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  • Seven Students Named To 2022 All-PA Academic Team

    Posted May 11, 2022 at 10:00 am

    The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges recently honored the 28th Annual All-Pennsylvania Academic Team, a remarkable group of community college students who have achieved academic excellence and demonstrated a commitment to their colleges and communities.

    Seven of those honored were from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. The following students were honored and are members of the All-Pennsylvania Academic Transfer and Workforce Pathway Teams:

    • Kirstin Emerick (Beaverdale, PA)
    • Matthew Gaul (Irvona, PA)
    • Brooke Marek (Cairnbrook, PA)
    • Julie Mitchell (Berlin, PA)
    • Kethan Satterfield (Altoona, PA)
    • Sydney Sheredy (Northern Cambria, PA)
    • Joseph Stringent (Johnstown, PA)

    Overall, the 2022 awardees included 46 outstanding community college transfer scholars and eight exceptional workforce pathway scholars from across the Commonwealth. Transfer 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. Workforce students must have a minimum of 12 college-level credit hours at a community college and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

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

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

    About Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges
    The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a voluntary membership association for Pennsylvania’s community colleges. Its members include the college presidents, members of the colleges’ boards of trustees, and key college administrators. The Commission represents the interests of and advocates for the collective needs of the community colleges to federal and state policymakers. For more information, please visit www.pacommunitycolleges.org.

  • Commencement Set For Friday, May 13th (Twenty-Seventh Graduating Class)

    Posted May 4, 2022 at 10:48 am

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will be holding a Commencement Ceremony for the Twenty-Seventh Graduating Class on Friday, May 13th, in their Richland Campus Auditorium (101 Community College Way, Johnstown, PA). The ceremony will begin at 7 PM.

    Student Senate President Sydney Sheredy, of Northern Cambria, will be giving this year’s Commencement Address. Ms. Sheredy will obtain an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences during the ceremony.

    She has been very active during her time at Pennsylvania Highlands. She is the President of Phi Theta Kappa, the world’s largest and most prestigious honor society for two-year college students, as well as a member of the inaugural softball team and the Ebensburg Activities Club. As the Student Senate President, Sydney is the Student Trustee and serves on the Academic Affairs/Student Services Committee and is an active member of the Pennsylvania Highlands Board of Trustees.

    Sydney Sheredy will share her message with the nearly 200 graduates who are planning to be in attendance. Also addressing the graduates will be Penn Highlands Community College President Dr. Steve Nunez, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees Greg Winger, Cambria County President Commissioner Thomas Chernisky, and Faculty Senate President Joe Slifko.

    In addition to awarding associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates at the ceremony, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will also present the Distinguished Graduate Award. This award honors a student who has contributed his or her time and effort to Pennsylvania Highlands and the community while maintaining a high level of academic performance.

    For those unable to attend, you may watch this year’s live stream of Commencement through one of two ways:

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College looks forward to honoring the Twenty-Seventh Graduating Class.

  • Blair Center To Host Free Computer Basics Workshop

    Posted May 2, 2022 at 11:30 am

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, in partnership with PA CareerLink® and UPMC Altoona, will be holding a free Computer Basics Workshop on Tuesday, May 24th and Wednesday, May 25th, at their Blair Center (5580 Goods Lane, Altoona, PA; next to Macy’s in the Logan Valley Mall). The workshops will run from 9 AM – 12 PM.

    This workshop is geared toward individuals who have trouble navigating computer basics such as logging in to a computer, sending and receiving email, applying for jobs online, and more. In addition, staff from PA CareerLink® and Penn Highlands will be available to answer questions about choosing a career, finding a job, attending college, and utilizing financial aid for college. Refreshments will be provided.

    This workshop is free to the first 24 individuals who enroll. A $50 Sheetz gift card will also be provided to each student who attends both days and completes the 2-day workshop. The College will provide computers for use during this training.

    For more information or to reserve a spot in the workshop, please contact the Penn Highlands Community College Blair Center at 814.201.2700 or PA CareerLink® at 814.940.6200.

  • Educating A Lion’s Share Of Students

    Posted at 9:32 am

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

    If you have read my columns before, you know I am a product of a community college and have worked for community colleges my entire professional career.

    I even earned a doctorate in community college leadership.

    I have always been drawn to and appreciate the community college mission, which is to provide affordable, accessible, and quality educational opportunities to the communities that we serve.

    When I am asked to speak to local, state or federal legislators, economic development organizations, or civic-minded clubs – I get really excited.

    Community colleges are my passion, and I cannot wait to share my personal experiences and to discuss why community colleges are the best higher education “invention” ever.

    Honestly, I have a tough time being succinct when I am given a pedestal to talk about community colleges.

    I recently had the pleasure of enjoying the company of members of the Johnstown West End Lions Club. We spent the first hour together “breaking bread” and getting to know each other before I was asked to give some comments. I will freely admit that Lions Clubs and Rotary Clubs are friendly rivals, but ultimately both clubs strongly believe in community service and giving back to those in need.

    If you visit the Lions Club website, the word “kindness” is found throughout – that is the type of civic organization that I admire and respect. And I would become a member, but I am a Rotarian so – you know, the friendly rival thing.

    I have given many presentations in my career, but a trick of the trade is to find a way to actively engage your audience to increase participation and focus. A new tool for me is to engage an audience using trivia questions – in this case, questions about community colleges. And so off I went peppering the Lions Club members with community college trivia.

    • How many community colleges are there in Pennsylvania? 15.

    • How many community colleges are found in the United States? 942.

    • How many students are served annually by community colleges? Around five million.

    And you know you have their interest when they begin asking questions in return.

    • Will your college credits transfer to a four-year university? Yes.

    • What is Penn Highlands’ service area? Mostly Cambria, Somerset, Huntingdon and Blair counties, but we serve other counties in central Pennsylvania, too.

    • What is dual enrollment? High school students dually enrolled in a high school class (for high school credit) and simultaneously a college class (for college credit). Some Penn Highlands students earn their associate degrees before they earn their high school diplomas.

    And so it went, until I realized that I had held the Lions Club hostage for about an hour. My community college passion put me into a fevered state, and I had lost track of time.

    However, the Lions Club was gracious. We took a couple of pictures, they handed me a nice certificate of appreciation, and sent me on my way with handshakes and smiles.

    Ultimately, I left a happy man who was well fed, had made a few new friends, and felt reenergized by speaking about my passion to a great group of people. It was a terrific way to end the evening.

    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.

  • MLB® Jr. Home Run Derby Competition Hosted By Ebensburg Student Activities Club Set For May

    Posted April 13, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    On Sunday, May 22nd, at Carrolltown American Legion Park, the Penn Highlands Community College Ebensburg Student Activity Club will host a free Major League Baseball® Jr. Home Run Derby™ Competition for area youth beginning at 12 PM. MLB Jr. Home Run Derby allows participants to swing for the fences in a fun and free competition that allows hitters the opportunity to advance through three levels of competition culminating at the 2022 All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

    Boys and girls are divided into three age divisions: 12U, 14U, and 15 – Senior in High School. Participants in 12U and 14U will have the chance to advance to the Regional Level. The 15+ age division is not eligible to advance; however, prizes will be given to the winner of each age group.

    All participants must pre-register online.

    All participants must bring age verification (copy/picture of birth certificate or similar) to the competition. Additionally, the American Legion Park will be raising funds to benefit the mother of Maverick Baker and her future plans to honor her son by holding a basket raffle and 50/50. The concession stand will also be open.

    For questions concerning the competition or to donate a basket, please contact Robert Sekerak, Local Coordinator and Penn Highlands Regional Center Director, at 814.471.0013 or rsekerak@pennhighlands.edu.

    To learn more about this event, click here.