School of Professional Studies

SPS LIVE and SPS Virtual Update

November Wrap-Up

November was a very busy month for SPS students! Despite having a few days' rest for Thanksgiving, we still managed to pack a lot of career exploration activities into the month. Read on for full descriptions of our activities and our upcoming events. Be sure to check out our new SPS promotional video starring students from SPS LIVE!

PALCS School of Professional Studies

College Representative Visits

This month we hosted 3 college representative presentations for SPS LIVE, SPS Virtual and the rest of the PALCS high school population. Having college representatives visit our school is an easy (and free) way for high school students to get a lot of great information about several different colleges with professionals who are able to speak to all of the great things each school has to offer. This month we welcomed representatives from LaRoche College in Pittsburgh, PA; Pittsburgh Technical Institute in Oakdale, PA; and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. If you were unable to attend the live sessions of these presentations, you can visit the SPS Information Center (or your Guidance Counselor's course) to view the recordings.

PHEAA Financial Aid Workshop

The School of Professional Studies hosted a PHEAA Financial Aid Workshop in November. The workshop covered information for students and parents about funding your college education. If you have been looking for information regarding post-secondary financial aid and were unable to attend the live workshop, please visit the SPS Information Center to view the recording. The recording can be found in the Scholarships & Financial Aid section of the Info Center. Please contact Mrs. Selk for any handouts or worksheets discussed during the workshop.

Career Talks

November is National Career Development Month. As part of the month, SPS LIVE and SPS Virtual hosted two Career Talks. We were joined in the SPS LIVE classroom by Ms. Emily Meyer, the Assistant Communications Manager at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. She shared with SPS LIVE and SPS Virtual students her responsibilities in promoting the Andy Warhol Museum to the press locally, nationally, and internationally. Ms. Meyer also discussed her educational background and experiences that led her to her current position at the Warhol.

SPS Virtual hosted an online Career Talk with Mr. Jeffrey Selk, Senior Software Engineer at Photobucket in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Selk talked about his responsibilities as a team lead in creating new programming to increase the efficiency of the Photobucket website for consumers. He discussed the importance of advanced math as well as a willingness to be curious and creative in software engineering and computer science. He even gave a preview of a brand new Photobucket app that he helped to develop (that was days from release at the time of the Career Talk).

To watch the recording of either Career Talk, please visit the SPS Information Center. Career Talks can be found in the Career Development section.

SPS LIVE Students Give Back

During November and December, SPS LIVE students are focusing on volunteer work as an important part of giving back to their communities. Volunteer work is also a great tool for career development. Students have the opportunity to explore various fields while helping those in need. In November, SPS LIVE students made fleece blankets to give to people in need. The students received a thank you letter from the organization to which they were donated letting them know that their blankets had helped homeless people living in the city of Pittsburgh. A simple act of kindness, which took the students an afternoon to complete, helped people who truly needed it. To add a little Christmas cheer, Arts & Culture and Public Service certificate track students are working to decorate paper grocery bags that will be used to deliver food to people in need over the holidays at the Lower Valley Food Bank in Springdale, PA.


The School of Professional Studies has organized a field trip to InventionLand in December for high school students in the Pittsburgh area. InventionLand is an amazing factory located in Pittsburgh that specializes in creating ideas, inventions, and patents. SPS students, along with other PALCS high school students, will have the experience of a lifetime touring the facility and speaking with the "Creationeers" who work at InventionLand.

About SPS

The School of Professional Studies is a college and career exploration program open to all PALCS High School students. To successfully complete SPS and earn an SPS certificate, students must take a specific sequence of elective courses and participate in career and college readiness programming. Students can participate in the School of Professional Studies through SPS Virtual or SPS LIVE, located at the PALCS Pittsburgh office.