Adult Student Services

About returning to the Classroom . . .

Adult students often enter the college environment anxious and uncertain about their ability to succeed and compete successfully with more traditional students. Current research tells us that adult students are typically more successful than younger students because of their maturity and the experience that they bring to the classroom. Adults are likely to exhibit high levels of motivation, more specific occupational goals, and an uncompromising desire to get the most education possible for their money. The Lancaster Center provides a variety of services to help students be successful in their college experiences.

Should you return to school?

Adults return to school for two primary reasons: either professional development or self-enrichment. Maybe you've reached a point in your life where you think you need additional formal education. You're thinking about a career change, a promotion at work, or perhaps re-entry into the work force.

Penn State, The Lancaster Center can help you. We have a number of noncredit professional development certificate programs, undergraduate credit certificate programs, and graduate certificate programs. We offer the flexibility you require: you may take one course or work toward an entire certificate or degree. Few of our programs require sequential course study. Classes are offered throughout the year. If you can't take a course during a given semester, you can always pick it up the next time it is offered here or at another Penn State location.

How to get your employer to help sponsor your tuition

If you ask, you may be able to get your employer to pay for some or all of your course expenses.

Here's how:

  1. Put the request in writing.
  2. Show how the program goals match organizational or departmental goals.
  3. Point out how the program will help you in your job - or will prepare you for a position that might be open in the future.
  4. Attach a description of the program and highlight parts relevant to your work and to your organization.

You still might be turned down, but your superiors know that you are serious about your work. And they're sure to notice when your classroom learning is put to work on the job.

Workforce Education and Development for Teachers

Some courses in the program of studies for Workforce Education and Development for Teachers leading to the Vocational Instructional II Certificate are offered and held at The Lancaster Center. Please call at 717-299-7667 or 800-828-6233 for more information.

Counseling Services

All students are encouraged to consult with our counselor. Because of the variety of credit and noncredit professional development courses offered, counseling is recommended to help determine which courses or programs can best meet your needs. A professional counselor is prepared to provide educational and vocational information, to explain opportunities and procedures for part-time study, and to assist with program planning. All students, especially new students, are urged to take advantage of these services, preferably prior to registration. If you are:

  • Undecided about how college courses could be of benefit to you
  • Thinking about returning to school but are worried about going back to the classroom, studying for exams, and writing term papers
  • Need help in deciding which course(s) to take
  • Have taken college courses in the past and wonder if they will be accepted toward a degree
  • Just want to talk to someone about your educational or career questions, concerns, problems, and successes

...we can help. Please feel free to call our counselor to ask questions or to make an appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 717-299-7667 or 800-828-6233.

Placement Testing

Placement tests are designed to help you determine the appropriate level of introductory courses to take in English, math, and chemistry. Most students have already taken these tests on-line prior to starting classes. If you haven't taken the placement tests, you may take them on-line, by contacting the Advising and Career Center (ACC) (717-771-4053). The ACC will give you access to the on-line placement testing system. You can then take the tests at any computer of your choice - at home, school, library - at any time. The ACC will give you more details on appropriate internet browser and computer requirements. After you've completed the placement tests, you'll need an appointment with an adviser in the ACC to go over the results.

If you aren't sure whether you need to take the placement tests, call the ACC to discuss your situaatioin with an adviser.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid may be available to students taking as few as three credits. Students interested in obtaining information about financial aid should contact the Office of Student Affairs at Penn State York 717-771-4045. Only students admitted as degree or provisional will be eligible for financial aid.

Tuition and Payment

Total tuition is due at registration and should be paid by check, money order, VISA, or MasterCard. Procedures do not allow for cash payments. Textbooks (if required) are additional and must be purchased separately. Make check payable to Penn State.

Credit Courses

If you are a graduate of an accredited high school or hold a high school equivalency diploma (GED), you may register for undergraduate courses as a nondegree student or you may apply for admission to a degree program. If you take courses as a nondegree student and later seek admission to a degree program at Penn State, the credits you earned as a nondegree student may be applied, where appropriate, toward a baccalaureate or associate degree. Enrollment in a class does not, by itself, imply admission to the University. For further information about application and admission procedures, contact The Lancaster Center's adult counselor.

Noncredit Courses

Noncredit courses offered through Penn State Continuing Education, include professional development seminars and workshops, conferences, certificate programs, and short courses. These are courses that do not carry college credit. They are often part of a certificate program or designed to meet the needs of specific skill development.

Employer Billing

The University can bill an employer only if written authorization from the employer is presented at registration. The completed registration and authorization letter may be mailed or faxed to 717-396-7181.

Veterans Under G.I. Bill

Do you know what your Veterans Administration (VA) benefits are? Through the state, the VA, or your guard unit, you could be eligible for money to help you with your education. Veterans who plan to use G.I. Bill benefits for the first time need to obtain application forms prior to registration. Veterans should be prepared to pay the tuition at the time of registration because reimbursements are made to the individual not the University. To receive physical education and health education credits, veterans must complete the request form in the Admissions Office and include a copy of their DD 214 to have their credits evaluated. For more information, contact the Student Affairs Office at Penn State York 717-771-4045. Visit Student Affairs on the Penn State York Campus website at for more detailed information compiled by Veterans.


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