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ACE courses are challenging and equivalent in content and rigor to courses offered at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. Courses are intensive and often require more time and work than high school courses. However, the reward of graduating from high school with college credits is certainly worth the extra effort. All capable and committed students are encouraged to enroll in the ACE Courses offered at their high school. Please speak with your high school guidance counselor for more information about the ACE courses offered at your high school. 

Students must apply for and register for their ACE courses on time using the online ACE Application.


A complete ACE enrollment plan for the academic year will be made available to high school personnel, ACE students, and parents/guardians. A template letter containing essential information will be emailed to all of the participating high schools for distribution to ACE students and their families. This will ensure consistency and provide advance notice for planning purposes. Access to detailed information will also be available on the ACE Page. Students and families are encouraged to log on and familiarize themselves with its content to assure successful ACE enrollment.

ACE Placement Testing Guidelines

General Requirements

COMPASS Placement Testing is required for all ACE students wishing to enroll in English, math, chemistry, or physics. Students must achieve a satisfactory score in the discipline to be able to register for a college level course. At the conclusion of the test immediate results will be indicated. If unsuccessful, the student will not be able to register and earn college credit for English, math, chemistry, or physics courses.


Placement testing is not required for prior ACE students that have already completed an ACE English and/or ACE math class and have earned a “C” or better. They are permitted to enroll in the next level of ACE English or ACE math.

Also, it is not necessary to take the COMPASS test if the student has earned at least 500 on the SAT English and/or math test. The Penn Highlands Admissions Office requires documentation of the SAT scores.

Practicing for the Compass Placement Test

Students are encouraged to prepare for placement testing by reviewing sample COMPASS questions. COMPASS testing review information can be located on the myPEAK ACE page by selecting the COMPASS Placement Testing Tab. This includes practice questions and other resources to help prepare that may significantly increase the likelihood for success.

Who Qualifies to take the test?

Any continuing ACE student from last year and any new ACE student who wishes to enroll in an English, math, chemistry, or physics course as indicated above. It is mandatory to have a Penn Highlands Student Identification Number in order to log into the COMPASS testing system. Prior ACE students retain the same number from the previous year, as it is a permanent number. New ACE students are required to complete an ACE Application in myPEAK. Upon completion of the ACE Application, a Welcome Email will be sent within 48 business hours which will include your Penn Highlands Student ID number. New students will not be able to test until the ID number has been issued.

When to test?

COMPASS Placement Testing will begin at the high schools two weeks before the start of the ACE registration period. Only continuing ACE students, who have a Penn Highlands ID number will be permitted to test. New students can test once they have completed the ACE Application and have received their Penn Highlands student ID number. ACE students are encouraged to complete the COMPASS testing before the end of the school year; however, testing will be available through the fall. Testing must be completed one week before the registration due date.

Where to test?

There are two options for testing, at the College or at your high school. Check with your guidance office to learn details about completing the test at your high school.

The COMPASS Placement Test is also available at the College Sites during week days and depending on the site, evening testing may be available. To schedule the test at your convenience contact the site nearest to you. Identify yourself as an ACE student. Remember: you must have your Penn Highlands Student ID number in order to schedule your test.

Richland Campus:  (814) 262-6446
Blair Center:  (814) 201-2700
Ebensburg Center:  (814) 471-0010
Huntingdon Center:  (814) 643-6200
Somerset Center:  (814) 443-2520

Group testing at the Richland Campus may also be available to you depending on your high school. Contact your guidance office for details.

College Preparatory Classes

Some college preparatory classes are available at the College during the summer at $49 per credit. If you take the COMPASS Test before the end of the school year and test into a preparatory level class, you may wish to take the course at the reduced rate during the summer. Contact the Admissions Office for more details.

Applying for ACE Classes

New ACE students must apply to the College by completing the ACE Application available online. Once the student applies, he or she will receive an email with instructions on how to activate his or her myPEAK computer account with Pennsylvania Highlands. This computer account will enable the student to register for the courses offered at his or her high school. It is important to work with the Guidance Staff at your high school to ensure that you are registered for the correct class in the correct year and term.

  • All ACE Students are admitted to Pennsylvania Highlands as a non-matriculated/non-degree seeking students. All courses are credit bearing and will appear on an official or unofficial transcript.
  • ACE classes can be either Fall Only, Spring Only or Full Year. Be sure to know when your class begins and ends to ensure you are registering for the correct term.
  • Retroactively registering for College classes after the class has begun is not permitted. Students must enroll during the specified registration and add/drop dates for each semester. These dates are noted each academic year on the ACE Student Home Page.

Once you are an ACE student, you're myPEAK computer account will remain the same throughout your enrollment. If you have problems accessing your account, please contact our IT Help Desk for assistance at 814-262-6470 or by emailing helpdesk@pennhighlands.edu.


Certain classes may have prerequisite coursework assigned to them to ensure adequate preparation for the material to be presented. Students who opt to pursue registration in a course without prior completion of the prerequisites must complete a Course Prerequisite Waiver Form. These requests require the approval of the Associate Dean of Curriculum.

Adding and Dropping Classes

Once a semester begins, students may make necessary changes to their schedule by completing and signing and Add/Drop Form within the Add/Drop period designated by the college each semester. These dates can be found on the ACE Student page of the College’s website. The date used to drop is the date the form is submitted to the Registrar’s Office. No course can be added after the Add/Drop period of the semester. Forms are available online by clicking here.

Withdrawing from a Class

Students who wish to withdraw from a course after the end of the Add/Drop period must complete an Add/Drop Form. In no case should a student rely on a verbal statement as evidence of withdrawal. Official withdrawal requires the student’s signature. The completed Add/Drop Form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Non-attendance does not constitute official withdrawal. Withdrawal deadlines for each ACE Semester are sent to students after registration and are noted on the ACE Student page of the college’s website.

Students are not permitted to withdraw from a class after the deadline for student initiated withdrawals, and will receive a final grade as assigned by the instructor.

Transfer Credit Options

It is important that all students thoroughly review their transfer options. Penn Highlands credits are eligible for transfer to virtually all colleges or universities.  However, the receiving college or university always makes the determination of how the credits will or will not transfer. For more information, click here.


Students may request copies of their transcripts by submitting a signed Transcript Request Form to the Registrar’s Office. Transcript Request Forms are available on the Penn Highlands website under Student Services, Registration, Registration Forms or by clicking here.

Academic Integrity Policy

The maintenance of an atmosphere of academic integrity is the responsibility of all students, faculty, and staff. Complete academic integrity in fulfillment of requirements is expected of all students and faculty. Students must in no way misrepresent their work, fraudulently or unfairly advance their academic status, or in any way abet other students who fail to maintain academic integrity.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the COMPASS Testing Guidelines or general ACE questions, contact the Pennsylvania Highlands Admissions Office at 814.262.6446 or admissions@pennhighlands.edu.