The History of South Hills School of Business & Technology
South Hills School of Business & Technology is the product of necessity, creativity, economics, dreams, and hard work.
S. Paul Mazza Jr. (1930-2013) and his wife, Maralyn, founded South Hills in 1970 when they saw the need for more specialized skills training in central Pennsylvania. Starting with only seven students in the first class, it is now training over five hundred students each year. This growth is attributed to the Mazza family’s philosophy that all decisions are made on the basis of “what’s best for the students”.
South Hills School of Business & Technology was continuously accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) from 1976—2017. In 2017, South Hills was awarded a grant of accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
South Hills started out as South Hills Secretarial School in 1970 in a modest location on Allen Street in State College, Pennsylvania. The first class began on January 4, 1971. In August 1982, growth forced the school, by then renamed South Hills Business School to reflect the nature of its evolving program offerings, to move to larger quarters, a former elementary school building in Boalsburg, PA.
In January 1989, South Hills returned to State College—its original home—to a custom-built facility on 480 Waupelani Drive where it remains to this day under its current name, South Hills School of Business & Technology. The Mazzas' son, S. Paul Mazza III, oversaw the construction plans for the campus building to ensure that it would serve the technological needs of the growing school.
In 1980, South Hills was granted approval to award the Associate in Specialized Business (ASB) degree. In 1997, approval was granted to award the Associate in Specialized Technology (AST) degree. The school currently offers four ASB degree programs: Business Administration—Accounting, Business Administration—Management & Marketing, Criminal Justice, and Medical Assistant. It currently offers six AST degree programs: Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Engineering Technology, Graphic Arts, Health Information Technology, Information Technology, and Software Development and Programming. South Hills State College also offers three diploma programs: Medical Coding & Billing, an online hybrid program, and Diagnostic Medical Sonography Professional and Diagnostic Medical Sonography Professional Plus, both designed for students who have previously earned post-secondary school degrees.
The Philipsburg, PA Branch Campus was opened in 1996 at the request of the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership (MVEDP). The Lewistown, PA Campus was opened in 1999 at the request of the Mifflin County Industrial Development Corporation (MDIDC). These campus locations closed in 2013 and 2019, respectively.
In 2001, the Altoona, PA Campus was opened when South Hills purchased the former Altoona School of Commerce. South Hills Altoona has been granted approval to offer three ASB degree programs: Business Administration—Accounting, Business Administration—Management & Marketing, and Medical Assistant. It has been granted approval to offer three AST degree programs: Health Information Technology, Information Technology, and Software Development Programming.
South Hills serves a diverse population of recent high school graduates and returning adults. Maralyn Mazza served as the Director of South Hills until her retirement in 2008 and has continued in an advisory role ever since. Her successor, Mark Maggs, served as Director of South Hills from 2008 until 2021.
With the passing of her husband in 2013, Maralyn Mazza became the President of South Hills School of Business & Technology. Maralyn and Paul’s daughter, Gina Mazza, who had been the Director of Marketing at the school for many years, stepped into the position of Vice President, a position she held until retiring in late 2014. Gina Mazza's leadership at this crucial time helped to steady South Hills after the loss of its founder. The Mazzas' legacy is now being carried on by their son, S. Paul Mazza III, who was appointed President of South Hills School of Business & Technology in the fall of 2015 and was appointed Director in June 2021.
Students do come first at South Hills School of Business & Technology. We try to help the “whole” person with his/her many needs. In addition to the high-quality education, fine faculty, and industry modeled equipment, academic advising, recreation, and health are essentials at South Hills.
State College Main Campus
The sculpture "Welcoming Myself" was given to South Hills on May 10, 1989 by the RNR Construction Company, Inc. of State College.
The resulting installation is comprised of three ¾-inch steel figures of negative space that decrease in size until they reach the school building, where a single nine-foot "shadow" crafted of wire cloth emerges ready to take on the future.
South Hills Loves Music
State College Main Campus
In 2011, Gina Mazza, daughter of the school's founders and then-Vice President of the school, gave the Graphic Arts (GA) Class of 2012 an opportunity to be part of the creation of a mural for the back of the Tom Mazza Bandshell on the North Lawn of the campus. Luciano Sormani of Bellefonte, PA, volunteered and became the one student who tackled the entire project on his own.
After 6 weeks of work, the 4-panel mural "South Hills Loves Music" was dedicated on September 4, 2011. The artist, who later went on to spend five years at South Hills as a GA Instructor, drew inspiration for the Trompe-l'œil mural from the music performed in the bandshell, the Pennsylvania landscape, the rocks that frame the North Lawn, the school's clock tower, and a hot air balloon that is frequently seen overhead in State College.