The Pennsylvania Highlands Community College network service is designed to support learning, teaching, research, collaboration and business operations.  The Pennsylvania Highlands network is a high-speed, multi-service network that provides access to College computing resources and the Internet.  The Information Technology Department monitors and manages critical services around the clock.   Students and Staff are expected to adhere to Acceptable Use Policies as outlined in the Student Handbook and Staff Handbook when accessing the Pennsylvania Community College Network.

General Information

Access to computer systems and networks owned or operated by Pennsylvania Highlands Community College imposes certain responsibilities and obligations and is granted subject to college policies, and local, state and federal laws. Acceptable use is always ethical, reflects academic honesty, and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources. It demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individuals’ rights to privacy and freedom from intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance unless covered by legal statues.
The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for the enforcement of these guidelines. Any request for use of information systems other than those identified must receive prior written approval.
The College considers any violation of acceptable use principles or guidelines to be a serious offense. Individuals or groups who act in a manner contrary to existing policy and accepted standards for computer use are subject to the sanctions and disciplinary measures normally applied to misconduct or law-breaking. Any violations of the acceptable use of information systems must be reported to the Assistant Vice President of Information Technology. 

The CIO will investigate the allegations and may disallow network connections by certain computers (including departmental and personal connections); require adequate identification of computers and users on the network; undertake audits of software or information on shared systems where policy violations are possible; take steps to secure compromised computers that are connected to the network; or deny access to computers, the network, and institutional software and databases.

The College reserves the right to copy and examine any files or information resident on College systems allegedly related to the unacceptable use. Users are expected to cooperate with the investigations either of technical problems or of possible unauthorized or irresponsible use as defined in these guidelines; failure to do so may be grounds for suspension, termination of employment, or termination of access privileges.

If the infringement is not settled in discussion a matter involving students will be referred to the Vice President of Student Services; a matter involving faculty will be referred to the Vice President of Academic Affairs; and a matter involving staff will be referred to the immediate supervisor. Violators are subject to disciplinary action as prescribed by College policies. In addition, certain kinds of abuse may result in civil or criminal action.

Board Accepted Policy

Per the Approved Board Policy: FF 1006-2017 - Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College Information Technology (IT) resources are to
be used for college-related purposes. Some examples of IT resources are computers,
software, networks, and mobile devices. This policy applies to all users of college IT
resources, whether affiliated with the college or not, and to all users of those resources,
whether on campus or from remote locations.


1. Users of college IT resources must comply with all applicable legal requirements.

2. Users are responsible for any activity originating from their accounts. Users shall not
share their accounts and passwords.

3. Users shall not use IT resources to gain unauthorized access to anything.

4. Disruptive use of college IT resources is not permitted.

5. College IT resources shall not to be used for commercial purposes without prior

6. Occasional personal use of college IT resources by employees is permitted when it
does not consume a significant amount of those resources, is otherwise in compliance
with this policy, and meets with the approval of the supervisor.

7. The college may monitor the activity, accounts, and devices of any users of college IT

8. Users must not augment the college network infrastructure without prior approval.

9. Users must not misuse computing and printing resources, for example, using school’s
bandwidth (WIFI and/or wired network) for excessive streaming, intentionally modifying
college maintained hardware and/or software, or printing documents or web pages
that are not solely for classroom and/or business purposes.

10. With the exception of those devices managed by IT, devices are not allowed to be
connected directly to the internal corporate network.

Consequences of Violations

Users who violate this policy may be subject to penalties and disciplinary action, including
expulsion, dismissal, or revocation of user access.

Access to the Internet from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is a privilege not a right, and abusers may lose access to College computers.

Users must adhere to the following guidelines in addition to the ones listed above:

1.   Students and employees may access the Internet from designated areas on campus during open lab hours. Class activities take priority over open lab time.

2.   Access to the Internet should be used for purposes relative to classroom and work assignments and not for recreational purposes. Unless directly related to a specific class assignment or College activity, the use of chat rooms is specifically prohibited.

3.   Access to the Internet may not be used for unethical, illegal, or criminal activities.

4.   Access time may be limited due to the number of people online and equipment availability.

5.   Downloading files from the Internet to the hard drives of lab PC’s or to network storage devices is prohibited unless authorized by a member of the information technology (IT) staff or by an Instructor for the completion of a class assignment.   

The College will not be responsible for the loss or corruption of user data files of any kind. A user of the computer facilities at the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College cannot subject its agents and employees, from any suit, claim, or cause of action arising by virtue of the use of the College’s computer facilities, including but not limited to, loss of data or damage to any computer outside of the College due to a computer virus. The user agrees to indemnify and hold the College harmless from any suit, claim, or cause of action arising from the user’s abuse or misuse of the computer facilities of the College. It is the user’s responsibility to backup data at regular intervals and provides computer virus protection for their home and/or office computer.