Archive for July, 2016

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College understands the situation currently being faced by Cambria-Rowe Business College students. We are working closely with CRBC officials to aide their students with a smooth and successful transition to Penn Highlands in order to complete their degree and find success in our region.

Representatives from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will be at all Cambria-Rowe locations on Tuesday morning to assist and to advise current CRBC students. Our goal is to ensure each student has a plan in place to complete his or her education.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College recognizes its role and responsibility to these students and to the entire community during this difficult time.crest

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community CollegePenn Highlands Square will be offering new certificate programs this fall in both evening and weekend formats through FlexLearning. FlexLearning is a College initiative designed to help working individuals balance life, work, family, and education through additional course formats.

The three new programs being added include Architectural Technology, Civil Technology, and Pharmacy Technician. All three evening and weekend programs will have courses that start in late August.

Architectural Technology and Civil Technology are certificate programs that can be completed after earning 18 to 20 credits. These certificates provide graduates the confidence to work with architects, engineers, surveyors, and other building professionals to properly design and draw structures using today’s computer technology.

Pharmacy Technician is a certificate program that can be completed after earning 27 credits. Students will be prepared to assist Registered Pharmacists and more, with graduates becoming eligible to apply and take the national Pharmacy Technician Certification exam.

“As a community college, we must find ways to provide academic programs to those with busy schedules,” stated Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Penn Highlands Community College. “By offering more evening and weekend options, we are giving the region more choices that lead to success.”

For additional information on FlexLearning options in the evening and weekend, call Penn Highlands Community College at 1.888.385.PEAK or click here for additional details.

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Penn Highlands SquareThrough an innovative partnership, Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley, Inc. and Pennsylvania Highlands Community College proudly introduce the establishment of The Helms Academy, a no-cost community-based educational option for adults 18 and older, who have left traditional secondary education and are unable to return due to age or financial circumstances, to earn high school diplomas/GEDs and college credits. College courses are also open to individuals who already have their high school diplomas/GEDs. Limited enrollment is now open and applications will be accepted through August 15th. Classes begin August 29th.

Named after Edgar J. Helms, the founder of the Goodwill movement in 1902, The Helms Academy provides adult general education development, work-readiness, job development and placement, and wrap-around services resulting in a Commonwealth High School Diploma, dual-earned college credits, and access to financial aid resources for further education and employment. Classes will be held at the Goodwill Career Center located at the Goodwill Industries Headquarters, 540 Central Avenue in the Moxham section of Johnstown.

Applicants will participate in an intensive intake that consists of assessments, career counseling, and the provision of pertinent labor market information, especially the requirements and wages of high-priority occupations in our region. Assessment results (reading/math levels, barriers-to-success inventory, interviewing, and career interest surveys) guide the individual’s service strategy plan. All students will be provided with a life coach who will guide and connect them to community resources such as transportation and child care. In addition, the following programs and services will be made available to students in The Helms Academy at no cost to the students: college-readiness, assessment, basic skills instruction, tutoring, life coaching, computer-based instruction, college credit courses, flexibility, career exploration and preparation, job development and placement, and college counseling.

To ensure the sustainability of The Helms Academy to serve current and future needs of the Greater Johnstown area, the partners will leverage public, private, self-funded, and in-kind support.

Classes begin August 29. The deadline for applications is no later than August 15. For more information on The Helms Academy and to complete an application, visit Applications may also be obtained at the Goodwill Industries Headquarters at 540 Central Avenue, Johnstown.

For questions, contact Ann Torledsky, Goodwill’s Vice President of Workforce Development, at 814.536.3536 ext. 230 or


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Penn Highlands SquarePennsylvania Highlands Community College recently promoted and granted tenure to select faculty members who have, over time, demonstrated a commitment  to excellence in teaching, advising, professional development, and service to the College and the community. Their work with students is exemplary and serves as an inspiration to students and colleagues alike. They are involved in the community in many ways and several are serving in leadership roles within their areas of expertise state-wide and nationally. These advancements will take effect at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.

Mr. Richard Bukoski has earned the rank of Assistant Professor, Communications and Media Studies. Mr. Bukoski began his career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August 2013. He was previously employed as News Director and Copywriter at Forever Broadcasting in Johnstown. He teaches courses in Communication Studies and Media Production. Mr. Bukoski holds a B.A. in Communications from Edinboro University, an M.A. in Adult Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Communications Media and Instructional Technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Kevin Slonka has earned the rank of Assistant Professor, Computer Science. Dr. Slonka began his career at Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in January of 2013. He previously served as an adjunct faculty member at Mount Aloysius College and was employed at Northrop Grumman as a Cyber Software Engineer. He teaches courses in Computer Science. Dr. Slonka holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Mount Aloysius College, dual Master’s Degrees in Information Security and Assurance and Information Technology Project Management from Robert Morris University, and a Doctor of Science in Information Systems and Communications from Robert Morris.

Ms. Gaynelle Schmieder has earned the rank of Associate Professor, Healthcare Professions. Ms. Schmieder began her career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August of 2007. Prior to that, she was employed as a Clinical Research Coordinator, Director of Clinical Services, Director of Nursing Services, and Staff Nurse. She teaches courses in Health Care Professions. Ms. Schmieder has a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Clarion University and a B.S. in Nursing from St. Francis University.

Mr. William Wolff has earned the rank of Professor, Natural Sciences, Chemistry. Mr. Wolff began his career with Pennsylvania Highlands as a full-time faculty member in August of 2006. Prior to that, he was employed as a Laboratory Director, Quality Control Coordinator, and Chief Chemist. He teaches courses in Chemistry. Mr. Wolff has a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Arts in Chemistry from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Robert Clark, has earned tenure as an Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice and Social Sciences. Dr. Clark began his full-time career with Pennsylvania Highlands in August of 2011. He is the Lead Faculty for the Criminal Justice program. He holds several positions and titles including Certified Diplomate Child Forensic Interviewer through the National Association of Child Forensic Interviewers, Chair of the Critical Criminal Justice section for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, ACE Faculty Liaison, and member of the Cambria County Child Death Review Team. Prior to this appointment, he taught for St. Francis University, California University of Pennsylvania, and Washington & Jefferson College. He also currently teaches undergraduate and graduate-level leadership and sociology courses on a part-time basis for Duquesne University. Dr. Clark earned his Ph.D. in Administration and Leadership Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to teaching full-time, he worked in the child welfare system and victim services, as well as the juvenile and criminal court systems in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia.

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College Logo - Blair (Square)The public is invited to attend a special open house at the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Blair Center this Wednesday, July 20th, from 4pm to 7pm. The “Here’s the Scoop” Open House will allow local residents to enjoy free ice cream while being able to sit down and learn more about Pennsylvania Highlands.

Those that attend will not only get to view the Blair Center, but will discover the College’s academic programs, financial aid options, student support services, and more from qualified personnel. Business professionals from partner organizations will also be on-hand to assist and show individuals the benefits a college education and what it can do for their future.

Attendees will leave satisfied, knowing that they have gained the information necessary to eliminate all barriers and excel. “Here’s the Scoop” will take place at the College’s Blair Center, which is located next to Macy’s in the Logan Valley Mall. For more details, please contact the Blair Center at 814.201.2700 or

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Penn Highlands SquareThe U.S. Department of Education lists Pennsylvania Highlands Community College for its affordability through the Department’s release of the College Affordability and Transparency (CATC) Lists.  According to a study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics using 2014 data, Pennsylvania Highlands ranks 47th in the nation for lowest net price of two-year public institutions and second in this category for two-year public institutions in the state of Pennsylvania.

The calculation for net price includes a combination of sponsored tuition, fees, and text book costs for students, minus grants and scholarships received.  For the 2013-2014 academic year, 77% of Penn Highlands’ students qualified for and received federal, state, or local aid and/or scholarships.

“This is a testament to the attentiveness our departments have when serving our students and our institution’s commitment to providing the region with an affordable education,” said Dr. Walter Asonevich, College President.  “Our responsibility is to these students, so that their futures can be positively impacted through local options that lessen the level of debt incurred while pursuing a college education.”

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Penn Highlands SquarePennsylvania Highlands Community College would like to congratulate the outstanding work of the area high school students that were awarded the College’s Board of Trustees Academic Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to high school seniors in the region that demonstrate excellence in academics and extracurricular activities. Eligible students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 in their high school career and participate in various activities and community service.

Scholarship recipients receive a full-tuition scholarship to attend Pennsylvania Highlands Community College to complete an associate’s degree.  Pennsylvania Highlands would like to honor those who will receive the 2016 Board Academic Scholarship:

  • Shaina Aurandt of Cresson, PA (Penn Cambria High School)
  • Makayla Coughenour of Berlin, PA (Shanksville-Stonycreek High School)
  • Michaela Detwiler of Altoona, PA (Altoona Area High School)
  • Mattison Fike of Johnstown, PA (Greater Johnstown High School)
  • Jordyn Hamilton of Johnstown, PA (Conemaugh Valley High School)
  • Autumn Hause of Johnstown, PA (Richland Senior High School)
  • Miranda Pastuch of Boswell, PA (North Star High School)
  • Kane Stiffey of Johnstown, PA (Greater Johnstown High School)
  • Hannah Szpala of Cresson, PA (Penn Cambria High School)

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