UPDATED: Monday, September 14, at 11:20 a.m.
This site provides access to the most up-to-date information on Penn State's response to the coronavirus, as well as related campus-specific information.
KeepLearning.psu.edu: This dedicated website for students offers support for remote learning, resources for academic advising and tutoring, and contact information.
KeepTeaching.psu.edu: Course instructors visiting the site will find information on effective teaching, technology training, webinars, and support as they update and teach their courses. The site also features a guide for instructors specifically designed for teaching this fall.
VirusInfo.psu.edu: Penn State’s main website provides links to the latest news and answers to frequently asked questions about the University’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The site’s resources page also contains links to dedicated resources for students and employees; information on testing, contact tracing, and monitoring for the campus community; classroom and office guidance; and policies on masking and social distancing.
Penn State Surveillance Testing: Penn State Behrend is participating in the University’s surveillance testing program where asymptomatic individuals are being screened for potential exposure to COVID-19. Students and employees who are learning, working, or living on campus are being selected randomly and contacted by email and text message to answer a few screening questions and to schedule an appointment. If selected, students and employees are required to complete the free testing and should plan to do so within 48-72 hours after being contacted. Students and employees will be instructed to pick up the test kit at Penn State Behrend at the RUB Desk in Reed Union Building, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 4:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Penn State Behrend is meeting or exceeding all safety and social distancing guidelines in alignment with the University and as established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The college has undertaken numerous environmental health and safety measures, including:
Are masks required on campus?
Yes. Students, like all faculty and staff, are required to wear cloth masks while in common areas. Masks should fit snugly over the nose and mouth. Students are expected to wear masks in classrooms and labs, in campus buildings, in common areas of residence halls, and while walking outside on campus. In classrooms and labs, students are permitted to use water bottles with straws that allow for drinking without mask removal. Masks are not required in individual residence hall rooms.
How often are public areas being cleaned?
High-touch surface areas in restrooms and other common spaces across the campus are being extensively cleaned several times a day. Desks, podiums, conference tables, doors and door handles, push plates, handrails, light switches, and other identified high-touch areas are being cleaned and disinfected frequently. In addition to hand-sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas, hand sanitizer and/or cleaning wipes are available in classrooms, labs, and offices.
Are students, faculty, or staff being tested for COVID-19?
Penn State has implemented a program of in-house and third-party contracted testing of both individuals with symptoms and those without symptoms. The plan includes daily “surveillance” testing of a portion of the University’s population throughout the semester. For answers to questions you might have about COVID-19 testing plans, visit the University's Frequently Asked Questions.
Is contact tracing being done if someone on campus tests positive for COVID-19?
Penn State Behrend is working in conjunction with the University Park contact tracing team and the Erie County Department of Health and follows Pennsylvania and CDC guidelines on contact tracing. If a student, faculty, or staff member is identified as being positive for COVID-19, a contact tracer will reach out to collect information about that person’s close contacts and identify individuals with health precaution directions.
For answers to questions you might have about contact tracing plans, visit the University's Frequently Asked Questions.
What should I do if I require health services or experience symptoms when I’m on campus?
Before visiting the Health and Wellness Center, any member of the Behrend community requiring services of the center must first make an appointment in advance by calling 814-898-6217 or making an online appointment. If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact the center immediately for instructions to be tested.
Penn State Behrend began its fall semester on Monday, August 24, with flexible instructional models that blend in-person, remote, and mixed-mode courses. In addition to the answers provided below, students can get answers to other questions about advising and class instruction modes on the Keep Learning website.
When will residential instruction change to remote instruction?
Campus-based residential instruction will end on Friday, November 20. The remainder of the semester, including final examinations, will be delivered remotely and online when classes resume on Monday, November 30, after Thanksgiving break.
When will the fall semester end?
The fall semester will end at the conclusion of final exams on Friday, December 18.
Where can I get help with computer technology?
The University is ready to support your remote learning technology needs through phone, email, and 24-7 online chat. Visit the Remote Learning Support page for details.
To help create a safer learning, living, and working environment for all students, faculty, and staff, new classroom policies are in effect this fall across Penn State’s campuses in alignment with public health recommendations and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s requirements for higher education institutions. Specific policy guidance has been posted to the Office of Student Conduct website.
Changes to classroom and instructional delivery include:
To reduce the risk of widespread virus transmission, wearing face masks and social distancing are required for all students and employees in classrooms, labs, offices, and campus buildings. Students and employees also should practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings, in line with local and state requirements. For more details, check out the University’s masking and social distancing policies.
What happens if I don’t wear a mask to class?
Any student who fails to wear a mask to class or follow social distancing in a way that might put others at risk may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and be required to participate in the University’s conduct process.
Can I wear a clear face shield instead of a cloth mask?
No. All students, faculty, and staff at all campuses of the University are required to wear masks. A clear face shield cannot be used in place of a mask.
What should I do if I become ill or might have to be quarantined due to potential exposure to COVID-19?
In these cases, you will be given the opportunity to attend classes remotely. Once you know of the need to miss in-person classes, you should contact your instructors and your assigned adviser.
Where can I go to attend a remote class if I'm on campus?
Whether you're a commuter student or a resident student, you can use one of several special Zoom Rooms/Remote Learning Spaces to connect to remote classes while on campus. These areas are located in Lilley Library, the Smith Chapel Living Room, the lobby of Perry Hall, and a tent outside the Reed Union Building. You also are free to use quieter public areas and classrooms that are not in use. You are expected to follow masking and distancing requirements in all of these areas and wear headphones.
To provide additional on-campus remote learning spaces, outdoor WiFi has been extended to the top level of the Burke Parking Deck and the Nick Lot. The Nick Lot is reserved weekdays for commuter student wireless access only. (Parking permits are required.)
The campus map identifies areas on campus where you can easily set up for Zoom sessions. This information is found under the heading COVID Resources.
Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about Housing and Food Services on campus.
What precautions are being taken to keep residence halls safe for students?
Residence halls, like all common buildings and dining facilities, are being cleaned on a daily basis by college staff. High-touch points are being given additional focus throughout the day. In residence halls, lounges have reduced-occupancy limits to support social distancing. Social distancing guidelines are posted in laundry rooms, kitchen areas, and other common areas.
Are visitors permitted in residence halls?
A "No Guest" policy is in effect for the beginning of fall semester. Once a student has moved in, no guests are permitted in the building or in the student's room. This includes visiting friends and family members. The "No Guest" policy includes no short visits in the building or lobbies, and no overnight stays, even if the other individual is a Penn State student.
What is being done to make dining facilities safe?
Enhanced safety measures are in place at all dining areas on campus, including modified seating areas, frequent cleaning, and employee wellness checks. In addition, a mobile ordering and pickup option, Penn State Eats, is available for convenient, contactless ordering and payment via the Penn State Go mobile app.
Here are answers to common questions about tuition and bills. For answers to other questions you may have, contact the Penn State Behrend Bursar’s Office at 814-898-6224 or fill out a form online.
What are the Fall 2020 due dates for the installment payment plan?
The Fall 2020 due dates for the Penn State Installment Payment Plan are August 21, September 22, October 22, and November 22. Further details can be found at the Bursar's Office page under Quick Links.
Can I talk to someone about my semester bill and financial aid?
With the in-residence portion of the fall semester ending on November 20, will room and board rates be adjusted accordingly?
Yes, room and board charges will be adjusted for the time period in late November and early December when students will be completing the fall semester remotely.
Will parking fees be reduced because classes will be remote after Thanksgiving break? Will I be able to pay less in parking if I’m only on campus part-time during the fall semester?
Student parking permits for Fall 2020 will be sold at a reduced rate of $116. A permit for both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will be sold at a reduced rate of $240. If you will not be on campus frequently and do not want to pay for a permanent pass, you may purchase temporary parking permits at a cost of $4 per day.
Both types of permits can be purchased online. Temporary permits can be printed at time of purchase. Semester permits will take four to five days to process. Resident students can pick up their permits in the Mailroom in the Reed Building, and commuter students should go to the Parking Office drive-through window in Erie Hall. Remember to bring your Penn State ID.
If you have questions, call 814-898-PARK (7275).
Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about student support services, including tutoring and counseling, on campus.
If I am a first-year student, studying partially or fully online, how can I become part of campus life?
Penn State Behrend has special virtual programming to help you meet other students; make friends (even remotely); be mentored by older students, as well as faculty and staff; ask for help with many things; and become engaged with campus life. This program is called [email protected].
When is Lilley Library be open?
Fall semester hours at Lilley Library are Mondays through Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 8:00 p.m.
How can I get materials from Lilley Library?
Students, faculty, and staff are not be able to physically browse collections at Lilley Library. Print materials are being quarantined for 96 hours between uses and must be requested for pickup through the “I Want It” button in the Libraries Catalog. Some materials are only be available electronically and are not available in print form through the “I Want It” button. Those items can be checked out electronically by clicking the "Check out digital copy through HathiTrust" link in the catalog record. The University Libraries also offer access to electronic journal articles, streaming video, electronic databases, and more.
Is peer tutoring still be available this semester? What about for remote courses?
Free peer tutoring is offered for courses delivered in all formats. You can receive tutoring by appointment in either an online or in-person session. Drop-in tutoring is available online. You also can join guided study groups and exam prep sessions online. For more information, visit the Learning Resource Center page.
What if I’m having trouble adjusting to courses delivered in a remote or mixed-mode format?
Peer tutors have experience learning online, both as students and tutors. They can help you meet the challenges related to different virtual formats, find gaps in your understanding of concepts, prepare for tests, get the most out your textbooks, and study for your courses.
Is Career Services be operating as normal?
Career Services offers individual appointments and drop-ins throughout the semester. Drop-ins for quick questions are being held via Zoom (log into your Penn State Zoom account and use room ID 814 898 6112) Mondays through Fridays, from noon to 4:00 p.m. You also can schedule appointments with career counselors using Starfish. Appointments are primarily by Zoom or phone. Career Services also is delivering workshops for students using Zoom. You can find more information about upcoming events on the ACPC webpage.
What about the Fall Career and Internship Fair?
The Fall Career and Internship Fair will be held virtually on Wednesday, September 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Register on Nittany Lion Careers by clicking on events and selecting Behrend Fall Virtual Career and Internship Fair 2020. Be sure to upload your résumé to share with more than 170 anticipated employers. Connect with ACPC before the career fair to get ready.
Is help available if I want to speak to a personal counselor?
If you’re feeling stressed or having any other problem, our Personal Counseling Office is here to help—whether remotely or in person. Two staff members and one staff assistant are in the office 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays. Appointments are preferred and can be made by calling 814-898-6504. Most services are being provided remotely. All CDC guidelines are in effect.