Pennsylvania College of Technology

For everyday access to parent information, bookmark the Parents Web page:

Fall 2011, Issue 2

In this issue:


Finals Stress by Jacklyn R. Leitzel, PhD, Counselor

Word cloud

As the first snow falls in Northcentral Pennsylvania, we are reminded that winter, and the semester break, will soon be here. This is a time in the academic year when students may experience anticipation and excitement about the break, but also anxiety and apprehension about what needs to be done before they are able to relax. Papers and final projects are due, final exams consume the last week of school. Students cope with academic stress in a variety of ways, some more effectively than others. You may sense that your student is struggling, or you may receive a frantic call in the middle of the night. Either way, this article provides you with ideas about how to help your student to successfully navigate through this difficult time. You may find that some of them help you as well!

Finals Stress article:


Important Dates

November 23 Residence halls close at 10 a.m. for Thanksgiving Break
November 23-28 Thanksgiving Break   
November 27 Residence halls reopen at 4 p.m.
December 1 Scholarship application for 2012-13 opens
December 5-9 Finals week
December 10 Residence halls close at 10 a.m.
December 12 Spring 2012 tuition due
December 17 Commencement
December 17 All College offices close for Winter Break
January 2 All College offices reopen
January 4 Drop/Add & Late Registration
January 7 Residence halls open at 9 a.m. for new and returning students
January 9 Spring 2012 classes begin

Study Abroad Opportunities

Students on the stairs o fthe temple of Yaxcha

Study abroad opportunities are not often the deciding factor when choosing Penn College. For that matter, many people are not aware that Penn College offers such experiences.

Students can study abroad in Italy, Ireland, Central and South America, Japan, Austria, Germany, Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Nicaragua, France, or Switzerland while earning credit either for their major field of study or as an elective. Programs range from eight days to a semester in length.

Though it's recommended that students wait to travel abroad until they complete at least one full year of study, it is important for students to start planning a study abroad program when they first meet with an adviser. This will ensure the study abroad course will fit into their schedule and timeline for graduation.

Discover more about study abroad opportunities for your student at



Scholarship recipient, Trent

Encourage your student to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Your student could be like Trent, a recipient of several Penn College scholarships.

Do you think only students with the highest grades earn college scholarships? Think again!

Many scholarships are awarded to students with average grades. Certain scholarships are restricted, for example, to students enrolled in a particular program or who are graduates from a specific high school. Others are less restrictive.

Pennsylvania College of Technology's aggressive scholarship program includes more than 150 student scholarship programs, offering more than 370 ($790,000) awards. The Penn College scholarship application automatically determines which scholarships students are eligible for the entire academic year. The 2012-13 application opens December 1 and closes April 1. To be considered for a Penn College scholarship, students must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For more information on Penn College scholarships and the online application, visit

Additionally, many students receive a variety of scholarships from external sources. In 2010-11, these awards totaled more than $1,337,000. These scholarships have individual applications, differing deadlines, and eligibility requirements. For more, visit

Encourage your student to apply for Penn College and external scholarships and check high school guidance offices, social and civic organizations, and community foundations for additional scholarship resources.


Wildcat Wishes Gift Packages

Finals package
Finals - $30
Two 2-liters of soda, a large bag of chips, and a coupon for a one-topping sheet pizza, to order at recipient's convenience

Being away from home is never easy. Send something special to your Penn College student to let them know how much he or she is missed.

The Wildcat Wishes gift package program offers an assortment of gift packages that include a variety of items. Packages are available throughout the school year and each package includes a gift card so you can send a personalized message.

For more information or to place an order, visit


Student Leadership Opportunities

Resident Assistants

How to GUARANTEE your student gets the FULL Collegiate Experience!

Do you remember those energetic, knowledgeable Connections Links? How about meeting your student’s Resident Assistant on move-in day? What about the student who toured you around campus during your visit?

On November 28, applications will be available on the Student Activities myPCT portal site for students to apply for the following student leadership positions:

  • Presidential Student Ambassador
  • Community Assistant
  • Connections Link
  • Resident Assistant

We have found that most students who become Penn College student leaders grow, develop, and take away an experience that is “life changing!”

Leadership experience is not required. So encourage your student to apply for one or more of these exciting opportunities.

Read about these positions at


Preparing for the Holiday Breaks

Exterior of Rose Street Commons

Here are the answers to commonly asked questions regarding how on-campus resident students can prepare for the holiday breaks:

  1. Do I have to move out my belongings?
    No. Students can leave their belongings in their room or apartment. It is recommended that any valuables be removed (computers, jewelry, etc.).
  2. Do I have to clean my apartment before leaving?
    Yes. Students are required to clean their apartment prior to leaving for the break. In addition, students are asked to straighten up their personal areas so nothing is on the floor.
  3. When do the Residence Halls close and open for breaks?
    • Wed., Nov. 23 – close at 10 a.m.
    • Mon., Nov. 27 – reopen at 4 p.m.
    • Sat., Dec. 10 – close at 10 a.m. for all students or 24 hours after a student’s last final exam (whichever comes first)
    • Sun., Dec. 18 – close at 10 a.m. for graduates participating in Winter Commencement ceremonies
    • Sat., Jan. 7 – open for new and returning students

Break Safety Tips for Off-Campus Students

  • Lock all windows and doors
  • Place a light on a timer
  • Let your landlord know if everyone will be away over the holiday
  • Leave first-floor window blinds/curtains in their usual position
  • Contact the Post Office to hold mail during the holiday

PCT Alerts

Snowy Madigan Library

As the days get shorter, those of us in Northcentral Pennsylvania begin bracing for winter weather.

One way students can get ready is by signing up for PCT Alerts. PCT Alerts is a messaging system designed to alert students of situations that may require immediate attention. Students can "opt-in" to the system to receive text or e-mail messages (to non-College e-mail accounts) regarding snow closings, individual class cancellations (text message only), security threat warnings, and evacuation instructions. (NOTE: Penn College e-mail addresses are automatically subscribed to the PCT Alerts system.)

Students can subscribe to PCT Alerts through the Student Information System (SIS). Once subscribed, they can add additional e-mail addresses (up to five) and one additional cell phone number to the system.


The College Store at Penn College

Penn College Sweatshirt

The College Store at Penn College is more than just a bookstore. You can purchase clothing, souvenirs, commencement gifts, and more from the store.

Holiday savings and gift ideas

  • Free Shipping - through Dec. 15, enter "shipfree2011" in the coupon code section during checkout
  • Textbook Buyback - Nov. 30-Dec. 10, students can receive up to 50% back from original price
  • Moonlight Madness Sale - Dec. 1, 7-9 p.m., 25% off clothing and gift items (in-store promotion only)
  • Gift cards make a great gift and can be ordered online!

Shop today at


Which Meal Plan is Best for Your Student?

Student in Capitol Eatery

This is one of the most common questions received in Dining Services. Did you know research has shown students participating in a meal plan achieve higher grade-point averages? Dining Services offers a wide variety plans to suit everyone’s needs.

Board plans provide flexibility when deciding which of the 10 facilities to dine in. The state-of-the-art dining units offer meal service from as early as 7 a.m. until as late as 11:30 p.m. With the purchase of a board plan, students receive a set number of meals a week and “flex dollars” that may be used to purchase retail items. Board plans are required for students living in on-campus housing.

Block plans allow students to use a set number of meals throughout an entire semester. These are popular plans for off campus and commuter students. You can be sure your student is getting at least one hot meal a day with the 80-block meal plan.

Declining balance plans are used the same as a debit card. Students swipe their ID card at registers and vending machines throughout campus to make purchases. By logging into your student’s SIS account, you may easily add funds to the account at any time.

Having a meal plan at Penn College ensures nutritious, home-style meals, without the time and effort involved in planning and preparing meals. As a parent, you can feel confident your money is being spent on quality food delivered by caring professionals.

Board or block meal plans should be purchased within the first two weeks of the semester. Declining balance plans may be purchased anytime. Plans can be purchased in the Dining Services Office or at


You are currently subscribed to the Pennsylvania College of Technology parent newsletter.
To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to with a message that you would like to be removed from the Pennsylvania College of Technology parent newsletter e-mail list.
Having trouble reading this e-mail?
Contents © 1995-present, Pennsylvania College of Technology.