To all Pennsylvania Highlands Community College students I extend a hearty welcome. I would like to especially welcome those students attending Pennsylvania Highlands classes in Huntingdon, Somerset, Ebensburg, and Blair. You are pioneers in our efforts to provide access to higher education services throughout the Southern Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Highlands is truly becoming the public college of the region with a mission to serve the educational and workforce training needs of the Southern Alleghenies. We have brought together a highly dedicated faculty and staff whose primary objective is to ensure that you receive a quality education in our classrooms and laboratories and excellent customer service from all of the auxiliary areas of our institution. We are dedicated to the task of broadening the mind—to getting you ready, not only for a place in America's workforce, but also to getting you ready to face the myriad challenges that the rest of your life has waiting for you. We now serve more than 2,000 students annually in our credit programs at our locations in Richland, Ebensburg, Huntingdon, Somerset, Blair and online. We serve as many as 1600 students in our Accelerated College Education (ACE) classes in high schools in eleven Pennsylvania Counties, and we serve approximately 2000 students each year in non-credit training opportunities through Continuing Education. We also have many students who enjoy education, training, and social opportunities through our community education classes.
As Pennsylvania Highlands' fourth president, I have made it my goal to make Pennsylvania Highlands a household word throughout the Southern Alleghenies. I would like it to be difficult for anyone to work anywhere in the region without coming into contact with a Penn Highlands graduate. I believe that our graduates understand the value and importance of hard work and have prepared themselves to be successful. Your time at Penn Highlands will be the catalyst for a lifetime of achievement.
During my tenure at Penn Highlands, we have dramatically improved the student services aspect of the College including a newly created Career Planning and Employer Services Center. This department works with local employers to identify job opportunities and assists students with all facets of their job search. Whether you are searching for a part time job while you finish your degree or looking to start your career after graduation, the staff of the Career Planning and Employment Services Center can provide the support and guidance you need.
But Career Planning is just one facet of all we have to offer our students. We have a wide variety of student clubs and organizations to broaden student engagement with the College. Our College governance system includes a Student Senate, and the Student Senate leaders sit on the College Senate along with faculty, administrators, and staff to directly advise the President on the policies and decisions the College is making. The Student Senate president also serves as a member of the College's Board of Trustees.
The Pennsylvania Highlands chapter of Phi Theta Kappa boasts a strong group of honor students ready to meet all academic challenges. Membership in this organization signifies that you are a student who has achieved success in the classroom and the community. Being a Phi Theta Kappa at Penn Highlands signifies that you have accepted the challenges of high academic standards and embraced your responsibilities as a community member. Phi Theta Kappa membership links our students to more than $35,000,000 in scholarships that can pay your way to four-year colleges and universities after you complete your degree at Penn Highlands.
I realize that a good college experience includes a combination of educational and social opportunities. Penn Highlands has many active student clubs and organizations. These clubs meet regularly and engage in discussions and activities that embrace each group's unique area of focus. Our regional locations have clubs as well so no matter which Penn Highlands location you attend, you will have the opportunity to interact with your fellow students both in and out of the classroom.
We continue to grow our NJCAA athletic programs and will be adding Cross Country and Bowling to our team events along with our already successful men's basketball and women's volleyball teams. We've had the privilege of seeing our athletes achieve national recognition for their abilities at both their sport and their academic accomplishments at Penn Highlands.
It is our pledge to make your time spent at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College rewarding and memorable. We value the important role that you have in the success of our College, our community, and our region's economy. We will help you build a better future for yourselves; please help us build a better college for you and those who follow you. And, thank you for choosing to Climb Higher at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.
Walter J. Asonevich