• Four Students Named To All-PA Academic Transfer Team

    Posted April 11, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges (PACCC) honored the 24th Annual All-Pennsylvania (All-PA) Academic Transfer Team at an awards banquet held on Monday, April 9th in Harrisburg. The awards recognize an exceptional group of community college students who have achieved excellence and demonstrated a commitment to their colleges and communities.

    The 2018 awardees include 46 outstanding community college transfer scholars from across the Commonwealth. Students must have completed at least 36 credits at a community college and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher to be considered for these awards.

    “The Commission applauds these outstanding student scholars on their terrific academic achievements,” said Elizabeth Bolden, President and CEO of PACCC. “By enrolling in a high-quality program at a community college, these students are building a foundation for a successful career and furthering their postsecondary study.”

    Pennsylvania’s community colleges partner with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities to provide scholarships to All-PA Transfer Team members at PASSHE institutions, providing two years of tuition at any PASSHE school.

    Of the awardees, four of those honored were from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. Those honored include the following outstanding students.

    Shaina Aurandt, of Cresson, will graduate this May with a degree in Psychology and has a career goal of working with individuals who struggle with mental health and/or mental disabilities. Shaina played volleyball for Penn Highlands, and is a member of Penn Highlands’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter and the National Society of Leadership and Success organization.

    Autumn Hause, of Johnstown, will graduate this May with a degree in Psychology and plans to transfer to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As a transgender (non-binary) student, Autumn is planning a career to promote activism and advocacy in regard to mental health and rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Autumn would like to lessen the stigmatization of mental illness in America and help LGBTQ+ individuals find happiness, stability, and success. Autumn is currently the President of the Penn Highlands’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, and also serves on the Student Senate, Sigma Alpha Pi, Gender-Sexuality Alliance, Psychology Club, College Senate, Diversity Committee, Ethics Committee, and FilmFest Committee.

    Colton Helbig, of Patton, will graduate in May 2019 with a degree in Computer Science and has a career goal of becoming an Information Security Analyst. Cyber attacks are an unfortunate reality, and Colton would like to prevent them from happening. In high school, Colton participated in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) and now judges those competitions to help students continue to improve in their research and encourage them to keep loving science and research. Colton is a member of both Penn Highlands’ Phi Theta Kappa Chapter and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Outside of college, Colton helps students at Cambria Heights High School with the PJAS science fair.

    Annette Thompson, of Altoona, will graduate this May with a degree in Business Management and plans to transfer to Slippery Rock University. Annette is a 35-year-old wife and mother that wears many hats. Besides being a mother and student, Annette owns and operates Rugrats Resale, a series of seasonal consignment sale events in State College and Altoona. She is also a licensed Pennsylvania realtor. In the future, Annette would like to run her own business while teaching business part-time at a high school or college.

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College congratulates these students on their academic achievements and looks forward to what each of their futures will hold.

  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Affects Student And College Steps In To Help

    Posted April 4, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Child Development student, Amanda Urgolites, has a rare connective tissue disorder that causes her joints to dislocate with extreme ease. This disorder, known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, causes her to have subluxation or dislocation of joints between 30 and 60 times per day.

    Her condition has worsened over the last 10 months, causing her to have extreme chronic pain and more dislocations. This has left walking without assistance and accommodations impossible.

    Upon hearing this, members of Penn Highlands Community College banded together to raise funds and help Amanda obtain a motorized scooter. The College community, led by Dr. Russell Newman, Assistant Professor of English, and Matt Hoffman, Chief Information Officer, raised over $1,000 to help her get the motorized scooter she needed to complete her education and more.

    “I could no longer use a manual wheelchair because of the strain it put on my shoulders and the use of a cane caused me to fall quite often,” stated Amanda Urgolites, Penn Highlands student. “This syndrome forced me to give up a lot of what I love to do and have had to refrain from going to many of my classes. This motorized scooter will help me both in college and in my personal life. I couldn’t be more thankful.”

    “Amanda is a good student and a wonderful person,” stated Dr. Russell Newman, Assistant Professor. “As I saw her condition worsen, I couldn’t just sit back and let it consume her life. I decided to do something and reach out to the College for assistance. The support since has been overwhelming.”

    The new scooter has reinvigorated Amanda. She will graduate from Penn Highlands with a degree in Child Development. After graduation this May, Amanda plans to attend Clarion University to earn a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. Her goal is to teach preschoolers with autism and other related disabilities.

    Amanda’s lifelong dream is to start a faith-based community center for children and their families that are affected by autism and other disabilities. “This dream is more alive now than ever before given my disability,” stated Amanda Urgolites. “I empathize with these families. I know what it is like and I want to make a difference in their lives and the community.”

  • Healthcare Programs Coming To Blair

    Posted April 2, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Two new healthcare programs, Pre-Health Professions and Pharmacy Technician, are joining the increasing list of program offerings at the Penn Highlands Blair Center. Both programs are currently enrolling with courses beginning this fall.

    These programs are becoming available in Blair as a result of the college’s 14,000-plus square foot expansion. The plan for expansion, which includes additional classrooms and labs spanning two floors, is slated for completion in May.

    “This expansion is crucial to us being able to offer the programs that our community wants,” stated Julie Patosky, Blair Center Director at Penn Highlands Community College. “With the addition of a science lab, we are now able to offer the courses needed to earn a healthcare credential. This is only the beginning as more and more opportunities will be coming soon after the expansion is complete.”

    Pre-Health Professions is an associate degree program that provides students with a strong medical foundation in a variety of areas. This program will give students the education they need to follow any medical career path they choose to take on.

    Pharmacy Technician is a certificate program that prepares students to become pharmacy technicians or other roles of supportive personnel in hospital or pharmacy settings. If enrolled full-time, students can earn this certificate in less than one year.

    The Blair Center is planning for the expansion to be open in May, with enrollment of these programs currently underway for the fall semester. Click here to apply today.

  • Annual Seminar To Focus On Human Trafficking

    Posted March 27, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Human trafficking is one of the largest international crime industries and will be the focus of the 6th Annual Criminal Justice Seminar, hosted by Penn Highlands Community College, on Tuesday, April 10th. The seminar will take place in the Richland Campus Auditorium at 101 Community College Way from 1pm to 3pm.

    In 2016, the FBI reported that human trafficking was the third largest international crime industry, only behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking. In 2016, the International Labour Organization estimated there were 20.9 million victims of human trafficking for labor and that 1 in 6 runaway children were likely forced into sex trafficking.

    Carla Smith, Chairwoman of the Cambria County Human Trafficking Response Team, and Pam Vyhonsky, Operations Coordinator of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Conemaugh Health System, Duke LifePoint Healthcare, will both be presenting on human trafficking. The Cambria County Human Trafficking Response Team is committed to discovering and responding to incidents of human trafficking through victim-centered and collaborative community efforts.

    This event is open to the public. Please contact Criminal Justice faculty members Dennis Miller or Dr. Robert Clark with any questions. They can be reached by phone at 814.262.6400; or email them directly at (Dennis Miller) or (Dr. Robert Clark).

  • New Four-Day Schedule Option Coming This Fall

    Posted March 26, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is providing students with more flexibility this fall with the introduction of new four-day class schedules. Recognizing that students have many obligations that include work, family, and more, the College made it a priority to add this option to its upcoming fall semester.

    The courses offered during the semester will remain the same and follow all academic program plans as outlined in the College’s official catalog. Students will be able to develop a schedule that better fits the demands of their life and places an emphasis on completion of a credential. Most programs include a schedule that fits in a two, three, or four-day per week schedule with morning and afternoon options. Evening, weekend, and online options are also available.

    “Adding these schedule options was a top priority,” stated Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Penn Highlands. “Our students come from all walks of life and have many responsibilities. We want to give every student the best possible opportunity to succeed while also giving them the chance to fulfill their obligations outside of the classroom.”

    Penn Highlands offers over 35 academic programs in areas such as Business & Communication, Computer Information Sciences, Health Professions, and more. Course registration is now open for both the upcoming summer and fall semesters, click here for details.