Dr. Susan Looney.
In addition to the award ceremony, the dinner featured keynote speaker, Mr. Richard C. Harwood, renowned speaker, author and president and founder of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, will be our keynote speaker for the evening.
Centro Hispano Daniel Torres’ mission is to support the acculturation of the local Latino population through collaborative initiatives with core programs that include a senior center, social services referrals, college scholarships and guidance for high school students, peer-to-peer training for parents, and after-school mentoring.