History of the College
Delaware County Community College was founded in 1967 and has grown to serve more than 28,000 students each year in Delaware and Chester Counties. With five major locations that offer a total of 33 associate degree, 17 transfer degree and 33 certificate programs, it has been the convenient college choice for our community for decades.
Our first students – aspirations
Jeanne Theresa Livingston of Prospect Park, age 18, entered Delaware County Community College to study nursing. She was a 1967 graduate of Archbishop Prendergast High School, Upper Darby.
James E. Robinson, an 18-year-old Interboro High School graduate from Glenolden, planned to take data processing courses and transfer to a computer programming curriculum at a four-year college. “It’s a field for the future,” he said prophetically.
History - A New Century - The Year 2000
Technical facilities at the Malin Road Center in Broomall are closed with the opening of the Advanced Technology Center. The first portion of the STEM Complex opens as programs formerly offered at the Malin Road Center move to the new Advanced Technology Center at the Marple Campus. The only program to remain at Malin Road is the Municipal Police Academy.
The College experiences a sharp spike in enrollments at all six major locations in Delaware and Chester counties. President Jerry Parker attributes the increase to “a cascading effect” in which students who can’t afford four-year institutions look for cost-effective alternatives in higher education.
The Chester County Technical College High School opens in West Grove, serving southern Chester County as a hybrid education and training facility that will offer career and technical programs for high school students as well as associate degree programs for college students.
The College launches a delaGATE web portal through which students, faculty and staff will have access to information tailored to their role and relationship within the institution.
Groundbreaking takes place for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Complex at the Marple Campus. The 100,000-square-foot facility will house science, math, engineering and public safety programs as well as a separate 30,000-square-foot pre-engineered building for technical programs.
The College now serves more than 27,000 students annually in credit and non-credit programs.
Delaware County Community College hosts a year-long celebration of its 40th anniversary.
The redesigned, state-of-the-art Allied Health and Nursing Simulation Lab opens on the Marple Campus.
Plans are unveiled for two new Science and Technology buildings (STEM) at the Marple Campus. The Malin Road Center is to be phased out when the new complex opens.
A campaign opens to build and furnish a new Nursing Simulation lab.
The College and the Chester County Intermediate Unit join forces and break ground for a new “Technical College High School” in West Grove, Chester County, that will serve southern Chester County as a hybrid education and training facility. It will become known as the College’s Pennocks Bridge Campus.
The Philadelphia Business Journal names the College the eighth largest institution of higher education in the tri-state region, serving more than 27,000 students annually.
Delaware County Community College is one of seven community colleges in the state selected to participate in Achieving the Dream, a national initiative to help more community college students succeed.
An all-College rally brings local legislators to the Marple Campus so students, faculty, staff and alumni can say “thank you” for their bi-partisan state support for the College’s budget.
Dr. Jerome S. Parker is chosen as the third President of Delaware County Community College.
Dr. Virginia M. Carter is appointed the College’s first Provost.
The College launches a degree program in Emergency Management and Planning.
The College outgrows its Collingdale Center. The new Southeast Center opens in Sharon Hill, Delaware County, continuing to serve the residents of that area of the county.
Middle College High School opens in Chester County in collaboration with the Chester County Intermediate Unit. It is housed in the Exton Center.
The Center to Promote Excellence in Teaching and Learning is established as a faculty-directed professional development initiative.
The College kicks off its 35th anniversary celebration with an Academic Convocation.
President Richard DeCosmo announces his retirement.
The new Downingtown Campus opens to serve the educational needs of the Chester County community.
Thirty-five Star Alumni are recognized for their stellar accomplishments at a dinner in their honor. Honorees include a U.S. Congressman, and one alumnus travels from Russia for the ceremonies.
The Workforce Entry Center opens at the Main Campus.
History - the '90s
Morris the Cat was an adopted stray who settled in at the College during construction at the Marple Campus. Morris, named before the discovery that ‘he’ was actually a ‘she,’ had her own bank account under the name ‘Morris Mascot.’ Students and staff contributed to the account to pay her expenses.
The College once had a swimming pool at the Marple Campus, according to a faculty member who actually swam in it. Unfortunately for present faculty and students, the pool was filled in with cement, and with it went hopes for a College synchronized swimming team.
A memory improvement class got off to a slow start when the instructor forgot to show up for the first night of class.
New degree programs are established in Interactive Multimedia and Business Technology.
The groundwork is laid for a Chester County campus.
Increased enrollments force the Exton Center in Chester County to expand into a second space, which becomes known as Exton II.
The Science for Health Professions degree program begins.
The new Video Teleconference Center links the College to the world.
The Academic Building’s 37,000-square-foot addition opens, housing Learning Centers, Café, CADD-CAM lab, Job Placement and Co-op Center, New Choices Center and classrooms.
The Exton Center is established in the Whiteland Business Park, Chester County.
The Office of Workforce, Education and Training is established.
The College joins the Internet revolution and launches its new website.
Groundbreaking takes place for a new 37,000-square-foot addition to the Academic Building.
The Chester County Center opens in East High School, West Chester, marking the College’s first entry into Chester County.
The Radnor Center opens at Radnor High School.
A consortium of Delaware County Community College, Community College of Philadelphia, Camden County Community College and Drexel University establishes Shipyard College to respond to the retraining needs of displaced workers and entrepreneurs of the Philadelphia Shipyard, Naval Base and Defense Supply Center.
To offset a declining student population, the College increases tuition/fees by 20 percent and implements a special Instructional Fee Subsidy program.
The College invests $2.5 million in state-of-the-art computers and a communications network. A new Internet committee is formed.
A new lab for Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) opens at the Malin Road Center. Enrollment in that program increases from 113 to 548 students in one year.
Paralegal Studies and Communication Arts programs begin.
The College furthers plans for a 40,000+-square-foot addition on the Main Campus’s Academic Building as part of a three-year plan.
The Malin Road Center opens in Broomall, housing the College’s Technical Education programs.
History - the '80s
The College signs an articulation agreement with West Chester University.
The College’s administrators are provided with 14 microcomputers and 11 terminals.
The Board of Trustees approves a degree program in Composites and Reinforced Plastics Technology.
Enrollment surpasses 8,500.
The Center for Productivity and Advanced Technology is created.
The Developmental Studies (a multi-disciplinary program) and Total Quality programs begin.
The Collingdale Center opens with 585 students.
The Nursing Simulation Lab is constructed.
Automated Manufacturing/Robotics courses are launched.
The College celebrates its 15th anniversary.
Dr. Richard D. DeCosmo is named president.
A new program for operating room nurses is introduced.
Elder Week is offered for the first time.
New Beginnings, formerly the Displaced Homemakers Project, is launched.
Non-credit Continuing Education courses number over 400, with annual enrollments of 12,000.
The Educational Foundation is established.
The Center for Development of Human Resources is created to serve the needs of local business and industry.
The Chester Center opens at 7th and Sproul Streets, Chester.
Enrollment exceeds 6,000 students.
Courses are offered in Advanced Technologies.
History - the '70s
The streaking fad hit the College in the spring of 1974 when three students, wearing paper bags and nothing else, ran across the Concordville campus. Bag-wearing streakers were warned by school nurse Margot Heilig to be sure they could see through the bags, after one slipped in the mud, skinning both his knee and his dignity.
The Development Office (see Support the College) is created to:
- Counteract inflation of the College’s operational costs.
- Fund projects that the institution believes are important, regardless of whether the Commonwealth or the sponsoring school districts are willing to fund them.
- Provide a margin of educational excellence.
- Provide Scholarships as needed to better serve the community and extend available educational opportunities.
Grant applications total $757,933.
Actual awards total $445,272.
The College has more than 30,000 Alumni who have taken one or more semesters of course work.
Enrollment is 5,778. The average age of students is 25.5.
For the first time, the enrollment of women college-wide exceeds the enrollment of men.
The College has more part-time than full-time students.
The College cuts back to a four-day work week because of energy shortages. Friday, Saturday and Sunday classes and weekend cultural events are cancelled.
The Police Academy graduates its first class of 19 law enforcement officers.
One-credit co-educational physical education courses can be applied toward graduation.
More than 550 veterans are processed through the Veterans Office and subsequently enrolled in the College.
The College’s various health services are used by 8,399 individuals for treatment, special programs, athletic physicals and other testing.
Active campus clubs include: archery, canoeing, cheerleading, chess, criminal justice, environmental science, hotel/restaurant, ice hockey, Phi Rho Pi, science alliance, science fiction, skiing, Star Trek, transcendental meditation and veterans.
Enrollment is 5,321. The average age of students is 24.9.
There are 103 full-time faculty and 160 co-adjuncts.
The College has 132 full-time employees.
The College’s operating budget is $6.7 million.
New programs are added: Construction Technology; Drafting and Design Technology; Instrumentation Technology; Operating Room Technician; Weekend Nursing.
College & University Parallel programs begin: Business Administration, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Natural Science.
The Mobile Career Resource Center “Plan Van” visits various county-wide locations, providing information and counseling to approximately 100 community residents per week.
The Co-op program, previously available only to students in occupational programs, expands to students in most majors.
Retired volunteers assist the College’s staff in the Day Care Center, mail room and admissions office. The College provides a hot lunch for these Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) participants.
Tennis courts are constructed on the Main Campus.
The campus ties in to the municipal sewer system.
Dedication of the new $19.5 million campus in Marple Township.
Delaware County Community College is organized under the Pennsylvania Community College Act of 1963 with its new name.
Occupancy of the Main Campus takes place in the fall, with a total enrollment of 3,500 full- and part-time students.
The College has three satellite centers: Garnet Valley High School, Upper Darby High School and Ridley Junior High School.
Intramural sports for men and women include flag football, basketball, volleyball, softball, archery, street hockey and bowling.
The Speakers Bureau is established, consisting of 28 faculty and staff offering 65 topics. Twenty clubs and organizations in local communities avail themselves of this service.
Act 101, the Higher Education Equal Opportunity Program, is established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Construction begins on the new campus in Marple Township in the fall.
Community Service programs include a small business seminar, an Adventures in Learning series for children, a community chorus and all-county orchestra, faculty lecture series, art festivals and various drama workshops.
The College Library, located in Concordville, houses 20,000 volumes.
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools grants full accreditation to the Community College of Delaware County.
History - the '60s
The Dante School building in Concordville was previously an orphanage. Its child-sized fixtures made visits to the restroom an interesting challenge.
Some offices on the Dante Campus were once bathrooms; one faculty member actually stored files in a bathtub, evoking the comment, “His records are always clean.”
The mobile units that gave the Dante Campus its nickname “The Trailer Park” were the source of seasonal problems. One unit experienced a snowstorm in the middle of August: a blizzard of white flakes blew from the air conditioner into the classroom and students were sent home for a “snow day.”
The roof of another “mod” unit collapsed from the weight of wet snow following a real snowstorm, burying an office which was, fortunately, unoccupied.
The College celebrates its first 24 graduates.
A modest Continuing Education program begins with 10 courses and a handful of part-time instructors.
The College occupies temporary quarters at the renovated Dante School, Concordville, with classes offered from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Science facilities at Ridley Township High School are rented for late afternoon and early evening classes. Nursing courses and clinical and observational experiences start at the Fair Acres Delaware County Institution District.
Enrollment is 1,239, with 22 percent benefiting from over $100,000 in financial aid for the 1968-69 academic year.
The College’s Instructional Resource Center includes a 4,500-volume library.
Edward Durell Stone and Associates, New York City, and Stickle International, Cleveland, are commissioned to design and develop a construction project for the College’s future main campus. Stone was the designer of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
The Marple Zoning Board denies application for the use of the Gideon Stull property as the permanent campus of Community College of Delaware County. Trustees appeal.
The College conducts it first Community Service course, Basics of Investing in Stocks and Bonds.
307 students enroll in an evening program in rented facilities at Ridley Township High School. There are 24 faculty members.
The College newspaper, the Communitarian, is started as a mimeographed sheet. In the second year, it grows to a printed four-page newspaper.
Community College of Delaware County is founded with Dr. Douglas F. Libby Jr. as president on March 1, 1967.
Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton signs into law Act 484, the Community College Act of 1963, which created the State Board of Education.