Greater Altoona Career &
December 8, 2011
Practical Nursing Notes……......3
New Choices………………………….4 From the Guidance Department…...
Assemblies and Tours
From November 1-9, Guidance personnel conducted informational assemblies
Items of Interest: for ninth grade students at eight sending schools to introduce the training
opportunities at the GACTC for the 2012-2013 school year. From November 14
ISO QMS .................................... 2
through November 18, more than 625 ninth grade students toured the school
Welding Show ........................... 3
from the following sending schools:
Open House............................... 4
Lights on Lake ............................ 5 AAJHS 170 Glendale 63
Marciniak Scholarship ............... 5 Bellwood 37 Hollidaysburg 116
Fundraiser ................................. 5 Central 40 Tyrone 111
Leadership Academy ................. 6 Claysburg 61 Williamsburg 28
NTHS .......................................... 6
Students spent approximately thirty minutes in each of three program areas of
Bishop Guilfoyle ninth graders are scheduled to tour the program areas on
1500 Fourth Avenue December 14. Also this year, eighth grade Altoona Area Junior High School
Altoona, Pennsylvania 16602 students toured the building between November 21-23.
Guidance Counselor, Nicole Taneyhill attended Bellwood-Antis High School
Career Days on October 26. As a member of the Career Development
Committee, Nicole attended a Stakeholders meeting at Altoona Area High
School on October 27. She also participated in Penn State Counselor
Middle States Assn. of
Colleges & Secondary Schools
Appreciation Day held at the Altoona Campus.
In an effort to inform area teachers about GACTC course offerings, a teacher
exchange program has begun. Two math teachers from Hollidaysburg Area
Junior High School toured the GACTC on November 4. In the future, teachers
Council on Occupational Education from other curricular departments, such as Science, English, etc., will be given
this opportunity as well.
Designed by Becky Reighard,
Printed by Digital Printing Technologies
As of this date, five students have been placed on Cooperative Education. Now
that PSSA remediation and retesting is complete, more eligible senior students
will pursue Cooperative Education.
HOLIDAY CLASS/OFFICE SCHEDULE
GACTC students begin Christmas break on Friday, December 23. All classes resume on
Tuesday, January 3, 2012. Office hours during the Christmas Break are 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Offices are open with limited staffing during the break. Offices are closed for the Christmas Day
holiday on Monday, December 26, and for New Year’s Day on Monday, January 2.
GACTC Update — Page 2 — December 2011
REPORT FROM ADULT &CONTINUING EDUCATION
Part-Time Continuing Education Offerings
The GACTC is revising the print brochure and course offerings to include some significant
changes in current part-time course offerings. This change, which will not be completed until
summer of 2012, is the result of two major factors:
Last spring, a survey was emailed to over 4,000 people using the Constant Contact email
list. The intent of the survey was to gather pertinent information from community
members regarding the value of current offerings and what courses they would like the
GACTC to offer in the future. The survey results showed that respondents are interested
in taking courses but the long-term (e.g. 72 hour) courses do not fit their schedules.
Enrollment in part-time courses has decreased significantly over the past two years. In an
effort to strive for continued excellence in course offerings, the Continuing Education
Department relies heavily on input from its constituents; therefore, revisions are being made to make course offerings relevant to
the needs of today’s adult learners.
The Office of Continuing Education continues to work with companies to meet their training needs through the WEDnetPA program.
Leanne Sidney and Greg McConnell recently attended a WEDnetPA mandatory meeting at Pennsylvania College of Technology in
Williamsport, PA, where training was provided on the invoicing piece of the new management information system, ISAAC. On
December 8, Leanne and Greg will conduct a training session for current companies to practice using ISAAC to invoice for
At this point, all funds allocated to the GACTC as a WEDnetPA Partner—in excess of $250,000 (including the GAT allocations)—
have been allocated to companies in Central Pennsylvania. Because the statewide WEDnetPA office did not allow invoicing
capabilities until December 1 of this year, GACTC’s invoicing process will begin in the near future.
Open House/Growth and Development/Enrollment for 2012-13
The Growth and Development Committee has met three times this year, most recently with an emphasis on marketing the December
1 Open House. Ten thousand placemats promoting the Open House were distributed to local restaurants. Additionally, with the
guidance and expertise of Keith Landis, Multimedia & Web Design Instructor, more than 4,000 Open House invitations were
delivered through the Constant Contact email list. Moreover, many television spots have aired showcasing GACTC’s Open House
With extra recruiting efforts by Enrollment and Retention Specialist, Kathy Butler, the Continuing Education Department has
already received applications for the 2012-2013 school year. Kathy attended several career fairs, talked with groups of high school
students, and made phone calls in an effort to recruit new students.
Customized & Applied Training Solutions (CATS)
In an effort to increase our presence in the community, the Continuing Education Department, assisted by Steve Clark Advertising,
developed a method to target local companies in offering customized job training. Following several meetings and discussions, the
idea of giving a name to the customized training process was introduced. The result is the creation of the Customized & Applied
Training Solutions (CATS). The focus of CATS will be to provide very individualized training by offering a flexible and
customizable solution to companies’ training needs at an affordable price.
Welding Certification Program
Mr. George Woomer continues to administer the AWS test to local individuals. Mr. Woomer has worked recently with an array of
local companies, including Norfolk Southern and the McLanahan Corporation.
ISO QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The ISO Quality Management Team continues to meet on a weekly basis in preparation for a
renewal audit scheduled for January 19 and 20, 2012. A Management Review, as required by the ISO
standard, will be conducted during the week of January 9 in preparation for the outside audit of the quality
GACTC Update — Page 3 — December 2011
Practical Nursing Notes…...
Class of 2011 NCLEX-PN Results
Graduates of the Practical Nursing Class of 2011 are in the process of taking the NCLEX-PN (State Board) exam. To date, 44 of the
47 graduates have taken and passed their licensing exam and are now licensed to practice nursing in the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. The remaining students are in the process of taking their exam and are awaiting official results.
Upon completion of final exams for Level I, 59 women and 9 men have advanced to the second level of the current full-time class.
This is the highest enrollment ever that the program has experienced entering this second level. The students are now enrolled in
Medical/Surgical Nursing and are assigned to the Altoona Regional Hospital and Health South for their clinical experience.
The part-time class of 2012 consists of 20 women. The students are at mid-semester of Level III and are preparing to take the mid-
term pharmacology mathematics exam that they are required to pass in order to administer medications.
Pre-entrance testing is being conducted monthly for both the full-time and part-time classes which are scheduled to begin at the end
of August 2012.
Several Practical Nursing students assisted in taking blood pressures of students at their physical exams, sponsored by the Altoona
Area High School Athletic Department.
Practical Nursing held an American Red Cross Bloodmobile on November 30. Congratulations to all students who participated and
helped us exceed our goal of 55 by collecting 63 productive units. The program receives scholarship money based on the amount of
productive units. Last year we received $500 for our efforts.
Many GACTC employees and students visited the Breast Cancer Awareness display on October 26. Students made information
available for men and women related to disease prevention and treatment.
Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) members from Mrs. Della
Gens’ Health Occupations Program and the post-secondary Practical
Nursing Program teamed up to sponsor a school-wide Food Drive for needy
families in the area. The Food Drive is just one of the many activities in
which the programs partner to promote health career opportunities at the
GACTC. Qualified graduates from the Health Occupations Program are
eligible to participate in a reserved placement process as well as a tuition
discount incentive. Six GACTC Health Occupations graduates took
advantage of this opportunity and are currently enrolled in the LPN program.
For more information, check us out at www.gactc.edu.
FabTech/American Welding Society (AWS) /Welding Show/Expo
Welding Instructor, George Seese, and a number of senior welding students attended the annual FabTech/
AWS Welding Show Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Seese, as Advisor for the
school’s chapter of the AWS, is very active in AWS educational activities. Students have visited several
local businesses and observed highly specialized welding operations. At McCormick Place, the students
were able to experience the following:
Attended a panel discussion on how panel members got involved in welding, welding careers, welding
education and where it can take them.
Observed and used new welding machines and observed new welding processes, communicated with
Observed new fabrication equipment and communicated with vendors.
Competed in a welding competition on site.
Observed newest safety equipment for welding industry, communicated with vendors.
GACTC Update — Page 4 — December 2011
NEW CHOICES CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Two classes have been conducted since reconvening the program in August. A total of 19 will graduate (or
already have graduated) via these two classes. The third session is tentatively scheduled for January-February,
2012 with start dates and times pending.
Program Coordinator, Tammie Fleck, is involved in monthly teleconferences with other state Project Directors
to discuss the grant, upcoming events, reports, etc. Tammie has also been elected to serve on a subcommittee
dealing with advocacy and searching for additional grant resources.
With involvement on this New Choices subcommittee, great strides have been made in locating additional
grant sources. Most recently, Tammie partnered with PA Women Work in seeking a Highmark grant which
would impact New Choices services greatly. If approved and awarded, New Choices Offices could receive
$10,000 EACH in additional grant funds. The deadline to submit this proposal is November 30, with awards
anticipated in January, 2012.
In addition, Tammie continues advocacy and awareness efforts for the program with community partners and
legislators. Tammie met with both Senator Eichelberger and Representative Jerry Stern at their respective
offices during the month of November. Tammie attends various agency events and attends monthly staff
meetings at Blair County CareerLink.
Tammie participates with the Rapid Response Team, which consists of representatives from the Blair and
Huntingdon County CareerLinks, the Unemployment Office, and the GACTC New Choices Program. The
Rapid Response Team provides information and services to those already or soon-to-be laid-off. Visits were
made to US FoodService on September 21 and November 21 to address employees impacted by lay-off.
Leadership Blair County, a committee within the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled to visit
the New Choices Office on the afternoon of December 9. Leaders in the community will provide a round-
table discussion regarding services provided by the New Choices program, and the assistance it can provide in
Blair and surrounding counties.
A clothing drive has been underway since August to provide New Choices clients with business clothing
appropriate for job/postsecondary education interviews. An overwhelming amount of donations have been
collected, and many former and current New Choices graduates have been assisted by this drive.
The New Choices office will participate in the Open House scheduled at the GACTC on December 1.
Students and community partners have been informed and encouraged to attend.
Open House was held at the GACTC on Thursday evening, December 1.
Potential secondary students and parents as well as potential adult students
visited 30+ program areas where they spoke with instructors, toured
classrooms and labs, and received information on enrollment and financial
GACTC Update — Page 5 — December 2011
LIGHTS ON THE LAKE
For the past several years, students from Visual
Arts Technologies, Carpentry, Electronics, and
Electricity have participated in the annual Lights on
the Lake display at Lakemont Park. Exposure to
winter weather and less than ideal off-season
storage conditions contributed to the deterioration
of our display. This year’s display features artwork
completed by Visual Arts Technologies students
Paige Piotti and Christina Narey and recreated
electronically to output on a large format printer
which in turn was mounted by Carpentry students
on a framework they created. The display pictured
below is on your right as you begin the auto tour
through the festival of lights.
PIOTR MARCINIAK MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
A number of local food vendors and other businesses donated all food stuff and paper products for a spaghetti dinner
held in the school cafetorium. All profit from the dinner has gone to establish a memorial scholarship through the
Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation. Piotr was born in Poland and came to this country before the age of
three. All of his family was on hand for the spaghetti dinner.
Proceeds from the spaghetti dinner and contributions from individuals and student groups exceeded $5,000. Included
was a $1,000 contribution from students in the Precision Machining program using part of the profit from their bench
rest project. Beginning this school year, an annual scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding culinary student in
MARCH OF DIMES FUNDRAISER NEEDS COMMITTEE
Chef James Bumgarner and students participated Every holiday season, the students and staff of the
in the March of Dimes benefit fundraiser at the GACTC have generously supported charities and
Blair County Convention Center. Chef needy families at this special time of year. This year
Bumgarner and his students prepared international a needs committee, consisting of thirteen teachers,
cuisine for the event. Their creations were well
counselors, and others, has been meeting to identify
received by all in
attendance. high school and adult students with the greatest
Students were family need. An account has been established
afforded the outside the school to which a number of staff
opportunity to members have contributed. Guidance counselors are
network with working with instructors to determine the greatest
culinarians from student need and coordinate targeted assistance for
across the region. students and their families.
GACTC Update — Page 6 — December 2011
SKILLSUSA LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
The GACTC SkillsUSA Officer Team attended the Central Region Leadership Academy in historic Gettysburg, PA, from November
16-18, where students learned about leadership roles, team building, participated in community service, and socialized with other
students from our SkillsUSA Region. The main goal of the workshop was to learn what it takes to be a strong leader.
During a presentation at the last session, in front of 500 attendees, Electronics Technology student Shane Reeseman, AHS Class of
2013 said, “If you would have asked me to speak in front of this many people three days ago, there is no way I would have. Today, I
It was a lot of intense work during the day but the socials at night allowed members to relax and have fun. The Team attended a
SkillsUSA Carnival and a dance. During this time, members raised money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The mornings began around
7:00 a.m. with a Patriotic Salute and the individual sessions did not end until after dinner. The instructors removed members from
their comfort zones by separating the schools. Although it may have felt forced in the beginning, students soon realized that it ex-
tended their circle of friends. The region felt like one big school of friends by the end of the week.
Interior Decorating student, Shannon McConnell (AHS, Class of 2013), shared this story: “One of the speakers said, you have two
ears and one mouth so you should listen twice as much as you talk. I have already begun to use this advice at work and as a leader in
recognizing other people’s ideas.”
The GACTC entered several contests and won First Place in the Tricycle race, Second Place in the Advisor Tricycle Race, and Third
in the Tabletop Decorating Contest. All GACTC students and advisors earned a Leadership Academy Pin, which was a great
Attendees also celebrated along with Barbara Wible, retired GACTC Culinary Instructor and long-time SkillsUSA Advisor, on
earning the Central Region Lifetime Achievement Award. This was a great honor and showcased Mrs. Wible’s devotion to this
organization. Dan Bender, GACTC Principal, also attended this dinner.
On the last day before returning home, Advisors Mrs. Dodie Amigh and Mr. Brian Kelley, took students for a tour through the
battlefields. They climbed all the stairs of the Longstreet Tower, journeyed to the top of the Pennsylvania Monument and were in
complete awe of the rocks and history at Devil’s Den. This was one of the most remarkable experiences of the trip.
Be sure to “Like” our Facebook page and view photo’s of our trip: Greater Altoona CTC SkillsUSA.
NATIONAL TECHNICAL HONOR SOCIETY
On November 8, 2011, the 17th Annual National
Technical Honor Society Banquet was held to
honor the achievements of the new inductees and
returning members. The speaker was GACTC
Carpentry/Construction Teacher and Brown
University Alumnus, Mr. Philip DeHaas.
In order to meet eligibility requirements for
induction into the National Technical Honor
Society (NTHS), a student must maintain honor
roll status, which means a 93% or higher average
all four marking periods of the previous year.
The student must also maintain an 85% or better
GPA at their home school the previous year. An
inductee cannot be absent more than ten school
days during the previous school year. A
recommendation by the student’s CTE teacher is
also required. The student must display overall
character worthy of the NTHS and participate in
New NTHS Inductees and Returning Members