Archive for February, 2014

College Logo - Blair (Square)The Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Blair Center invites the public to its upcoming FAFSA Completion Workshop on Thursday, March 20th, beginning at 6pm. The Blair Center is conveniently located next to Macy’s in the Logan Valley Mall.

If you need assistance completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), we encourage you to attend this FAFSA Completion Workshop. The FAFSA is used to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid assistance to include grants, loans and scholarships. The workshop is free and open to the public; however registration for the workshop is required. Our experienced financial aid staff will assist students and/or parents in completing the online FAFSA application.

To register to attend the FAFSA Completion Workshop, please contact us via phone at 814.201.2700 or email at

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College would like to invite all community members, including high school students, adults, and their families to attend one of our various open houses this fall.

Individuals attending any one of these open houses will be able to tour our state-of-the-art educational facilities, discuss career and educational goals with an academic advisor, review financial options for paying for college, and learn about the programs, services, and opportunities available at Pennsylvania Highlands.

Huntingdon Center
Thursday, March 13th from 4 – 7pm
6311 Margy Drive, Huntingdon, PA 16652
814.643.6200 |

Blair Center
Thursday, April 17th from 4 – 7pm
Next to Macy’s, in the Logan Valley Mall
814.201.2700 |

Ebensburg Center
Tuesday, May 6th from 5 – 8pm
881 Hills Plaza Drive, Suite 450
814.471.0010 |

Somerset Center
Monday, May 12th from 5 – 7pm
315 Georgian Place, Somerset, PA 15501
814.443.2500 |

For additional information, please feel free to contact any of our facilities directly or call us toll-free at 1.888.385.PEAK.

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Penn Highlands Square

The Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Philosophy Club has partnered with the Emmanuel Baptist Church to provide the community with a unique debate covering  the topic of creation versus evolution, involving two intelligent and gifted presenters: Dr. Paul Nelson and Dr. Joel Velsaco.

The debate, Creation vs. Evolution: A Debate on Origins and the Tree of Life, will take place on Saturday, March 29th, in the College’s Richland Campus Auditorium at 101 Community College Way in Johnstown, PA. The debate will begin at 3pm.

The creation versus evolution debate has continued to spark conversation and discussion across the nation. Earlier this month, between five and ten million people watched a live-streamed debate between creationist Ken Ham and evolutionist Bill Nye of the “Science Guy” television program fame. We are anticipating that our event will have as many as 800 individuals eager to learn about this hot topic.

Dr. Paul Nelson is a philosopher of biology with a PhD from the University of Chicago, where he specialized in the philosophy of biology and evolutionary theory.  He is currently a Fellow of the Discovery Institute and Adjunct Professor in the MA Program in Science and Religion at Biola University.

Dr. Joel Velsaco earned his PhD in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he specialized in philosophy of biology and wrote his dissertation on the Tree of Life.  He completed postdoctoral fellowships at both Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology and was a visiting professor at Cornell University.  His current position is Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Texas Tech University.

In addition to being held at 3pm on March 29th,  Our Town will be partnering with the Daily American to offer an exclusive live stream of the debate at dailyamerican.comFor additional information on the event, please contact Wes McMichael, Pennsylvania Highlands Philosophy Club Advisor, at 814.262.6407 or  

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MR - 20140213 - Holocaust Survivor Eva OlssonPennsylvania Highlands Community College is honored to bring community members the opportunity to hear the moving and visceral story of Holocaust survivor Eva Olsson. On Tuesday, March 25th, Eva Olsson will give three free presentations to the general public: 9:30am, 12:15pm, and 7:00pm. All presentations will be held in the College’s Richland Campus Auditorium at 101 Community College Way.

Eva Olsson was born in Szatsmar, Hungary in October of 1924 into a poor family of Hasidic Jews. This was the beginning of her lifelong struggle against other people’s attempts to control her.

She is a survivor… of a repressive religious upbringing, World War II, the deaths of many of her loved ones, bigotry and racism, and being ostracized because of her determination to live life on her own terms. Eva’s innate curiosity and need to develop along a different spiritual path would not be stifled and she struggled against this restrictive life.

The outbreak of World War II plunged Eva into the heart of the Holocaust concentration camps, slave labor factories, disease, and the deaths of millions, including most of her family. Eva’s strong faith in God and in herself has enabled her to maintain a positive focus throughout the rest of her life.

For 50 years she remained silent about her experiences during the Holocaust, partly out of denial and partly out of fear it might happen again. Since 1996, Eva has been speaking about her life in over 3,000 schools, churches, meeting halls, conference rooms, colleges and universities, and to over one-and-a-half million individuals throughout Canada, in the hope that people who hear her story will know that it is possible to survive the worst life has to throw at them.

For additional information on this inspirational presentation, please contact Kathy Edmiston, Diversity Committee Chair, at 814.262.3810 or

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The PennsAthletics Logoylvania Highlands Community College Black Bears  Men’s Basketball team will be playing the Westmoreland County Community College Wolfpack in the first round of the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference (WPCC) tournament this Friday, February 14, 2014, at 6:00pm.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will be entering as the #2 seed in the tournament, with Westmoreland County Community College being the #3 seed. The game will be played on the Black Bears’ home court, the East Hills Recreation Gymnasium.

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New Dean of Continuing Education appointed

MR - 20140210 - Larry M CocoPennsylvania Highlands Community College is proud to announce the appointment of Larry M. Coco as the Dean of Continuing Education.

Mr. Coco will provide leadership across the Southern Alleghenies region for the College’s corporate training, professional development, and workforce education programs.  Services include face-to-face and online continuing education, technical training, community education courses, and WEDnetPA. WEDnetPA is considered to be Pennsylvania’s primary delivery system for incumbent workforce training.

A native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Mr. Coco brings expertise in technical program management with a focus on environmental safety and health, quality assurance, and training with commercial firms and federal contracting. This includes government training protocols for IT-based and live classroom education programs. Prior to his appointment at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, Mr. Coco served as the Johnstown Office Manager for Booz Allen Hamilton.

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Penn Highlands SquarePennsylvania’s community college leaders are concerned about the impact of static levels of state support for the colleges given their important role in the Commonwealth’s education and workforce development systems. Governor Corbett’s proposed 2014-15 Budget recommends level operational funding for the Commonwealth’s community colleges. This funding recommendation is equal to the amount the colleges have received in each of the preceding three fiscal years.

The colleges collectively asked for increases in operational and capital funding from the state to support and expand programs for Pennsylvanians who are seeking an affordable pathway to a degree or skills to enter the workforce.

“Pennsylvania Highlands has made great strides in providing access to affordable, quality higher education opportunities in West Central Pennsylvania with campuses and academic centers in Cambria, Blair, Huntingdon, and Somerset counties,” said Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. “We are concerned that shrinking government support for our operations will prohibit our ability to provide cost-effective options for post-secondary students and reach further into unserved and underserved areas of Central Pennsylvania.”

Asonevich and his colleagues from across the state are concerned that it will be difficult for the colleges to limit tuition increases and make needed investments to ensure program quality and alignment with developing workforce needs, including programs linked to the natural gas and healthcare industries.

“Community colleges train the workforce that supports Pennsylvania’s economy,” said Elizabeth Bolden, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, the nonprofit entity that represents the interests of the state’s 14 community colleges. “Additional investments in the colleges are necessary to enable them to develop and offer cost-effective workforce training programs to meet existing and emerging industry needs.”

Last year, Pennsylvania’s community colleges partnered with employers and others to provide customized training for nearly 50,000 Pennsylvania workers.

“The colleges are hopeful that as budget discussions evolve, the General Assembly will ultimately pass a budget that recognizes the vital role of community colleges in sustaining and accelerating the Commonwealth’s economic recovery,” Bolden said.

Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges serve students from every county in the state. The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a voluntary membership association for Pennsylvania’s community colleges. Its members include the college presidents, members of the colleges’ boards of trustees, and key college administrators. The Commission represents the interests of and advocates for the collective needs of the community colleges to federal and state policymakers.

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