Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Community colleges

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 15, 2014 10:02 AM

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, August 18, 2014:


The higher education landscape has changed over the last 25 years.  Much of it has to do with today's economy and the type of training needed for careers and jobs.

Lifestyle is also a big factor.  Not all students are 18-year-olds fresh out of high school and many are seeking a degree while they work at a full time job.

Those are a few of the reasons community colleges have more a significant role in the higher education mix.

With the cost of attending college growing every year, more students are choosing to attend community colleges.  For young students who are unsure if they are ready to leave home or for older students returning to school for a career change, a community college education may be the best fit.  Students are able to save money on transportation and housing too. 

These schools usually draw an older range of students, in their mid to late 20s, returning to school to change or further their career.  Earning an associate degree first helps to prepare these students to further their studies and greatly increases their chances of obtaining a bachelor’s degree within 4 years. 


Dr. John Sygielski & Elizabeth Bolden

Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), which is Pennsylvania’s first community college, is celebrating its 50thAnniversary this fall.  Dr. John “Ski” Sygielski, President of HACC will be on Monday’s Smart Talk along with Elizabeth Bolden, President/CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges and David Baime, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the American Association of Community Colleges.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-18 08:20

    Angela emails:

    I had attended a 4 year college in MD and left and then decided to go to a school in PA. To go to a 4 year school in PA I had to transfer my credits to a 2 year school first and then transfer from there. I chose HACC. I took a speech class and the prof for my speech class was the same prof as at Millersville. He was at both schools. I received the same class and education, cheaper.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-18 08:32

    Cynthia emails:

    Does HACC have sports team, like a swim team for example? Also, are most of the credits transferable to a four year college?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-18 08:52

    One thing that may be a difference at Community Colleges compared to 4-year institutions is the "close" campus community. Can you please comment on the strength of HCC campus community - the student body, relationships with instructors, etc? It is sometimes difficult to create a strong bond at non-resident colleges, but it is so important for the college experience.

    Thank you


  • Lisa img 2014-08-18 08:55

    Anyone who thinks a GED is equivalent to a high school diploma would do well to listen to this program:

    It was never intended to be the same as a high school diploma and generally is not accepted as the same by employers. Why is it that community colleges consider it the same when this weekend program claims that those with a GED generally do not do as well at college as those with a high school diploma?