President's Message

Each year brings a new set of challenges. But one thing remains the same: More than 6,000 students return to campus each semester, with a collective hope for the future that is more powerful than any obstacle that stands in the way of success.

Our students’ dreams persist through hard times and economic slumps. So, we must hold fast to our commitment to do our best to prepare them for the futures they all deserve.

President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomes an audience of prospective students and their parents during Open House. Photo by Michael S. Fischer.

In 2010-11, federal and state budget shortfalls continued to impact individuals and organizations across the commonwealth and the nation. Pennsylvania College of Technology again faced a zero increase in state appropriations for 2010-11 and braced for a reduction in state support for 2011-12.

As we developed the annual budgets, the guiding principle was our desire to keep tuition at a reasonable level without jeopardizing the student experience. It is important that we examine every dollar we spend and ensure that we are living up to our purpose by providing students with the highest-quality educational experience. We made many difficult but necessary decisions, and we decreased the operating budget for the coming academic year.

Despite a fluctuating economy, we must continue to find new ways to help students succeed. We recognize that the success of our graduates will form the backbone of our future workforce and will be instrumental in recovering our economic strength.

In 2010-11, we took many steps to reach more students with services that will help them stay in school and thrive. We’ve made an effort to reach more students with academic, counseling and disability support to help them succeed. We’ve done more to encourage diversity in our campus community, because we know that respect for individual differences is the foundation of a positive learning – and life – experience.

We piloted our First Year Experience course to help new students navigate Penn College’s culture, processes and expectations. Our data suggests the pilot was successful, as we saw higher retention rates and 10-percent higher first-semester grade-point averages among those who took the course. “FYE” became a mandatory, one-credit course for all first-year students in Fall 2011.

"With insightful planning and purpose, we will lead the way and inspire hope for the commonwealth's workforce."

I taught a section of the course last fall, and I loved it. I was challenged to engage students and connect with them on a more personal level. The experience – my first in the classroom for many years – helped me to appreciate the overwhelming transition new students face. They have a short time to adjust – just three months between graduating from high school and entering college.

While it is an exciting time, filled with hope and new adventures, for many, the shift is a formidable challenge. They experience brand-new living situations. Their need for personal responsibility increases. There are more constraints on their time, as the need to complete homework and study outside of class is greater than they may have experienced in high school.

The magnitude of change in these students’ lives increases the need for our institution to continue finding new ways
to support them and to provide them with the best college experience we can. Even during times of economic distress, we must not relax our commitment to that quality experience.

As we stay true to our mission and focus on the success of our students, the college’s reputation continues to grow. We earned a spot among the “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the North Region for the 2010 edition of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News Media Group. Penn College was rated among the top 10 public colleges in the region.

While I am pleased to see our national recognition increase, the best measure of our success continues to be the success of our graduates in the workplace and in life. We confidently stake our reputation on our alumni and the incredible impact these men and women have on the workforce and on our communities.

It is our mission to provide the education that fosters this impact, so even while the economy ebbs and flows, we remain accountable and responsible to make a difference in students’ lives.

Davie Jane Gilmour

Davie Jane Gilmour, Ph.D.


Operating Budget $100,083,000
State Appropriation $14,019,000

0-percent increase over prior year

Federal Stimulus Funds $676,000
Restricted Funds

Grants, contracts and restricted donations $16,254,000

Auxiliary Funds $24,963,000

Tuition & Fees

Pennsylvania residents

Tuition per credit hour $368

Tuition and fees per credit hour $436

Annual tuition and fees $13,080

based on 15 credits per semester
4.81-percent increase over prior year

Out-of-state residents

Tuition per credit hour $478

Tuition and fees per credit hour $546

Annual tuition and fees $16,380

based on 15 credits per semester

Fees include

Per-credit-hour technology fee $15

Per-credit-hour capital fee $43

Per-credit-hour laboratory fee $34

Per-credit-hour student activity fee $6

Per-credit-hour health service fee $4


Grants and contracts awarded to Penn College in 2010-11 supported 44 projects valued in excess of $15.1 million.


Penn College and the Penn College Foundation received in-kind donations of equipment, technology, materials and supplies from business and industry for instructional purposes valued at $807,813 and cash donations totaling $1,354,296 for a total of $2,162,109.

The Penn College Fund Employee Campaign raised a record $101,630, a 4-percent increase over 2009-10.

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