REP. MARK Cohen has called for a "state-system college" for Philadelphia. In fact, Cheyney University, part of the state university system, has had an urban campus in Philadelphia for years, offering graduate degrees and certification programs in education.

My understanding is that Cheyney would be happy to expand their course offerings in Philadelphia, perhaps even extending them to undergraduates. So there is a strong base on which to build. And, since Cheyney has an agreement with Community College of Philadelphia about accepting CCP students, there could be a smooth transition.

Rep. Cohen is correct in pointing out the difference in cost between state and private colleges, and the city would certainly benefit from having a more skilled labor force. But we don't need to reinvent the wheel, as Cheyney is already a model for state-system presence in our city.

Rep. James R. Roebuck, Philadelphia