The Student Success Center, located in Richland, offers a range of support services to all Penn Highlands Centers, both online and in-person, 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. Students may contact the Student Success Center via email, phone, or Zoom to discuss appropriate services.
Academic Advisors at Penn Highlands engage students in the process of exploring and defining educational and career goals, as well as assist students with the development of strategies for achievement. Academic Advisors educate, encourage and support students in a variety of ways including reinforcing student self-sufficiency, directing students with educational or personal concerns to the appropriate college resources, helping students understand course and degree requirements, and monitoring student academic progress.
Students are expected to know the degree requirements for their program of study and track their progress towards fulfilling graduation requirements through the use of the degree audit function of myPEAK. An advising rubric is provided to all students to help them stay on track and note what checkpoints they need to discuss with their advisor along the way. By being knowledgeable of campus policies, procedures, and resources, students will take responsibility for their educational plans and achievements.
Students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year college or university, after completing a degree at Pennsylvania Highlands, should contact the Student Success Center during their first semester to talk with a transfer counselor. Liberal arts courses and majors leading to the A.S. and A.A. degrees are specifically designed to 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. For more information on transferring or to find transfer counselor contact information, go Transfer Central under the Advising tab of myPEAK.
Pennsylvania Highlands has established transfer agreements with other institutions that enable students to transfer their earned Associate Degree seamlessly into a Bachelor’s Degree program. Most agreements allow for a program-to-program transfer (i.e. Business Administration to Business Administration) while others allow for more general degree transfer. There are 3+1 programs that allow a student to finish their Associate Degree and continue to take courses at Penn Highlands while simultaneously taking courses at the 4-year institution. A complete listing of the transfer agreements that Penn Highlands has created with other intuitions can be found online at http://www.pennhighlands.edu/admissions/registration/transfer-opportunities/transfer-agreements/. Students can obtain more detailed information at Transfer Central on myPEAK and by contacting the Student Success Center.
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education 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 State System 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), Computer Science (AS), Criminal Justice (AS), Early Childhood Education (AA), Psychology (AA), and Social Work (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 Center facilitates 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 14 universities. Some state-related and private institutions have varying levels of participation in the system.
Assessment and Testing
Placement Testing and Waiver Guidelines
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.
Assessment and placement is required of all new curriculum students unless exempt by a waiver. Placement testing is also required for non-matriculated students planning to enroll in an English or mathematics course, a course that is heavily based in English or mathematics (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, etc.), and is strongly encouraged for non-matriculated students planning to complete multiple courses during a semester. Transfer students will not be required to test if proficiency is documented by official transcripts. The placement test assesses a student’s skills in writing, reading, and math and identifies which course or courses best fit the student’s skill level.
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 may remediate independently of the College or enroll in college-preparatory courses in mathematics, English or reading at Penn Highlands. Students are encouraged to prepare for placement testing by reviewing sample test questions and test subject resources. This information is available in the Student Success Center or the Admissions Office.
Assessment for writing, reading, and math is mandatory. However, the student may qualify for a placement test waiver for one or more of these areas by the following means:
- Unweighted high school GPA ≥ 2.6 on a 4.0 scale meeting certain college ready requirements.
Documentation needed: Official H.S. transcript within 5 years of graduation.
High School GPA Waiver Qualifications
For Reading and Writing: High school transcript shows at least three English courses completed with a grade of C or higher in each.
For Math: High school transcript shows at least three math courses completed, of which one is Algebra II with a grade of C or higher.
- SAT scores of at least 500 on Critical Reading OR 500 on Writing will exempt the student from the reading and writing sections of the placement test. SAT scores of at least 500 on Mathematics will exempt the student from taking the math sections of the placement test. ACT scores of at least 22 on Reading or 18 on writing will exempt the student from the reading and writing portions of the placement test. ACT scores of at least 22 on Mathematics will exempt the student from taking the math sections of the placement test.
Documentation needed: Official SAT or ACT scores within 5 years of testing.
- Non-degree, special credit students registering for a course that has no prerequisite. Check the college catalog for course prerequisites.
- Successful completion (with a grade of “C” or higher) of a college-level math and/or writing course from a regionally accredited institution.
Documentation needed: College-issued transcript.
- Successful completion of developmental level courses in writing and/or math from a regionally accredited institution.
Documentation needed: College-issued transcript.
- Appropriate scores on Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or College Level Exam Program (CLEP) exams.
Documentation needed: Official AP / IB transcript. Policies for AP, IB, and CLEP can be found in our catalog.
- Students who achieve GED College Ready designation on the GED test will be exempt from placement testing. Students must submit a GED transcript reflecting a minimum score of 165 in each of these subject areas: Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning through Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.
Students who qualify for a waiver must obtain the proper documentation from the Registrar’s Office or an Advisor.
Students who qualify for a waiver in either math or writing, but not both, will need to complete the placement test assessment for the skill area not exempted.
Students must present all appropriate documentation when requesting a waiver.
Make Up Testing
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 or an appropriate location at the Centers. Students must show the test monitor a valid Pennsylvania Highlands student ID. No personal items including cell phones will be permitted in the testing area.
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. The following CLEP tests are accepted at Penn Highlands: American Government, American Literature, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, Biology, Calculus, College Algebra, College Composition, College Composition Modular, College Mathematics, English Literature, French Language (Levels 1 and 2), German Language (Levels 1 and 2), History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877, History of the United States II: 1865 to Present, Human Growth and Development, Humanities, Information Systems, Introductory Business Law, Introductory Psychology, Introductory Sociology, Natural Sciences, Precalculus, Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Management, Principles of Marketing, Principles of Microeconomics, Spanish Language (Levels 1 and 2), Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648, Western Civilization II: 1648 to Present.
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.
Counseling Services are available to support the academic, personal, and social development of students and to promote a healthy College environment. Short-term, confidential, individual counseling is available to students. The Counselor also provides educational programs and workshops on a variety of topics including emotional wellness, sexual assault and domestic violence prevention, substance abuse, suicide prevention, stress reduction, test anxiety, and healthy relationships. Students may be referred to resources in the community for intensive or on-going support.
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 requesting accommodations for a disability must schedule an appointment with the Student Success Center Counselor/ADA Specialist to discuss their needs. Students must submit current documentation of the disability that has been 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.
KEYS (Keystone Education Yields Success)
KEYS is a Pennsylvania Department of Human Services program designed to assist recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) succeed in community college. The KEYS program helps students achieve their goals by providing academic support and intensive case management, facilitating supportive services through the County Assistance Office, and connecting students to College resources and community services agencies.
Students enrolled in credit courses are eligible to receive free tutoring on a limited basis. Students may access drop-in math and English tutoring in the Writing/Math Center at Richland. Some drop-in tutoring may be available at the other Centers on a limited basis. Requests may be made for tutoring in other subjects by completing a Tutor Request Form and submitting it to the Student Success Center. Tutor Request Forms are available in the Student Success Center, at all Centers, and on the Student Support tab of myPEAK. Online students may have access to tutoring via Zoom and online tutoring is available through the Smarthinking Quick Link on myPEAK and in Schoology. Students are encouraged to apply for tutoring early in the semester in order to fully benefit from the resources offered through the tutoring program.