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First Students in Penn College Honors Program Begin Studies


Based on their high academic achievements, six freshmen are the first to have been accepted into the new honors program at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

To be eligible to enter the honors program, students must be entering college for the first time, have full-time status, begin studies in August, be enrolled in an associate- or bachelor-degree major, have a high school grade-point average of at least 3.4, have scored at least 1200 on the Scholastic Assessment Test or 27 on the American College Test, and rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

In order to be accepted, each of the students also had to submit an essay detailing how the honors program would benefit them professionally, socially and academically, and submit two letters of recommendation.

While at Penn College, students must maintain a grade-point average of at least 3.5 for an academic year in order to remain in the honors program.

Because the number of Penn College students who are considered high academic achievers has increased sharply over the past several years, the college instituted the program to enrich its offerings.

The program will include a series of activities that aim to develop the potential of high-achieving students by offering challenging experiences that go beyond the normal curriculum. The result at the end of four semesters will be an honors project, to be presented at a symposium.

The program also features the opportunity for students to work with faculty to pursue a special project in a course of their choice, and to study abroad for at least a week. Students in the honors program are also required to perform 12 hours of uncompensated service.

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree will serve on the Student Advisory Committee for the honors program in their third and fourth years, and they may attend a professional conference in their subject area. They will be encouraged to try to present their projects at the conference.

The incoming honors program students, their academic majors and their impressions of the program are:

Kyle T. Belles, civil engineering technology Shickshinny, Northwest Senior High and Middle School

“The honors program at Penn College is an outstanding opportunity for students in any field. I feel any student could benefit by acceptance into the program. These benefits would include many practical skills in both the academic and social career of the student, as well as their ensuing career as a professional in the workforce.”


Casey M. Gardner , nursing Newton, N.J., Kittatinny Regional High School

“I love to be challenged. Everything in my life is a challenge. I took the hardest science class one can take at my high school, the second-hardest math, National Honor Society, French IV and psychology in literature, which is harder than anyone thought. ? To be asked to be in Penn College’s honors program is, well, the greatest honor I’ve ever had. And talk about being challenged; it is almost as if this honors program was made for me.”


Micah A. Metzel , diesel technology Dallastown, Dallastown Area High School

“Participation in the new honors program would be a reward for all of my scholarly and community endeavors during high school. It would also be an opportunity for me to enhance my experiences as a college student and to become the best possible professional that I can be.”


Sean L. Pranaitis, information technology-security specialist Harrisburg, Central Dauphin East High School

“Being challenged, gaining invaluable professional contacts and studying abroad are all chances that I may not get anywhere else. The curriculum involved in the program would allow me a great educational experience and would force me to push myself as hard as I possibly could.”


Benjamin W. Thompson, aviation maintenance technology Conestoga, Penn Manor High School

“I feel that it would benefit me greatly to become active in this prestigious program. It would be a great way to meet a group of well-motivated peers that could be a great support for me throughout my college career. I’m confident that I would be able to get a lot out of the program, whether it’s asking for advice on any topic or having the satisfaction of helping others.”


Monika L. Weader, business administration Montoursville, Montoursville Area High School

“I would be allowed to be part of a select group of students whose desire to learn is much like my own. I would meet people who could enhance my educational and social experience. ? The knowledge that we would acquire together would cause us to have a bond that few would experience. I would also be able to travel and learn to appreciate the lifestyles of people unlike myself. The study-abroad program would also allow me to diversify how I view business by allowing me to view how entrepreneurs in other countries operate.”

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