The Student Success Center offers a range of support services focused on helping students have a positive and successful college experience. Services include academic and transfer advising; personal counseling; support for students with disabilities; makeup testing; and free tutorial assistance. In addition, the Student Success Center facilitates the College’s placement testing and new student advising processes. These services are available without charge to students enrolled in credit classes.
Student Success Center counselors assist new students in developing a schedule of classes for their first semester based on program of study and placement test or SAT scores. During their first semester students are assigned a faculty member as their academic advisor who will assist with the selection of appropriate courses in subsequent semesters.
Academic Advisors at Penn Highlands assist students in understanding course and degree requirements; discuss and clarify educational, career, and life goals; monitor student academic progress; reinforce student self-sufficiency; and direct students with educational or personal concerns to the appropriate college resources.
Students are expected to know the degree requirements for their program of study and gain an understanding of the degree audit function of myPEAK portal.
Students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year college or university, after completing a degree at Pennsylvania Highlands, should make an appointment during their first semester to meet with a transfer counselor in the Student Success Center. Liberal arts courses and majors leading to the A.S. and A.A. degrees are specifically designed to meet and provide the appropriate framework for students planning to go on to obtain a bachelor’s degree. The transfer counselor will help students outline a sequence of courses toward the associate degree that will transfer to the 4-year institution and assist the student with learning the procedures involved in transfer.
Transfer institutions have varied policies on accepting courses and credits for transfer; therefore, students should establish contact with the 4-year institution early in order to ensure they are following the appropriate course sequences at Pennsylvania Highlands.
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Transfer Agreements
Pennsylvania Highlands has six majors that meet the Pennsylvania Statewide Articulation Agreement. This agreement indicates that if a student graduates in one of these majors, all of the required courses will transfer to any PASSHE institution. Participating institutions accept the transfer of Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees into parallel baccalaureate programs with junior standing. These majors are: Business Administration (AS), Communication Studies (AA), Computer Science (AS), Criminal Justice (AS), Early Childhood Education (AA), and Psychology (AA).
Additionally, Pennsylvania Highlands has articulation agreements with several 4-year institutions which assure students certain considerations when transferring. For more information, please visit the Student Success Center.
PA College Transfer and Articulation Center (PATRAC.net)
This Centerfacilitates exploration of colleges, universities and community colleges that belong to a Statewide Transfer System dedicated to the seamless transfer of courses within a 30-credit framework.
Students can explore information about the institutions and obtain information on course and program transfer at patrac.net. Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges are Statewide Transfer System members as are the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s (PASSHE) 14 universities. Some state-related and private institutions have varying levels of participation in the system.
Assessment and Testing
One of the goals of the College is to help students succeed by guiding them into the courses and resources needed to help them fulfill their individual educational needs and goals.
COMPASS placement testing in reading, mathematics, and English is a requirement for all matriculated students, whether they are full or part-time. The COMPASS test is also required for non-matriculated students planning to enroll in an English or mathematics course and is strongly encouraged for non-matriculated students planning to complete multiple courses during a semester. Transfer students will not be required to take the COMPASS test if proficiency is documented by official transcripts.
Students must achieve a satisfactory score in the discipline to be able to register for a college-level course in mathematics or English. Students scoring below satisfactory must enroll in college-preparatory courses in mathematics, English or reading.
Students are encouraged to prepare for placement testing by reviewing sample COMPASS questions.
Students may be exempt from taking one or more COMPASS tests if they submit current SAT Test Scores. SAT Test Scores must be within the last five years and will be evaluated by the following guidelines:
- Enrollees who score 500 or more on SAT critical reading will be exempt from the COMPASS reading test.
- Enrollees who score 500 or more on SAT writing will be exempt from the COMPASS writing test and may enroll in ENG 110.
- Enrollees who score from 500 to 599 on the SAT math test may enroll in the following courses, depending on their curriculum: MAT 110, MAT 115, MAT 117, MAT 131, MAT 143, MAT 145, MAT 170, or MAT 200.
- Enrollees scoring 600 and above on the SAT math test may enroll in MAT 205 or MAT 210.
In some cases, instructors permit students to make-up a missed test. Arrangements are made by the instructor for the test to be monitored in the Student Success Center. Students must show the Student Success Center monitor a valid Pennsylvania Highlands student ID. No personal items including cell phones will be permitted in the testing area. All tests are filed by the course instructor’s last name; therefore, students should know their instructor’s name prior to coming to the Student Success Center.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Testing
Individuals interested in CLEP Testing to obtain College credits may arrange to take a CLEP test in the Student Success Center. A list of tests accepted at Penn Highlands is available in the Student Success Center.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is a certified Pearson VUE testing center. Common Pearson VUE testing includes GED, PECT-PAPA, CompTIA, Cisco, EMT, Paramedic, and American College. Click here for more (http://www.pearsonvue.com).
Individuals needing a proctored testing environment for a certifying agency or educational institution may arrange for test proctoring in the Success Center for a fee.
Personal counseling is available for students with issues in their personal lives that may negatively affect their academic pursuits. Students experiencing stress or anxiety, family problems, interpersonal conflict, or illness may benefit from consulting a counselor. Students are referred to resources in the community for intensive or on-going support. Counseling Services are confidential.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College recognizes and supports the standards set forth in Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which are designed to eliminate discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. Disabilities may include physical or mental impairments which substantially limit one or more of a person’s major life activities and which necessitate modifications to the facilities, programs, or services of the college. Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is committed to making reasonable accommodations for qualifying students with disabilities as required by applicable laws. The College is also committed to making its facilities accessible as required by applicable laws. The College is not required to make accommodations that are unduly burdensome or that fundamentally alter the nature of the College’s programs.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the Counselor/ADA Specialist in the Student Success Center to discuss their needs. Students will be asked to complete paperwork that describes the disability and the accommodations they are requesting. Students also must submit current documentation authored by an objective professional qualified to diagnose the disability. The Counselor/ADA Specialist and student will discuss how the disability will impact their learning and what services/academic accommodations are appropriate on an individual basis. All information shall remain confidential.
All documentation must be submitted a minimum of two weeks prior to the start of the semester. Students who provide incomplete documentation will not be given consideration for accommodations. The College reserves the right to request any additional information or documentation it deems necessary to formulate a reasonable and appropriate accommodation plan.
Students enrolled in credit courses are eligible to receive free tutoring on a limited basis. The student must complete a Tutor Request Form and submit it to the Student Success Center. Tutor Request Forms are available in the Student Success Center, at all Centers, and on the Success Center tab of myPEAK. Students are encouraged to apply for tutoring early in the semester in order to fully benefit from the resources offered through the tutoring program.