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State College Area School District

Our Mission: To prepare students for lifelong success through excellence in education

Reclaiming Individual Talent (RIT) Program 

An Alternative for Students

Reclaiming Individual Talent or RIT (pronounced RITE) is an alternative program that has been in operation in our district since early 1994.  Over the years the program has evolved to meet the needs of students who are temporarily unable to maintain progress at the high school or middle schools due to a variety of reasons, such a significant behavioral concerns or long term truancy that causes a student to fall behind in the regular curriculum.  Some students are placed by the superintendent for serious violations meriting expulsion or suspension.  Occasionally, students are in transition to or form therapeutic placements outside the district.

How does a student get into our program? 

Students are accepted from grades seven through twelve, with the majority in grades nine through twelve.  Placement must be based on administrative referral following consultation with parents or guardians, treatment providers, staff at RIT, high school counselors, other administrators, psychologists, and teachers.  Students must begin placement at the RIT Program exclusively.  However, after showing progress, they can begin a gradual transition back to the regular high school or middle school classes or (with approval) the Delta Program, an alternative school of choice.


RIT is located in the Fairmount Avenue building with administrative offices at 154 West Nittany Avenue.  If you would like more information, please call us at 814-231-1000 to set up an appointment.  Student transportation is provided as needed by the district.

School to Work

Many RIT students (usually 11th or 12th grade) have the opportunity to gain work experience and/or complete community service through the Diversified Occupations course. A certified Diversified Occupations teacher and job coach is on site at the program daily to teach interview skills, build a resume, and prepare the student for the world of work if they choose this option.  Students can earn up to two credits for work experience in addition to the one classroom credit from Diversified Occupations.  

What is a typical day at the RIT Program?

Students attend from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM.  Most courses are completed independently through an on-line computer based curriculum provided by Edgenuity.  Some students receive small group instruction in the area of Diversified Occupations and communications skills.  All major subjects are taught including English, social studies, science, and math, as well as health, driver education and some electives.  Physical Education can be provided by various individual or group arrangements.  All students must participate in group or individual counselor at least 2.5 hours per week to address the specific behaviors and situations that resulted in placement at RIT.  After demonstrating progress at the RIT program, students can begin to spend part of their school day at the regular high school, middle school or the Delta Program.

How many staff are available for students at RIT?

The RIT program has two teachers, one instructional paraprofessional, a counselor shared with other alternative programs, and a part-time Diversified Occupations teacher.  Certified teachers from the Delta Program provide additional assistance each week.

Our Mission

The mission of the RIT Program is to provide individualized instruction in all academic areas as well as career instruction in a supportive environment. RIT is a temporary placement, and our goal is to help students make a successful transition back to the home school, to post secondary education, or to a career after high school.  We aim to build community ties through service activities or supervised work experience.  A continuum of care is created which includes various service agencies within the local community in order to address the specific needs of our students.

What courses do students take at RIT?

Our curriculum has been designed by certified teachers from Edgenuity, an on-line, computer based service.  Each course is modified by teachers from the State College Area High School or the Delta Program to match as much as possible to the curriculum taught at those schools.  All courses are based on Pennsylvania Department of Education standards.  However, the courses are administered on an individual basis, according to student ability and need.  A Diversified Occupations teacher is available for students seeking a direct connection to the work world.


All students are required to participate in at least 2.5 hours of an individual or group counseling each week that specifically addresses the behaviors that resulted in placement at RIT.  Counseling is provided through arrangements with Home Nursing Agency, graduate level counseling interns from programs at Penn State or through Integrated Mental Health services.

How long do students usually attend RIT?

The length of time that a student remains at RIT depends on the individual needs of that student.  However, RIT is intended to be a temporary placement to help students successfully return to the regular school settings.  A few students stay on only a few weeks while making a transition to or from an outside therapeutic placement.  Some students are placed by the superintendent for a specific length of time after a serious violation.  All other students are expected to begin a gradual transition back to the regular school after demonstrating progress at RIT.  Occasionally some upper grade level students are allowed to graduate directly from our program after meeting all district requirements.

Contact Information

Jon Downs, Director of Educational Alternatives
(814) 231-1002