News about College Transitions

STEM Careers Take Flight With SMART Girls

With the help of the Carnegie Science Center’s Mobile Fab Lab, Penn College’s SMART Girls program recently introduced 40 high schoolers to enriching careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The girls met the Quadcopter Challenge as they designed and built their own quadcopters to navigate an obstacle course. That process and related activities opened their eyes to vocational possibilities, flouting the “ridiculous” convention that young women lack the interest or ability to succeed in STEM fields. “If they just ignore those cultural norms of whatever they should be doing or anything like that, they are going to be doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is designing machinery, doing biomechanical engineering, doing mechanical engineering,” said Jon Doctorick, the mobile laboratory’s education coordinator.

Newswatch 16 Visits SMART Girls Showcase

WNEP on campus

Newswatch 16’s Kristina Papa stopped by the Penn College Field House for Friday’s SMART Girls Showcase, the culminating event of the Science and Math in Real-world Technologies summer program. Papa interviewed Tanya Berfield, manager of college transitions, and some of the campers, whose weeklong adventures included career exploration and a Quadcopter Challenge.

Cross-Campus Collaboration Infuses Hundreds of Visiting Pupils

Horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. guides Warrior Run fourth-graders in a sensory exploration of the ESC’s plant life.

Roy A. Fletcher, assistant professor of business administration/banking and finance, talks with Stock Market Challenge participants from area high schools about the future of artificial intelligence in accounting. The School of Business & Hospitality hosted the grand finale celebration for the Stock Market Challenge, an annual competition for Lycoming County high schools and middle schools that is sponsored by the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

Faculty members (and Penn College grads) Michael K. Patterson, welding lecturer, center, and Benjamin K. Myers, welding instructor, right, judge a competition among students enrolled in Penn College NOW welding courses. While their teachers attended professional development with Penn College faculty liaisons – a requirement to ensure that Penn College courses taught at high schools meet the same rigor as those taught on campus – the students showed their skill in shielded metal arc welding. Following the contest, they took part in a hands-on demonstration by Fronius USA, which has entrusted several pieces of equipment to the college.

In the closing weeks of the spring semester, the College Transitions Office and academic schools hosted more than half a dozen events for pupils in area elementary, middle and high schools. From a field trip for Warrior Run fourth-graders that spanned the main campus and Schneebeli Earth Science Center, to days set aside for students to visit the college labs that correspond with their Penn College NOW courses, hundreds of students received hands-on lessons in “degrees that work,” thanks to help from college faculty. Events for Penn College NOW students included a Horticulture Day, engineering design visit, Accounting Day, Web Page Design Day and Welding Day.

Faculty Open Middle Schoolers’ Eyes to Vocational Vistas

Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing, wraps up a session on additive manufacturing – explaining how the technology is changing the way we make and design products.

Middle schoolers had the run of campus on Monday, when they spent the day exploring “degrees that work” in all six of Penn College’s academic schools. Hosted by the College Transitions Office and guided by a multitude of Penn College faculty who provided 45-minute workshops and demonstrations, the students got a hands-on taste of the wide variety of careers they may choose to pursue.

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Last updated May 17, 2017 | Posted in College Transitions, Events, Faculty & Staff | This gallery contains 16 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Northern Tier Educators Hold Informative In-Service Day at College

Roy H. Klinger (right), instructor of collision repair, provides a hands-on lesson on the louver press, used to make hood vents.

Watson talks about motivating students by proving that the high school subjects they’re learning are important.

The president discusses hands-on education at Penn College, the role of industry partnerships, graduate placement rates, and the need to close the skills gap in many technology-related fields that lack qualified employees.

In the Machining Technologies Center, a group talks with a member of the Baja team, which is putting the final touches on the off-road vehicle it has manufactured from the ground up. The team will enter the first of two collegiate competitions in 18 days, he said.

Reed helps to lead a group discussion.

Seventy-two educators from the Northern Tioga School District spent their scheduled in-service day at Penn College on Friday. The College Transitions Office scheduled a full day of professional development for the group, including tours of the college’s six academic schools, a keynote by President Davie Jane Gilmour on applied technology in the 21st century, and a conversation about how the college and school district can work together to face the challenges in educating students, led by Paul R. Watson, dean of academic services and college transitions, and Michael J. Reed, dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications. The school district reached out to the college to arrange the professional development opportunity for its teachers, said Tanya Berfield, manager of college transitions. “They wanted to look beyond the Northern Tier and see what other postsecondary institutions they can be in collaboration with,” she said.

‘Superhero’ Alliance Spotlights Dual-Enrollment Triumph

Paul R. Watson II

The success of Penn College NOW, the program that allows high school students to earn college credits through dual enrollment, is noted in a recent national blog post. “The Penn College NOW program has measured dramatic increases in student enrollment and matriculation rates,” writes Samantha Yi, business development associate for Signal Vine LLC. “Since 2013, the program enrollment has increased more than threefold, from 352 in 2013-14 to 1,234 students in 2015-16. In the 2015-16 school year, 32.57 percent of program participants matriculated to the college.” Signal Vine, a text-based communications platform to help schools keep their students aware of important college-access tasks, gathered the information at a conference on “Introducing the College in High School Alliance: Effective Strategies to Support College Affordability and Completion Through Dual Enrollment, Concurrent Enrollment and Early College High Schools.” Paul R. Watson II, Penn College’s dean of academic services and college transitions, was among the panelists when the alliance was launched March 2 in Washington, D.C.

Statewide Presentations Champion Technical Dual Enrollment

Monica A. McCarty

A member of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s College Transitions staff recently co-presented sessions on dual enrollment at the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Conference on Integrated Learning and at the Pennsylvania Association of Career & Technical Administrators 27th Annual Education and Workforce Development Symposium.

At the gatherings, Monica A. McCarty, Penn College dual-enrollment specialist, joined Randy Zangara, career and technology education director for Williamsport Area High School, in presenting sessions titled “Dual Enrollment Partnerships: Technical coursework and a pathways approach.”

Through dual enrollment partnerships, high school students can take college courses, earning credit on both their high school and college transcripts.

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Campus Science Festival Entertains as It Inspires

Prospective members of Penn College's Class of 202? enjoy an educational day out of the classroom and onto an engaging campus.

More than 1,500 fifth-graders from nearly a dozen local and area school districts participated in Thursday’s sixth annual Science Festival at Penn College, gaining hands-on insight into a host of related careers. The youngsters were treated to a variety of captivating campus demonstrations during the day, and families were invited to a Field House full of attractions during the three-hour evening session.

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PPL Gift to Support Programs for High School Students

A $3,000 gift from PPL will help to support Pennsylvania College of Technology programs that provide innovative educational experiences to hundreds of Pennsylvania high school students.

The gift will benefit the college’s Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program and SMART Girls summer camp.

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Hands-On Experience Turns Chemistry Course Into Career Path

The Society of Plastics Engineers’ Eve Vitale shows an example of a thermoformed product.

Nicholas C. Moore, of Lock Haven, guides a group of students through the plastics and polymer technology department’s materials testing lab. Moore, who completed Penn College NOW courses in the Keystone Central School District, holds junior-level standing in his fourth semester in the plastics and polymer engineering technology major.

Students measure borax and a polymer used in white glue to form a thermoset compound.

Stirring a concoction, students observe an endothermic reaction as new chemical bonds form.

The result is a “slime” that, Vitale tells the students, was used in the filming of “Ghostbusters.”

Seventy Keystone Central School District chemistry students converged on Penn College on Tuesday to learn how their chemistry lessons apply to the field of plastics. During a four-hour stay on campus, they took part in a variety of plastics experiments courtesy of the Society of Plastics Engineers’ PlastiVan program. Under the instruction of SPE Foundation Director Eve Vitale, the students learned about the chemistry of plastics and future career options while they made several polymers of their own. The PlastiVan’s visit was sponsored by Sekisui SPI, of Bloomsburg. The program travels to schools and companies throughout North America, educating people of all ages about the chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, sustainability and application of plastics, all through hands-on experiences that spark scientific curiosity. In addition, the Keystone Central students took student-led tours of the college’s plastics and polymer laboratories and of the campus. More than half of the students in attendance are enrolled in Penn College’s Fundamentals of Chemistry course, taught during the school day by Keystone Central instructors through the Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program.

Families Invited for Night of Hands-On Science

Pennsylvania College of Technology physics professor David S. Richards uses visual aids to talk about past U.S. space missions during a previous Science Festival at the college.

Hands-on science fun is the focus of an evening designed for local families on Thursday, Feb. 16, in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Field House.

The college will team up with Lycoming College and the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce to offer the city’s sixth annual Science Festival from 5 to 8 p.m.

The event features hands-on activities geared toward elementary and middle school students and their families, presented by local businesses and organizations, including school and college-affiliated groups. The event is intended to make learning fun and to stimulate children’s interest in math, science and exciting careers in related fields.

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UGI’s $25,000 Gift Supports Programs for High Schoolers

Elizabeth A. Biddle, left, director of corporate relations for Penn College, accepts a gift of $25,000 from Ann Blaskiewicz, community relations manager north for UGI Utilities. The gift supports the college Penn College NOW and SMART Girls programs, both of which promote technology education for high school students.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is the recent recipient of a $25,000 gift from UGI Utilities Inc. that will benefit innovative programs that serve hundreds of high school students.

The donation will help to support the college’s Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program and its SMART Girls summer camp.

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First National Bank Gives $10,000 to Programs for High Schoolers

Representatives of First National Bank present a $10,000 gift that will support two innovative educational programs offered by Penn College for high school students. From left are FNB’s Don Breon, assistant vice president/treasury management; Dan Hooper, market manager/vice president; and Peter Bower, team leader/vice president; with Elizabeth A. Biddle, the college’s director of corporate relations.

First National Bank representatives recently delivered a $10,000 gift to Pennsylvania College of Technology to help support its SMART Girls and Penn College NOW programs, innovative offerings that benefit hundreds of high schoolers.

SMART Girls is a summer camp on the Penn College campus for girls in grades nine to 11. “SMART” stands for Science and Math Applications in Real-World Technologies. At the camp, girls experience math and science as a foundation for careers in technology. During the 2016 event, the girls explored entrepreneurship, innovation and digital fabrication as they designed a business plan, a 3-D printed product and marketing materials.

Penn College NOW is the college’s nationally accredited dual-enrollment program. It enables academically qualified high school students to earn college credit through courses taught by Penn College-approved teachers at their high school or career and technology center. Forty-two such schools participate in Penn College NOW.

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Stabler Foundation Delivers Additional Scholarship Support

An endowment established in 2015 at Pennsylvania College of Technology with a $530,000 grant from The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation of Harrisburg is receiving an additional $540,000 in support from the foundation.

The $540,000 will support scholarships for students in the Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program who matriculate to Penn College as full-time students.

Penn College NOW is a nationally accredited dual-enrollment program. Penn College courses are taught by approved teachers at high schools and career and technology centers. There is no tuition cost to the participating students, and the program currently works with 42 partners across Pennsylvania.

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Series Acclimates Transfer Students to Penn College

Jennifer I. Watson, coordinator of transfer initiatives, engages her audience at Tuesday's session.

Students gather in the Thompson Professional Development Center along with presenters (from left at rear) Sal Vitko and Allison A. Bressler, assistant directors of student activities, and Watson.

Tabletop questions offer a steppingstone to participation.

Paul R. Watson II, dean of academic services and college transitions, offers a word to the "whys" of policies and procedures.

Newly enrolled transfer students benefited this week from the first session in the “Transfer Transitions: Staying Connected” program being held this semester. When students transfer to Penn College with more than 15 credits, they are exempt from First Year Experience classes and miss out on valuable information about specific institutional processes. The series helps transfer students to network with one another, and to connect with campus resources and personnel to aid their success. Topics during the 90-minute presentation were campus involvement, Penn College procedures and policies (such as fairness and academic dishonesty), midterm grades and reports, scheduling and advising weeks, and career options and networking. Other sessions are scheduled for March 16 and April 18.
Photos by Grace F. Clark, student photographer