Parent & Family Newsletter
Fall 2018, Issue 2

Penn College Scholarships

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The Penn College scholarship application for the 2019-20 academic year will open the beginning of December. Awarding will begin in March 2019 so timeliness is important in order for your student to be considered for the most Penn College scholarships possible. 

This application will allow students to be considered for over 250 Penn College scholarships if they meet the donor eligibility criteria – and it is quick and easy! One application must be submitted each academic year. 

  • If your student is new to the scholarship application, he/she will need to provide all requested information.  
  • If your student submitted an application for 2018-19, most of the information (with the exception of the essay and short answers) is carried over into the 2019-20 application. Your student will need to review that information, make any necessary changes and additions, and then submit the 2019-20 application.

Unless otherwise stated in the criteria for a specific scholarship, students must be enrolled full-time and have a minimum GPA of 2.50. Most scholarship awards will be split between the fall and spring semesters. You can view all Penn College scholarships but remember, students only submit one application. 

Contact us with any questions you have regarding Penn College Scholarships.

We also provide 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 individual scholarship if they are eligible. Be sure to read the criteria, procedures, and deadlines for each scholarship carefully.

We also provide several Search Engines for regional and national scholarships. Information can be found at the bottom of our External Scholarships Web page.      
 

Parent Access to Student Records

Fall Campus Pennsylvania College of Technology supports the privacy of student records, as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  In compliance with FERPA, the College limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from educational records without the student’s prior consent.

At the same time, we understand that students may wish to share such information with parents and guests interested in supporting their educational experience.  As a result, Penn College developed a “Grant Parent/Guest Access” option in the Student Information System (SIS) to allow students an easy, one-stop method to release key educational information to parents, legal guardians, and guests.

Talk to your student about using the Grant Parent/Guest Access option to give you the ability to review his or her educational records through SIS. All your student needs to do is set you up with a User ID and password. If you lose your User ID and/or password, your student can access that information for you through the “Grant Parent/Guest Access” option on the SIS.
 

Commencement

If a graduating student has a guest with special seating needs (such as accommodations for a wheelchair or walker), please report this to the Registrar Office staff at Commencement Rehearsal, held December 3 and 4 at 3:30 pm at the Community Arts Center.  

Sign language interpreters will interpret the Commencement ceremony. Interpreters will fingerspell graduates’ names, upon request. Requests for fingerspelling graduate names should also be made at the commencement rehearsal.

DEC3 + DEC4
Commencement Rehearsal

Dining Services

Thanksgiving is near and your student will be home for the holiday! Turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, and oh by the way…”pack me up all the leftovers to take back to school – I’m running low on my declining/flex dollars.”  While most students have plenty of meals, flex, or declining balance dollars to get them through the end of the semester, it is not uncommon for some students to add a few extra dollars to their plan at this point in the semester. 

If you need to add funds to your students account follow our Parent/Guest Add-on Process.

Parent/Guest Add-on Process

You do not need to be registered for GET and this process can be completed even if your student has not registered for GET. 
 
STEP 1 - Navigate to https://get.cbord.com/penncollege/
 
STEP 2 - On the sign in screen, click on the link below the Parents, Guardians or Other Relatives heading 
 
STEP 3 - Follow the on screen instructions to add funds. You will need the following to complete your transaction: 

  • Student’s Penn College ID #; 
  • Student’s full name (first & last); 
  • Dining Plan Account Information – are you adding to Flex Dollars or a Declining Balance plan? (If your student has a Board Plan or Block Plan, you will be adding to flex dollars – all resident students have a Board Plan)
  • A credit or debit card

 
The end of the semester also brings some questions as to what happens to unused meals and funds. All dining plans (board, block or declining) are semester based and end at close of business on Friday, December 14. Here is what you can expect. 

Board / Block Plans
  • Any unused meals at the end of the semester do not carry to the next semester and are not refunded.
  • Unused flex dollars associated with a Board or Block plan are non-refundable. 
    • The exception to this rule is if additional funds were added above the initial amount associated with the dining plan, those funds are refundable if there is $10 or more in the account on Dec. 14. Refunds may take up to two weeks. 
  • If you are a resident student, your spring dining plan will be added to your Spring Tuition Bill automatically.
    • Non-resident students who would like a Board or Block Plan can add this optional charge to their tuition bill through December 7, 2019 by visiting the Student Information System (SIS) or by contacting the Dining Services office directly.

Declining Balance Plans
  • Remaining funds will carry over to the spring semester.
    • Graduating seniors will have their declining funds refunded if there is $10 or more in their account at the close of business on Friday, December 14. Refunds may take up to two weeks.
  • If you wish to add additional funds for the spring semester, select one of our three starting Declining Balance plans ($500, $300, $100) on the SIS through the optional billing link.
  • Important Dates
    • Nov. 22 – 25, Thanksgiving Vacation  - dining units closed, no board meals
    • Dec. 14, all student dining plans end at close of business for the Fall Semester
    • Jan. 12, board meals begin after 4 p.m. 

If you or your student have Dining Plan questions or about GET, contact the Dining Services office at dining@pct.edu or 570-327-4767. Oh and go ahead and send those leftovers as well, everyone LOVES leftovers!
 

Major-Change: Taking the Road Less Traveled

Students

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. 
---Robert Frost

Studies suggest that college students consider a change of major at least once during their college years. This is not surprising, since college is a time when students investigate ideas, discover new interests, and explore their talents and potential.

If your student has a change of heart about his or her current major, it is important to consider all opportunities. Some students find their fit in majors that do not conform to traditional career stereotypes. For male students, this may mean pursuing careers in the health sciences, education, or human services fields. 

Female students might choose a career in a STEM-related field (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics). As industry needs change, students may choose to go where the jobs are prevalent, regardless of convention. At Penn College, choosing a non-traditional career is not unusual, and when paired with a passion, can result in powerful opportunities for growth and success.  A good illustration of this occurred over the summer. A team of three female Penn College welding students earned the privileged of participating in the SkillsUSA National Championships. The competition required participants to create a specific product. The end products were then donated to families in the developing world. Not only did the teams have the opportunity to compete at a high level, and further develop their technical and professional skills, they came away with the satisfaction of having contributed to a larger cause, all while doing something they love.

If your student begins to have second thoughts about the major they originally chose, the following are a couple of tips for how you can assist:

  1. Don’t worry. Help is available! Our Career Services office can be your student’s first stop in evaluating interests and options. Students may also visit the Academic Schools, before making a switch, for more detailed discussions about major content, expectations, and career possibilities.
  2. Do some research. Help your student investigate the impact of this major change on length of enrollment, financial commitment, and job placement after graduation. This will help to inform the decision. 
  3. Be supportive. It is important for your student to identify a satisfying career path. Your patience and guidance can help your student approach this challenge with a positive mindset. 

Whether your student is excited about this new direction or feeling overwhelmed by the decision, they will value your understanding and support. Listen, guide, and be open to the road less traveled! It is worth the investment.

Too Many Forks?

How many job candidates do you think come across poorly during the dinner interview ‘test’ because of unprofessional dining etiquette? The pressure knowing that a hiring decision could rest partially on your dinner performance is anxiety producing. A keen mind, good appearance, and nice personality may not outweigh poor table manners. During the interview process, an invitation to a meal means that you are under strong consideration, and by extension, intense scrutiny. Although good etiquette won’t necessarily get you the job, bad etiquette could cost you the job. Your social graces and general demeanor at the table can tell as much about you as your answer to a question. 

 Whether you are at a professional conference, conducting an interview, or exploring a new culture, being familiar with the rules of dining etiquette can help to increase your professionalism in unfamiliar situations. Some interviewees think that the meal is a time to relax and chat freely with your interviewer, however, this could be a costly mistake. When an organization hosts a meal during an interview, often they are assessing how you conduct yourself, your knowledge of etiquette and standard dining practices, and they are also looking to see how you will conduct yourself when meeting with clients and senior positions within the company.

Career Services unveiled the first Dining for Success Etiquette Dinner in 2010 with only 15 attendees. Today, it has become a valuable campus tradition serving hundreds of students each academic year. Aided by The Le Jeune Chef Restaurant staff and mentors which include, college employees, alumni and business professionals from the community – attendees learn how proper table manners can help project confidence and maturity to a prospective employer. Shortly after the inaugural event, faculty began supporting this worthwhile experience by incorporating it into class syllabi. 

Please encourage your student to register for the next Dining for Success Etiquette Dinner and join their fellow classmates for a fine dining experience that teaches them the do’s and don’ts of dinning etiquette. Contact careerservices@pct.edu for upcoming dates!   
 

Job Opportunities for Your Student

Are you interested in sharing a job opportunity with your student? Beginning in spring 2019, there will be paid leadership opportunities available. The Student Leader Selection Process is a student leadership hiring process in Spring 2019 to hire students for positions in the 2019-2020 academic year. 

All positions influence personal and professional growth transforming your student into a confident leader. They are also great resume builders! Please share with your student today!

Community Peer Educators (paid)
•    serve as a resource for students and assist in recommending and referring to appropriate existing support/resources when necessary
•    serve as a connection between the College and the Williamsport community
•    seek to educate and empower our campus on areas of diversity, cultural life, stigma reduction, wellbeing and community engagement
•    serve as a link between the campus administration/staff and their student community
•    serve as a positive bystander for their campus communities

Connections Links (paid)
•    hired to assist with the coordination and implementation of the Connections program, Penn College’s summer orientation, as well as Summer Preview Days, Welcome Weekend, PC3, and Homecoming & Parent and Family Weekend
•    help orient new students to the College at the start of the fall and spring semesters
•    prepare first-year, transfer and adult learner students and their guests to become members of the Penn College community

Presidential Student Ambassadors (paid)
•    act as liaisons between the College and prospective and current students and their families, guests, alumni, business partners, and friends of the College
•    communicate the mission and culture of the College
•    strengthen our traditions and promote Penn College Pride
•    encourage lifelong involvement with the College

Resident Assistants (free room & board benefits)
•    who work in our on-campus residence halls, bringing a sense of community and serving as positive role models to our resident population
•    serve as peer advisers through interactions with residents and peer educators through programming initiatives
 

RELIEVE THE STRESS!

Exams and the end of the semester can be stressful – send your student a Wildcat Wishes Gift Package to wish them luck as they finish the semester.  These packages are great for a late night study session or to share with “study buddies” – Miss You, Just Because, Exam Cram

 View all Wildcat Wishes Packages

$30
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Miss you

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, a 2-liter of soda, plus coupons for one large pizza and a dozen wings.

Order this package
$20
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Just Because

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.

Order this package
$20
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Exam Cram

Exam coming up? This snack pack will help your student "power" through their exam. Package includes Pop-tarts, microwave popcorn, snickers bar, Nutri-grain bar, Power Bar, Almonds and two Rockstar energy drinks.

Order this package