Archive for April, 2014


President Dr. Walter Asonevich addressing the community at the College's annual State of the College event.

President Dr. Walter Asonevich addressing the community at the College’s annual State of the College event.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College President Dr. Walter Asonevich highlighted the College’s far reaching educational offerings and continued focus on providing an affordable, high quality education at the third annual State of the College Address on Tuesday.

The address featured a map designating the 17 counties of the commonwealth that have been impacted by Pennsylvania Highlands.  These areas included the four counties that currently have a Penn Highlands’ facility, locations that are served via the College’s Accelerated College Education program, areas served via online programming, and counties that have inquired about having a local facility. “I believe we have a very successful blueprint for providing smaller rural communities with access to higher education,” said Asonevich.  “Our regionalization has been very systematic and has been done to ensure that our students will reap the benefits of a quality education that remains affordable.”

Asonevich also highlighted the partnerships the College has utilized to provide hands-on learning to many students, including the Welding program’s work with JWF Industries and the Restaurant/Culinary Management program’s partnership with the Greater Johnstown School District.  He discussed the College’s commitment to providing coursework and programming that is relevant to local job opportunities and the many ways in which Penn Highlands engages local employers in the development of these programs.  Asonevich also shared that these processes are in place in the College’s Continuing Education offerings as employers can work with this department to customize trainings for their current employees.  “We are very receptive to hearing from local businesses and ensuring that we are meeting their needs when it comes to the skills they want their employees to possess.” he said.

In discussing his College’s place in the community, Asonevich took great pride in highlighting the variety of community service projects completed annually by Penn Highlands’ students, faculty, and staff.  “We are proud to be a part of each of the communities we serve and understand how opportunities such as community service projects are teachable moments.”

“Classroom learning is important, but we are also hoping to instill in our students a sense of community that will become a part of their personal and professional lives.  That is another way for us to measure our success in educating our students.” he said.

For more information about Pennsylvania Highlands, please contact us at 1.888.385.PEAK or go to

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Students create Leadership Program

Penn Highlands SquareThe Student Senate of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has been highly active recently with the creation of a leadership program for Pennsylvania Highlands’ students.  Students that complete the leadership program will be awarded a certificate for their participation.

The leadership program, led by Student Senate President Justin Capouellez and members of the Penn Highlands Board of Trustees, includes ten classroom sessions and will culminate in group presentations focusing on what the students have learned and how they will utilize this information as they move forward in their education and careers.  A small panel of presenters and Trustees will judge the presentations.

HR Consultants, a firm specializing in leadership development will lead five of the sessions with other sessions being facilitated by community leaders.  Bill Polacek, CEO of JWF industries will share his personal experiences with the students, speaking about the expectations, demands, challenges and responsibilities of leadership.

“My hope is that future students will take this initiative and continue to move it forward,” said Capoullez.

For more details on this student-driven leadership program, please contact Student Activities at 814.262.6463 or

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Pennsylvania’s community colleges kicked off Community College Month in Pennsylvania yesterday with a rally in the Main Capitol Rotunda, and the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges’ annual Lobby Day event. The House and Senate have both passed resolutions proclaiming April to be Community College Month, and yesterday, community college students and staff from across the Commonwealth met with their legislators to discuss the critical role that community colleges play in supporting their local communities throughout the State. The colleges also had displays set up in the East Wing Rotunda, with students displaying the various skills they have acquired at their community colleges, including broadcast TV production, medical assisting, culinary arts, and more.

The Lobby Day events concluded with a rally in the Main Rotunda of the Capitol Building, featuring community college Presidents, trustees, staff, and students from across Pennsylvania.  The festivities, however, began in earnest on Monday, March 31st, with the 45 members of the 2014 All-PA Community College Academic team being honored on the floor of the House. The All-PA Team consists of outstanding community college students from across the Commonwealth, and the program is administered by Phi Theta Kappa, the national two-year college honors society.

Later that evening, the students were honored at the 20th Annual All-PA Awards Banquet. From Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, both Emily Smay and Grant Speigle received All-PA Academic Team honors.

Emily Smay (of Summerhill, PA) has already graduated from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in Business Management, but earning one degree was just the beginning for her. She is currently completing her second degree and will soon be receiving her Associate of Applied Science in Accounting.

Grant Speigle (of Davidsville, PA) will be graduating from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College with an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice.

For 20 years, the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges has joined with Phi Theta Kappa to honor students who have been nominated by their colleges to the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team.


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