The Board of Trustees of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College invites nominations and applications for the position of President.
Established in 1993, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College offers over 35 associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs including specialties in health care, business, social services, and information technology at facilities throughout the Southern Alleghenies region of Pennsylvania (just east of Pittsburgh). Early in its history, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College experienced significant growth resulting in a move in 2008 to its current main campus located in Richland Township located in Johnstown, Pa. and has expanded from just two locations to six sites serving five counties and beyond.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College now serves an annual unduplicated headcount of approximately 2,000 students in credit programs across all locations in the communities of Richland Township, Johnstown, Altoona, Ebensburg, Huntingdon, Somerset, and via online. This includes as many as 1,200 students in the Accelerated College Education (dual enrollment) courses in high schools spanning twelve Pennsylvania counties. Additionally, the College serves nearly 1,000 students each year in non-credit training opportunities through Continuing Education, and many community members enjoy education, workforce training, and social opportunities through Community Education classes.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College has a variety of active student clubs and organizations that meet regularly and engage in discussions and activities that embrace each group’s unique area of focus. Currently, the College has four NJCAA athletic teams: bowling, cross country, men’s basketball, and women’s volleyball, as well as a women’s club basketball team. Bowling and cross country were just recently added and have already been recognized in regional competition.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is designated as a Military Friendly School®, is identified as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense due to the Cyber Security program, consistently boasts Coca-Cola Academic Silver and Bronze Scholars, and the Media Production students claimed first place in a statewide film competition in 2018.
The College is proud of its attractive facilities, and faculty and staff that is notably dedicated to student learning and success. Pennsylvania Highlands Community College boasts a graduation rate of 35% for first-time full-time students; the highest rate of community colleges in the state.
Living in the Southern Alleghenies
The physical and societal advantages of this region cannot be exaggerated. Magnificent mountains are not only the backdrop to everyday life, they also provide wonderful opportunities for recreational activities. From nationally recognized hiking and biking trails to rafting and skiing, these outstanding natural and recreational resources are major contributions to a quality of life that businesses, workers, and retirees are seeking. The Allegheny mountains provide four unique seasons, each beautiful in its own way. The mountains and rivers are only the beginning as one may immerse themselves in the culture of the region. The Johnstown area offers a vibrant arts scene including the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, historical landmarks, picturesque architecture, local sports teams, and more. Perhaps the
most important aspect of the region is the importance of family, high quality private and public education, and the care for one another.
The Pennsylvania Highlands Community College location is within two hours of major markets like Pittsburgh and State College, and it is within a four-hour drive of Philadelphia and Cleveland, and three hours to Baltimore/ Washington D.C. The region is home to a world class Trauma 1 medical center, and has outstanding public and private K-12 school systems. Here one will find remarkable people, natural resources, a desirable quality of life, and a strong work ethic. This is an area where one would like to live, work, invest, and play.
Our Next President: Challenges & Opportunities
The President will be a forward-thinking and innovative leader with a deep commitment to the region, and will address the following:
- Assess and align college operations in order to identify and implement strategies for increasing enrollment, retention, and completion.
- Increase funding opportunities by engaging in the state and local political processes that provide financial support to the College.
- Effectively market the College and engage in continuous community outreach in order to increase the College’s visibility and enhance its image and reputation throughout the region.
- Spearhead rural economic development by aligning degree and certificate programs with in-demand jobs.
- Work closely with business and industry in order to develop programs focused on meeting the workforce training and re-training needs to address the employment skills gap of the region.
- Work closely with K-12 school systems to build pathways for a continuing education
- Position the College so the adult population recognizes Pennsylvania Highlands Community College as a resource for improving their lives.
- Understand the history and culture of this rural community, and mobilize the College to support those who could benefit from a Pennsylvania Highlands Community College education, particularly those who are unemployed and underemployed.
- Actively integrate Pennsylvania Highlands Community College into the life of the community so as to be a resource that enhances the Southern Alleghenies region as a desirable place to work, live, invest, and play.
- Ensures the continued quality and growth of the academic program.
- The opportunity exists for Pennsylvania Highlands Community College to define its future in meeting the education and workforce needs of the community.
Our Next President: Ideal Characteristics
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College seeks a visionary leader who is authentic and engaging and is/has:
- A leader who can create and articulate a vision of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College that moves the College into the future.
- A student-centered and community orientation with a passion for and understanding of community college mission.
- A true advocate for the tremendous value of a community college education.
- Demonstrated experience implementing strategies that build enrollment, and improve retention and completion.
- A genuine appreciation of the value of student life at a community college.
- A forward-thinking and innovative perspective, and is focused on both career and technology education and academic transfer opportunities.
- A collaborative community focused-leader with the demonstrated ability to strengthen and form strategic partnerships throughout the region.
- An understanding of innovative process that align facilities with student, employee, and programmatic needs.
- A comprehensive understanding of working with complex budgets.
- Experience both developing and implementing a visionary strategic plan.
- The ability to balance the business aspects of running a college and the academic responsibilities of educating students; appreciates the value of data driven decision making.
- Experience working with foundations, fundraising, and on-going giving.
- Experience working with state and local officials to support funding allocations for the College.
- Ability to work closely with regional partners and develop innovative partnerships with business and industry.
- Understands and embraces the power of technology and social media to enhance both College operations and the student experience.
- An understanding of the role of the governing board of trustees and their relationship to the president, the College, and the community.
- An appreciation of the unique nature and culture of rural communities.
- Experience working with collective bargaining.
- The ability to cultivate a workplace culture that boosts morale, increases productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction within Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, thus helping to retain a valuable and committed workforce.
- A professional, team-oriented, active listener who is able to build consensus and connections.
An earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution is highly preferred.
Significant and progressive senior level administrative experience, preferably at a community college.