Apr 21, 2019  
Student Handbook 
Student Handbook

Information Technology Policies


Acceptable Use of Information Systems

Access to computer systems and networks owned or operated by Pennsylvania Highlands Community College imposes certain responsibilities and obligations and is granted subject to college policies, and local, state and federal laws. Acceptable use is always ethical, reflects academic honesty, and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources. It demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individuals’ rights to privacy and freedom from intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance unless covered by legal statues.

The Director of Information Technology is responsible for the enforcement of these guidelines. Any request for use of information systems other than those identified must receive prior written approval.

  1. Use resources only for authorized purposes.
  2. Access only files and data that are your own, that are publicly available, or to which you have been given authorized access.
  3. Use only legal version of copyrighted software in compliance with vendor license agreements.
  4. Be considerate in your use of shared resources. Refrain from monopolizing systems, overloading networks with excessive data, or wasting bandwidth, computer time, disk space, printer paper, manuals, or other sources.

In making acceptable use of resources student must NOT:

  1. Use college software unless approval is given to load additional software by the Director of Information Technology.
  2. Use computer programs to decode passwords or access control information.
  3. Attempt to circumvent or subvert system or network security measures.
  4. Engage in activity that might be harmful to systems or to any information stored there on, such as creating or propagating viruses, disrupting services, or damaging or deleting files and directories.
  5. Use College systems for commercial or partisan political purposes, such as using electronic mail to circulate advertising for products or for political candidates.
  6. Make or use illegal copies of copyrighted software, store such copies on College systems, or transmit them over College networks.
  7. Use mail or messaging services to harass, intimidate, or otherwise annoy another person.
  8. Waste computing resources, for example, by intentionally placing a program in an endless loop or by printing documents or web pages that are not part of a class assignment on the College’s paper.
  9. Use computer lab facilities at the College unless enrolled as a current student or with special permission from the College.

The College considers any violation of acceptable use principles or guidelines to be a serious offense. Individuals or groups who act in a manner contrary to existing policy and accepted standards for computer use are subject to the sanctions and disciplinary measures normally applied to misconduct or lawbreaking. Any violations of the acceptable use of information systems must be reported to the Director of Information Technology.

The Director of Information Technology will investigate the allegations and may disallow network connections by certain computers (including departmental and personal connections); require adequate identification of computers and users on the network; undertake audits of software or information on shared systems where policy violations are possible; take steps to secure compromised computers that are connected to the network; or deny access to computers, the network, and institutional software and databases. The College reserves the right to copy and examine any files or information resident  on College  systems allegedly related to the unacceptable use. Users are expected to cooperate with the investigations either of technical problems or of possible unauthorized or irresponsible use as defined in these guidelines; failure to do so may be grounds for suspension, termination of employment, or termination of access privileges.

If the infringement is not settled through discussion, the matter involving students will be referred to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services; a matter involving faculty will be referred to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services; and a matter involving staff will be referred to the immediate supervisor. Violators are subject to disciplinary action as prescribed by College policies. In addition, certain kinds of abuse may result in civil or criminal action.


The College will not be responsible for the loss or corruption of user data files of any kind. A user of the computer facilities at the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College cannot subject its agents and employees, from any suit, claim, or cause of action arising by virtue of the use of the College’s computer facilities, including but not limited to, loss of data or damage to any computer outside of the College due to a computer virus. The user agrees to indemnify and hold the College harmless from any suit, claim, or cause of action arising from the user’s abuse or misuse of the computer facilities of the College. It is the user’s responsibility to backup data at regular intervals and provide computer virus protection for their home and/or office computer.

Student Email Accounts

Pennsylvania Highlands provides its students with a College email account which enables them to communicate with instructors and to stay current on periodic important announcements. The College requires all students to use this email account. Most contact with current students from the College is only conducted using official College email accounts. Technical issues regarding the use of College email should be reported to the Information Technology Help Desk at 814-262-6470 or via email to helpdesk@pennhighlands.edu.

Internet Guidelines

Access to the Internet from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is a privilege not a right, and abusers may lose access to College computers.  All College Internet users must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Students and employees may access the Internet from designated areas on campus during open lab hours. Class activities take priority over open lab time.
  2. Access to the Internet should be used for purposes relative to classroom and work assignments and not for recreational purposes. Unless directly related to a specific class assignment or College activity, the use of chat rooms is specifically prohibited.
  3. Access to the Internet may not be used for unethical, illegal, or criminal activities.
  4. Access time may be limited due to the number of people online and equipment availability.
  5. Downloading files from the Internet to the hard drives of lab PCs or to network storage devices is prohibited unless authorized by a member of the information technology (IT) staff or by an Instructor for the completion of a class assignment.


myPEAK, the Pennsylvania Highlands Portal, serves as the campus Intranet and is the gateway to student services and employee information needs. The Portal is a web site that facilitates communication within the Pennsylvania Highlands community.

As a Pennsylvania Highlands student, you will have access to your specific student  information and student  services  offered  through the  portal. Additionally, you will have access to the following items:

• College Academic and Event Calendars
• College Course Schedule
• Online Registration and Student Schedule
• Jenzabar e-Racer
• Advisor & Major Information
• Degree Audit
• Financial Aid Awards
• Account Balances and Online Payments
• Billing Statement
• NSC Enrollment Verification
• Final Grades
• Unofficial Transcript
• College Governance and Activities
• Student Success Services
• Career Planning and Employer Services
• Online Help

Student Printing Procedures

  1. Students are given a printing account, assigned to their computer login, at the beginning of each semester consisting of 250 free pages.
  2. Students who require more than 250 pages of printing in a semester may add to their account by purchasing  pages in increments of $1, $5, or $10 at $.05 per page.
  3. Additional pages may be purchased from the Student Accounts Office at the Richland Campus or from the secretaries at all College facilities with a valid student ID. Purchased pages are generally added to an account on the next business day.
  4. Students receive notice when their account has only 25 pages remaining and are encouraged to add to their accounts as soon as possible to avoid a lag in their ability to print.
  5. Pages are nontransferable between printing accounts.
  6. Printing accounts are reset at the end of each semester.  Unused prints may not be carried over to a future semester.
  7. This policy covers all College printers.