Oct 23, 2021  
Academic Catalog (2021-2022) 
Academic Catalog (2021-2022)


Registration Information


Registration is the process of selecting courses and completing the necessary processes to have to see selections entered into the College record. Payment for all related charges must be made by the tuition due date specified for the semester in order to confirm registration. Students may register either in person, through the myPEAK portal, or through mailing or faxing a Registration Form to the Registrar’s Office. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for assistance in the registration process.

Dates for registration periods are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Adding/Dropping Classes

Once a semester begins, students may make changes to their schedule through the college portal or by completing and signing an Add/Drop Form. These forms may be obtained online at the College’s website. Students who wish to add or drop a course must do so within the Add/Drop period designated by the College each semester. The official date of course drop is the date the change is made via the college portal or the date the form is submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Students should consult their academic advisor and the Student Financial Services Office before dropping a course as schedule changes may impact a student’s financial aid eligibility and degree completion.

No course can be added after the Add/Drop period is over except in special circumstances as determined by the Dean.

Repeating Courses

A student may repeat a course in which he or she earns a D or F. Students may repeat a course twice. The student’s transcript will continue to carry all grades earned in the course. Only the last grade earned will be used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average.

Prerequisites and Co-requisites

Certain classes may have prerequisite coursework assigned to them to ensure adequate preparation for the material to be presented. Other courses may have a co-requisite course assigned which is a course that must be taken concurrently or at the same time as the selected course.  Students who opt to pursue registration in a course without prior completion of the prerequisites or without registering for the specified co-requisite course must complete a Course Prerequisite/Co-Requisite Waiver Request Form. These requests require the review and approval of the Academic Advisor, Program Coordinator, and Dean.

Some classes require state and/or federal clearances in order to register. These classes typically include experiences with children, clients, or observational tasks within the workplace. Refer to the course description section of the College Catalog or specific course prerequisite/co-requisite requirements.

Act 34 Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance

The received official document should read that “No record exist in the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s statewide Central Registry …” or the existing record must comply with section E of the ACT 34 of 1985 Background Clearance Procedures as amended.

NOTE: Additional information concerning clearances referring to teaching in Pennsylvania can be found at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/background_checks_%28act_114%29/7493.

Act 114 FBI Fingerprint Clearance

The received official document should read that the subject has “No record” or the existing record must comply with section E of the ACT 34 of 1985 Background Clearance Procedures 24 PS 1-111 as amended.

NOTE: Additional information concerning clearances referring to teaching in Pennsylvania can be found at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/background_checks_%28act_114%29/7493.

Act 151 Pennsylvania Criminal Record Check

The received official document should read that “… has no criminal record in Pennsylvania based on a check based on the above identifiers - refer to control …” or the existing record must comply with section E of the ACT 34 of 1985 Background Clearance Procedures 24 PS 1-111 as amended.

NOTE: Additional information concerning clearances referring to teaching in Pennsylvania can be found at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/background_checks_%28act_114%29/7493.

Course Audit

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College seeks to encourage students and members of the general public to see learning as a life-long endeavor. Participation in continuing education can enrich the lives of young and old alike by opening opportunities to develop new friendships, new perspectives, and new skills.

Auditing a course is just one of the many ways individuals can participate in continuing education at Pennsylvania Highlands. Course auditors do not receive a grade or credit for the class and the level of participation such as completion of exams, papers, projects, etc. is usually negotiated between the student and the instructor.

Those wishing to audit a course must complete and return a Request Petition to Audit Form to the Registrar’s Office. This form must be submitted prior to the end of the Add/Drop period of the semester. Once the form has been submitted and processed, audit status cannot be changed. Permission to audit will only be granted if there are seats available in the course. Audit students will be on Stand-by Status until the end of the Add/Drop Period. Once the Add/Drop period is over and seats are available the audit student’s status will be finalized.

Course Audit Cost: If space is available, individuals may audit a class by enrolling in for-credit courses. Individuals who audit classes will receive a tuition discount. Please refer to the website for the most current tuition and fee information. 

Senior Citizen Course Audit Cost: If space is available, Pennsylvania residents who are 62 years or older may audit for-credit courses at a reduced rate. Please refer to the website for the most current tuition and fee information. 

Maximum Course Load for Students

Pennsylvania Highlands has established maximum credit loads for our degree-seeking students based on semester length. For 15-week terms, students are permitted to register for up to 18 credits. For shorter terms the maximums are as follows: 12 credits for 12-week terms, 9 credits for 7-week and 6-week terms, 6 credits for terms shorter than 6 weeks. For non-degree-seeking students, the maximum credit load is 11 credits, or part-time status, for 15-week terms. These maximums were created to provide the best opportunity for students to achieve academic success. Students who wish to register for credits above the maximums established are required to obtain approval from an academic advisor and the Vice President of Academic Affairs by completing the Academic Overload Request Form available by contacting the Registrar’s Office.

Freshman / Sophomore Student Designations

Students who have successfully completed 1 to 24 credits are considered to be freshmen-level. Students who have successfully completed 25 or more credits are considered to be sophomore-level.

Course Cancellation

The College plans to offer all courses as advertised in the Course Schedule. In the event that a course must be cancelled, each student registered will be notified. Students will be encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to enroll in an alternative course which will meet graduation requirements. The College does not guarantee the availability of an alternative course solely on the basis of individual convenience or preference.

Act 48 Continuing Professional Education

Pennsylvania Highlands is an approved provider for Act 48 courses/training in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The College is fully accredited and offer a wide variety of course selections to suit all educators. The College’s flexible schedule and affordable tuition make Pennsylvania Highlands a popular choice for needed credits.

Educators wishing to take Pennsylvania Highlands courses for Act 48 credit should review all course selections with their appropriate administrators prior to enrolling. Educators must work with their sponsoring school district or IU for logging course activity with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Once educators complete coursework, an official transcript can be obtained for documentation purposes through the Registrars’ Office. It is strongly recommended that the educator obtain prior approval from his or her sponsoring school district or IU prior to enrolling in courses to be applied toward Act 48 requirements.

Withdrawal Process

Students who wish to withdraw from a course after the end of the Add/Drop period but before the deadline for a student-initiated withdrawal, must complete a Course Withdrawal Form. In no case should a student rely on a verbal statement as evidence of withdrawal. Official withdrawal requires the student’s signature in consultation with an academic advisor and the Student Financial Services Office. The completed Course Withdrawal Form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office with all required signatures prior to the deadline specified in the College’s academic calendar. Non-attendance does not constitute official withdrawal.  A “W” grade will be assigned for the withdrawn courses. 

  • A student who withdraws from a class after the Add/Drop period or before the end of the 8th week of a 15-week semester; 6th week of a 12-week semester; 4th week of a 7-week semester; 3rd week of a 5-week semester; 8th day of a 3-week semester; 3rd day of a 1-week semester, will receive a “W” for the final grade.
  • A student is not permitted to withdraw from a class after the 8th week of a 15-week semester; 6th week of a 12-week semester; 4th week of a 7-week semester; 3rd week of a 5-week semester; 8th day of a 3-week semester; 3rd day of a 1-week semester, and will receive a final grade as assigned by the instructor.

Total Semester Withdrawal

Students who wish to withdraw from all courses after the Add/Drop period of the semester but before the deadline for student-initiated withdrawal must complete and sign a Total Semester Withdrawal Form in consultation with the academic advisor, Student Financial Services Office, and Registrar’s Office. A “W” grade will be assigned for the withdrawn courses. 

Students who are not physically capable of completing the Total Semester Withdrawal Form may withdrawal by contacting the Dean of Enrollment and Registrar who will then complete the withdrawal form on the student’s behalf.

Involuntary Withdrawal

The College reserves the right to cancel a student’s registration at any time for just cause, whether financial, academic, or disciplinary. Eligibility for refund of tuition and fees will be determined by the tuition refund policy.

Medical/Emergency Withdrawal

Students who experience serious medical or emergency issues following the deadline for student-initiated withdrawal may request a medical/emergency withdrawal. Medical/Emergency Withdrawal Request forms may be obtained by contacting the Registrar’s Office. Completed forms must be submitted with proper documentation and must be received prior to the end of the semester. Dates provided on medical or emergency documentation and the date of the request submission will be considered when evaluating Medical/Emergency Withdrawal Requests. Prior to returning to the College after an approved Medical/Emergency Withdrawal, a student must meet with and receive approval from the Dean of Enrollment and Registrar.

In order to be considered for a medical/emergency withdrawal, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Student must be passing the current semester courses with regular class attendance at the time of the medical/emergency concern or intervention.
  • Student must provide a written summary of the medical/emergency circumstances which are preventing the completion of the semester accompanied by appropriate documentation of support from a heath care provider, case worker, social worker, or counselor if warranted.

A “W” grade will be assigned for the withdrawn courses.

Residency Policy

Tuition rates at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College are established by a student’s residency. To qualify, for tuition purposes, as a resident of Cambria County or the State of Pennsylvania, legal domicile must have been maintained for a period not less than twelve months prior to the first regularly scheduled class for the semester.

  • A student must reside in Cambria County for one year to qualify for the Sponsored tuition rate.
  • A student must reside in the State of Pennsylvania for one year to qualify for the In-State tuition rate.
  • A minor under the age of 18 shall be presumed to have the domicile of the parents or guardian.
  • Persons on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces and stationed in Cambria County are considered Cambria County residents. Persons on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces, stationed in other parts of the country or world, who maintain their legal residence as Cambria County, are considered Cambria County residents.

Reclassification of Residency

Prior to or at the time of registration, a student whose tuition would be affected by a change in residency must present proof of their physical residence. Proof of residency must be submitted to the Dean of Enrollment Services and Registrar before the start of the semester.

Tuition rates start the first day of the semester. Tuition rates may change if false information is given or if information is entered incorrectly in the College database.

Any student who changes residence during a semester will not have his/her tuition adjusted during the semester, but may be subject to such adjustments during following semesters.

To Prove Residency a Student Must Provide One of the Following:

Students may provide the following official documents in order to validate the legal home permanent address. The tuition code will be assigned based upon this documentation through the Registrar’s Office. Students must present documentation in one of the following manners:

  • In person to the Admissions Office at any College location
  • Via mail, email, or fax of electronic or paper copy to the Admissions Office of any College location
  • Directly to the Registrar’s Office if the student has already been accepted by the College and/or registered for courses

All documentation must be submitted as part of the student record to the Registrar’s Office for inclusion in the student’s permanent record.

  • Current Pennsylvania driver’s license or state ID with an issue date of at least 12 months prior to the beginning of the semester.
  • Final High School transcript (issued within the last year)
  • Utility bills such as electric, telephone, water, sewer or other bills related to property residence confirming legal resident from at least 12 months prior to the beginning of the semester.
  • Personal or real-estate tax receipts inclusive of at least 12 months prior to the beginning of the semester and documenting the student’s name, address, county and/or school district.
  • Other legal document indicating permanent residence including a deed or lease, vehicle registration, voter registration or pay stub issued at least 12 months prior to the beginning of the semester.

The College reserves the right to challenge a student’s residence at any time if there is reason to suspect the student’s address is incorrect. Any false statements or records concerning residency may result in additional tuition charges.

Penalties for Misrepresenting Residency

  • A student’s account will be adjusted and the student will be required to pay the corrected amount.
  • If the student fails to pay the corrected amount of tuition, the student will be prohibited from registering for future classes until the amount due is paid.
  • No release of grades, transcripts, degrees, diplomas, or certificates, will occur until the student’s account is paid in full.
  • The student may be referred to the legal system for fraud, which is a felony punishable in criminal court under Pennsylvania Law.

Student Records and Privacy

Change of Major

Students who wish to change their major must complete a Change of Major Form. A change of major may require a change in the assigned academic advisor. This form may be obtained in the Registrar’s Office or via the myPEAK portal.

Change of Address

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the College of changes in residency or contact information. The student must notify the Registrar’s Office of any changes by updating their information on the myPEAK portal or by submitting a completed Change of Student Information Form.

Verification of Enrollment

Currently enrolled students may obtain verification of their enrollment status via the National Student Clearinghouse self-service portal located on  myPEAK. Enrollment verification is available two weeks prior to the start of each semester.

Grade Reports

At the end of each semester, students may view their grades via the myPEAK portal. Students with an outstanding financial obligation will not have access to their grades until the obligation has been satisfied through the Student Accounts Office. Mid-term grades are assigned each term at the mid-point of the semester. Students may access their mid-term grades via the myPEAK portal.


The College will provide official transcripts of students’ academic records upon the written request of the student.  All official transcripts will be delivered directly to the recipient. Any copies of transcripts hand-delivered by the student will be considered unofficial copies.

The College provides two options for requesting a transcript. Transcripts can be ordered and sent electronically through the College’s website via Parchment for a per transcript charge payable to Parchment. Alternatively, students may obtain a paper transcript free of charge by completing a Transcript Request Form available online at www.pennhighlands.edu or at the Registrar’s Office. Telephone requests will not be honored. Official transcripts will be mailed directly to the recipient indicated on the form. Unofficial transcripts may be obtained via the myPEAK portal.

Privacy Act and Student Records

Records Policy

At the postsecondary level, FERPA rights have transferred to the student. Education  information may be released to parents without a signed consent from the student under the following conditions: (1) Health or safety emergency, (2) where the student has been found in violation of the institution’s code of conduct relating to the use of alcohol or a controlled substance if the student is under the age of 21, or (3) by submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent student on their most recent Federal Income Tax form.

If these conditions are not in place, then the student must consent to release educational information to his or her parents in writing by completing the Release of Student Information form available through the Registrar’s Office.

Official student records are established and maintained in a number of administrative offices for a variety of legitimate educational purposes. All records kept concerning students, including those records originating at other colleges or universities, those records required for admission or transfer credit evaluation or those documents supporting student course waivers, are the property of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act provides students with certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a written request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar’s Office written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Proper identification must be presented by the student prior to the inspection of records. The Registrar will remain present while the student reviews his or her education record. If the Registrar’s Office does not maintain the records that are requested, the Registrar shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part(s) of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to an appeal process regarding the request for amendment.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, support staff position or Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Pennsylvania Highlands Community College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave SW Washington, DC 20202-4605


Public Information Regarding Students

The College has designated the following student information as public or “Directory Information”. Such information may be disclosed by the College at its discretion to individuals, agencies, and institutions for purposes relating to activities approved by and associated with Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. This information may be released without the prior consent of a student.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Program of Study
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Degree and awards received
  • Participation in officially recognized sports and activities

Currently enrolled students have the right to withhold disclosure of all (not partial) categories of public information. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the second week for the semester or summer session in which the withholding of Directory Information is to take effect. Students are cautioned that withholding information can have adverse consequences when we are unable to verify attendance or degrees to agencies, insurance companies, or prospective employers. Former students and alumni are not covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Therefore, the College is not obligated to honor.

Veteran and Military Services

Military Tuition

Active duty military personnel and their authorized family members will receive Cambria County Resident tuition rates. To qualify for these tuition rates, the student must submit a copy of appropriate military orders and a Verification of U.S. Armed Forces Assignment Form to both the VA Certifying Representative located in the Financial Aid Office and the Registrar’s Office.

Military Leave

A student who is called to active duty during the semester and provides a copy of appropriate military orders may choose one of the following options:

  • A student may choose to totally withdraw from all of his/her classes and receive a full refund for tuition and fees. This option requires that the student withdraw from every course and receive no grade for any course taken during the semester. Moreover, a designation of Military Leave will be added to the official transcript for the student indicating deployment.  Any student who has elected to use this option may be readmitted for the next semester in which the student wishes to return. The student’s academic standing at the time of readmission shall remain as it was prior to the call to active military duty.
  • If a substantial part of the semester has been completed by the student and the student is called for active military duty, the student may meet with each instructor to determine an appropriate course of action. An incomplete grade may be assigned with an extended time period for completion.

Military Student Registration

Act 46 of 2014 requires public institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania to provide veteran students, as defined in the Act, with preference in course scheduling. Non-compliance may be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Education by submitting the Higher Education Student Complaint form found at www.education.state.pa.us.

In accordance with this legislation, Pennsylvania Highlands offers its veteran students the opportunity to register before priority registration opens.  Veteran students will receive an emailed notification each semester which will provide the early registration date, times and instructions. In order to register Veteran students must:

  • Identify himself or herself as a veteran student per the definition noted below.
  • Meet with his or her academic advisor to gain clearance for registration.
  • Complete a Registration Form noting the selected courses for the appropriate semester.
  • Submit the completed Registration Form to the Registrar’s Office on the day of, or prior to, the early registration period. Forms can be submitted by fax, scanned email, postal service, or dropped off at the Registrar’s Office at the Richland Campus.

For assistance or for more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office directly at 814.262.6439.

The College defines a “veteran student” as an individual who:

  • has served in the United States Armed Forces, including a reserve component and National Guard, and was discharged or released from such service under conditions other than dishonorable;
  • has been admitted to a public institution of higher education in Pennsylvania; and
  • resides in Pennsylvania while enrolled in the public institution of higher education.

Students who are veteran students and do not already have their military status coded in the system will need to provide a DD214 or other appropriate documentation to the Registrar’s Office to have their military status updated. Currently serving members will need to submit a copy of active duty orders.

Military Student Point of Contact

Pennsylvania Highlands’ military students are encouraged to contact the following individual for service information, helpful referrals, and financial assistance counseling: Mary Hattaway, Assistant Director of Student Financial Services​, 101 Community College Way, Johnstown, PA 15904, 814.262.6454, mhatt@pennhighlands.edu.

Student Grievance Process for Non-Academic Matters

The student grievance process is available to students who have concerns regarding non-academic matters such as violations of College policy not related to Code of Conduct violations (transportation policy, admissions, facility use). If a resolution cannot be achieved or differences have not been resolved through discussion with the involved college representative and the student seeks additional mediation, the student may initiate a formal grievance process.

  1. Students must submit their complaint in writing to the Director of Student Activities and Athletics within 10 calendar days of the date in which the incident or the complaint occurred. In the written complaint, the student will describe his or her concerns, the events that led to those concerns, and what the student seeks as a possible remedy.
  2. Upon receipt of the grievance the Director of Student Activities and Athletics will forward the grievance to the appropriate Director or Dean who will speak with the student and any other persons believed to be a part of the grievance in an effort to establish the facts surrounding the grievance. Within five business days of receiving the grievance for review and following a thorough review of the grievance, the Director/Dean will provide the student with information regarding the results of the review and inform the student of any action to be taken to remedy the situation and a timeframe in which this remedy will occur.
  3. If no amicable solution can be reached by the Director/Dean and the student, the Director of Student Activities and Athletics will convene the Student Grievance Committee. The Student Grievance Committee will review the written grievance provided by the student, all documentation associated with the Director/Deans review of the grievance and any recommended remedies. Upon review of these documents, the Student Grievance Committee will render a written recommendation and will notify the student of this recommendation within 5 business days.


An appeal to review a decision of the Student Grievance Committee will be granted if and only if one or more of the three situations below are met:

  • That a procedural error occurred during the process (someone involved that should not have been, a timeline not met, substantiated bias)
  • New evidence that was previously unknown or unavailable
  • Remedies that impose undue hardship on the parties involved.

Students who wish to appeal a decision made by the Student Grievance Committee must submit a request for appeal letter to the Vice President of Student Services within five business days of the decision of the Student Grievance Committee. This appeal letter must specify which circumstances listed above are the basis for the appeal. All appeals will be reviewed and ruled upon within five business days.

Within 5 working days of receipt of the student appeal the Vice President of Student Services will issue a decision regarding the appeal. This decision will either uphold the decision of the Student Grievance Committee or will issue other remedies. This decision will be given in writing to the student, and the decision of the Vice President of Student Services is final.

Student Grievance Committee

The Student Grievance Committee will consist of three Director/Dean level administrators from within the Student Services Division. Any Director/Dean that is named in a grievance is not eligible to serve on the Student Grievance Committee for that particular grievance.