Information Technology

Two-Year Associate in Specialized Technology (AST) Degree Program
Available in State College, Altoona, and Lewistown

The rapid pace and evolution of today’s technology puts skilled information technology professionals in demand to meet the needs of our ever-changing technology-driven world. The South Hills Information Technology program is built upon a hands-on, project-driven approach, giving you the skills you need for a lifelong career in this rewarding career path. Our IT students learn software and hardware inside and out. As part of the program, you will hone skills in developing web sites, mobile apps, networking, security, database administration, programming, and troubleshooting.

Students also learn project management skills, operating systems on all platforms, and E-commerce. Within our comprehensive field of study for the program, students may choose technical electives for concentrated focus on programming, networking, or web development (web development only available at State College campus).

Students have the flexibility to customize their class choices based on their desired career choice. For those focusing on programming, strong math comprehension skills are an asset.

South Hills IT grads are working in careers including Computer Support Specialist, Network Administrator, Security Analyst, Applications Developer or Programmer, Webmaster, E-Commerce Specialist, Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst, and Database Administrator.

Successful students in this program will be fast learners, willing to explore and try new things with the computer, and not easily distracted by online temptations such as games and social media. For those focusing on programming, strong math comprehension skills are an asset.

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IT Graduates Can Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Only Two Years with St. Francis University!

South Hills students graduating with the Associate in Specialized Technology Degree in Information Technology are eligible for a bachelor degree completion program in Computer Systems Management through St. Francis University Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies.

Finish your Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Management in only two years or less through online, weekend, and evening classes in State College or Altoona. South Hills students will be guaranteed acceptance with a 2.0 GPA and up to 64 credits IT program will automatically transfer into the program. Students and alumni may transfer in additional credits through military or other colleges as applicable, accepting up to 98 credits. The customizable curriculum allows you to take as few or as many classes as you want so you can balance work, family, and life. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. This program can also be completed fully online. This program can be completed fully online as well.

For more information about Bachelor's degree completion, visit the St. Francis website or call the Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies at 814-472-3012.

Complete Course List

Information Technology Course List for 2017-18

This program information appears in the 2017-18 school catalog. Click here to download all course descriptions.

CodeCourseCreditsClock Hours
CP127Introduction to Operating Systems2.536
CP132Introduction to Programming & Logic4.060
IT200Networking Essentials4.060
GE183Business English I4.060
PD110Professional Development2.024
GE117Applied Algebra4.060
GE130History of IT2.024
GE184Business English II4.060
IT201UNIX/Linux Essentials4.060
 Technical Elective #14.060
 Technical Elective #24.060
 Technical Elective #1 & #2 Choices  
IT205C# Programming4.060
GA124Introduction to Computer Graphics (State College only)4.060
CP134Web Site Design4.060
CP135Business Applications4.060
CP129Introduction to SQL Databases4.060
 Technical Elective #34.060
 Technical Elective #44.060
 Technical Elective #3 & #4 Choices  
IT206Microsoft Server Operating Systems4.060
IT207Java Programming4.060
IT208.NET Framework4.060
IT209Cisco Networking4.060
GA225Computer Graphics - Illustrator (State College only)4.060
GE259Technical Writing2.536
IT202Database Administration4.060
CP130Technical Presentations2.024
 Technical Elective #54.060
 Technical Elective #64.060
 Technical Elective #5 & #6 Choices  
IT210Server Administration4.060
IT212VOIP Telephony4.060
IT213C++ Programming4.060
GA226Advanced Computer Graphics (State College only)4.060
CD207Job Search Skills2.024
CP277Project Management5.060
CP294Content Management Systems4.060
 Technical Elective #74.060
 Technical Elective #84.060
 Technical Elective #7 & #8 Choices  
IT214Android Application Development4.060
IT215Web Server Administration4.060
IT216SAN Administration and Disaster Recovery4.060
IT217Apple Application Development4.060
IT218Web Site Design II (State College only)4.060
IT225Information Technology Capstone Project7.0120
GE178Human Relations in the Workplace2.536
MG115Introduction to Business5.560
 Technical Elective #94.060
 Technical Elective #9 Choices  
IT219Ethical Hacking and Defense4.060
IT220Perl and Python4.060
IT221Advanced Website Design (State College only)4.060
IT227Information Technology Internship11.0330
CD214IT Career and Certification Prep2.021

Graduate Spotlight

"What really sold me on South Hills was the small class size and the personalized attention that provided. I came from a very small town and a small high school, and some other schools I looked at just felt big and impersonal… I didn’t want to be in a classroom with 700 other students where I was just a number. South Hills was very flexible and accommodating to my needs, and I learned skills I use every day here at Sheetz."

Dustin Caldwell
Class of 2010
System Specialist II
Sheetz, Inc.

Careers in Information Technology

With two years of hands-on training and strong skillsets, our Information Technology graduates are prepared for a variety of career options, including:

  • IT Specialist
  • IT Technician
  • Software Trainer
  • Systems Technician
  • Programmer
  • Web Developer
  • IT Consultant
  • Help Desk Associate
  • Software Quality Agent
  • Programmer Analyst

Each student completes a summer-long internship before graduation, providing real world experience. We have placed interns at locations including:

  • Affinity Connections
  • Blackboard (formerly SchoolWires)
  • CMIT Solutions
  • InFocus
  • Falkner Technology LLC
  • Keystone Central School District
  • Penn State University ITS TNS
  • Penn State Outreach
  • PneuDart International
  • ZoomTan

South Hills Information Technology graduates are well-trained and in demand for their knowledge and work ethics. Some of the many firms employing our graduates include:

  • Penn State University (many departments)
  • Affinity
  • Blackboard (formerly SchoolWires)
  • CMIT Solutions
  • Copper Beech
  • InFocus
  • Minitab
  • PneuDart International
  • Sheetz
  • Videon Central
  • ZedX

Matthew Penning

IT Program Coordinator / Full-time Instructor
Lewistown Campus

Matthew Penning, Program Coordinator for the IT program at South Hills, is based in the Lewistown campus and has been with the school since 2006. He additionally serves as the Network Administrator for our Lewistown campus.

Michigan native Penning earned a B.S. in Business with a concentration in Marketing from Liberty University in Virginia. After graduating from Liberty, Matt worked as an Account Executive for private firm Danka for two years, before enlisting in the Air Force and serving for 4 years as an Aerospace Ground Technician.

While in the service, he honed his networking, web, and hardware skills, earned a Masters in Computer Resources and Information Management, and also earned an Associate degree in Aerospace Ground Technology. After completing his commitment to the Air Force and service to our country, he joined the South Hills family where his passion and knowledge prepares our IT students for the challenges of the field. In 2014, Matt was named Outstanding Educator of the Year from the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators (PAPSA).

Ray Liddick Jr.

Full-time Instructor
State College Main Campus

Ray Liddick Jr., the Program Coordinator for Graphic Arts, has been an Information Technology and Graphic Arts Instructor at South Hills School of Business & Technology since 2004.

Ray is a graduate of Tyler School of Art, Temple University and has had MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) accreditation. Ray has spent decades utilizing his IT and graphic arts creativity on the job. Outside of the school, he is the Marketing Media & IT Manager at Pneu-Dart, Inc., a global manufacturer of remote drug delivery, as well as being the Creative Director/Owner of Open Door Visions.

In the classroom and on the job, Ray applies his artistic vision and IT experiences to a wide range of projects including print design, web development, project management and IT infrastructure/networking.

David Whitmarsh

Part-time Instructor
State College Main Campus

David Whitmarsh graduated from South Hills in 2002 with an Associate in Specialized Technology degree. Following his graduation, Dave joined the South Hills faculty from 2002 until 2008. He then worked at Pennsylvania State University as a database specialist with Marketing at Outreach. Dave then returned to South Hills in June of 2009 as the Director of the Philipsburg campus. In December of 2010, Dave returned to the classroom and has taught IT since. In addition to his AST, Dave earned BA in History from Washington and Jefferson College and a M.Ed. from Westfield State College.

From 1969 to 1979 Dave taught 8th grade Social Studies in Massachusetts. He followed his first stint in education by managing and owning restaurants in California and Pennsylvania.

In addition to staying on top of the ever-changing world of Information Technology, Dave is an advocate for literacy, devoting time to the Mid-State Literacy Council, and is an avid cyclist.

Ricky Wert

Adjunct Instructor
State College Main Campus

Ricky Wert has been an adjunct instructor at South Hills School of Business & Technology since 2008. Ricky graduated from South Hills in the Computer Information Systems (now called Information Technology) program and a graduate of Electronic Institutes in the Electronics and Computer program. He obtained his B.S. degree in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix and currently serves as Assistant Vice President and Information Security Manager for Kish Bank. He brings his leadership skills, experiences, and expertise from the information technology and information security sector to the classroom.

Guido Santella

Full-time Instructor
Altoona Campus

Guido Santella has been an Information Technology instructor at the South Hills Altoona campus since 2005. In 2013, Guido was given the Instructor of the Year award by the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators (PAPSA). Known for his classroom enthusiasm and energetic teaching style, Guido’s professional experience includes coding, web design, database, and server administration.

Over the years, Guido has enjoyed spending months at a time in Europe, as well as interning at the British Museum in London.

Guido is also an accomplished pianist and was awarded the Italian Heritage Society of Pennsylvania - John Monti Music Award in 2010 for exemplary efforts in promoting the musical heritage of the Italian-American community.

Jeff Joiner

Full-time Instructor
Altoona Campus

Jeff Joiner has been an IT instructor for the South Hills Altoona campus since 2010. Jeff brings an extensive knowledge of programming and networking skills. He has been teaching computer science classes since 1999 and has been a full-time educator since 2003.

Jeff has a B.S. degree in Computer Science and a Master’s degree in Education and Technology. Jeff has lived all over the country and now lives with his wife on a small farm in Tyrone.

Chaz Wall

Full-time Instructor
Lewistown Campus

Chaz Wall has been an instructor in Information Technology at South Hills since 2009. Chaz is also a graduate of South Hills, which he attended after receiving his Bachelor's degree from Juniata College. Chaz returned to school to pursue a career in computer programming. He passes his passion for the career along to his IT students.

After graduating from South Hills, Chaz worked as a website developer for Open Door Visions. In his professional role at Open Door Visions, Chaz gained valuable experience which he now shares with his students as an Information Technology instructor.

When not spending quality time with his family, Chaz enjoys playing volleyball, golf, and tinkering with the latest in technology.


Program Advisory Committees

State College Main Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
Frank WalkSystem AdministratorClearfield County Career and Technical Center
Jim LeousIT ManagerPenn State University
Rusty MyersSystem AdministratorPenn State University
Matthew RaupDesktop ManagerPenn State University
John StitzingerCEOThe Make Space
Ellen ThorneSWQA Specialist LeadInFocus
Kyle CrainSystems and Network Security SpecialistPenn State University
Gina BeiselSenior Manager of Creative and Custom Development ServicesBlackboard
Adam RootDatabase Program DeveloperRBA Professional Data Systems
Altoona Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
Chris BeaverIndependent Consultant
Wesley GillData AnalystGTL
Ryan McCrackenSystem/Network Administrator IIIDelta Health Technologies
Joe MerilliOwner/PrincipalPS Solutions
Wes NealOwnerPractical Inventions
Matt PaonessaCOOJMG Systems
Josh WakefieldDirector of TechnologyJuniata Valley School District
David WertzPresidentPC Works Plus
Lewistown Campus
Member NameJob TitleCompany
C.J. BobeckIT EngineerGME Communications, LLC
Vicki CooperDirectorMount Union Area High School
Scott FalknerPresidentFalkner's Technologies, LLC
Ryan FultzOffice ManagerGME Communications, LLC
Colby GuyerWeb Application ProgrammerTuscarora Intermediate Unit 11
Cody JacksonNetwork EngineerGME Communications, LLC
Matthew McClellanIT Support SpecialistAllensville Planning Mill, Inc.
Beverly McClellanData AnalystJuniata Valley Bank
Dan MortGeneral ManagerFalkner Technologies, LLC
Thaddeus PeacheyWebmasterVisual Element Media
Robert ShawverIT ManagerCCMIT Solutions
Brian SmithInformation Security SpecialistFirst National Bank
Nanette StakeIT Manager/Inf. Security Officer/Vice PresidentFirst National Bank
Zane SwangerOwner/DeveloperExplore, LLC
Mike TateSenior IT EngineerGME Communications, LLC
Hunter YohnWebmasterMifflin County School District

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please view the Information Technology Disclosures page on our website.