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  • Forging Classes Now Offered In Partnership With The Center For Metal Arts

    Posted April 5, 2022 at 8:07 am

    Beginning this August, through a collaboration with the Center for Metal Arts, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College will be offering four courses in the forging craft.

    Throughout the development of humankind, forging has played an important role in the advancement of society and technology. Despite “blacksmithing” being an ancient craft, it has ushered us into and through the industrial revolution, and it is still being performed on an industrial scale today. Few things have had a stronger impact than the creation and use of tools, the discovery of metals, and the forging process.

    While forging classes can be taken on their own, the forging classes offered through Penn Highlands serve as technical electives within the College’s Entrepreneurship (A.A.S.) degree. This means that a student enrolled in forging can use the course credits they earned towards an associate degree designed to help individuals start a business.

    Forging classes include:

    • Introduction to Forging (FRG 101)
    • Intermediate Forging I: Power Hammer (FRG 150)
    • Intermediate Forging II: Joinery (FRG 200)
    • Advanced Forging: Design and Execution (FRG 250)

    All forging classes will be held at the Center for Metal Arts, located in downtown Johnstown at 106 Iron Street, Johnstown, PA 15906. The Center for Metal Arts believes in preserving and growing the history and craft of high-quality forged ironwork and offering a world-class environment for learning.

    These classes aim to give students a hands-on experience in the craft of forging. Starting with the basics, students receive a solid foundation on which to grow their skills and forging practice. By the end of all four classes, students are focused on design, the aspect of the craft that creates the most attractive and functional forge work. Design and execution work together hand in hand, creating harmony and some of the most striking and innovative forge work.

    Skills learned in these classes will help successful students start their own business, add forging components to an existing business, or will translate to any other hands-on job.

    Contact a Penn Highlands Admissions Representative at 814.262.6446 or click here to learn more.

  • Community Colleges Are Worth The Investment

    Posted March 30, 2022 at 8:20 am

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

    As I have stated many times before, I am a product of a community college. I graduated with my associate degree in 1990 from Southwest Virginia Community College.

    That experience and that degree set me up for the rest of my life. I soon transferred to Virginia Tech to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in biological sciences and then spent the rest of my life working at community colleges because I believe so much in the mission.

    The number of community colleges exploded in the 1960s and 1970s, and were built on a funding model that kept tuition relatively low, and therefore, kept education accessible to many if not most of the population being served.

    This funding model, sometimes referred to as the three-legged stool approach, provides revenue to community colleges through local community support, state appropriations, and student tuition and fees.

    Penn Highlands Community College is lucky to have Cambria County as a sponsor – thanks to the Cambria County Commissioners and to Cambria County taxpayers.

    The College receives additional funding from the state of Pennsylvania and through state and federal grants. Our local legislators are community college advocates and friends of Penn Highlands.

    I’m thankful that they “get it” and am appreciative of their efforts to support the College and its mission.

    However, most of the College’s revenue is generated through tuition and fees from our students, so revenue streams are tied closely to enrollment.

    As our nation and our state climb out of a global pandemic, community colleges are as important – or even more so – than ever before to the economic development of our region and to raising the quality of life of our residents.

    Penn Highlands Community College provides accessible, affordable, and quality educational opportunities to the residents of Cambria, Somerset, Blair, and Huntingdon counties (and others). But continued robust financial support from the state is a necessity in order for the College to accomplish its mission.

    Central to that mission is providing degrees and classes that easily transfer to our four-year higher education friends, where a student can earn a bachelor’s degree. Or by providing degrees and short certificates that quickly prepare a student for the workforce as a highly-trained professional.

    And, our customized training programs that we have in place for local business and industry are key to keeping employees trained for 21st century work. Community college education is more relevant than ever to our communities.

    Community colleges are built to be responsive to the needs of our communities and you will continue to see innovative, quality programming being produced at Penn Highlands as the College unveils its police academy, the Johnstown culinary program, and additional programming opportunities in the Ebensburg and Altoona areas.

    I get it – I’m biased. But I truly love and relate to the community college mission.

    Community colleges are worth the investment.

    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.

  • College Earns 2022-2023 Silver Military Friendly® School Designation

    Posted March 21, 2022 at 9:14 am

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College announced that it has earned the 2022-2023 Silver Military Friendly® School designation.

    Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2022-2023 survey with 665 earning special awards for going above the standard.

    The 2022-2023 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May and October issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.

    Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer), and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

    “Penn Highlands is committed to providing military service members, veterans, and their families with the best opportunities available,” stated Dr. Steve Nunez, President of Penn Highlands Community College. “All veterans in our region, and everywhere, should be valued for their service. We are dedicated to meeting their needs for education and training.”

    Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships for Military Friendly® stated the following. “Military Friendly® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data-driven standards in our designation process. Our standards provide a benchmark that promotes positive outcomes and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the Military Community. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to evolve and invest in their programs consistently. Schools who achieve awards designation show true commitment in their efforts, going over and above that standard.”

    For more information about Penn Highlands’ student veteran programs, visit the College’s website at www.pennhighlands.edu.


    About Military Friendly® Schools (www.militaryfriendly.com)
    The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources from more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria, and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary schools that wish to participate.

    About Viqtory (www.viqtory.com)
    Founded in 2001, VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly® brands. VIQTORY and its brands are not a part of or endorsed by the U.S. Dept of Defense or any federal government entity.

  • Matthew Gaul Named New Century Transfer Scholar

    Posted March 16, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    Matthew Gaul, a student at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, has been named a 2022 New Century Transfer Scholar and will receive a $2,250 scholarship. Matthew Gaul, of Irvona, will be graduating this May with a degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences.

    New Century Transfer Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities, and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Over 2,200 students were nominated from more than 1,200 college campuses across the country. Only one New Century Transfer Scholar is selected from each state.

    “This honor is a testament to the leadership qualities exuded by Matthew Gaul,” said Dr. Steve Nunez, President of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. “He is deserving of being named a New Century Transfer Scholar. We are proud that Matthew represents Penn Highlands, community college students, and our region.”

    The program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa, and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

    “We congratulate Matthew for receiving this prestigious scholarship, and we are honored to partner with the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and the AACC to recognize these outstanding achievements,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “Scholarship programs like this are integral for creating opportunities for two-year college students to succeed and for putting college completion within reach.”

    About The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation (www.coca-colascholarsfoundation.org)
    The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation celebrates and empowers visionary leaders who are refreshing the world. Supporting more than 1,400 exceptional college students each year, it awards $3.55 million in scholarships annually through three nationally recognized programs.

    About Phi Theta Kappa (www.ptk.org)
    Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.8 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 countries, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges.

  • Matthew Pudliner Appointed Continuing Education Manager

    Posted March 14, 2022 at 8:44 am

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College announces the appointment of Mr. Matthew Pudliner as the College’s new Continuing Education Manager.

    In his role as Continuing Education Manager, Mr. Pudliner will provide vision, leadership, planning, management, supervision, and evaluation for the Continuing and Community Education areas in service of the College’s mission.

    “I am thrilled to be a part of the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College family,” stated Matthew Pudliner. “Penn Highlands has a strong history and connection with our community and surrounding areas, and I am ready to build a catalog of essential non-credit classes to see our region thrive.”

    Before joining Penn Highlands, Mr. Pudliner was the Community Relationship Manager for the United Way of the Laurel Highlands. Prior to that, he worked for five years at Somerset Trust Company.

    Mr. Pudliner holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He is currently working on a Master of Business Administration degree from Saint Francis University.