Albion Students Attend The Philadelphia Center Amid Pandemic

The Ludington Center, located in downtown Albion, is full of open areas where students meet and collaborate. The center is also home to the career and internship center, which helps students get involved with organizations and future careers, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic (Photo by Steve Marowski).

The Philadelphia Center (TPC) has been providing college students with the opportunity to study in a  large city during their college experience since 1967. TPC offers spring, summer,  fall and post-bac semester classes, where students can spend one semester away from their home campus and immersed in all TPC and the city have to offer. 

In 2017, Albion College became the full time administrator of the program, meaning that tuition costs at TPC and Albion are the same, and 100% of students’ financial aid packages can be applied to learning experiences at TPC. 

Dawn Hernandez, associate director of the Career and Internship Center, said that, on average, 10 Albion students attend TPC each semester. However, the college is looking to double that number in the upcoming semesters.

On average, enrolled students participate in two classes taught by TPC and adjunct faculty, which include a city seminar and an elective class of their choice. The program also offers more than 800 opportunities for  32 hour-week, for-credit internships. The program is currently open to all Albion majors and has offered learning services for more than 6,800 students from 90 colleges and 50 countries across the world.

Unfortunately, the program, both for Albion students and students at large, was temporarily shut down mid-2020 due to concerns of Covid-19. But as of the Fall 2020 semester, TPC has been employing a new plan to ensure students can still participate in multiple unique learning experiences. 

Jennifer Gonzalez, a senior from Detroit, said that she was interested in going to TPC because it offered her the prospect of an off-campus experience and affordable internship opportunities.

“My favorite part of the experience was getting to meet my coworkers and develop friendships with all of them,” said Gonzalez. “I learned a lot about the public health field that I would not have learned otherwise. A very close second is exploring Philly and getting to try all of the amazing food from different cultures.”

Gonzalez said that she would highly recommend TPC to anyone considering it, as it enables students to get work experience in the fields they are interested in.

Tori Conklin, a junior from Chesterfield, said that she chose to attend TPC as a way to grow as a person and for professional development and as a way to travel with her dog. 

“My favorite part of my experience thus far is living completely alone, the food, and traveling the city on foot with my pup,” said Tori. “I also have really enjoyed getting out of the city and doing some hiking in Gwendyne, Penn.”

Like most institutions, TPC had to adjust its model during 2020 to provide virtual classes but is developing a plan to begin welcoming students back to campus.

About Shannon Barba 22 Articles
Shannon Barba is a sophomore from Marshall, Michigan, currently double majoring in physics and computer science. After Albion, he hopes to attend graduate school at MIT. In addition to being Co-Marketing Coordinator for the Pleiad, Barba is the Engagements Chair of Student Senate, participant in the Prentiss M. Brown Honors program, member of the Student Volunteer Bureau, mentor for first-year students, pianist for Albion's Jazz Band, representative for the Committee of Student Learning, mentor for Harrington Elementary School, and a member of the Biochemistry Club.

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