News about College Transitions

Administrator to Present at PDE Workshop on Student Retention

Paul R. Watson II

Paul R. Watson II, dean of academic success at Pennsylvania College of Technology, has been asked to speak at a Pennsylvania Department of Education workshop about best practices for a performance indicator related to student retention or transfer.

Watson will present at the Perkins Central Workshop, to be held April 11 in Harrisburg. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 was enacted to enhance the skills of secondary and postsecondary education students nationwide who enroll in career and technical education programs.

In his presentation, Watson will focus on Perkins performance indicator 3P1, which involves student retention and transfer. Penn College exceeded the statewide performance for the indicator.

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Scientific Success STEMs From Childhood

"SolarQuest" brings our favorite life-sustaining fireball down to Earth.

The pre-spring thaw – 50-plus degrees in the middle of February – sent a veritable Fountain of Youth flowing through campus, as a series of events introduced area girls and boys to a variety of exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math activities. On Feb. 15, a Science Festival was held in Bardo Gym and the Field House; two days later, Girl Scouts gathered for a STEM event that included video-game design, and Boy Scouts attended a third annual Merit Badge College across campus.

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Feb. 15 Festival to Excite Young Minds About Science, Careers

A Science Festival, featuring fun, hands-on activities geared to elementary- and middle-school students and their families, is slated for Thursday, Feb 15, in the Pennsylvania College of Technology Field House.

The event, scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m., is offered free to the community by Penn College and the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

The Field House will be filled with hands-on activities presented by local organizations that include businesses, high school students, college faculty and students, the Society of Plastics Engineers’ PlastiVan, and the Carnegie Science Center, of Pittsburgh. 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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First National Bank Gift Supports SMART Girls, Penn College NOW

First National Bank recently provided a gift supporting two Penn College educational programs that serve high school students. From left are Don Breon, assistant vice president/treasury management; Daniel Hooper, vice president/ market manager; and Craig Muthler, senior vice president/commercial banking. From the college are Kyle Smith, executive director of the Penn College Foundation, and Tanya Berfield, manager of college transitions.

Two educational programs that serve high school students will benefit from a recent gift from First National Bank to Pennsylvania College of Technology.

First National Bank representatives recently delivered a $10,000 gift that will help support the college’s SMART Girls and Penn College NOW programs. The contribution was made through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

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Thirteen Students Selected for Penn College NOW Scholarships

Penn College presented scholarships to 13 first-year students who took Penn College NOW courses. From left are Tavor T. Wadsworth, of Williamsport; Vincent R. Keene, of Downingtown; Kayley E. Johnson, of Bloomsburg; Monica A. McCarty, Penn College’s dual enrollment specialist; Michael L. Gardner, of Williamsport; Warren E. Knipe, of Liberty; and Tanya Berfield, the college’s manager of college transitions. Additional recipients not in the photo are: Cheyenne N. Greene, of Jersey Shore; Deontae Z. Johnson, of Selinsgrove; Kylee E. Kelley, of Lock Haven; Tyler W. Miller, of Montgomery; Luke B. Walter, of Millmont; Brittany M. Weiskopff, of Blossburg; Clayton T. Welch, of Benton; and Jeremy M. Wolfgang, of Allenwood.

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently recognized 13 first-year students who received Penn College NOW scholarships.

The recipients completed Penn College courses during high school as part of the college’s Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program. The group was honored during an Oct. 27 reception.

To be eligible, students must have successfully completed at least one Penn College NOW course, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Penn College NOW classes, enroll in Penn College as a full-time freshman student for the fall semester after high school graduation, and maintain a 2.5 GPA at Penn College as an enrolled student.

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Administrator Named to Board of National Dual Enrollment Accreditor

Paul R. Watson II

Paul R. Watson II, dean of academic services and college transitions at Pennsylvania College of Technology, has been named to the board of directors of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.

Watson will chair the Governmental Relations Committee for the board. In that capacity, he will be responsible for developing and maintaining a positive image for concurrent enrollment programs and working to strengthen communication with policymaking federal and state governmental agencies.

NACEP, the sole accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnerships, works to ensure that college courses offered by high school teachers are as rigorous as courses offered on the sponsoring college campus, sharing the latest knowledge about best practices, research and advocacy.

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‘Career Day’ Opens Doors of Exploration for Curious Teens

Automated manufacturing technology student Aren T. Way (right) of Jersey Shore, demonstrates an industrial-scale robot during a session on “Industrial Robotics, Hydraulics and Pneumatics, and CNC Machine Tools.”

More than 900 high schoolers, hailing from 28 school districts, spent Thursday on campus for the College Transitions Office’s Career Day. Faculty and students from all six of the college’s academic schools and all three campuses spent their Fall Break day off providing close to 50 career-exploration sessions for the visitors, exposing them to dozens of the college’s “degrees that work” offerings. A few of the districts traveled as much as two hours to attend. Among the highlights was a half-day session by the Penn College accounting, finance and business administration departments and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants that featured not only information about Penn College’s technology-laden degrees, but talks by guest speakers Michael Colgan, CEO of PICPA, and Joseph Siebert, president of PICPA, about future work in these fields as firms must protect clients’ financial information, and accountants can aid investigations via “forensic accounting.” Following the presentations and a Q&A with a panel of Penn College accounting and finance students, the 200 high school participants attended an etiquette lunch in the Field House.

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Last updated October 13, 2017 | Posted in Business & Hospitality, College Transitions, Construction & Design Technologies, Events, Faculty & Staff, Health Sciences, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, Students, Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies | This gallery contains 19 photos. | Tagged as |

High Schoolers Earn Free College Credit With Penn College NOW

High school students in Pennsylvania can earn free college credits by participating in the Penn College NOW dual-enrollment program, detailed in a new video on the college’s YouTube Channel. Partner schools provide a wide range of Penn College courses for students to jump-start their collegiate experience. The nationally accredited program features Penn College courses taught by approved teachers in a student’s home school or career and technology center. “I wish I was able to go into every single high school and just grab a hold of those kids and say, ‘Listen, you need to take these classes. They’re essentially free college credits,” says Sapphire E. Naugle, a plastics and polymer engineering technology student from Jersey Shore. “Once I did one class, I was like, ‘Wow, I don’t know why I waited so long to take these.’ And, throughout my junior and senior year, I took almost all Penn College classes.”

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 during Career Day 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 |

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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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University