Harcum College: The College of Possibilities


Harcum College is an associate degree-granting institution in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, nestled in a historic, tree-lined area known as Main Line Philadelphia. It was founded in 1915 as a private residential college and was the first institution in Pennsylvania to award the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees.

Harcum combines the best of what a public community college and a four-year college can offer in terms of a transformative, student-centered education. It boasts the small classes and individual attention of a four-year independent college, but the academic flexibility and more open admissions requirements of a community college. It has a community college-style career focus with a four-year institution’s incorporation of arts and humanities into the curriculum.

As the “College of Possibilities” Harcum strives to help every student discover and nurture those skills that open up life’s possibilities, and provides a rich array of career choices. Enrollment has nearly doubled in the past five years to 1,500 students. Its historic Little Theatre has reopened as a venue for the arts after a complete renovation; its Library has undergone a $1.2-million renovation; and new programs, labs, and classrooms greet some of the largest entering classes in Harcum’s history. There’s a vibrant spirit of learning and living in the Harcum community shared by students, faculty, and staff.

Today, Harcum offers more than 21 associate degree and certificate programs. For students who do not want to commit or cannot afford to commit to four or five years of schooling, an associate’s degree is a good choice. An associate’s degree can be general or career-focused. A general associate’s degree is a stand-alone degree, and generally used by students who are planning to transfer to a four-year institution. A career-related associate’s degree trains students for a specific career field such as nursing, dental hygiene, veterinary assisting, human services, or early childhood education, to name some of Harcum’s most in-demand majors.

Harcum attracts students from across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and beyond who seek new possibilities and are attracted to Harcum’s unique mix of practical career education, hands-on internships and clinical experiences, personal attention and support from faculty, and a job placement rate near 100 percent in several of its allied health majors. In this way, Harcum still follows the path blazed by Harcum’s founder Edith Hatcher Harcum, who created the school to help students expand upon their individual skills and talents while providing a strong academic program.

Allied Health majors include allied health science, animal center management, dental assisting, dental hygiene, expanded functions dental assisting (EFDA), histotechnician, medical laboratory technician, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology, and veterinary technology.

Business and Professional Studies majors are business administration, fashion and interior design, fashion merchandising, sports management, accounting, digital design, and photography.

Social Sciences offers programs in human services, law and justice, leadership development, and early childhood education. Harcum also has a General Studies option that offers a core curriculum which students can add to as they choose an academic specialty.

All programs are taught by faculty with professional experience in their fields.

Harcum students are given the opportunity to complete career-related work experience either through required internships, clinical or practicum experiences, or service-learning activities. All students graduate with both career-specific and life-enriching skills.

To support student learning, Harcum has newly-refurbished residence halls and an active program of on-campus activities for residential students. Harcum benefits from its location twenty minutes by rail from downtown Philadelphia, as well as from the presence of six other colleges and universities within a few miles of its campus.

Harcum competes in Divisions I and II in the NJCAA in 11 varsity sports: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s track and field and cross-country teams.

While Harcum prides itself on remaining up-to-the minute in new trends and technology, the founders’ mission remains intact. By offering individual attention, relevant coursework, and hands-on training, Harcum provides its students with the supportive atmosphere and marketable skills to guarantee them success after graduation.

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