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Fox Chase Cancer Center Awarded Act 48 Provider Status

PHILADELPHIA (January 29, 2004) -- The Pennsylvania Department of Education has awarded Fox Chase Cancer Center Act 48 provider status for the next three years. As a result, the Partnership for Cancer Education, a Fox Chase program funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) dedicated to increasing students' understanding of science, will be able to provide teacher participants with up to 260 hours of Act 48 credit towards their continuing education.

Act 48 of 1999 is designed to enhance the education of students by requiring all Pennsylvania educators holding Pennsylvania public school certification to participate in ongoing professional education. All educators must obtain six credits of collegiate study, six credits of continuing professional education courses, 180 hours of continuing professional programs, activities or learning experiences, or any combination of credits or hours equivalent to 180 every five years to maintain active status as teachers.

Fox Chase was awarded this recent status based on the Partnership for Cancer Education's ability to offer a three-year, comprehensive plan that addresses the needs of the schools and their professional staff. According to the Department of Education, institutions holding Act 48 status must be able to implement educational plans that meet certain criteria, including plans that contain clear and concise written content and skill based competencies; plans that are research-based, data driven and contribute to measurable increases in student achievement, and plans that are designed and conducted by personnel who have an academic degree or other education and experience appropriate to the subject matter being taught.

"The partnership between Fox Chase and HHMI presents a wonderful learning opportunity for both the students and the teachers," explained Dr. Susanne Johnston, program director for the Partnership for Cancer Education with HHMI. "With the recent Act 48 provider award, the teachers can fully utilize their experience and education towards their requirements to maintain active status as teachers."

In the class research program, a middle or high school science teacher is partnered with a scientist to involve the teacher's class in the scientist's research. The scientist and the teacher work together from May through August of the first year to prepare a suitable student research project, including five weeks of full- time work during the summer in the scientist's lab. The class then works on the research project throughout the following school year and will design experiments, analyze data, and draw conclusions. Once completed, the teacher will keep in touch with the scientist and will work another two weeks during the summer to update the project.

In the summer of 2003, HHMI awarded Fox Chase with a $476,454 pre-college science education grant. With this, the Partnership for Cancer Education was able to continue its program, first funded four years ago by the HHMI. The new grant will also allow students to learn about cancer through an interactive website called CancerWeb, which is being developed by Cindy Keleher, PhD, founding director of the Fox Chase partnership program (1999-2003). Teachers learning how to use this site will also be given up to eight hours of Act 48 credit.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institu

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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