Mentoring Resources to Help Your Student Succeed

Penn PalsHave you heard about our Penn Pals (peer mentoring program) yet? Current students volunteer to help out an incoming student, and over the summer and fall semesters new students can request to be paired with them. These experienced students often say they wish they had a Penn Pal when they started out to help ease the stress and confusion often experienced during those first few weeks. In fact, this semester, several of our volunteers are doing so because a Penn Pal helped them when they first began their education here, and they said it really helped them settle in. Please encourage your son or daughter to consider requesting a Penn Pal; it can be a helpful, but also very fun experience. Students may request a Penn Pal by completing the request form online or via email.

Another supportive option for your Penn College student is Academic Mentoring. Academic Mentoring is available to any Penn College student and is designed to be flexible in meeting each individual’s unique academic needs. Students who request an Academic Mentor are paired with a staff or faculty member who will meet with them to discuss an academic plan of attack for the semester. Together, they decide how often to schedule any follow up meetings. Individual sessions may include, but are not limited to, goal setting, time management, campus involvement and social adjustment, classroom expectations, test taking strategies, test anxiety, and stress management.

For more information regarding Academic Mentoring or Penn Pals, or to request these services, students can log into the myPCT portal site.

Preparing for Summer; Donate to a Good Cause

It is time to start planning and preparing for the end-of-the-year, on-campus housing checkout. Each year students are scurrying around attempting to complete finals, saying goodbye to friends, and then figuring out how to get their belongings home. A good strategy is to begin taking items home now through the end of the semester. The weather is warmer, which means winter clothing can return home. Most importantly, developing a plan for packing can prevent a lot of anxiety and stress during closing. Encouraging your student to pack smart in boxes or plastic containers makes the move out process a lot more enjoyable.

Each year numerous students come across gently used items (clothes, appliances, furniture) and unopened food items they don't want to trek home. Luckily, Penn College, in conjunction with the United Way, accepts those items for donation. Items with re-sale value are sorted and sold at our annual Trash-to-Treasure sale, with all proceeds going to the Lycoming County United Way. Food items are donated to The Cupboard at Penn College, our new food pantry set to open in the fall of 2016.

Donations can be placed in designated areas in the residence halls from May 3 to 7 or dropped off at the back entrance of the Field House from May 2 to 6. The Trash-to-Treasure sale will be held on Saturday, May 14, beginning at 7 a.m. (early bird admission with a $5 donation) or 8 a.m.

End of Year On-Campus Residence Halls Closing Procedures


The residence halls close on Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m. for all students or 24 hours after a student’s last final exam (whichever comes first).

At the end of the academic year, residents are expected to follow standard procedures for closing down their apartment and checking out. Failure to follow closing procedures may result in charges being assessed to the residents of a particular apartment. The closing process begins a few weeks prior to the end of the spring semester and concludes after residents vacate the apartment. The closing process involves the following steps:

  1. Resident Assistants meet with residents of each apartment to complete a closing contract and to perform a pre-inspection of the room/apartment (the last few weeks of the spring semester).
  2. Cleaning: All rooms/apartments should be cleaned prior to move-out to avoid cleaning charges. Cleaning supplies are available in complex offices.
  3. Checkout Options:
    1. Express Checkout - Residents drop off their keys at a designated location when they are ready to leave. Residents who choose an express checkout waive the right to appeal damage and cleaning charges.
    2. Long Checkout - Residents schedule an appointment for a room/apartment inspection with a Resident Assistant 24 hours prior to the time they plan on leaving.
  4. Post Inspection: All rooms/apartments are inspected by Residence Life and General Services staff after residents vacate the apartment


Spring 2016

FridayMay133:00 p.m.SaturdayMay1410:00 a.m.SaturdayMay141:30 p.m.

Is your student graduating this May? Spring 2016 commencement will honor graduates during three separate ceremonies, all taking place at the Community Arts Center:

  • Friday, May 13, at 3 p.m. for graduates in the schools of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communication
  • Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m. for graduates in the schools of Construction & Design Technologies and Health Sciences
  • Saturday, May 14, at 1:30 p.m. for graduates in the schools of Business & Hospitality and Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies
Baseball team

Spring Athletics Update

Penn College’s softball team is having a banner season to date. The Wildcats, ranked No. 8 in the recent USCAA national poll, beat Lycoming College and Keuka College for the first time in program history. Penn College is 6-2 in conference play and is currently in second place in the North Eastern Athletic Conference North Division.

The Wildcats’ baseball team is dealing with growing pains following the graduation of several key members of the 2015 NEAC Championship team and currently has a 10-18 record. Senior Jeremy Rall became the fifth player in program history to reach 100 career hits.

Penn College’s Athletics Department launched an online store in April with hundreds of sports-specific merchandise.

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.

Your Summer Camp Adventure Starts at Penn College

Summer camps

We offer a series of summer camps that reflect the unique career opportunities offered in our six academic schools. Campers can experience our majors and explore our degrees that work® with these fun, interactive, and hands-on summer camps. Camp topics range from architecture, study skills, and graphic design to culinary arts, marketing, and health careers. Registration deadline is June 3 (unless noted otherwise); 10 of the offerings are overnight while 3 are day camps. Students entering grades 9 to 12 at the time of participation are eligible for an annual Summer Camp Scholarship to attend Penn College. Visit the Summer Camps website to learn more about and register for summer camps at Penn College.

Summer Break Is Here; Are You Ready?


As the end of the school year draws near, many parents look forward to reconnecting with their son or daughter, learning about his or her new life, as well as the return to family traditions and routines. You may expect him or her to step into the role they had before they went to school in doing household chores, keeping a curfew, and telling you almost everything. However, he or she may have different ideas about how to spend the summer break. Keep in mind that they have spent the last year in an unstructured and unsupervised environment and probably really like it that way. For those of you whose student commutes to college from home, you may already have learned the challenges and benefits of living with your college-aged son or daughter. For the rest of you, here are some tips to help you and your student have a smoother transition from college to home.

  • Negotiate conflicts early. Anticipate sources of tension such as use of the car, curfew, and household responsibilities. Focus on setting ground rules and be ready to compromise. Be flexible! Focus on health and safety rather than control.
  • Encourage an adult-to-adult relationship. This is a big one. When you treat your student like an adult, listen to his/her opinions and respond in an open way, it increases the likelihood that he or she will open up and be willing to listen. You may want to practice accepting differences such as hair, clothing, friendships, and political views. Recognize newfound maturity; also be prepared for some regression back to high school selves. Even if they behave like adolescents, treat them like adults and maybe they will get the hint!
  • Be careful not to assume that all of the changes that you observe are “normal.” Many students experience ups and downs and times of uncertainty. Some students may experience more serious problems such as depression or anxiety. Know the warning signs, and be prepared to talk with your son or daughter openly about your concerns. This is not the time to worry about boundaries. Focus on behaviors you observe including significant changes in sleep or appetite, social withdrawal, and lack of energy. Ask specific questions about how he or she is feeling and thinking, especially thoughts about suicide. For more information, please refer to the February parent newsletter. Another good resource is the American Psychological Association web page.
  • Make time to have fun. Be sure to discuss plans in advance, but also look for those spur-of-the-moment opportunities to enjoy each other’s company.
  • You can also look for “teachable moments.” During these moments, try a new approach – focus on developing positive habits and behaviors rather than the (perhaps) usual advice and warnings. For example, many college students lack basic self-care habits, such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, down time, and turning to others for support. For many of us, taking care of ourselves often falls to the bottom, if not completely off, our “to do” lists. The fact is, even 30 minutes a day of self-care time can make a huge difference in physical and mental well-being. Encourage your student to choose a few areas to work on, or better yet, perhaps the whole family can work on self-care together!

Above all, let them know how glad you are to have them home. Make the most of the time that you have together, since you will be loading up the car and bringing them back to college before you know it!

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