To & Through College. Together.

CollegeTogether's original Philly College Team program is the birthplace of all that we do. In PCT, we support first-generation students to and through graduation at the Community College of Philadelphia, the most popular post-secondary option in our nation's fifth largest city. Since 2016, PCT has served over 110 students at an astounding 81% retention rate, outpacing the community college norm nationwide. 98% of our students say they would recommend the program to a friend and 72% say that they would have dropped or failed out already without our help.

PCT has sparked a new generation of Philadelphia students who are choosing a different and more sustainable path through college: one that dismisses the blind race towards four-year institutions and instead leverages the democratic nature of community college as a catalyst to a future of greater opportunity. To learn more about PCT, scroll down and read profiles of featured students. And then learn about our linked pathway that supports students onboard PCT and through college -- with the belief that getting to college and succeeding there are part of one continuous process of support.


Follow The Journey

In this supportive college pathway, students are on-boarded into CCP with our Pre-College program and then supported through a degree as part of Philly College Team:




In our Pre-College program, aspiring team members prepare to join PCT and learn how to think, feel, and act like successful college students in the first place. We ensure, before they even head off to college, that they are empowered with the skills to navigate the complex structures of college in the first place. They focus on what we call the “Six Skills of College Success”:

  1. Build and Follow a Graduation Roadmap
  2. Map Out a Major/Career Endgame
  3. Manage Financial Aid
  4. Engage Professors
  5. Excel at College Level Work
  6. Maintain a Balanced Schedule


the goals

In the Pre-College program, students:

 Successfully apply for CCP, complete all compliance forms, secure maximum financial aid, and satisfy all pre-enrollment requirements;

 Learn the know-how to build an academic, financial, and career College Success Plan (Skills 1 through 3);

 Learn the know-how to navigate the context of higher education inside and outside of the classroom (Skills 4 through 6).



pre-college labs

The heart of the Pre-College are a series of on-campus and school-based workshops that we call "Labs," which prepare all team members for college success and in meeting the goals above.

Lab A: Orientation

Students begin their college journey by traveling with their school to Community College of Philadelphia, where they undergo a special orientation program. For Lab A, they come onto campus, have their applications processed (if they have not been already), take their placement tests, receive accelerated results, go through college orientation, ensure financial aid completion, register for classes, tour their new college, and join existing team members for a celebratory introduction to Philly College Team...all in one day.

Lab B: Building a Roadmap

Lab B, like all subsequent labs, takes place back at our partner schools. In it, students dive into general education requirements, majors, college lingo, credits, and scheduling. Then, they put together a personalized graduation roadmap, which serves as a preview of the next 2-3 years, and go over their own personal schedule for the coming college term -- all of which become part of their College Success Plan, which they begin completing during Labs and carry with them throughout college.

Lab C: College Life & “Show Me The Money!”

Students begin this lab by interactively working in small groups to compare high school versus college norms, review actual CCP college syllabi, and analyze real graded work from current team members. Then, the attention shifts to money: students consider how to respond to actual financial aid problems of current and past team members and leave having put together a personal budget and gained a deeper understanding of how to maintain positive financial aid standing at CCP.

Lab D: Scenario Games

In small mentoring groups, students attempt to solve different academic, social, and financial “college scenarios” through role-play. Throughout, they learn the importance of building relationships with professors and attending office hours, about the various support services available to them, and how to reach out for help when they need it. Finally, after this lab, students are officially inaugurated into PCT as team members!


Philly College Team

Within the Philly College Team (PCT), members become part of a community where they support one another through a shared academic journey, grounded in the belief that we all succeed together. In weekly student-run team meetings, PCTers enjoy dinner and snacks together, bond with one another, hear from invited speakers, speak candidly with college deans in “listenings sessions,” and receive advice and help on day-to-day college life. They make it through college by investing in themselves and each other -- as one team, as one family. 


team benefits

In this community of scholars, team members recieve three key benefits, which are described in detail below:

— Are mentored by upperclassmen, who bring them into a team culture of collective mentorship where success is the expectation not the exception;

 Receive the mentorship of caring adults who keep them on track;

— Learn how to utilize their degree and intentionally reach a post-graduation goal, be it workforce placement or transfer to a four-year institution.



Benefit A: Collective Mentorship

Membership in PCT means being part of a community of shared norms and high expectations. All incoming freshmen receive upperclassmen mentors, who are matched by major or career interest and serve as peer guides to the institution. The key purpose of mentorship is to establish a sense of belonging for new members and of collectiveness for all. Mentors help mentees understand major pathways, which classes to take, and how to navigate the complex structures of college.

Benefit B: Caring Adults

While our team members foster and maintain a student-driven culture within PCT, we track their overall progress and curate necessary and useful resources for them. PCT staff keeps tabs on grades, class attendance, and financial aid. We hold weekly check-ins with students in need of extra help and, during team meetings, help students identify important financial aid, registration, and midterm deadlines that we call “checkpoints.” We help everyone consistently update and refine their College Success Plans depending on changing majors, academic performance, and other variables.

We connect PCTers to a strong CCP-based network of supporters, advisors, and other caring adults who are student-focused and ready to help. Tutors from the learning lab, admissions officers from the Welcome Center, and dozens of others stand ready to help PCTers. Team members are made well aware of the “menu of supports” available to them across the program and college.

Benefit C: Using Your Degree

As CCP students, team members have a common goal: graduation. But such an end goal is not the endgame. Equally as important as earning a degree is being able to use it in the modern economy. To create lasting impact for our students and for them to reach their goals, be they transfer or enter the workforce, they must be able to frame and articulate the specific skills they have gained through their education and how such skills fit into their eventual goals.

We help students build resume-building, interview, and self-advocacy skills. PCT connects students to internships and work placements in conjunction with our HospitalityTogether program. We want to ensure that all students are ready for whatever comes next.