Breaking the High School Habit:

How to Ensure Your Commuter Student is Successful
Our commuter population makes up roughly one fourth of the student body. The biggest challenge our students face is not feeling connected. As parents, we encourage you to be aware of the resources we have on campus and encourage your student to take advantage of them! College can be the most transformative years of a student's life. Here are some items to talk to your student about:

  • Create a routine - come to campus and stay on-campus. Use lockers, commuter lounge, free Fitness Center/showers, and TV lounge or Student Organization Center to hang out.
  • Contact a Commuter Assistant at As commuters themselves, these student leaders can provide a great connection to campus! Our CA's this year are Todd Robatin and Morgan Keyser. Commuters can meet them every Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. for free PB&J sandwiches in the commuter lounge.
  • Consider purchasing a meal plan. Eating in dining units is a great way to meet new students.
  • Encourage your student to join a club or organization. We have something for everyone.
  • Become a Wildcat Fan yourself and come to games with your student!

Understanding Mid-term Grades

On Friday, October 10, the halfway point in the semester, faculty will submit mid-term grades.Once posted, the grades will appear on the Student Information System (SIS) via the "View grades" or "View/Print Graduation Audit/Student Profile" option.

If students are currently satisfactorily passing a course (in most courses that means earning an A, B, or C), they will receive a mid-term grade of P (Passing).However, if students are currently earning a D or are close to failing, they will receive a D (Deficient). If students are failing a course, then they will receive an F (Failing). It is important to note that mid-term grades are not factored into GPAs and do not appear on permanent transcripts.

Mid-term grades provide valuable feedback on students' performance and progress to-date in a class.Earning all P's at mid-term indicates students are currently meeting the requirements of their courses.However, if students earn D's or F's at mid-term, they should realize they are having a problem with some htmect of the course, such as attendance; incomplete assignments; or poor performance on homework, quizzes, or tests.

The good news, in that case, is that it's not too late for students to make changes.Mid-term assessments and resultant feedback offer the opportunity for students to develop better study habits when they still have half of a semester to boost their academic standing. Students who have 2 or more D/F grades at mid-term will be invited and strongly encouraged to attend a mid-term workshop designed to help them improve their grades.The workshop will help identify issues leading to current performance as well as strategies and resources to turn the situation around, and will also discuss implications of such continued academic performance.

In the rare instance that students do not receive a mid-term grade for a course, they should immediately contact their instructor for feedback.

Safe Zones

This fall Penn College launched the Safe Zone program, an initiative designed to make campus a safer place for all students. Announced to faculty and staff at the August All College Meeting by President Davie Jane Gilmour, Safe Zones is an employee professional development program designed to increase the campus community's understanding and awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues and provide support and a greater sense of community for our LGBT students.


A Penn College education prepares students not just for jobs, but for careers. Below you'll find one parent's thoughts concerning her son's time at Penn College and how a degree that works set him up for success early in his working career.

I would like to share with you wonderful news about my son Keith Gay. Keith is a 2011 graduate of Penn College. Keith was in the Heavy Equipment Operator Class. In April of 2011 right before graduating Keith was recruited by Dalyrimple Construction Company in Elmira, N.Y. He also was recruited by American Infrastructure in Virginia. Keith won the American Infrastructure Award. But Keith decided to go with Dalyrimple Construction. Keith was with them for over a year. Keith was getting homesick for his beautiful fiancé and family and wanted to come home. As a mom I told Keith that he had to obtain a new job before returning home.

Keith was hired close to home for the James D. Morrisey Construction Company. The owner of the company saw something in Keith as an exceptional employee. This was all made possible because Keith made the decision when he was very young to attend Pennsylvania College of Technology. Keith lived on campus the entire time. As a parent I was nervous and concerned about safety. I knew that with all the services that the college provides that Keith would be in excellent hands and he was.

Currently in Keith's career he was promoted to foreman and then in about a few months Keith has been promoted again to superintendent. He has a company truck and a company phone and a lot of responsibility. Keith also purchased a brand new home in March and got engaged to his high school sweetheart Tori. They set the date for July 18th, 2015. Keith is 23 years old soon to be 24in November. We wish them all the best for the future. Pennsylvania College of Technology made this all happen. As the parents of Keith we could not be prouder of our son. We would like to wish success to all incoming students.

Pamela A. Gay

Experiencing the Williamsport Area

Although visiting and catching up with your college student is the focus of your visit, your student may be eager to have some time away from campus. Your first visits to campus were busy with campus tours, Connections sessions, and finally, move-in day. During your next visit, take some time to explore the many activities available in Williamsport and the surrounding region.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • The city of Williamsport offers First Friday, a community event to showcasing work of artists and musicians.
  • is your gateway to everything Williamsport! This website offers an easy way to locate restaurants, listing of movies, and a calendar of what is happening.
  • The Community Arts Center, located in downtown Williamsport and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penn College, offers a fall line-up that includes Kansas, Mutts Gone Nuts, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, and more. The center is also the home for Penn College's graduation ceremonies. Take a step back in time as you visit the 1920's restored theater, replete with 21st century technology.
  • The area is also home to beautiful state parks with outstanding hiking, biking trails, fishing, and more. Enjoy the fall splendor by exploring DCNR's website or the Rails-to Trails Conservancy website to locate biking trails in the region.

Community Open House- Sunday, October 26th

Don't miss this great opportunity to visit Penn College on the weekend!
Prospective Student Open House– 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

  • Meet faculty to learn more about our majors, which represent more than 100 different career areas.
  • Tour our labs and classrooms to see for yourself how our state-of-the-art facilities and equipment can enhance your educational experience.
  • Tour campus with a student ambassador and hear a student's perspective on Penn College.
  • Attend a Choosing Your Major session to find out what career areas are a match to your interests and abilities.
  • Tour on-campus housing and hear from students about what it's like to live on campus.
  • Interact with current students and learn more about student clubs and organizations, athletics, dining services, and campus life!
  • Save $50! Apply during your visit and your application fee is waived.

Centennial Community Event– 2-4 p.m.
The community is invited to come and see how the campus and education has changed during the past 100 years. Visitors can walk the history trail, tour campus and labs, view Centennial art installations, and much more. Alumni don't miss this great opportunity to return to campus. Registration is not required and check-in will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Field House.

PCT Alerts

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

Students can subscribe to PCT Alerts through SIS. Once subscribed, students can add additional email addresses (up to five) and one additional cell phone number to the system.

Student Org Spotlight

Blue Crew is one of Penn College's newest student organizations, and definitely one of the most unique. Blue Crew's goal is to dedicate itself to the mission of generating and enhancing campus pride and loyalty within the campus community. Blue Crew specifically supports and builds pride in campus activities, athletics, and student organizations at Penn College.

For more information about Blue Crew:

Wildcat Wishes Featured Care Package

Halloween: Trick or Treat - $20

Trick or Treat – give them something fun to eat! Students will love this nostalgic Halloween bucket over flowing with a variety of Halloween candy and a dozen fresh baked cookies. Cookie choices include: macadamia nut, peanut butter cup, oatmeal raisin, sugar, chocolate chip, fudge brownie chunk, and M&M. Accepting orders September 29 - October 28, 2014.

- Order the Halloween Package
- See additional packages

Parent & Family Weekend

Hundreds of loved ones joined their students to help celebrate the institution's Centennial during Parent & Family Weekend on September 12-14.

See if you made the PCToday photo gallery.

From the Financial Aid Office: Beware of Phone Scams Offering Educational Grants

A parent of a first-year student recently reported that her student received a phone call from a person who claimed to be from the U.S. Government. The call came from the '202' Washington, D.C. area code which suggested it was legitimate. The caller told the student she was awarded a $7,500 educational grant and had to purchase a $250 pre-paid VISA card to 'verify her identity.' The student did release her bank account number to the caller, but wisely chose to call her parent before buying the VISA card. It turns out that this was an outright scam that is impacting students nationwide.

Don't let it happen to you! The scammers have been doing this for many years and some are quite sophisticated. Refer to this 2012 news article from Nevada. The Penn College Financial Aid Office strongly cautions students and parents about offers to pay money to receive money. If you receive a phone call, email, or text message from an unfamiliar source regarding extra financial aid, DO NOT release any information.

Enticing offers of government grants is not the only way the scammers try to get your money. Every year, students across the country receive some type of 'congratulations' letter via mail, email, or Facebook regarding a scholarship program or previously unknown aid application. These notices encourage students to apply by submitting an application along with a 'processing fee.' Any such request is likely a scam. Feel free to contact the Financial Aid office if you have questions regarding the legitimacy of any scholarship or other financial aid solicitation.

A good rule of thumb: if you need to pay to receive free money, it is probably not legitimate. For more information on this topic, review Looking for Student Aid without getting scammed provided by the U.S. Department of Education.