History and Accomplishments

In 1993 when eight women college presidents came together to establish the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE), they were determined to develop a model based on collaboration rather than competition. With far-sighted vision, they recognized the need to integrate technology into the curriculum at all levels of education, K-12 as well as undergraduate and graduate. In the years since it was formed, SEPCHE has become a think tank for responding to many of the challenges facing higher education. This group of eight small independent institutions, who might otherwise be competitors, have, through the development of a basis of trust and understanding, formed a consulting group which operates at all levels to address issues of common concern. The impact of this collaboration can be seen in the schools’ enhanced academic programs and services, broad-based applications of technology in the classroom, and widespread community outreach programs reaching thousands of teachers and students at the secondary and elementary levels and community members.

The collaborative efforts of SEPCHE have had many positive outcomes for the member schools and the surrounding communities. In addition to the ongoing reciprocal consulting support available to the ten committees that meet regularly, SEPCHE can list the following specific achievements:

Collaborative faculty development in instructional technology and integrating technology into the curriculum and the individual disciplines

  • Learning, Technology and the Changing Role of Faculty Conference
  • Cross Registration
  • Institute for Mathematics & Science
  • Global Curriculum Development & related faculty development
  • Foreign Language and Culture Symposium
  • Co-operation on Foreign Language
  • Shared Fulbright Scholars
  • Shared courses using teleconferencing
  • On-line courses
  • Annual SEPCHE Honors Conference
  • Shared faculty
  • Shared International Scholars Program
  • Inter-campus World Culture Series
  • Automation and interconnection of libraries
  • Virtual library catalog
  • JSTOR electronic journal storage system
  • Shared E-book collection
  • Reciprocal Library Use Agreement
  • Online Career Services Center with collaborative employment listings and career information for students and alumni
  • A virtual job fair for students and alumni
  • Faculty Speakers’ Bureau
  • Art Exhibits of SEPCHE student and faculty work
  • Award-winning collaborative staff training and development programs
  • Instructional Technology training for elementary and secondary teachers in multiple school districts in the five-county area.
  • Collaborative program of graduate courses in math and science, using technology, for K-12 teachers in five-county area
  • Programs for registered nurses in rural Chester County and Lancaster County to help them complete bachelor’s degrees
  • Welfare-to-Work projects in disadvantaged neighborhoods of Philadelphia and Chester: GED instruction, computer, phlebotomy, and early childhood professional care training, job search skills
  • Outreach programs to refugees and immigrants providing language, computer and job search training
  • Career and job search services, including internet training and access to job links for parents of students at St. Donato School in West Philadelphia, and Domestic Violence Center of Chester County
  • Enrichment and intervention programs for students in the K-12 grades
  • Summer academic programs and summer camps for disadvantaged elementary, junior high
    and high school students
  • Physical therapy clinics, community health fair, health screening for physically and financially disadvantaged senior citizens
  • Summer games and physiological assessments for visually impaired children and adults
  • Physical and mental health services for abused women and children
  • Education and Hepatitis B immunization for 7th grades
  • Parish nursing certificate program and symposium. Spirituality class for nurses
  • Nursing center for the elderly in Chester
  • College Wellness Center developed as resource for community nutrition counseling and community nutrition and wellness classes