It was 1974. The Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup. The top song on the Billboard charts was Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were.” Richard Nixon was president. And, JEVS Human Services began a vocational training program in Northeast Philadelphia, beginning with English language classes for Soviet immigrants, clerical skills course for homemakers returning to jobs, then later adding trades education. The career school has gone through a few names changes, and finally today is known as JEVS’ Orleans Technical College. What has remained the same over the past 45 years is the mission to help people from all walks of life to gain the skills they need to succeed or capture new opportunities in the regional workforce.

Another consistent theme through the decades for JEVS and Orleans Tech is stability. Over the last few years, the U.S. higher education industry has seen increased regulation and falling enrollment, contributing to the closure or consolidation of hundreds of colleges and campuses around the country. Stricter financial aid rules and the fear of high tuition debt—these weigh heavy on the minds of thousands of recent high school grads and adults wanting, or needing, to return to school to further their job skills and marketability. And, the proliferation of online courses is problematic for post-secondary schools, like Orleans Tech, where students thrive on campus/classroom-based learning. Given all of these challenges, JEVS’s career college remains standing.

One major highlight in Orleans Tech’s long-history occurred just recently, and it’s worth noting its significance to those considering career training in 2019. We accepted a School of Distinction Award from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC); one of only 19 institutions nationwide to be named with this honor. ACCSC establishes best practices in educational quality, generally referred to as “standards.” As an accredited institution, the faculty and staff at Orleans Technical College agree to consistently demonstrate how they are meeting (or exceeding) those standards.

Why is this award important to the Philadelphia workforce, or prospective students, or community partners? Because JEVS is providing an important resource to our region through the overall quality of education at Orleans Technical College and the exceptional, committed faculty and staff.

“This award has everything to do with the people who make Orleans a living and dynamic institute of higher education,” said Bill Lynch, campus president at JEVS’ Orleans Technical College. “It is a reflection of the people who share their experience, knowledge, and commitment to helping others. Being named an ACCSC School of Distinction has inspired the team to keep educating, training, and striving for continuous improvement. We’re ready to empower our future graduates with a plan for success and the skills needed and in a new career.”

In this 45th anniversary year, JEVS is working on a plan of continuous improvement and partnerships to ensure many more years, and many more hundreds of graduates, to find educational success at Orleans Technical College.

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