Contents

  • Scholarship Campaign Exceeds Goal; Impacts Students
  • Prepping for Mid-Term Grades
  • Parent-to-Parent
  • Parent Facebook Group
  • Financial Aid News
  • Navigating the Career Fairs
  • Mock Interviewing = Getting the Job!
  • Applying for On-Campus Housing
  • Moving Off Campus
  • Athletic Team Spotlight
  • College Store
  • Wildcat Wishes

Scholarship Campaign Exceeds Goal; Impacts Students

Capping a year of celebration to commemorate Penn College's Centennial anniversary, the institution's most significant fundraising effort to date more than doubled its original goal, raising $6.4 million in private scholarship support.

What does this mean for your student?

  • More than twice the amount of scholarship aid will be available to students than prior to 2011, when the Penn College Scholarship Campaign was launched.
  • The campaign generated 75 new scholarships, including 45 endowed or building-to-endowed scholarships.

Less than 25% of students apply for Penn College scholarships!

Encourage your student to complete the Penn College scholarship application for the 2015-16 academic year today. Scholarship awarding begins in March.

Students only submit this application one time per academic year. The application will match students with as many of Penn College's scholarships as they are eligible for. (Unless stated, students must be enrolled full time and have a minimum 2.5 GPA.)

The College also provides a list of external scholarships that are not funded by Penn College, but have been verified as valid to the best of our ability. Students need to apply for each inarticleidual scholarship if they are eligible. Be sure to read the criteria, procedures, and deadlines for each scholarship carefully.

Finally, Financial Aid also provides several search engines for regional and national scholarships.

David Stroehmann with D.L. Stroehmann Scholarship recipient Heather M. Bakley.

Prepping for Mid-Term Grades

By Pat Scheib, academic skills specialist for study and enrichment skills

This conversation has happened a few times at my house:
  • Me So, how are your classes?
  • Son Fine.
  • Me Just fine? How are your grades?
  • Son They're fine.
  • Me OK, umm… what exactly does "fine" mean?
  • Son Mom, I'm passing everything, OK?
  • Me Well… Ds are technically passing.  Do you mean you're passing with a D or passing with an A?
  • Son

As I struggle to interpret my son's vague answers, I wonder if he is being evasive because he knows the grades are not good and doesn't want to talk about it, or if he actually has no idea what his grades are in any of this classes at the moment. I look forward to midterm grades as a valuable reality check. I use midterms as a catalyst for a more focused conversation with my son about his grades. This is where we discuss how his time management routine, study habits, and learning strategies have been working for him. Midterm grades conveniently serve as evidence for whether he needs to seek out more resources where he can learn how to modify his weekly habits and learning strategies or whether he's really got it all under control.

If a student earns a P at midterms, this means he/she is passing the class with a C, B, or A. D and F grades mean that the student may be in real danger of failing the class. Professors expect students to take those D and F warnings seriously and make changes to the way they have been handling the class. 

Strategies to recommend to your son or daughter if midterm grades are less than satisfying:
  • Check your email.
    Students are expected to check their college email daily. Most important meetings, interventions, or outreach for help will come from the college via email, but many students miss these opportunities because they don't check their email. 
  • Attend a midterm workshop if invited to one.
    Students with two or more D/F grades will be invited to a group meeting where they take stock of their current situation and develop a strategy to turn things around. 
  • Meet with any professor who issued a midterm grade that concerns you.
    Don't attempt to have this conversation in the classroom right before or after class. Meet your professor in his or her office during office hours.
  • Attend a few tutoring sessions or study groups.
    The Academic Success Center offers free tutoring in many different subjects via walk-in, by-appointment, online, or small group tutoring. Specific topics and tutor hours are listed on the portal.
  • Take the Project Success class.
    This free, non-credit class offers six weeks of training in study skills and life management.  Three new sections will start March 18 & 19 (the week after midterm grades are posted), and meet for one hour, twice a week, for six weeks.  The course code is PSS001L for students who want to sign up for the class, or contact the instructor, Pat Scheib. 
  • Work with a mentor.
    Any student can request to be assigned to mentor who will coach you in areas where you need help adjusting to college, managing time, juggling multiple responsibilities, etc. 

It is important to respond to midterm warnings as quickly as possible. In most cases, a student can still turn things around and improve their grades in the last 8 weeks of the semester, but the sooner they start making changes, the better.

*Note: my son has read and approved this message. 

Parent-to-Parent

Preparing for midterms or finals is stressful whether your student lives on campus or commutes. Beyond the usual "get 8 hours of sleep and eat a good breakfast" tips there are some strategies that help students perform their best on important exams. Students often approach college believing they have good study skills but it's not really until the end of the first semester that they realize that what worked in high school doesn't necessarily work in college. Psych 101 teaches us that we are more likely to retain information if we "chunk" it. So consider sharing this advice when your student is approaching big exams.

  • Study material for no more than 20 minutes at a time and then go toss a load of laundry in or fold it out of the dryer, then sit down and study for another 20 minute block.
  • Stay with one class until you've covered that material for testing.
  • Keep repeating that 20 minute study time block with breaks of about 20 minutes doing a pretty mindless physical task.
  • "Cramming" doesn't help if you want to actually remember the information when you need it.

Penn College by its very nature provides a way for students to connect as they work through the semester. Students within each program can form study or discussion groups and can meet on their own time. Not everyone has the same learning style and encouraging your student to join a study group is just one more way to help them prepare.  Word of caution, study groups can and do sometimes meet over wings and they cover the material, but if it involves watching the game at the same time it's now social time, not study time!

Becky Gross
Parent of student, Lane Gross '18

Penn College Parents FacebookGroup

We know hearing information from other parents directly can be a valuable tool for prospective and current parents. As a way to get to know other parents, we have created a " Penn College Parents " Facebook group, which provides parents with another avenue of support for helping their student, voicing concerns, and getting questions answered (by College representatives and better yet, fellow parents).

The College fields numerous questions from parents throughout the year – sometimes it's because the student won't ask (or won't let a parent ask), while other times it's parents seeking advice on how best to support their student. The College will continue to answer these questions; however, this new group will also give you the opportunity to ask, and hear from, parents who have been in your shoes. We hope you'll consider joining and helping to spread your Penn College pride!

Financial Aid News

Check out the Financial Aid News for Parents for the following:

  • Completing the 2015-16 FAFSA
  • Federal Verification of the FAFSA
  • Pennsylvania Residents: PA State Grant News
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress

Navigating the Career Fairs

Career Services encourages ALL STUDENTS (and alumni) to participate in and prepare for Penn College Career Fairs on March 17 and 18. This includes freshman through seniors as there are various opportunities at our career fairs for all levels of students! Employers offer everything from part-time jobs to internships as well as full-time and seasonal positions.

The career fairs are an excellent way to meet hundreds of employers, many of whom are also alumni of Penn College. Alumni can offer students insight into their program of study and career path. Also several Fortune 500 employers attend the fairs.

Planning is key! Prior to the career fairs, students should begin planning and preparing. Career Services offers workshops prior to the career fairs to help students prepare to present themselves in the most professional manner possible. Career Services also offers career development assistance through inarticleidual appointments.

Students should:

  • Utilize the Employer Directory to learn which employers are attending and the job opportunities being offering. This list is sortable by major and provides detailed information on each employer!
  • Develop a "Plan of Attack " by knowing the employers they are going to approach and speak with as well as what they are going to say.
  • Prepare, perform, and follow-through on their career fair experience to maximize the benefits of the event. (Including having their résumés reviewed by Career Services, knowing how to network, preparing for interviews, setting up a LinkedIn account, etc.)
  • Recognize the importance of attending the career fairs and networking – even as a freshman, even if it's just to practice!

Encourage your student to attend!

Mock Interviewing = Getting the Job!

 

Your college student is spending a great deal of time and effort learning new skills for their future career path. As with any skill, one must learn the skill and then practice, practice, practice. As cliché as it may sound, practice makes perfect and interviewing is no different. Practicing interviewing skills by scheduling a mock interview with one of the Career Services staff members is a great way for students to develop their interviewing skills and receive feedback on their performance. Better to "bomb " a mock interview than an actual interview.

Preparing for one's future career does not just mean taking classes and passing tests, it also means learning, practicing, and applying their career and life skills. Encourage your student to take advantage of the many free career development services that the Career Services Office offers to students and alumni.

Applying for On-Campus Housing

The on-campus housing application process forcurrentstudents wishing to reside on campus during the 2015-16 academic year began February 4. A limited number of spaces are available for upper-class (returning) students and are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Important dates forcurrentstudents:

  • March 2 - 25:
    Timeframe for groups of four students, all of whom are of "assigned " status, to complete a request form to be assigned as a group.
  • March 26 - 30:
    Pre-assignment for groups of four.
  • April 1 - 15:
    Online apartment selection for inarticleidual applicants. (Actual selection date is determined by the time and date the students completes the housing contract and pays the housing deposit.)

In similar fashion, allnewand transfer students entering fall 2015 desiring on-campus accommodations are invited to apply. The application for new and transfer students is currently available on the Student Information System. Once again, a limited number of spaces are available and are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The assignment process fornewand transfer students begins in June, continuing throughout the summer.

To apply for housing, all students must complete a housing application on SIS and pay a housing deposit.

If you have any questions about these processes,contact the Residence Life office.

Moving Off Campus

So your student's thinking about living off-campus…

The Off-Campus Living & Commuter Services Office serves as a resource for students who are living off-campus. Along with educating our off-campus students and providing programming to meet their needs, we also offer a list of "approved " landlords and properties. 

We work with more than 35 landlords who meet these requirements to be able to be on our list:

  • Located in our police patrol zone
  • Inspected on a yearly basis by the Williamsport Bureau of Codes
  • Renting exclusively to college students

There are several points to consider prior to making the decision to live off-campus:

  • Landlords are independent owners of their properties/business, so even though the college maintains a great working relationship with them, they create their own leases and policies.
  • There is a lot of variety in off-campus housing, so it is highly recommended to take time to shop around, talk to landlords face-to-face, and tour properties.
  • Consider that prices, apartment styles, and utility costs will vary from landlord to landlord.
  • Understand the lease and make sure that all questions are answered before making any final decisions. 

Most landlords will ask students to sign a lease for the full academic year, from August to May, including both the fall and spring semesters. Most require students to pay per semester. Most prices are very comparable to on-campus housing costs.  

Please do not hesitate to contact the Off-Campus Living & Commuter Services Office for additional information!

 

Athletic Team Spotlight

Women's Basketball

Coach: Matt Wilt (fifth season)
Home Gym: Bardo Gymnasium
Conference: North Eastern Athletic Conference
Competes: End of fall semester, beginning of spring semester

Two Wildcats, sophomores Charese Bova (#52) and Alicia Ross (#32), have earned North Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors.

More women's basketball information

College Store

Good luck on mid-terms!Celebrate St. Patty's Day, Fourth of July, and many other fun celebrations by purchasing a tee and other gift items in the College Store.Our Under Armour camo hoodie is still our #1 seller and now we have it available in pink!We have button-down dress shirts, padfolios, and bowties for the upcoming career fairs! Just a reminder that the date for textbook returns has passed.Buyback is now available.

Wildcat Wishes


Just Because - $20

Send your student a coupon for a pint of ice cream and a giant cookie just because…you love them…to wish them luck…or whatever the occasion. Each cookie is personalized with a short message. Choose from sugar or chocolate chip.