Central Penn College - Presidential Biography

Central Penn College


Dr. Karen Scolforo


Karen M. Scolforo, Ed. D., is the ninth president of Central Penn College, based in Summerdale, Pa. and tracing its roots back to 1881. Since joining the Central Penn family, Dr. Scolforo has strived to increase the college’s presence in the community. She has partnered with local leaders to develop programs relevant to both the advancement of the college and the needs of the surrounding area. Her vision and dedication have led the way to develop a new institutional strategic plan, expand college operations, renovate campus facilities and housing, gain state approval for new bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, and develop curriculum options that have ultimately impacted the training and employability of more than 7,500 graduates. 

Dr. Scolforo holds a Doctorate of Education, with a cognate in higher education administration and finance, from the University of North Florida; a Master of Art in Writing and Literature from River College; a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University; and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Franklin Pierce University. The first Central Penn College president to hold a doctoral degree, Dr. Scolforo is committed to continual improvement across all academic platforms, a culture of research and scholarship, and a holistic student learning experience that includes exposure to athletics, community service and the arts.

As an educational leader, Dr. Scolforo believes her role does not only apply to higher education, but is a lifelong endeavor. For this reason she volunteers with organizations tasked with educating and encouraging children to excel in their schooling and future careers; including sitting on the boards of both the Future Business Leaders of America and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region.

In 2016, Dr. Scolforo was honored as both a Woman of Excellence by the YWCA and one of the Central Penn Business Journal’s Women of Influence. Dr. Scolforo also received the Care to Share award at the Conference for Women, and her executive leadership team was nominated by the Central Penn Business Journal for the Executive Leadership award. She was named Century Link Business Woman of the Year in 2017.

Since her arrival at Central Penn College, Dr. Scolforo has become a member of the Harrisburg Rotary Club, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC, the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, Perry County Chamber of Commerce, the Executive Leadership Series Harrisburg Area class of 2013, a volunteer for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and a partner with the East Pennsboro Township Commissioners and the East Pennsboro Area School District administrators. She also serves on the Board of the following community organizations: Leadership Harrisburg Area Board of Directors, Future Business Leaders of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, American Heart Association, and CREDC; and formerly served on the boards of the Modern Transit Partnership and West Shore Chamber Foundation.  Dr. Scolforo is a Trustee for the Central Penn College Education Foundation and serves on the President’s Circle of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC. She looks forward to increased partnerships and service opportunities on behalf of Central Penn College and its students.