The Student Success Center at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College offers a variety of services that can contribute to your success in college. Services provided include workshops, providing special accommodations for students with disabilities, career services and personal counseling.
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 materially limit one or more of a person’s major life activities 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 who wish to request accommodations must visit the Counselor/ADA Specialist whose office is located within the Student Success Center. Students are required to fill out a form only viewed by the Counselor/ADA Specialist which describes the disability and how it will affect the student’s major life activities as relevant to Pennsylvania Highlands Community College programs. In addition, the student must include on this form the accommodations they are requesting from the College. A student requesting accommodation is required to provide current acceptable documentation at his/her expense. The documentation must be authored by objective professionals qualified to diagnose the disability for which the accommodation is requested. This documentation must verify the nature and extent of the disability, and manner in which the disability limits major life activities relevant to the student’s participation in coursework at Pennsylvania Highlands.
All documentation is required to be submitted a minimum of two weeks prior to the start of the semester. This period is required for the Counselor/ADA Specialist to conduct a thorough review and arrange any accommodations which will be provided. 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.
Documentation provided by a student does not become part of a student’s academic transcript or permanent record. The documentation of this disability furnished by the student is kept confidential and only shared with College personnel directly involved in the coordination and facilitation of the accommodations except as otherwise required by law or by a health or safety issue.
Disclosing a Disability
Students are under no obligation to disclose their disability unless they wish to request an accommodation.
- Prepared by an objective professional qualified in the diagnosis of such conditions.
- Include information regarding testing procedures followed, instruments used for the assessment of the disability, test results, and written interpretation of these results as they pertain to an educational environment and/or participation in the College’s Programs.
- Reflect the individual’s present level of functioning in the areas related to the particular accommodations request.
- Prepared no more than three years prior to the initial request for accommodation.
- Educational records from one’s high school must be provided as additional verification.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College provides reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, and support services for students with documented disabilities that are based upon the student’s disability documentation and functional limitations.
Some services which may be provided based on functional limitations include:
- Exam accommodations including extended time and use of adaptive technology.
- Alternate media including texts on tape/CD.
- Access to class notes.
- Access to TTY equipment and Victor Vibe Readers.
- Assistive technology including the following programs: Kurzweil and Dragon Naturally Speaking.
- Disability counseling.
- Adaptive furniture.
Once all the documentation has been approved and an accommodation plan has been established the student is responsible for three items:
(1) regular communication with faculty, (2) regular meetings with faculty and designated staff to facilitate proper implementation of the plan, and (3) regular conferences with faculty and the Counselor/ADA Specialist to monitor the effectiveness of the accommodations.
Note Taker/Scribe Services
Note-takers from among other students enrolled in a course will be sought to assist students with motor, hearing, processing, or other disabilities. The services are determined by the Counselor/ADA Specialist and is done all in confidentiality.
Reader Services will be provided for students with reading, visual, visual processing, or other disabilities, when deemed a reasonable accommodation. Textbooks on tape, when available, will be supplied from national tape lending libraries. When appropriate, students will be provided with readers for exams. Exam readers must be requested at least three days in advance.
Requests for extended time on exams and assignments are evaluated on a case by case basis. Students must work with the Counselor/ADA Specialist to schedule test arrangements.
Assessment and Testing
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.
COMPASS placement testing is a requirement for all matriculated students, whether they are full or part-time. The COMPASS test is also required for non-matriculated students planning to enroll in an English or mathematics course and is strongly encouraged for non-matriculated students planning to complete multiple courses during a semester.
In order to register for a college level course in mathematics or English, students must achieve a satisfactory score in the discipline area. Those students who score below satisfactory must enroll in developmental courses in mathematics, English or reading. Transfer students will not be required to take the COMPASS test, if proficiency is documented by official transcripts.
Students are encouraged to prepare for placement testing by reviewing sample COMPASS questions at www.act.org/compass.
Course Make-Up Testing
Make-up tests are administered in the Student Success Center. To take a make-up test, you must show the Student Success Center monitor a valid Pennsylvania Highlands student ID. You must be able to provide the instructor’s name and course section to be given a make-up test.
Academic advisors are available to assist students in setting goals, planning their education, and making sound decisions about course scheduling, while providing important contact with faculty and staff members. Throughout their enrollment in the College, students have a continuing responsibility to meet and have dialogue with an academic advisor. Newly accepted students are advised in the Student Success Center, then they are assigned a faculty advisor during their first semester.
Advising worksheets are available for all matriculated students. The advising worksheet is a tool that outlines the coursework for completing program requirements. Copies of the advising worksheet are available from advisors or in the Student Success Center.
Credits earned at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College may be transferred to many four-year institutions. Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has agreements with schools that accept our credits in a variety of ways. Some schools accept the entire Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science degree to place the student in junior year classes within the same program of study. Other schools choose to view each course separately for evaluation of the transfer of credits.
Students are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor during their first semester or as soon as they begin to consider transfer. It is in each student’s best interest to work with Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and the institution to which they intend to transfer early and in tandem to ensure a successful transition. Each student is responsible for obtaining information about the intended major from the college or university one plans to attend. Using this information available, the academic advisor will be able to guide the student to a more effective academic plan while at Pennsylvania Highlands.
Students should direct questions or concerns about transferring to the Student Success Center. While walk-ins are welcome, it is advisable to make an appointment. Planned meetings increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the service requested.
Pennsylvania’s community colleges and the universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) have adopted mandatory equivalency standards for the purpose of creating at least 30 credits of foundation courses that can be easily transferred between any of the participating institutions. Several private colleges and universities and state related institutions also participate in this program.
The Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center (PA TRAC) web site was created to provide information for transfer students and their advisors. The site includes information about transfer course equivalencies, college profiles for participating institutions, searchable databases, and transfer guidance.
For additional information, please visit the web site at www.patrac.org.
Career counseling is available in the Student Success Center to help undecided students choose a career path. Through testing and meetings with a counselor, students may select courses of study that lead to employment in fields compatible with their interests and abilities. Assistance with cover letters, resume writing, and interviewing is also available. Local job vacancies are posted in the Student Success Center, and students are welcome to drop in to check the listings. Students are encouraged to submit a resume for Student Success Center files during their last semester at Pennsylvania Highlands if they wish to be contacted about employment opportunities for graduates. Contact the Career Counselor in the Student Success Center for additional information.
Personal counseling is available for students with various problems that affect their academic pursuits. Students experiencing general stress, family problems, interpersonal conflict, or illness may benefit from consulting a counselor. Students are referred to resources in the community for intensive or on-going support. For additional information regarding counseling services or to schedule an appointment please contact the Student Success Center.