New Kensington campus offers noncredit computer software courses during summer

May 25, 2016

UPPER BURRELL, Pa. — Noncredit courses offered through the Office of Continuing Education at Penn State New Kensington include working with computer software programs Excel and PowerPoint, using an iPad, and digitizing documents. Geared to adult learners, the courses do not carry college credit and are designed to meet specific skill developments. All classes run from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in the campus’ Information Technology Center.

Excel is an electronic spreadsheet application that organizes data into rows and columns, and performs mathematical calculations. Intermediate Excel is set for Tuesday, May 31 and June 7. Participants can learn formatting, using functions, sorting and entering data, and using multiple files and workbooks. Advanced Excel is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14 and 21. Participants can acquire the skills to work with advanced filters, data and statistical analysis functions, Toolpak and dialog box controls.

Excel Graphing, which creates many different types of charts to communicate information and analyze data, is set for Thursday, June 16 and 23. This graphing course covers the basic concepts and provides additional tools to increase graphing proficiency.

The PowerPoint course provides the skills to create basic presentations. Level II is scheduled for Thursday, June 2 and 9. The concepts covered include applying themes, enhancing visuals, inserting diagrams and charts, and transitioning between slides and animation. Additional information on using templates and the master slide will be provided.

The cost for all Excel and PowerPoint courses is $130, and it includes all the materials. The courses will be taught by Skip Laratonda, adjunct instructor in engineering. Laratonda is the 2016 recipient of campus’ Excellence in Teaching award for faculty in the Office of Continuing Education. Faculty at Penn State have three areas of responsibility — teaching, research/scholarly activity, and service. The award recognizes a faculty member’s contribution in teaching. The principal criterion is excellent classroom performance, but excellence in other activities such as advising, supervision of learning outside the classroom, and course development are considered.

The final offerings, taught by Renata Bender, are one-day classes from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on two Wednesdays. Both cost $65, and include the course materials.

"Now You have an Apple iPad" is June 15. The course covers the basics of using an iPad, including surfing the internet, setting up an email account and taking photos.

"An Overview of Today’s Digital Environment" is June 22. It will provide tips on efficiency in using digital technology, such as digitizing documents, using Outlook as a tool for working efficiently and backing up your digital world.

To register for the courses, contact Beth Nury at 724-334-6010 or

Courses offered on-site
In addition to computer classes, a variety of noncredit courses are offered through the campus’ Continuing Education office. Topics for professional development seminars and workshops include: autocad, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, industrial blueprint reading, business programs, industry and manufacturing programs, and human resources. The courses can be delivered at the campus or on-site at a business or organization.

“We have highly qualified and knowledgeable instructors who can help each student make marked achievements in the class,” said Pat Hollinger, director of continuing education. “With our portable computer lab, all of these and many others can be offered on-site at a company or organization.”

For more on continuing education at the campus, visit

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Last Updated May 25, 2016