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KEYS Program Student Support Specialist (Richland)

Location: Richland Campus

Full or Part Time: Full-Time

Annual Salary: $36,797 – $38,000 plus Generous Benefits Package

Application Deadline: Friday, November 24, 2023. (Applications will be accepted until the position is filled; however, fully completed employment applications received by the deadline with all required application materials will receive guaranteed priority consideration.)

Application Materials Required: Employment Application, Cover Letter, Resume

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Job Scope

The Student Support Specialist provides intensive case management services to all Penn Highlands TANF and SNAP eligible KEYS students and assists the KEYS Program Coordinator with all grant activities. The KEYS Program Student Support Specialist serves as an advocate to potential KEYS students during the College’s enrollment process. The Student Support Specialist supports KEYS students as they navigate the college experience and trains and mentors staff members tasked with providing this support at other college locations. This position provides these services in the interest of ensuring compliance with program guidelines and meeting the program’s annual goals as set by the Department of Human Services. This position will require occasional travel to all Penn Highlands locations.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  1. Assist in the coordination of the KEYS Grant Program under established guidelines and in the delivery of services to eligible students.
  2. Assist the KEYS Program Coordinator in the application and planning of specific budget development and program development activities.
  3. Assist in the design and implementation of activities, which optimize the effectiveness of the College’s programs for the success and retention of KEYS students.
  4. Support KEYS students in resolving barriers by connecting students to outside community partners and services such as transportation, childcare, legal, substance abuse, and mental health resources.
  5. Communicate with County Assistance Offices who service Pennsylvania Highlands Community College KEYS students and remain up to date with CAO’s processes, procedures, and expectations.
  6. Coordinate TANF and SNAP student KEYS referrals with County Assistance Offices in the event of the Coordinator’s absence.
  7. Deliver intensive case management services to TANF and SNAP eligible KEYS students at all College locations in addition to the responsibility of an assigned caseload.
  8. Mentor staff members (including work study students assigned to the KEYS Office) charged with KEYS program support at other college locations, ensuring that they are properly tasked and trained to provide appropriate onboarding information and program connection.
  9. Provide academic advising support, and referrals for support services including tutoring, counseling, career services, ADA services, financial aid, and academic skills development to all SNAP/TANF KEYS program participants.
  10. Track SNAP/TANF student academic progress and attendance through contact with instructors, early alert systems, and the College’s Learning Management System in accordance with program policy.
  11. Serve as a liaison between faculty, staff, and administration, on matters concerning KEYS students.
  12. Maintain complete, up-to-date, and accurate student records, and document case management services through Case Progress Notes on CWDS.
  13. Attend trainings and conferences as required by Bureau of Employment and Training Programs and the KEYS Program Coordinator.
  14. In collaboration with the Admissions Department, provide a comprehensive overview of College programs, admissions procedures, and other information essential for prospective students to make an informed decision regarding program participation and attendance.
  15. Attend and provide report at Local Management Committee meetings in the event of the Coordinator’s absence.
  16. Submit required case file review documents, CWDS Data Entry Error Log, Reverse Referral Reports, SNAP Employment End of Semester Reports, and TANF Sampling to the Commonwealth’s secure DocuShare website in the event of the KEYS Program Coordinator’s absence.
  17. Track student’s eligibility for SNAP/TANF and monitor monthly SPALs (Special Allowances) in DHS’s eCIS (Client Information System).
  18. Other duties as assigned.

Direct Reports

  • None


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited higher education institution required, preferably in a field relevant to the position.

Experience & Knowledge:

  • A combination of 3 years’ experience in education and/or social work/human services required.

Computer Skills:

  • Ability to utilize Microsoft Office products including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to use computer for research.
  • Knowledge of College specific systems preferred.
  • Experience using PA Department of Human Services systems a plus.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

  • Criminal Background Clearances.
  • Valid driver’s license and access to a personal vehicle.

Physical Demands:

  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to use a computer, copier, and telephone, and travel by car to all Penn Highlands campuses.

Work Environment:

  • Typical office environment with a quiet to moderate noise level.
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Additional Notes

  1. Please note that employment applications referencing ‘see resume’ or similar phrases are considered incomplete and may not be considered.
  2. Please do not call to inquire about the status of your application. Only those candidates chosen for an interview will be contacted.
  3. Employment is contingent upon submission and satisfactory review of any background check clearances as may be required by Pennsylvania Act 153. Please refer to our Pre-Employment Background Check Information page for more detailed information.
  4. Successful candidate must be authorized to work in the United States and not require work authorization sponsorship by Pennsylvania Highlands Community College for any position now or in the future.
  5. The College does not offer relocation assistance at this time.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace. Pennsylvania Highlands Community College promotes a drug-free workplace.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factors.