• RMU Partners with Penn Highlands To Create Affordable Transfer Pathways

    Posted August 4, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Robert Morris University signed articulation agreements today with Pennsylvania Highlands Community College (Penn Highlands) and West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC) to create affordable pathways for community college students to earn a four-year degree.

    “RMU shares with all our community college partners an unwavering commitment to ensuring that a four-year degree is affordable and accessible to students no matter where they are on their educational or professional journey,” said RMU President Chris Howard. “We are grateful to the Richard King Mellon Foundation for their support of this vital mission.”

    The agreement with Penn Highlands, based in Johnstown, creates 26 combinations of Penn Highlands associate degree programs that will transfer seamlessly to RMU bachelor degree programs. RMU majors included in the agreement are accounting, business administration, management, marketing, sport management, cinema and photography, computer and information systems, cybersecurity, criminal justice, English, writing, organizational leadership, history, economics, health sciences, psychology, and interdisciplinary studies.

    ”These transfer agreements signify that we are committed to identifying those collaborations that are beneficial to Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and to Robert Morris University, but most importantly, to our shared students and to the communities we both serve,” said Penn Highlands Community College President Steve Nunez. “Ultimately, these agreements ensure that students of Pennsylvania Highlands can easily transfer to Robert Morris University, where they will receive an outstanding education as they earn their bachelor’s degree.”

    Today’s announcement is just the latest in a series of agreements that RMU has signed with community colleges throughout western Pennsylvania and beyond.

  • Embracing The Motto Of Service Above Self

    Posted August 2, 2021 at 9:27 am

    The original column appeared in the Tribune-Democrat, written by Dr. Steve Nunez. Click here to see original sourced column.

    About seven years ago, Sauk Valley Community College, where I worked, hired a new president. During one of my first meetings with him, he asked me which community organizations I belonged to; I embarrassingly said none. He then went on to inform me that as I was a senior community college leader, he expected me to join and participate in several community organizations.

    It seems so logical to me now – I mean, the word “community” is embedded right in the name of community college. I, therefore, wholeheartedly agreed and quickly joined multiple organizations across several communities.

    That same boss suggested that I join a local chapter of Rotary International. Again, embarrassingly, I had to ask what the mission of Rotary was. He patiently explained that it was an organization dedicated to community service at the local, regional, national, and even international levels.

    The motto being “Service Above Self.”

    I was intrigued and soon joined the Dixon, Illinois, chapter of Rotary – where I was a member for five years.

    During those five years, we did great work for the Dixon community and raised more than $50,000 for college scholarships and participated in multiple community renewal projects.

    What impressed me most was that the Rotary Club was full of civic-minded, kind, and generous folks. As we say in the south, “they are good people,” and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them. Many are still good friends today.

    After being hired as President at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, I had a conversation with my own leadership team about joining community organizations, just as my former boss did with me those seven years ago.

    I have talented leaders on my team, and I stressed to them the importance of not only participating in but also providing leadership to community organizations.

    I was pleased. They were already engaged with and provided leadership to many community organizations. I’m proud to say that the College remains “plugged in” to our communities as we serve as members of and provide leadership to many civic, service, and economic development organizations.

    Last year, I decided to join the Ebensburg Rotary Club, where I quickly realized that members are good people who love their community.

    A short year later, I am now the club’s president. We are a small but mighty club that is invested in helping the Ebensburg community. Our list of annual projects is quite impressive and only seems to keep growing.

    We are most intently focused on designing and funding a dog park near Lake Rowena – and years of effort and persistence are finally paying off as we may be nearing the construction phase.

    I’ll leave you with a call to action – investigate your local community organizations (of any sort) and join one.

    Even if you can only infrequently participate, your expertise, your time, and your service is important to that club and to our community’s wellbeing. You won’t regret joining and you may find yourself falling in love with its mission – much as I did with the Rotary.

    If you’d like to help the Ebensburg Rotary Club in its efforts to complete a dog park, you can attend our Dawg Pawty fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 14th at Lake Rowena.

    And, we’ll see you at Penn Highlands.

    Written By Dr. Steve Nunez, College’s Fifth President. This monthly series appears in The Tribune-Democrat, and will allow Dr. Nunez to provide his perspective on the value of education and of a community college. 

  • Culinary Arts Information Session Set For Somerset

    Posted July 27, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will be holding a Culinary Arts Information Session on Tuesday, August 10th, from 5:30pm – 6:30pm. This session will take place at the Somerset County Technology Center (281 Technology Drive, Somerset, PA 15501).

    Attendees will learn about the College’s new Culinary Arts program, tour the Somerset County Technology Center to see where hands-on training takes place, explore financial aid options, and more. Individuals will have the opportunity to complete an admissions application on-site.

    The Culinary Arts (A.A.S.) associate degree program prepares students for entry-level and management positions in the food service industry. These courses offer a foundation in general business management with a focus on culinary skills, including baking and pastry.

    For more information, contact the Somerset Center at 814.443.2500. Click here for more information on this event.

  • Discovery Day Scheduled For Blair & Richland

    Posted at 3:13 pm

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will be holding Discovery Day on Thursday, August 5th, from 6:00pm – 7:30pm.

    Learn about Penn Highlands and its opportunities, including degree and certificate programs, transfer options, athletics and clubs, financial aid, and more. Campus tours will be provided. Individuals will have the opportunity to complete an admissions application on-site.

    Individuals are encouraged to RSVP; however, walk-ins are also welcome. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive college apparel.

    Discovery Day locations include:

     Penn Highlands has been proudly serving the region with quality and affordable academic options in an inclusive atmosphere since 1994.

    For more information, contact the Blair Center or Richland Campus directly, or call us at 1.888.385.PEAK. Click here to register for this event.

  • Bringing The Power To Community Colleges

    Posted June 28, 2021 at 8:48 am

    The original column appeared in the Tribune-Democrat, written by Dr. Steve Nunez. Click here to see original sourced column.

    I had lived in either Illinois or Virginia for my entire life before I moved to Pennsylvania in early 2020. While I was very excited about starting my new role at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, I was nervous because I was moving to Pennsylvania alone and leaving behind my entire support system of friends and family.

    I thought when I got here that it was important mentally and emotionally for me to immediately connect with new people, find new mentors, and develop new friendships. I’ve been blessed to connect with so many good people since the move.

    Being a community college president in Pennsylvania is like being a member of a very small social club – there are only 15 of us. But as I have come to know them, I’ve realized that some of the brightest minds in higher education are presidents at our Pennsylvania community colleges.

    We are lucky to have such talented educational leaders in Pennsylvania.

    I have had more than one of them reach out to me during my first 18 months at Penn Highlands. Nick Neupauer was one of the first. President at Butler County Community College (BC3) for 14 years, Dr. Neupauer has provided and continues to provide me with straightforward, commonsense, and smart advice. He and I have chatted several times, and each time I come away feeling better.

    He just has one of those personalities. He’s easy to talk to, open, quick to laugh, and genuinely a nice guy.

    I had a chance to talk with him more in-depth recently, using my superpowers to extract, selfishly, as much knowledge from him as I possibly could, and what impressed me the most was his understanding and devotion to the community college mission of providing affordable, accessible, and quality educational opportunities to the communities we serve.

    He believes, as do I, that education is one of the best ways to change and improve a person’s life, and he fully embraces the community college “open door” concept with a focus to remain affordable to all constituents.

    As we chatted, Nick continuously brought our conversation back to “service” – to his students and communities.

    While being president inhibits him from regular, direct interaction with students, he stated that his focus – every single day – is on students and their successes. He’s particularly focused on providing students with an excellent return on their educational investment and keeping student loan debt low.

    Nick said that if students can graduate from his college with a meaningful credential and little to no debt, they will be set up for professional success. Community colleges can provide that pathway, just as it did for his own two daughters.

    Some predict that, over the next several decades, many higher education institutions will close or merge with other institutions as our population demographics evolve. However, Neupauer believes that community colleges, focused on their mission of providing affordable, accessible, and quality education will become even more important and necessary because of their value and because of their “ROI.”

    Regardless, I certainly feel more confident about the future of community colleges when I speak with education leaders such as Neupauer who care so much about students and the communities we live in.

    Thanks for your mentorship, Nick.

    Written By Dr. Steve Nunez, College’s Fifth President. This monthly series appears in The Tribune-Democrat, and will allow Dr. Nunez to provide his perspective on the value of education and of a community college.