Dec 12, 2019  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Academic Catalog

Liberal Arts & Sciences (A.A.)


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A.A. Degree

Program Description

Liberal Arts & Sciences is a flexible program designed for those who plan to transfer to a four-year institution, who are looking for personal enrichment, or who are uncertain about their major area of study. With the careful guidance of an academic advisor, students can tailor their studies to best address their objectives.

The Liberal Arts & Sciences program offers maximum flexibility for students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution. The 30-credit general education core offers courses that transfer smoothly and seamlessly to Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities and other local colleges and universities.

The large number of open electives enables students to tailor their program to their individual needs and interests.

The degree also offers students the opportunity to explore the entire curriculum and discover a variety of possibilities for future careers.

Students can develop their creativity in literature and the arts, explore the potential of technology, expand awareness of global cultures and the human condition, enhance mathematical and scientific reasoning, and refine oral and written communication skills.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  • Effectively design a plan for successful transfer into the chosen four-year major and make an informed decision in order to choose a proper career path.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate and interact (both in writing and orally) with a diverse population.
  • Apply skills to solve basic technical and mathematical problems.
  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation for the creative process in art, music, literature, and/or language.

Obtaining the Degree

To earn the Associate of Liberal Arts & Sciences Degree, the student must:

  • Matriculate into the program.
  • Satisfactorily complete all degree requirements, including General Education and Major Requirements of the degree.

Liberal Arts & Sciences (A.A.): Concentration Pathways (Optional)

Students may choose to pursue a concentration pathway within the Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree. Pathway courses are taken as part of the open elective course requirements of the degree. Successful completion of a pathway will be indicated on the student transcript as a Concentration in the selected path. Please note that Pathway Electives cannot be used to satisfy General Education Requirements. The following Concentration Pathways are available:

Liberal Arts & Sciences (A.A.): Biology Concentration Pathways

Successful completion of one of the Biology Concentration Pathways will be indicated on the student transcript as a Concentration in Biology. Click on the indicated Pathways below to view the Recommended Sequence of Courses.

  • Biology: Education  (The courses included in this concentration pathway allow for successful transition to a Secondary Education - Biology program at a Bachelor’s degree granting institution.)
  • Biology: Pre-Professional  (The courses included in this concentration pathway enables student to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in pre-professional studies such as physician’s assistant, pre-physical therapy, pre-dental, pre-occupational therapy, etc.)
  • Biology: Science  (The courses included in this concentration pathway allow for successful transition to a Bachelor’s degree in biology, general science, environmental science, or other biology-related fields.)

Liberal Arts & Sciences (A.A.): Chemistry Concentration Pathways

Successful completion of one of the Chemistry Concentration Pathways will be indicated on the student transcript as a Concentration in Chemistry. Click on the indicated Pathways below to view the Recommended Sequence of Courses.

  • Chemistry: Education  ​(The courses included in this concentration pathway allow for successful transition to a Secondary Education - Chemistry program at a Bachelor’s degree granting institution.)

  • Chemistry: Science  (The courses included in this concentration pathway allow for successful transition to a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, general science, or other chemistry-related fields.)

Liberal Arts & Sciences (A.A.): Communication Concentration Pathway

Successful completion of this pathway will be indicated on the student transcript as a Concentration in Communication. Students should work with the program advisor to develop the Recommended Sequence of Courses.

  • Communication  (Completion of this concentration pathway allows students to successfully transfer to a Bachelor’s degree in communication-related fields such as communication, marketing, public relations, or media studies to name a few.)

Liberal Arts & Sciences (A.A.): English Concentration Pathway

Successful completion of this pathway will be indicated on the student transcript as a Concentration in English. Students should work with the program advisor to develop the Recommended Sequence of Courses.

  • English  (Completion of this concentration pathway allows for seamless transfer into a Bachelor’s degree in English, professional writing, or other literature or humanities-focused program.)

Liberal Arts & Sciences (A.A.): History Concentration Pathway

Successful completion of the History Concentration Pathway will be indicated on the student transcript as a Concentration in History. Click on the indicated Pathway below to view the Recommended Sequence of Courses.

  • History  (Completion of this concentration pathway allows for seamless transfer into a Bachelor’s degree in History, Secondary education - History program, historical research, or other history-related programs.)

General Education Requirements


Recommended Sequence of Courses


Total Credits (16/17)


Semester II


Total Credits (15)


Semester III


  • Elective - Humanities or Social Science
  • Elective - Social Science (Track 2)
  • Elective - Science (4-credit lab science or 3-credit natural science course suitable for transfer)
  • Elective - Open
  • Elective - Open

Total Credits (15/16)


Semester IV


  • Elective - Humanities (Track 1 or 2)
  • Elective - Open
  • Elective - Open
  • Elective - Open
  • Elective - Open

Total Credits (15)


Minimum credits to earn A.A. Degree: 61-64


Note: Students are responsible for determining the transferability of courses to a particular program at another institution.

Liberal Arts & Sciences (A.A.): Nanotechnology Option


Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering.  To learn more about nanotechnology, visit http://www.cneu.psu.edu/hmWhatIsNano.html.

Through our partnership with the NACK (Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge) Network and Penn State University Nanotechnology, Penn Highlands is able to connect its students with coursework and careers in the growing field of nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able:

  • To demonstrate leadership skills based on a sense of professional and personal integrity, self-esteem, and willingness to receive and give constructive praise and criticism.
  • To apply information literacy skills.
  • To demonstrate strong communications and critical thinking skills, including reading, writing, organizing, evaluating, problem solving, editing, and presenting skills.
  • To demonstrate skills in mathematics and logic applied to technology.
  • Operate nanofabrication processing equipment with a focus on safety, environmental and health issues.
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the materials handling procedures related to advanced electronic and manufacturing technologies.
  • Identify material and physical hazards associated with basic semiconductor processing equipment.
  • Communicate advanced technical concepts in an oral, written, and graphical form.
  • Use the computer in reporting, analyzing, and researching technical information.
  • Provide an active problem-solving link between engineers and production personnel.
  • Record relevant information in a working lab notebook.
  • Identify industries using nanofabrication technology such as opto-electronics, biomedical, sensors, flat panel displays, information storage, micro-electromechanical devices, micro-fluidics, solar cells, and microelectronics.

Application Process

Eligibility Requirements for the program include:

  • Have a history of course completion.
  • Demonstrate maturity.
  • Have good interpersonal skills.
  • Have no history of disciplinary problems.
  • Work well with others.
  • Have shown a genuine interest in the NMT field and be registered as a nanofabrication student.
  • Complete the required prerequisites.
  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Obtain a recommendation from the program lead.

To be accepted into the PSU Nanotechnology capstone program, students must:

  • Contact the Office of Instruction at Penn Highlands for program application instructions and information at 814.262.6486.
  • Apply to Penn State and provide the necessary documentation, including a letter of reference.
  • If accepted, students must provide acceptance letter to the Registrar for course scheduling.
  • Pay the required tuition, fees, and materials for the program. Costs will include room and board for the semester at Penn State Main Campus, a program fee of $2,500, Penn Highlands’ tuition and fees, books, and materials.

Students may contact the Penn State University NMT program directly for more information and the application: Sue Barger, Administrative Support Coordinator, 814.865.9635, sbarger@engr.psu.edu.

Course Information

Students pursuing certification in Nanotechnology will complete the Liberal Arts and Science Degree and then enroll in the following courses offered through the Pennsylvania Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology (NMT) Partnership at Penn State University’s Main Campus.  Courses are offered in one 15-week semester at Penn State University in State College, PA.  Students must make arrangements to attend classes in State College, including room and board.

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