Central Penn College - Presidential Biography


Dr. Karen Scolforo


Karen M. Scolforo, Ed. D., is the ninth president of Central Penn College, based in Summerdale, Pa. Her student-first approach to career-focused education spans fifteen years, and she has served in a variety of senior administrative positions, including director of admissions, dean of academic affairs, campus president and regional vice president of operations. 

Dr. Scolforo has partnered with community leaders to develop relevant programs and enhance graduate success in desired careers. She has provided the vision and leadership to facilitate effective strategic plans, expand operations, gain graduate-level approvals for master’s and doctoral programs, and develop curriculum options that would ultimately impact the training and employability of more than 6,500 graduates. 

Dr. Scolforo was honored with a 2015 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Women Who Thrive Award, as well as a nominee for both the Business Women’s Forum Business Woman of the Year Award and West Shore Chamber of Commerce Luminary Award. She is the recipient of two MVP awards from Premier Education Group, three Campus of Distinction awards from Keiser University and Bar Education Group, and three staff Circle of Excellence awards in admissions and student services with Education Affiliates. She has taught in the K-12 arena, where she was nominated “Teacher of the Year,” and in postsecondary education. In 2001 she authored Kids’ Summit, an interdisciplinary service-learning project recognized by Governor Jeanne Shaheen at the Annual Conference on Volunteerism, held in Concord, N.H. Her book, Sublime Dignity:  Catholic Sisters in Higher Education Leadership, is based on her research study of Catholic Sisters who have served as college presidents, and it is currently under review for publication at a University Press. 

Dr. Scolforo holds a doctorate in education with a cognate in higher education administration and finance from the University of North Florida. She studied under Dr. Tom Serwatka, the executive vice president and chief of staff for the University of North Florida.

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, 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 serves on the Board of the following community organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region; Leadership Harrisburg Area; Modern Transit Partnership; and the West Shore Chamber of Commerce Foundation, where she also serves as co-chair for the Foundation Education Committee.  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.