Archive for the ‘Partnerships’ Category

This year, the second annual National Apprenticeship Week, also referred to as NAW, is being held during the week of November 14 – 20. Across the nation, communities large and small recognize the important role apprentices play in offering employers an opportunity to develop a highly skilled workforce that help grow their businesses, and it gives career seekers the chance to earn a salary while learning the skills necessary to succeed.

As a Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium member, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College recognizes the value of learning on the job through apprenticeships, internships, and on-the-job training. With this in mind, the College helps current and prospective students earn college credit based on prior work or life experience. Credit can be awarded for:

  • Employment
  • Training programs
  • Military service
  • Independent study
  • Community service
  • Completing free online courses

If you have work experience in manufacturing, health and human services, business, or other skilled areas, go to College Credit Fast Track to find out how you can earn the credits you deserve. College Credit Fast Track will help you find the right course to petition for credit, put you in contact with an advisor, and assist you with building your e-portfolio.

The number of credits awarded is determined through an official evaluation of prior learning and experience. For additional information on the admissions process and prior learning assessment, please contact our Admissions Office at 814.262.6446 or admissions@pennhighlands.edu.

For more information on how to develop and implement an employer driven Apprenticeship program, plan to attend a Registered Apprenticeship Information Session, hosted in cooperation with JARI, PA Career Link, and the Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board, on Wednesday, November 30th, from 9AM – 11AM. The session will be held at our Richland Campus and is open to all employers, large or small, interested in learning more about apprenticeship programs. There is no cost to participate. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Debi Balog, JARI Workforce Development Director, at dbalog@jari.com or by calling 814.262.8366.

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Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Proessor of Computer Science

Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has made great strides when it comes to the College’s Computer Science program and its ability to assist students wishing to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).

A recent addition to the existing transfer agreement between Penn Highlands and UPJ enables Penn Highlands’ students an affordable way to earn their Computer Science associate’s degree and then transfer to UPJ with Junior standing in either of their two Computer Science tracks. “This represents a major milestone for our Computer Science program,” commented Dr. Kevin Slonka, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Computer Science Program Coordinator at Penn Highlands.

Penn Highlands’ students from across the Southern Alleghenies region can now graduate with an associate’s degree in Computer Science and transfer seamlessly into Pitt-Johnstown for their bachelor’s degree.  “We’re extremely excited to partner with the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to help local students receive the degree they want,” continued Dr. Slonka.

Dr. Slonka has also strengthened the College’s transfer relationship with Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). While Penn Highlands’ graduates in Computer Science were already able to transfer to IUP, those students can now transfer with Junior standing into one of IUP’s four Computer Science tracks.

“The most exciting part of this new relationship is IUP’s designation as a National Security Agency (NSA) Center of Academic Excellence,” explained Dr. Slonka. Under this agreement, students wishing to become cyber security analysts can transfer into the Information Assurance track at IUP.

Additionally, IUP has agreed to bring its expertise in this area to assist Penn Highlands in becoming an NSA Center of Academic Excellence as well.  IUP Computer Science Department Chair, Dr. David Smith, noted, “Together, IUP and Penn Highlands are preparing the next generation of cyber security professionals for the workforce in government and industry.  Our centers will mutually promote cyber security awareness by providing seminars, talks, summer camps, and other activities for our communities.”

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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 http://www.gicv.org/the-helms-academy/. 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 atorled@goodwilljohnstown.org.

HelmsAcademyLogo

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College’s national reputation for its Accelerated College Education (ACE) Program has led the Pennsylvania Department of Education to take notice. Wil Del Pilar, Acting Deputy Secretary of Postsecondary and Higher Education for Pennsylvania Department of Education visited the Pennsylvania Highlands Richland Campus earlier this week to speak with College officials and representatives from local school districts currently being served by the nationally recognized ACE program.

Administrators from Berlin, Clearfield, Forest Hills, and Greater Johnstown school districts discussed the value of the program, directly identifying the improved overall academic rigor within their schools, the low cost, and the improved access to higher education.  All agreed that these opportunities provide students with experiences that enhance their confidence and greatly improve the likelihood that they will pursue further post-secondary options.

The Penn Highlands’ ACE Program is one of only two dual enrollment programs in Pennsylvania to be accredited by the National Association of Concurrent Enrollment Programs (NACEP). NACEP Executive Director Adam Lowe joined the meeting to discuss the standards required for accreditation and the steps taken by Penn Highlands to meet and exceed those standards.

The College’s Accelerated College Education program currently operates in over 50 high schools across 12 counties, teaching over 1,200 students through more than 250 instructors. For more information on the program, contact the Office of School Partnerships at (814) 262-3847.

Individuals (from left to right) include: Brian Thompson, Principal at Berlin Brothersvalley; Tim Janocko, Principal at Clearfield; Dr. Susan Spaid, School Counselor at Clearfield; Terry Struble, Superintendent at Clearfield; Mike Vuckovich, Director of Education at Greater Johnstown; Amy Arcurio, Assistant Superintendent at Greater Johnstown; Wil Del Pilar, Deputy Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Rob Heinrich Principal at Greater Johnstown; Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Pennsylvania Highlands; Dr. Melissa Murray, Dean of School Partnerships at Pennsylvania Highlands; Joe Slifko, Accelerated College Education Faculty Coordinator at Pennsylvania Highlands.

Individuals (from left to right) include: Brian Thompson, Principal at Berlin Brothersvalley; Tim Janocko, Principal at Clearfield; Dr. Susan Spaid, School Counselor at Clearfield; Terry Struble, Superintendent at Clearfield; Mike Vuckovich, Director of Education at Greater Johnstown; Amy Arcurio, Assistant Superintendent at Greater Johnstown; Wil Del Pilar, Deputy Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Rob Heinrich Principal at Greater Johnstown; Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Pennsylvania Highlands; Dr. Melissa Murray, Dean of School Partnerships at Pennsylvania Highlands; Joe Slifko, Accelerated College Education Faculty Coordinator at Pennsylvania Highlands.

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has been receiving recognition for its nationally accredited dual enrollment program known as Accelerated College Education (ACE). This has prompted both two and four-year institutions to seek the assistance of Pennsylvania Highlands in improving their own dual enrollment programs. Jennifer Parizo, Community Education Specialist at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, recently visited Penn Highlands and Dr. Melissa Murray, Dean of School Partnerships, to learn more about how the College’s ACE program operates in the hopes of emulating that success.

Having the chance to talk with Dr. Murray, her team, and related professionals at Penn Highlands provided us with validation that we’re on the right track,” said Parizo. “We’re excited for the chance to establish the next phase of our program and build it around the exemplary program that Penn Highlands has developed.”

The Accelerated College Education (ACE) dual enrollment program is accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment, which makes it one of only two such accredited programs in Pennsylvania. Through ACE, Pennsylvania Highlands partners with high schools throughout the state, providing students with the opportunity to earn college credits during their regular school day. The program benefits high school students in a variety of ways according to Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.

“The opportunity to participate in a class that has been developed to include college-level coursework and rigor provides a great overall learning experience for these students,” stated Dr. Walter Asonevich.  “They are studying the subject matter and also developing skills that they can take with them to the next educational level, while earning transferable credits at a dramatically reduced tuition rate.”

The College’s ACE program began in 2004 with only seven high schools and just over 250 students participating. Today, ACE operates in over 50 high schools across 12 counties, teaching over 1,200 students through more than 250 instructors. The growth of Pennsylvania Highlands’ ACE program highlights the strength and benefits that ACE provides high school students not only in our region and across the state.

To learn more about the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Accelerated College Education program, please contact the Office of School Partnerships at 814.262.3847 or via email at ace@pennhighlands.edu.

Group Photo (from left to right): Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College; Dr. Ted Nichols, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College; Jennifer Parizo, Community Education Specialist at the University of Maine at Fort Kent; Dr. Melissa Murray, Dean of School Partnerships at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College; and Joe Slifko, Accelerated College Education Faculty Coordinator.

Group Photo (from left to right): Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College; Dr. Ted Nichols, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College; Jennifer Parizo, Community Education Specialist at the University of Maine at Fort Kent; Dr. Melissa Murray, Dean of School Partnerships at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College; and Joe Slifko, Accelerated College Education Faculty Coordinator.

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An innovative collaboration between two important educational leaders in the region will reshape the way in which many students think about higher education. The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Pennsylvania Highlands Community College have entered into an articulation agreement, which guarantees the transfer of a Penn Highlands Community College Associate of Arts degree into one of ten bachelor’s degree programs at Pitt-Johnstown. The agreement was signed today in Blackington Hall on the Pitt-Johnstown campus.

Articulation agreements are designed to build strong partnerships and coordination between schools to aid in a smooth transition for students. By identifying comparable coursework, degree requirements can be met at one institution and transferred to another institution. With such an agreement, students are more likely to make better choices that can save both time and money. Four-year universities are noticing that transfer students have a high graduation rate, and well-crafted articulation agreements often contribute to a student’s success at the university. Articulation agreements exist between and among many colleges and universities but this agreement forges a connection for these two local colleges that is rarely seen.

“This collaboration sends a strong message that Pitt-Johnstown and Penn Highlands are focused on serving the needs of their students and the community,” stated Walter Asonevich, Penn Highlands Community College president. “Creating an affordable and timely pathway for the completion of both an associate’s and bachelor’s degree should be the goal of all colleges and universities across the country, and we are thrilled to enter into this agreement with the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.”

Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar said, “This agreement reflects our shared priorities of student success, access, and affordability. More Penn Highlands students will have the opportunity to easily transfer to Pitt-Johnstown and continue on the pathway to achieve their educational and career goals.” He continued, “We are delighted to partner with Penn Highlands to open more opportunities for students in the Laurel Highlands.”

With this collaboration, students will begin their studies by completing their associate’s degree at Penn Highlands Community College, and then transfer to Pitt-Johnstown to complete their bachelor’s degree in one of ten programs. The Pitt-Johnstown programs include Communication, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, English Literature, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Environmental Studies, and Psychology.

 

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MR- 20150831 - EUT Students for Fall 2015

Penn Highlands and FirstEnergy recently welcomed its new class of students into the program for the Fall 2015 semester. The program will train the next generation of utility substation workers. Photo taken at Penelec’s Johnstown Training Facility.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has partnered with FirstEnergy Corp’s Pennsylvania utilities, including Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), Metropolitan Edison, West Penn Power, and Pennsylvania Power, to reinstate the award winning Power Systems Institute program.  The Power Systems Institute is a two-year program that combines hands-on utility skills training at Penelec’s Johnstown Training Facility with academic coursework from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.

FirstEnergy covers the cost of tuition for those who meet their selection criteria and program graduates are awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electric Utility Technology from Penn Highlands.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these students stand to have a median annual salary of $69,400 if they stay in Pennsylvania and work within this field.

In addition to Penelec, Penn Highlands Community College maintains local and regional partnerships with multiple industries, including health and human services, manufacturing, transportation, and economic development, to advance its mission of providing quality and affordable opportunities for learning that meet regional needs.

For more information about the Power Systems Institute, call 1.800.829.6801 or visit www.firstenergycorp.com/psi. For more information about Penn Highlands, call 1.888.385.PEAK or visit us online.

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