President's Message

President Davie Jane Gilmour joins students in the Student and Administrative Services Center. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel.

Over the past several years, we’ve been counting down to 2014, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s centennial year. As 2013 draws to a close, that countdown is almost over. In January, we will kick off a year of celebration. Events will honor our founders, our students, our employees, our alumni and our community. All have helped to build the first 100 years of our history: a legacy that is worthy of reflection and commemoration.

Over a century, we have grown. As I think back to the founders of our institution, I see a clear picture of their mission and our vision. Their success – in retraining disabled World War I veterans for new roles, preparing the unemployed of the Great Depression for jobs, and serving GI Bill-supported veterans – is our inheritance. We proudly accept the continuing commitment to transform lives by providing academic and personal support to students and by taking risks and making bold decisions that will strengthen our campus and our community.

From our earliest days, the institution has helped to advance new technology. Students have reaped the benefit of hands-on experience with industry-standard equipment since a one-of-a-kind industrial arts shop opened in the new Williamsport High School (now Klump Academic Center) in 1914, and through the computer age, when we piloted some of the region’s first computer courses in 1963 and a first-of-its-kind computer-integrated manufacturing demonstration in 1990.

In 2006, we made the bold decision to accept the management role for the state’s new Workforce and Economic Development Network (WEDnetPA). Through a network of 30 educational providers, the program continues to administer Guaranteed Free Training to companies; in April, WEDnetPA reached a milestone, training its 1 millionth employee.

After a long history as a "commuter" campus, we entered a new era as a residential campus offering on-campus housing to students in 1997. In 2012-13, more than 1,700 students lived on campus, and their satisfaction with on-campus living was at its highest level in 15 years.

We continued to enrich our students’ experience in Fall 2011 when we began requiring a First Year Experience course to help new students navigate the first year and build a foundation for success throughout their college careers. Our efforts are paying off. The number of referrals from concerned faculty members about first-year students has dropped 14 percent since the FYE requirement was introduced; fall-to-spring retention rates of first-year students – a concern for colleges nationwide – has increased; and first-year GPAs are rising.

Now, as in our formative years, we remain responsive to business and industry, to community needs, to workforce needs, and to transforming the lives of the individuals who make up our student body.

"We must continue our mission to transform lives through education."

Throughout history, when wars distracted us, when economic challenges mounted, when our own survival in the sponsorship crisis was in doubt, we never wavered. We moved forward and embraced new opportunities – from developing the nationally acclaimed "Williamsport Plan"to put the unemployed back to work in the 1930s, to being among the first in the nation to adapt our programs to meet World War II production needs, to forging a new affiliation with Penn State when our community college sponsorship was threatened.

When I look back over time, I see this institution leading the way as a technical institute, as a community college, and today as a college with a unique and special mission to provide the most advanced technology-based education reinforced with general education course work that prepares our graduates to advance into leadership roles in the workplace and in the community.

Over our first 100 years, we became Pennsylvania’s premier technical college. Now, we focus on building upon our heritage to secure our position as a national leader in applied technology education.

To honor our legacy, we must continue to build upon the foundation set by faculty, administrators, staff, students, and our community and industry partners. We must continue our bold leadership by charting a new course reflecting changing societal and employment realities. We must continue our mission to transform lives through education and a unique, holistic college experience that inspires students to achieve full, rich and meaningful lives.

As we mark our first century as a leader in higher education – ranked by U.S. News & World Report’s "Best Colleges"as among the top 10 public regional colleges in the north, we will expand our work with two-year colleges, easing the transfer into Penn College’s bachelor-degree majors. We will expand distance-learning offerings, which allow students with associate degrees to complete the final two years of a baccalaureate degree online. We will introduce contemporary technology programs – like mechatronics, which is in high demand in natural gas and other industries – and continue to update majors such as Web and interactive media, in order to keep pace with evolving industry trends. We will do our part to make a positive impact on the future, branding Williamsport as a college town and creating a sound legacy as we celebrate a very proud past.

Davie Jane Gilmour

Taking the controls in a plastics laboratory. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel.
Information technology student Dakota D. Cook. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel.
A student studies in Madigan Library. Photo by Cindy Davis Meixel.

2012-13 Funding

  • Operating Budget $97,902,601
  • State Appropriation Same level as prior year$13,584,000
  • Restricted Funds Grants, contracts and restricted donations$16,089,605
  • Auxiliary Funds$26,917,478
Tuition & Fees
Pennsylvania residents
  • Tuition per credit hour$400
  • Tuition and fees per credit hour $479
  • Annual tuition and fees$14,370

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

Out-of-state residents
  • Tuition per credit hour $521
  • Tuition and fees per credit hour$600
  • Annual tuition and fees$18,000

based on 15 credits per semester

Fees include
  • Per-credit-hour technology fee$16
  • Per-credit-hour capital fee$47
  • Per-credit-hour laboratory fee Does not apply to all classes$36
  • Per-credit-hour student activity fee$11
  • Per-credit-hour health service fee$5

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 $651,527 and cash donations totaling $969,708 for a total of $1,621,235. Donors included 758 alumni and 450 employees, who together contributed $381,582.

Share your comments

Penn College welcomes comments that are on topic and civil. Read our full disclaimer.