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16 December 2020

Nursing Grads Continue to Excel, HACC Thrives in the ‘New Normal’

Current news from HACC, Dec. 16, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa. – HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, shares recent news, including:
     -- HACC Nursing and Practical Nursing Graduates Continue to Excel
     -- HACC Thrives in the ‘New Normal’

HACC Nursing and Practical Nursing Graduates Continue to Excel
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Graduates of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, Nursing and Practical Nursing programs continue to excel, even during a worldwide pandemic.

In 2020, 427 graduates of HACC’s Nursing Program sat for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) registered nurse (RN) exam. Additionally, 88 graduates of HACC’s Practical Nursing Program sat for the NCLEX practical nurse (PN) exam.

The pass rates emphasize that HACC graduates continue to excel as they enter their chosen field.

  Number of students who passed the exam on their first attempt New RN’s/LPN’s at patient’s bedside to fill the 70% area vacancy rate Pass Rate
NCLEX RN Licensure 387 387 90.63%
NCLEX PN Licensure 87 87 98.86%

Monica Filburn, HACC’s department chair of nursing, said, “I am extremely humbled by these results. Many of our students worked 60 hours a pay period, juggling remote class and sometimes clinical assignments.  This is a tremendous testament to the dedication of our faculty and extremely hard-working students.”

Currently, HACC’s Nursing Program is the second largest program in Pennsylvania in regards to the number of graduates prepared yearly. Additionally, HACC’s Practical Nursing certificate program is the fourth largest program in Pennsylvania for the number of graduates prepared yearly for licensure.

Throughout the pandemic, HACC nursing students, alumni and employees continued to serve on the healthcare front lines and give back to their communities through the donation of face masks.
HACC Thrives in the ‘New Normal’
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Adaptability. Flexibility. Perseverance. Diversity. Equity. Inclusion.
Students and employees at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, demonstrate these qualities as they overcome the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and work through the trauma of systemic racism.
Although HACC’s campuses remain closed except to students who need to fulfill hands-on training requirements, the College continues to provide robust programming, services and engaging activities remotely to the 15,336 students currently enrolled.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, HACC increased outreach to students coping with the stresses of child care, unemployment and food and housing insecurity. A new CARE Center provides a centralized location for students to access resources that can help them continue their education despite these obstacles. The center is supported by the HACC Foundation Fund for Excellence for CARE.
The HACC Foundation and its generous donors supported students by offering more than $2.6 million in credit scholarships; $313,000 in tuition giveaways; and a Launch Your Future Grant program to help students just starting at HACC. The HACC Foundation also awarded five full-ride scholarships to students on the frontline of the pandemic.
The HACC Board of Trustees approved a $1-million Diversity Innovation Fund over five years to support initiatives to expand the College’s diversity, equity and inclusion programs. The funds will support the Men of Color Initiative, faculty diversity fellowships and grants to promote initiatives proposed by students and employees.
The Office of Human Resources implemented a new applicant tracking and onboarding system and updated the College’s career site. These enhancements improve the applicant experience and support our commitment to diversity and inclusivity.
Highlights of other initiatives and accomplishments include:
Services Aimed at Student Success and Engagement

  • The Office of Inclusion and Diversity expanded its outreach through Student Access Services to help students receiving accommodations adapt to the changes of switching to remote learning.
  • HACC employees and students worked together to organize online and virtual activities, including a Virtual Student Involvement Fair; Wellness Wednesdays that includes Zumba, stress management and yoga; Esports tournaments; and an online book club. An online resource board promoting opportunities was designed.
  • The HACC Bookstore added free printing and mailing of program materials for students who do not have access to printing services as long as the campuses are closed.
  • Tutoring schedules are now posted online for students to access through the Online Learning Commons webpage. 
  • The Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management added orientation, advising and registration sessions for all newly admitted students. These students are pre-assigned to a remote session that includes an orientation to the College, advising help for their first semester and a registration session for their first semester of courses. The New Student Orientation Homebase serves as a hub of information and resources for new students.

Classes, Program Opportunities
HACC faculty responded to the switch to fully remote and online learning by sharing technology best practices and ideas and implementing new techniques to help students succeed. Faculty across many programs throughout the College developed creative ways to deliver courses in a remote format.
Workforce Development and Continuing Education
In response to Pennsylvania’s need for contact tracers to slow the spread of the coronavirus, HACC quickly developed a Contact Tracer Training Program that enrolled its first cohort in June 2020. In addition to training contract tracers, HACC offers information sessions and one-on-career advising appointments to graduates of the program. 
Among other initiatives:
  • Thanks to funding from the federal and state departments of education, HACC purchased Google Chromebooks to aid in remote learning for students in adult basic education and general equivalency diploma (GED) test preparation. Funds also were used to purchase digital literacy and GED exam preparation software.
  • A number of immigrants and refugees in Central Pennsylvania are persevering through the pandemic by studying English as a second language (ESL) through HACC’s Language Institute. With funds generously provided by the HACC Foundation, the English Language Learner (ELL) with Digital Literacy Fast Track program serves un/underemployed individuals with college and career preparation and acculturation workshops. 
  • Virtual Workplace Environment training was implemented for individuals, managers and supervisors to help them identify successful remote working tactics, learn leadership and team building opportunities with remote employees and navigate challenges in today’s changing workplace.

About HACC
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges. HACC offers approximately 100 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to approximately 17,000 students. Also, the College serves students at its Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses; through virtual learning; and via workforce development and continuing education training. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), follow us on Instagram (@HACC_edu), like us on Facebook ( and use #HACCNews.
About the HACC Foundation
The HACC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established in 1985 to raise private and corporate revenues in support of HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College. The HACC Foundation provides funding for student scholarships, innovative academic programs, state-of-the art training equipment and modernized facilities. To learn more about the HACC Foundation, please visit To contribute to the HACC Foundation, please visit

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