The Student Success Center, located in Richland, offers a range of support services to all Penn Highlands Centers, both virtually 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, text, 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, go to Transfer Opportunities.
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 at Articulation Agreements.
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 college-ready 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.
Students may qualify for a placement test waiver for one or more means: Waiver Options.
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. For more information, see Makeup Testing.
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. Click here for a list of accepted CLEP exams.
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. Free short-term, confidential, individual counseling is available to students. More information can be found here.
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 should contact the Disability Services Office.
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. Eligibility guidelines and services can be found here.
Students enrolled in credit courses are eligible to receive free tutoring. Peer and professional tutors provide in-person and virtual tutoring for English, math, and a variety of subjects when available. Tutoring options vary by location and are updated each semester.