Penn College Parent & Family Weekend!

Mother Nature was among the parents in town for Penn College’s first Homecoming & Family Weekend, bringing persistent rain but failing to deter attendees from enjoying a full schedule of activities centered around “Our Proud Penn College Days.”

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Counseling Services

Transitioning to College

So you have helped set up the residence hall room or that off-campus apartment. You’ve listened to some complaints about classes. Your student has returned home on weekends, or perhaps enjoyed the newfound freedom and visited elsewhere or just stayed at Penn College. And, yes, you have been going through this with them. The transition is not just theirs; it also belongs to you. Their space at home is empty, at least during the week. You’re doing your best to cope with the changes in your life, but what about them? What are they going through?

Making the transition to college is often challenging for the new student, but it also is a time filled with excitement and exploration. You, as the parent, can be of assistance for them by being a support and being ready to listen to their various emotions as they learn to cope on their own. Not only are they developing the skills to live more independently, but also they are adjusting to a more demanding academic environment.

Differences between high school and college:

  • Good grades in high school can often be obtained with less effort than in college.
  • Much of the learning in college classes is done outside of the classroom.
  • College instructors do schedule office hours, but contact with them will be less frequent than with high school teachers.
  • Many resources are available for student support at Penn College, but the student must take the initiative to seek the services (see below for contact information).
  • More free time and many more distractions make time management important.
  • Living away from home means that the student must be more independent and aware of daily needs, such as laundry, nutrition, sleep requirements, etc.

So how can you be of assistance?

  • Encourage calls home, as needed. This is often a delicate balance as you want to encourage independence, at the same time be there as a support. Maybe suggest that they call at the end of the day, rather than whenever they have a reaction. That way they can learn to tolerate some distress and may even solve some problems on their own.
  • Help the student decide on the frequency of visits to home – they may benefit from staying on campus to do schoolwork, but may feel guilty if you question them about visiting home. Or they could want to come home all the time and could benefit from engaging in some weekend campus activities.
  • Expect that they will want to spend time with friends when they do come home. This is tough because you may also expect that they dedicate their time to family, but again they are growing in their independence and desire time with peers.
  • Listen to your student, but help them to take responsibility for their decisions. These are crucial learning years where they are presented with various opportunities and choices. They need to learn that there are consequences to all choices, and that responsibility now lies with them.
  • They may be having second thoughts about their college decision. This is not unusual, so just listen. The adjustment can be difficult and they may be reviewing their initial college choice. They just may be having trouble being away from home and on their own.
  • If a special day occurs, as a birthday, during these first weeks, send something to them to celebrate with their new friends. This can even be a way for them to meet some new people by including them in the celebration.

And in all of these situations, if their distress continues or seems to be more intense than you have witnessed before, encourage them to speak with a trusted faculty or staff resource at Penn College. This could be an instructor that they have come to know, a secretary in their School office, their resident advisor, or even the staff person working in the cafeteria.

One of a parent’s greatest fears is the thought of their child becoming so distressed and/or depressed that they would consider suicide. If that ever becomes a concern for you, please contact Counseling Services. We’ve included a link that addresses how you might speak with your student, when you have the concern that they are not behaving as they normally would.

Please remember that Counseling Services is always available as a resource for your student. We offer free and confidential counseling. We are happy to make community referrals when appropriate.

Contact numbers for support services on campus:

Counseling Services: 570-327-4765, Campus Center, Room 204

Residence Life: 570-320-8023, Student and Administrative Services Center, Room 1033

Off-Campus Housing: 570-320-8004, Student and Administrative Services Center, Room 3007

Academic Success Center (tutoring, mentor program) 570-320-2400 ext. 7266, Klump Academic Center, Room 141

College Health Services: 570-320-5234, Campus Center, Room 150

Penn College Police: 570-321-5555

Another way to be of support for your student is to be aware of various activities that are occurring on campus and to encourage them to participate. Here is a listing of upcoming events related to Wellness:

Suicide Awareness Week is October 17-22 culminating in an Out of the Darkness Walk on Saturday evening October 22. Walk will be held on campus. Registration is at 5:30 p.m., and the walk begins at 6:30 p.m. Parents are invited. Information on forming a team and answers to questions are available online.

Academic Services and College Transitions

Study Abroad with Penn College

Earn credits, experience other countries, meet new people, travel overseas, and add to your resume – all while being a Penn College student on a study abroad program! Penn College offers a growing number of study abroad programs. You may choose from short-term, week-long experiences in France and Italy, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic to semester-long programs in Austria and Scotland. All of our study abroad programs count for credits toward your degree.

Why Study Abroad?

  • Experience another culture first hand.
  • Gain skills that make you a marketable employee.
  • Gain a global outlook – develop new perspectives.
  • Enhance your educational experience.
  • Become an independent thinker – develop a deeper intellectual maturity.
  • Foster personal growth and build self-confidence.
  • Build life skills such as decision making and budgeting.
  • Travel!

email or call 570-320-5257 for more information.

December Commencement Ceremony Reminder

Special seating requests (such as accommodations for a wheelchair or a walker) should be made at Commencement rehearsal. Rehearsals will take place on November 29 and 30, at 3:30 p.m. at the Community Arts Center. After that, requests may be made by calling the Registrar’s Office at 570-327-4772. Special seating requests should be made prior to the Commencement ceremony so that the Community Arts Center can properly accommodate the request.

Dining Services

Wildcat Wishes Featured Package

Miss You - $30
Wildcat Wishes package

Want to remind your student how much they are missed? This care package is sure to bring a smile to their face. Package includes one dozen fresh baked sugar and chocolate chip cookies, plus coupons for one large pizza and a dozen wings.

Order this package   Order Other Wildcat Wish Packages

College Store

Have you visited our website lately? We have a brand new look thanks to one of Penn College’s finest students, Colleen Bowes. During her internship this summer, she was able to meet all of the demands of online retail, as well as satisfy the requests from our students and their parents.

Visit our Facebook page to find out the latest College Store news and promotions! We will be announcing last-minute in-store or online flash sales on our Facebook page so be sure to like us!

Look for our Cyber Monday Sales event online on November 28, and our annual Moonlight Madness in-store sale on December 1 from 8 to 10 p.m.


After a busier-than-normal summer “off season,” the Penn College Athletics Department is gearing up for the start of the fall sports seasons.

Highlights of the summer include:

  • Notification from the National Collegiate Athletic Association that the College successfully completed its second year of provisional Division III membership and approved its waiver request to bypass the third year and begin its final year of provisional membership starting September 1;
  • Naming two new head coaches;
  • Announcing four new members of the College’s Athletic Hall of Fame;
  • Announcing the renewal of its partnerships with ESPN Williamsport and Stretch Internet to broadcast Wildcats home athletic events in the 2016-17 season; and
  • Resignation of athletic director Scott E. Kennell.

In August, Penn College announced the appointment of John Vandevere as the new director of Athletics.

NCAA Status

The five-year membership process consists of an exploratory year and four years of provisional membership. After completion of the second year, an institution may apply for a waiver to bypass the third year and begin the fourth and final provisional year, beginning with the next academic year. It is rare that an institution is granted the waiver, but Penn College was.

The College is on track to be eligible for full membership next fall. As a full member, the College will be eligible for national championships and will have voting rights on NCAA legislation.

Coaching Changes & Highlights

Lauren Healy was named full-time women’s basketball head coach, and John Machak was named women’s tennis head coach. Machak comes to Penn College after serving as the head coach at St. John Neumann Regional Academy in Williamsport from 2008-13. His coaching experience is in addition to more than three decades playing the sport at various levels of competition.

In addition, Ryan Callahan, men’s basketball coach, was made a full-time position.

Since 2011, the following changes have been made to the athletic program:

  • Six coaching positions elevated from part-time to full-time
  • Athletics-specific website launched
  • Athletic Hall of Fame established
  • Number of recruited student-athletes increased
  • Wildcat Club (an athletic donor club) created
  • Many athletics facilities upgraded

Hall of Fame

Greg Solyak, Tamara Pavlov, Craig Flint, and Bambi Hawkins were inducted into the Hall of Fame. They enter the Hall of Fame on September 30.

Athletic Director Change

In July, Scott Kennell announced his resignation to accept the director of athletics position at Madonna University in Michigan. Under Kennell’s guidance and leadership the past five years, Penn College moved to NCAA Division III affiliation and membership in the North Eastern Athletic Conference.

Following a national search, John D. Vandevere has been named director of athletics. Vandevere spent the previous five years as the associate athletic director at Division III State University of New York Canton, where he was responsible for managing a $45 million athletic facility.

His responsibilities included hiring and supervising staff, generating revenue through rental fees and marketing, scheduling internal and external use of the facility, facility maintenance, and advertising. Prior to his time at SUNY Canton, Vandevere was the director of facilities and operations at Division I Florida Atlantic University for two years, and he was an assistant football coach at FAU from 2000-07. He was elected to the FAU Hall of Fame in 2007 as a member of the 2003 football team’s coaching staff.

On the Air

The College’s athletic events will be streamed live in high definition for all home games for soccer, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, baseball, and softball through Stretch’s portal, which can be accessed at online. Games are free to view.

Last year more than 4,000 people watched Penn College home events.

ESPN Williamsport will continue to broadcast select soccer, baseball, and softball games, as well as all home men’s and women’s basketball contests. ESPN Williamsport has broadcasted Penn College games since 2008. Fans can tune in to Penn College games on 92.7 FM or 1050 AM locally or listen live.

Student-Athletes Honored

In addition, the North Eastern Athletic Conference announced that 49 Penn College student-athletes were named conference scholar-athletes. The Wildcats improved their 2014-15 scholar-athlete total by nine and finished tied for seventh for number of total scholar-athletes among 14 conference schools.

In order to be selected, a student-athlete competing in a conference-sponsored sport must achieve a combined grade point average of 3.4 or higher for the fall and spring semesters and must have been in good standing on his or her team.

What It Means to Be NCAA Division III

As many of you know, Penn College is a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) within NCAA's Division III.

But do you know what that means?

Most of us hear news and watch highlights from NCAA Division I schools (like Penn State, Pitt, Notre Dame, etc.). Athletics in Division III is much different than at these large, scholarship-driven institutions. At Penn College, and in Division III, the student-athlete experience is primarily about their academic pursuits. We don't offer scholarships and virtually all students will go professional in some other field.

We are committed to providing a rewarding experience that enriches and promotes academic and athletic success, sportsmanship, fair play, accountability, amateurism, integrity, and teamwork for student-athletes. Our Coaches and Athletic Department always place academic success, fair and equitable treatment, and the health and welfare of student-athletes first in all decisions.

While we are most proud of our student-athletes when they walk across the stage at graduation, we are also delighted at their success on the court or field.

Learn more and follow the Wildcat teams on the Athletics website.

Want more? Read daily news items at PCToday, the source for news and information at Pennsylvania College of Technology.