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 lead 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 would ultimately impact 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; and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Franklin Pierce University. Furthering her own education has always been a priority for Dr. Scolforo, and she is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University.

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 2015, Dr. Scolforo was honored with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Women Who Thrive Award, and the Visionary Luminary Award from the West Shore Chamber of Commerce. In addition she was a nominee for the 2015 Business Women’s Forum Business Woman of the Year 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

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: 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.