Community College of Philadelphia is an open-admission, associate degree granting institution that provides accessible, low-cost higher education for all who may benefit.  It is the largest degree granting institution in Philadelphia.  The College’s initial accreditation by the Middle States Association was granted in 1968.  Since it began operation in 1965, more than 523,598 students have enrolled at the College.  Community College of Philadelphia is the only public institution of higher education in the City of Philadelphia, and is also the largest single point of entry into higher education for students of color in Philadelphia.  The College’s Main Campus is a 14-acre complex located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia.  Three Regional Centers, situated at central points in Philadelphia’s northeastern, northwestern, and western regions, combined with more than 30 different community sites, extend the College beyond Center City.  The College’s diverse locations enable the institution to serve more than 43,000 credit and non-credit students in recent semesters.

Community College of Philadelphia chose to complete a focused Self Study.  This focused Self Study emphasizes three standards related to Institutional Context (Standard 1, Mission, Goals, and Objectives; Standard 2, Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal; and Standard 7, Institutional Assessment) and three standards related to Educational Effectiveness (Standard 9, Student Support Services; Standard 12, General Education; and Standard 14, Assessment of Student Learning). 

A Documentation Roadmap was created to guide the evaluators through the supporting documentation and to summarize how the documents address the following eight standards: Standard 3 (Institutional Resources), Standard 4 (Leadership and Governance), Standard 5 (Administration), Standard 6 (Integrity), Standard 8 (Student Admissions), Standard 10 (Faculty), Standard 11 (Educational Offerings) and Standard 13 (Related Educational Activities).  A review of the Documentation Roadmap occurred in November 2003. 

The Self Study process has resulted in a number of important benefits to the institution.  The Self Study will provide a roadmap for planning over the next ten years and it has already informed some initiatives at the institution.