What an exciting time! While we continue with classes here in Phoenixville, I’m speaking with a number of people in both Norristown and Pottstown about what their communities have to gain by bringing in a branch of Sphere College. These benefits include a more educated workforce with enhanced communication and workforce skills, the ability of an individual to pursue one’s dreams, and general strategies for economic development for both the individual and the community. And we’ll do it with fun, creative education, pursuing the knowledge the students want to learn and molding it to the varied learning styles of the students.
Last night I spoke with a group of firefighters at the Fairmount Engine Company No. 2 in Norristown. Naturally, at first they were skeptical about this guy touting a PhD coming to talk to them. But hey, Norristown Fire Chief Tom O`Donnell suggested that they hear me out, so they were willing to give me a chance, even if I did begin talking just as the Phillies game went into the 11th inning. But as I talked about the current status and future vision of the College, they warmed up to it. As expected, they asked good, hard questions, some of which I had already thought a lot about and others I hadn’t. I made the point that students in the College are a part of creating the learning environment that works for them while the College ensures a sufficient quality of education.
I was particularly excited by the recognition by one audience member that the people in the room are taking part in something new and groundbreaking: the founding of a truly new form of higher education. By the end of my visit they were beginning to brainstorm about what the next steps should be to make this a reality in Norristown. And since they’re the ones who know the Norristown community far better than I do, it makes sense that they would be the ones to design the strategy. I look forward to hearing back from them and acting on their ideas.
MEANWHILE, I’ve continued meeting with people in Pottstown and have continued to receive a very positive response. Pottstown shares some very interesting characteristics with Norristown, including proximity to Philadelphia and a rich history. In many ways it is a very different community, though, so the strategy in Pottstown will naturally be quite different. Again, it’s the people in the community who will devise with the most sensible strategy.
So stay tuned…there will be much more to report on these developments!
BTW, the Phillies won 7-6.