College expands course offerings at area high schools

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s dual-enrollment program for high school students -- Penn College NOW -- is expanding for the 2008-09 school year to include new programs and new schools.

Penn College NOW allows high school students to take Penn College courses at their school taught by Penn College-approved high school teachers. Two new schools will carry courses this year: Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School and Clearfield County Career and Technology Center.

The college has offered electronics and computer engineering technology and information technology courses at a number of area school districts in recent years, allowing students to earn college credit for the courses. The college also has offered plastics and polymer technology courses at Schuylkill Technology Centers.

Beginning this fall, the college has added offerings in welding technology and computer-aided drafting technology to a limited number of schools with plans to expand both programs to additional schools with Pennsylvania Department of Education-approved career and technical programs next year. Plastics and polymer technology course offerings -- which have been revised from past offerings -- are expanded to additional schools for 2008-09.

Courses in automotive technology: Ford ASSET will be offered for the first time at the Western Center for Technical Studies in Limerick. The college plans to expand automotive course offerings to additional high schools next fall.

Classes offered in secondary schools use the same textbooks, curricula, lab assignments and tests as those offered to fully enrolled students on Penn College's campus. To ensure the rigor of the courses offered in secondary schools, Penn College faculty liaisons train the high school teachers and grade the students' major exams and projects.

Students who choose to enroll in Penn College courses at their local high school earn both a grade for their high school report card and a grade that will be recorded on their college transcripts. Credits earned for the courses, which are directly applicable to Penn College associate-degree majors, may be transferred to any college or university that will accept the credits. Students may take up to 15 credits in high school, or about a college semester's worth of courses.

Students are asked to pay for the courses at the greatly reduced fee of $20 per credit. Most courses are worth three credits. Application and other fees are waived. In addition to earning college credit, students become familiar with the workload of a college course -- which is taken over a full school year, rather than one semester -- and they learn more about a career at a lower cost than they would if waiting until the freshman year of college.

With the expansion in programming, these area schools offer the following Penn College NOW programs:

Clearfield County Career and Technology Center
-- courses to be determined

Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School
-- computer aided drafting technology
-- electronics and computer engineering technology
-- welding technology

Jersey Shore Area School District
-- electronics and computer engineering technology
-- information technology
-- plastics and polymer technology

Lycoming Career and Technology Center
-- computer aided drafting technology
-- information technology

Milton Area School District
-- computer aided drafting technology
-- information technology
-- plastics and polymer technology

Montgomery Area School District
-- information technology

Schuylkill Technology Centers
-- information technology
-- plastics and polymer technology

State College Area School District
-- information technology

Sullivan County School District
-- information technology

SUN Area Career and Technology Center
-- computer aided drafting technology
-- electronics and computer engineering technology
-- information technology
-- welding technology
-- plastics and polymer technology

Williamsport Area School District
-- electronics and computer engineering technology
-- information technology
-- welding technology
-- plastics and polymer technology

Western Center for Technical Studies
-- automotive technology: Ford ASSET

Students may sign up in their local school office. Penn College NOW is administered at Penn College by the Outreach for K-12 Office. It is partially funded by Workforce Leadership Grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, through the Pennsylvania Department of Education and by Penn College.

To learn more about dual enrollment, visit online, send e-mail or call (570) 320-8003.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009