Archive for the ‘Programs’ Category

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is continually working to strengthen its partnerships with local four-year institutions to better serve the region. Most recently, Penn Highlands has worked with Mount Aloysius College to optimize the transfer opportunities between the two colleges.

There are fourteen (14) articulation agreements in place between the two, creating seamless pathways for Penn Highlands’ graduates to complete a bachelor’s degree at Mount Aloysius.  Program-to-program agreements with Mount Aloysius include:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Child Development*
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice (A.S. & A.A.S.)
  • Early Childhood Education*
  • Information Technology* (Cyber Security, Network Administration, & Server Administration)
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences (Liberal Arts & Sciences*, Secondary Education in General Science*, History/Political Science, & English)
  • Psychology*
  • Radiologic Technology

Programs with an asterisk (*) signify agreements that were recently added. These agreements follow the 2+2 model where students must earn an associate’s degree first before they are able to obtain transfer of credit with junior standing to Mount Aloysius College.

“We are committed to helping our students succeed,” said Dr. Walter Asonevich, College President.  “These agreements provide transfer options for students that allow them to continue their education within the region and achieve success following graduation.”

In addition, Mount Aloysius also accepts a variety of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College course credits and can transfer up to 90 credits toward a bachelor’s degree. Transfer scholarships are available to full-time students.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fall classes begin on Monday, August 28, at each of the College’s five locations: Blair, Ebensburg, Huntingdon, Richland, and Somerset.

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EUT Grads hired by Penelec

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is proud to announce that Penelec (Pennsylvania Electric Company), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), has hired five Penn Highlands’ graduates from the company’s utility worker training program.

The new employees were hired after graduating from the existing PSI program at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, which was reinstituted by FirstEnergy in 2014.

The new Penelec substation employees listed by work location, with their hometowns, are:

  • Clearfield – Colton Cunningham(Rouseville); Heath Wirfel (Ebensburg)
  • Lewistown – Noah Kolar (South Fork); Zackary Mauk (Northern Cambria)
  • Towanda – Wyatt Shuman (Rome)

PSI is an award-winning, two-year educational program originally developed by FirstEnergy in 2000 to help prepare the company’s next generation of utility line and substation workers.

The PSI students split time between courses at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College completing academic coursework, and the Penelec training facility in Richland. These graduates earned an Associate of Applied Science in Electric Utility Technology.

Since the program’s inception, FirstEnergy has hired nearly 1,500 line and substation personnel who completed PSI programs in Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

For information about how to enroll in the PSI program, call 1.800.829.6801, or visit For full press release from FirstEnergy, click here.

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Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will be offering a free prep math class to assist those in our community who would like to prepare for an easy transition into college without having to incur any financial costs. This no cost college prep class will be held at our Richland Campus and Blair Center, beginning in January.

This college prep math class with prepare students for college-level math courses. Students in the course will learn pre-algebra and introductory algebra. They will complete homework assignments, take quizzes, and complete tests in a traditional classroom setting.

Students who take this course will have the benefit of individualized attention in a small-sized classroom. After successful completion of this non-credit course, students will be prepared and confident to take college-level math courses at Penn Highlands Community College.

This college prep math course will begin on Tuesday, January 17th, and will end on Monday, May 1st. The course runs daily, Monday through Thursday.

For students interested in taking the course at our Richland Campus, it will be held from 12:30pm to 1:45pm. For students interested in taking the course at our Blair Center, it will be held from 9:15am to 10:30am.

For more information or to register, please contact:

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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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The Medical Assisting Technology (A.A.S.) associate degree program at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has earned CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) accreditation. CAAHEP, the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field, reviews and accredits over 2,000 educational programs in 28 health science occupations. CAAHEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

This programmatic accreditation for Medical Assisting Technology indicates that the associate degree program is held to higher standards than most. In order to achieve formal accreditation, the Medical Assisting program underwent heavy review and an intensive site visit from an independent, external team. This team evaluated various metrics, including, but not limited to: retention, placement in the field, employer satisfaction, instructional methodology, and faculty credentials. To maintain accreditation status, the Medical Assisting program must continue to meet these benchmarks.

Gaynelle Schmieder, Associate Professor of Health Care Professions and also filling the role of Medical Assisting Program Director, discusses the significance of this achievement.

“The CAAHEP accreditation process benefited our Medical Assisting program exponentially,” Schmeider said. “It helped us identify strengths, weaknesses, and focal points for improvement; all to ensure our graduates are prepared and confident to begin their careers when they leave Penn Highlands.”

Penn Highlands’ students will benefit the most from CAAHEP accreditation. Those that graduate from Penn Highlands with a Medical Assisting Technology degree will automatically be qualified to sit for the AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants) exam and become certified medical assistants.  Medical assisting, a multi-skilled allied health profession, allows medical assistants to function as members of the health care delivery team by performing both administrative and clinical procedures.

Pennsylvania Highlands certainly recognizes the critical need for highly skilled and trained medical professionals,” said Dr. Walter Asonevich, College President. “We are committed to ensuring academic excellence by offering programming that meets and exceeds national standards and places our graduates in the best possible employment situations.”

Funding to support preparations for meeting the CAAHEP accreditation standards was provided by a grant from Lee Initiatives. The Medical Assisting program at Penn Highlands Community College requires students to obtain at least 61 credits before they receive an associate degree.


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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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