Preparing for College: Orientation

ConnectionsAs summer begins at Penn College, we are gearing up to welcome new students and their guests to campus for Connections and Welcome Weekend. Both events are designed to assist students in their adjustment to college life and provide resources to be successful in the first year. We encourage parents and families to join us for these events in order to partner with the College in creating opportunities for students to be successful.


Connections is specifically designed to assist new students in their transition to college. All students are required to attend. Special sessions are offered for nontraditional and transfer students. Students who attend Connections and take the First Year Experience course their first semester are significantly more likely to persist to the second year of their college career. Connections provides students and parents with essential tools for success in the first year of college and beyond. Students who have not yet registered can do so through the Student Information System.

Jun27Connections I

Jun29Connections II

Jul6Connections III

Jul11Connections IV

Jul13Connections V

Jul18Connections VI

Welcome Weekend

Welcome Weekend is our opportunity to welcome new students to Penn College. College offices are open to allow students to complete last-minute preparations for the first day of classes. After students say goodbye to parents and families, they will want to make sure to attend the official kick-off of the year at Convocation on Saturday evening, which concludes with a hypnotist show and fireworks. Special sessions on Sunday allow students to find their classrooms, learn about important campus resources, and meet other students before classes begin.

Aug13View Saturday's Schedule

Aug14View Sunday's Schedule

Program Welcome

Data tells us that students who feel connected to their academic advisers, faculty, and fellow students are more likely to stay in school and progress steadily toward graduation. Building those relationships is never more important than in the first semester. For this reason, all new and transfer students will be invited to attend a program-specific orientation event called Program Welcome. Individual locations have been established for each program area, but they will all be held on the same day at the same time: Tuesday, August 23, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Aug233:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Students will receive an invitation in their Connections folders this summer, and other reminders will follow when the semester begins. The event is intended to be a fun and engaging hour of conversation and hands-on activity that will help students build meaningful connections with faculty and other new students within their programs. Most importantly, Program Welcome is intended to help foster the start of strong advisee-adviser relationships. The relationships that students form during this hour will help set the course for a successful first semester, first year, and beyond.

Getting Off on the Right Foot

The First Year Experience course (FYE 101) is intended to offer a positive first semester experience for students who are new to Penn College by facilitating engagement in the academic and social cultures of the College. By easing the transition to college life and expectations, the course is designed to enhance the likelihood of student persistence and ultimate academic and social success.

Benefits of FYE 101 include:

  • Providing a common and positive first semester experience for students who are new to Penn College; helping them develop membership in and commitment to the community;
  • Encouraging student engagement – a primary component of student success and retention;
  • Helping students understand and navigate life at Penn College and helping them make informed and constructive decisions avoiding behavioral or procedural missteps, ultimately saving them time and money while pursuing their degrees;
  • Providing information and tools for students to become proactive learners while taking responsibility for their educational experience;
  • Introducing and developing skills such as study skills, financial management skills, relationship skills, etc. that transfer to program coursework and careers; and
  • Providing a support network and ready access to campus resources.

FYE is a graduation requirement for all Penn College certificate, associate, and bachelor degree programs (except "true" distance programs or completion degrees). It is a great way for students to get connected to their peers and college resources!

Meet the 2016 Connections Links

2016 Links

The Links are current Penn College Students who spend their summer assisting new students with their transition to Penn College through the Connections program. The Links look forward to welcoming students to campus very soon! This year’s Links are:

  • Everett Appleby
    Building Sciences and Sustainable Design
  • Mitch Berninger
    Web & Interactive Media
  • Caleb Cartmell
    Automotive Technology Management
  • Lauren Crouse
    Applied Human Services
  • David Gadalla
    Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Lindsey King
    Pre-Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Grant McCauley
    Emergency Management Technology
  • Alexis Medero
    Civil Engineering Technology
  • Ali Petrizzi
    Dental Hygiene
  • Duncan Rodriguez
  • Nina Walk
    Graphic Design
  • Alex Wetzel
    Industrial Design

Connect with Penn Pals

New students have the opportunity to connect with a current Penn College student for advice over the summer and to be “shown the ropes” when the fall semester begins.

Penn Pals is a program that pairs current student volunteers with incoming first-year and transfer students to answer questions, show students around campus, provide tips, and generally guide students through the often stressful milestones during the first year. We have several students available to be matched with incoming students on a first-come, first-served basis. Whenever possible, we try to pair students based on similar academic school or majors.

More information is available online, by email, or by calling 570-320-2400 ext. 7972.

Information from The College Store

The College Store

Fall semester course materials are now available for purchase in the store or online. The best times to purchase your textbooks are during the month of July and in early August. This is when The College Store has the highest inventory of used books available.

In addition to the traditional new and used formats of textbooks, The College Store offers rental options for many titles. These options offer significant upfront savings. Look for these options when shopping online.

Orders for program tool kits and uniforms are now being accepted. Look under Program Supplies then choose the School in which your program falls. Tool kits and uniform orders cannot be shipped and usually take 3 to 4 weeks after order to arrive at the store.

Dining Services

“I moved off campus for the academic year and I did not think I would need any sort of board meal plan, but now that the year started I wish I would have gotten one.”
- Lauren P

We hear this often. After a few weeks of living “on their own,” students realize that planning, cooking, and cleaning up after meals isn’t always as easy as they anticipated.

Dining Services offers a wide variety of dining options that include an all-you-care-to-eat buffet, home-made entrees and soups, hand-stretched pizzas, made-to-order sandwiches, and crisp salads, to name a few. The best part is that all of this can be purchased as part of a meal plan.

Dining Services

A meal plan not only guarantees that your student has access to meals throughout the day, but it also is a great way to help your student adjust to a new life away from family and friends. Our dining halls are natural gathering places for students. Having a meal plan allows your student to join the social aspect of college life by meeting friends for meals and special events or to meet other classmates to study and work on projects.

Dining Services recommends that students take advantage of our meal plans and what our 10 dining units have to offer. To help make the decision of which plan is right for your student, we recommend the following:

Commuter / Off-Campus Students

All commuter and off-campus students should invest in a meal plan. We recommend starting with the 50-meal block plan or the 5-meal board plan. This ensures your student is getting nutritious, home-style meals each weekday. They also will have “flex dollars” that can be used to purchase convenience items such as milk, bread, or a box of cereal.

Declining balance meal plans are another great option. Declining balances work like a debit card and can be used to buy full meals or grocery items found in our dining units.

Resident Students

All resident students must select a board plan as outlined in their housing contract.

For more information on all of our meal plans and all our department has to offer, visit us online.

August 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 August 1 and 2 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.

Softball Team Goes to USCAA National Championship

Softball Penn College’s softball team closed out its first season under coach Jackie Klahold going 17-21 overall (10-8 in the NEAC) and earning a berth in the USCAA National Championships, where it finished 10th. Taylor Brooks, of Cogan Station, and Kelsey Gantz, of South Williamsport, were named to the All-NEAC North Division First Team. Taylor Krow, of Mechanicsburg; Amanda Kustanbauter, of Muncy; and freshman Elizabeth Asher, of East Stroudsburg, were All-NEAC North Division Second Team selections. In addition, Gantz was named a Second Team USCAA All-American and Brooks an USCAA Honorable Mention All-American.

Read more at PCToday

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.