To all Pennsylvania Highlands Community College students I extend a hearty welcome. We are the community college of the Southern Alleghenies, and we serve a much greater region with our Accelerated College Education (ACE) program and Online Campus.
Pennsylvania Highlands is truly becoming the public college of the region with a mission to serve the educational and workforce training needs of the Southern Alleghenies. We have brought together a highly dedicated faculty and staff whose primary objective is to ensure that you receive a quality education in our classrooms and laboratories and excellent customer service from all of the auxiliary areas of our institution.
We are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education-the same accrediting agency that certifies the quality of Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh. Our quality of education for the first two years of college ranks with the quality of these fine universities. Our Accelerated College Education (ACE) dual enrollment program holds national accreditation through the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment partners, a distinction we share with only one other Pennsylvania college, and our Medical Assistant Technology program also holds national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
We are ranked as the second best community college in Pennsylvania by Schools.com, the Federal Government recognizes us as a military friendly school, and we have national certification as a facility for cybersecurity training.
We are dedicated to the task of broadening the mind - to getting you ready, not only for a place in America’s workforce, but also to getting you ready to face the myriad challenges that the rest of your life has waiting for you. We now serve more than 3,000 students annually in our credit programs at our locations in Richland, Ebensburg, Huntingdon, Somerset, Blair, and our Online Campus. We serve as many as 1,600 students in our Accelerated College Education (ACE) classes in high schools in twelve Pennsylvania Counties, and we serve nearly 1,000 students each year in non-credit training opportunities through Continuing Education. We also have many students who enjoy education, training, and social opportunities through our community education classes.
As Pennsylvania Highlands’ fourth president, I have made it my goal to make Pennsylvania Highlands a household name throughout the Southern Alleghenies. I would like it to be difficult for anyone who works and lives in the region to not come into contact with a Penn Highlands’ graduate. I believe that our graduates understand the value and importance of hard work and have prepared themselves to be successful. Your time at Penn Highlands will be the catalyst for a lifetime of achievement.
During my tenure, we have dramatically improved the student services aspect of the College including a newly created Career Services Center and a math/writing center at our Richland campus. The Career Services Center helps students connect personal interests with professional goals and our math/writing center works with students to improve basic skill sets needed not only for coursework but also for many situations you will confront at work and in your day-to-day lives.
Career Planning is just one facet of all we have to offer our students. We have a wide variety of student clubs and organizations to broaden student engagement with the College. Our College governance system includes a Student Senate, and the Student Senate leaders sit on the College Senate along with faculty, administrators, and staff to directly advise the President on the policies and decisions the College is making. The Student Senate President also serves as a member of the College’s Board of Trustees.
The Pennsylvania Highlands Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa boasts a strong group of honor students ready to meet all academic challenges. Membership in this organization signifies that you are a student who has achieved success in the classroom and the community. Being a Phi Theta Kappa at Penn Highlands signifies that you have accepted the challenges of high academic standards and embraced your responsibilities as a community member. Phi Theta Kappa membership links our students to more than $35,000,000 in scholarships that can pay your way to four-year colleges and universities after you complete your degree at Penn Highlands. We now have two Phi Theta Kappa chapters with one centered in our Richland campus and one in our Blair campus to make joining and participating in this honors program more accessible to all of our students.
I realize that a good college experience includes a combination of educational and social opportunities. Penn Highlands has many active student clubs and organizations. These clubs meet regularly and engage in discussions and activities that embrace each group’s unique area of focus. Our regional locations have clubs as well so no matter which Penn Highlands location you attend, you will have the opportunity to interact with your fellow students both in and out of the classroom.
We continue to grow our NJCAA athletic programs, and our new bowling and cross country teams have already been recognized in regional competition. A number of our athletes have earned national honors among the nation’s community and junior colleges. We recently added a women’s basketball club, which we expect will grow into an NJCAA team over the next few years.
It is our pledge to make your time spent at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College rewarding and memorable. We value the important role that you have in the success of our College, our community, and our region’s economy. We will help you build a better future for yourselves; please help us build a better college for you and those who follow you. And, thank you for choosing to take the next step in your education and your careers at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.
Walter J. Asonevich