Pennsylvania College of Technology

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Spring 2012, Issue 1

In this issue:


Parent Survey – Thanks!

During the Fall 2011 semester, Pennsylvania College of Technology asked parents to complete a short survey regarding parent programs, common concerns of parents, and suggestions for better assisting students and parents. We’re happy to announce that 860 parents/family members participated in the survey, providing a wealth of data that will help the College better support students and parents. The Student Affairs Office is going through 31 pages of comments/suggestions left by the survey participants, and has already used some of this data to provide information in this newsletter.

For example, many parents expressed concerns regarding activities for students outside the classroom. Below, you’ll find an article from our Student Activities Office that highlights the many avenues of involvement available to your student. Additionally, many parents had questions regarding accessing student grades; therefore, we have provided instructions that can be shared with your student explaining how to create a guest account for you that will provide you access to grades and other educational information. In future newsletters, we’ll be tackling other issues parents brought forward, including career planning, health and safety on campus, and explaining the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in more detail.

Thanks again for your responses!



Financial Aid Handbook cover

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial application for various types of financial aid, including Penn College Scholarships, Federal Pell Grants, Direct Loans, and more.

For many Pennsylvania residents, completing your PHEAA State Grant Form is the next step after the FAFSA.

Read the article at to find out more about:

  • The new IRS Data Retrieval Tool to ease your completion of the FAFSA
  • Changes to the Federal Verification documentation requirements
  • Financial aid status update on the Student Information System to track FAFSA and Verification
  • Important steps for Pennsylvania residents to complete PHEAA's State Grant Form
  • Policies that may affect your student's PHEAA award

Important Dates

  through March 2 Petition for May Graduation  
  March 3 Residence halls close at 10 a.m. for Spring Break  
  March 4-11 Spring Break     
  March 11 Residence halls reopen at 10 a.m.  
  March 12-23 Student-adviser pre-scheduling meetings  
  March 20-21 Career Fair  
  March 24 Open House  
  March 26-30 Scheduling Week  
  April 6 College closed  
  April 6-9 April Break  
  April 13 Last day to drop a 16-week class with a “W” grade  
  April 15 Penn College's priority FAFSA and Penn College Scholarship deadline  
  May 1-4 Finals Week  
  May 11 & 12 Commencement  

Access to Student Information & Grades

Student studying

Penn College supports the privacy of student records, as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In compliance with FERPA, the College limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from educational records without the student’s prior consent.

At the same time, we understand that students may wish to share such information with parents and guests, in the interest of supporting the student’s educational experience. As a result, the “Grant Parent/Guest Access” online application was created to allow students an easy, one-stop method to release key educational information to parents, legal guardians, and guests.

Through the Grant Parent/Guest Access option on the Student Information System (SIS), your student can create an account for you that will allow you access to student grades and other educational records. In creating this account, your student will assign you a User ID and password. If you forget your User ID and password, your student will need to reissue that information.

For more information about FERPA, visit


Returning Student Housing

The Village at Penn College

Campus View Apartments

The Village at Penn College

The Village at Penn College

Are you and your student in the process of evaluating living options for the coming year? Penn College offers areas on campus specifically tailored to the needs of returning students. In these areas, students can experience greater independence while still having the benefits of safety, security, support, and peace of mind associated with living on campus. Select rules in these areas have been adapted to reflect that returning students are better able to make decisions concerning their living environment. Additionally, returning students are able to select a specific apartment and roommate(s) through the online process. Other reasons for opting to live on campus include:

  • Studies show students living on campus are more likely to have a higher grade-point average, take less time to earn a degree, and are more satisfied with their college experience.
  • On-campus living is safe, convenient, and cost-effective.
  • Access to many academic, educational, cultural, and recreational programs and events.
  • Pricing that includes utilities, cable TV, Internet access, and 24/7 maintenance.

Submission of the online, full-year housing contracts for returning students began Wednesday, Feb. 1. Submission of short-term housing contracts (e.g., December graduates, Ford ASSET, Honda PACT) also began Feb. 1.

Please note that, when your student submits a contract, it is binding for the entire period contracted.

For details about the housing process and information, visit


Wildcat Wishes Gift Packages

Valentine's Day package
Valentine's Day - $15
Warm their heart with six decorated cupcakes in a reusable silicon mold.
Order deadline: February 10

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 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


Academic Success Center:
We're There When You Can't Be

Student with math tutor

Maturity is a high price to
pay for growing up.

~ Tom Stoppard

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

~ e.e. cummings

Whether it is the first semester or last, college can be tough! This is the time for students to move from the supportive environment of home to the world of personal independence. It would be great if every college student made this leap with confidence and ease, but unfortunately, that rarely is the case. Whether you are 10 minutes away or 10 hours, as a parent you may not always be available to help your son or daughter with their college issues. While we could never take your place, be reassured that while your student is at Penn College, the Academic Success Center is here to provide your son or daughter the support necessary to be a successful college student.

We provide several types of tutoring options that can fit any schedule. The Tutoring Center and Writing Center are available on a drop-in basis for tutoring in mathematics or to get help writing papers. Students can schedule appointments for math, writing, or biology tutoring through the department’s myPCT portal page. Tutoring is also available for 24 other subject areas such as psychology, CAD, economics, accounting, hospitality, and physics, just to name a few. In addition, academic assistance is available through Supplemental Instruction, Small Group Tutoring, and Smarthinking (24/7 online tutoring service).

The Academic Success Center also offers assistance with motivation, study skills, and time management. Project Success/Need 2 Know are study skills programs offered throughout the semester that help students learn skills such as note taking, test preparation, and time management. Our Academic Mentoring program is available to match students with professional mentors who can guide them through the academic process while offering motivation and support.

Yes, becoming independent is hard, but at Penn College, your student doesn’t have to do it alone. The Academic Success Center offers them a place to go for support throughout their college career. All students are encouraged to come to the center, located in the first-floor wing of the Klump Academic Center. All services are free. Learn more about the center at


Get Involved

Students kayaking

Based on the results of the recent parent survey (many thanks to those of you that responded!), parents are concerned that there are not sufficient activities on campus for student recreation and entertainment. In light of this, we want to make you aware of several resources where you and your student can find out about the wealth of campus and community events available to your student.

Read the article at to learn about these resources, including but not limited to the following:

  • Online calendars
  • Bus trips, entertainment, community service, special events and more planned by Student Activities
  • Intramural sports
  • Residence Assistants and OCHO (Off-Campus Housing Organization)
  • Stall Wall Weekly

Recipes from Home Contest

Recipes from Home logo

Do you have a special recipe your student misses while away from home?

If so, consider participating in Dining Services' Recipes from Home program. All you need to do is submit your favorite family recipe to by Friday, March 2.

View the Recipes from Home letter for details:


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.

Important news from The College Store:

  • Closed Friday, April 6
  • Our website will be under renovations starting mid-March and will not be available for a couple weeks. Sorry for the inconvenience, but it will be worth the wait!

Shop today at


A Gift to The Penn College Fund Will Help Students Succeed

Hospitality student greeting guests at Annual Fund event

Gifts to The Penn College Fund support scholarships, acquisition of equipment and technology, and other educational initiatives to give students the kind of education that best prepares them for success in the modern world.

Most of all, gifts to The Penn College Fund help students overcome the serious financial challenges they face in completing their education. Never has the need for financial support been greater, and donors can direct gifts to the area or scholarship that best reflect their personal interests.

For more information about The Penn College Fund, or to make a gift, visit


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