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 for the upcoming semester. The site also features a newly created guide for instructors specifically designed for preparing and teaching this fall.
VirusInfo.psu.edu: Penn State’s main website with 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 COVID-19 Compact: Before returning to campus, students are asked to verify that they understand the behavioral requirements and guidelines, via LionPath.
Return to Campus Core Team: Penn State Harrisburg has established a core team to guide our Back To State implementation, along with six support teams focused on the following areas: health, services, employees, students, academics, campus buildings/space, and financial matters. Their work will continue throughout the fall semester and additional updates to this page will reflect the latest plans and information available.
Table of Contents
- Surveillance Testing Program
- Symptomatic Testing
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Classroom Policies for Fall 2020
- Fall 2020 Schedule and Course Delivery
- Spring 2021 Schedule, Class Scheduling, and Course Delivery Modes
- Pre-Arrival Testing of Students
- Campus Services
- Points of Contact at Penn State Harrisburg
- Student Care & Advocacy
- Access to Campus for Faculty, Staff, and Visitors
- Return to On-Site Work
- Meetings, Events, and Gatherings
- Travel Requests
- Employee Support Resources during the COVID19 Pandemic
Surveillance Testing Program
Penn State Harrisburg is participating in the University’s surveillance testing program where asymptomatic individuals are being screened for potential exposure to COVID19. Students and employees who are learning, working or living on or near campus will be 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 24-48 hours after being contacted. Surveillance testing at Penn State Harrisburg is being conducted in Student Health Services, 220 Capital Union Building, Mon.-Tues., 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m, Wed.-Fri., 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m, and Sat.-Sun. 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., all by appointment.
The University has contracted with a COVID-19 testing company to conduct rapid turnaround testing for symptomatic or suspected positive students. Penn State Harrisburg students who believe they are experiencing symptoms will need to make a telemedicine appointment with Student Health Services at Penn State Harrisburg or the 24/7 nurse advice line at 814-863-4463, for evaluation. After this health screening, if a student is deemed in need of a test, they will be directed to the symptomatic testing center outside, adjacent to the CUB.
The testing results will be shared with the student as well as University Health Services, to enact contact tracing if needed. Contact tracing is supported out of University Park, and all individuals (students and employees) that were potentially exposed will be contacted and provided further instructions.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff who believe they are experiencing symptoms should consult with their personal health care provider. If an employee receives a positive test result, they or their supervisor should contact Penn State Occupational Medicine at [email protected] or 814-863-8492, and Occupational Medicine will provide guidance on the next steps to initiate any work adjustments that need to take place, as well as initiate the contact tracing process.
Environmental Health and Safety
As part of the preparations for the return to campus of faculty, staff, and students, the college has undertaken numerous environmental health and safety measures, including:
- Upgraded air filters and increases to the amount of fresh air introduced into buildings through HVAC systems.
- UV air sanitizers installed in HVAC systems and portable UV air sanitizers to clean indoor air.
- Basic disinfectant materials located in classrooms, office suites and other common areas on campus.
- Use of CDC recommended cleaning materials to disinfect high touch surfaces on a regular basis.
- Installation of magnetic door hold opens for stairways, where feasible.
- Conversion of 20 water fountains to touch-free handwashing stations.
- Placement of 170 hand sanitizer stations throughout campus, with a focus on high traffic areas.
- Installation of Plexiglas barriers in some high transaction spaces as well as the installation of clear vinyl sheeting or a reconfiguration of some workspaces and suites to provide additional separation and minimize close in-person contact.
- High-visibility placement of safety and directional signage across campus.
Classroom Policies for Fall 2020
To help create a safer learning, living and working environment for all students, faculty and staff, new classroom policies will be in effect this fall across Penn State’s campuses in alignment with public health recommendations and 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:
- Limited seating in classrooms and labs, to continue social distancing.
- The addition of new, temporary classroom space in areas such as the CUB Events Room and Gallery Lounge.
- Remote delivery of any class with more than 100 students.
- A combination of in-person, remote and hybrid instruction, with accommodations made for students who miss class due to illness.
- Implementation of the University’s return-to-research protocols to maintain social distancing and other safety measures in all research labs.
- Expanded Wifi throughout campus and the creation of "Zoom lounges" — areas with strong wireless connections where individuals can sit to virtually attend classes or do work with social distancing and mask wearing enforced.
To reduce the risk of widespread virus transmission, wearing face masks and social distancing will be required for all students and employees in classrooms, labs, offices and campus buildings. Students and employees also should practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings and wear face masks while on campus, as well as within their local communities in line with local and state requirements.
Two contact tracing student referral forms are now available; one allows students to self-report concerns and the other allows individuals to refer students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who may have been exposed.
Complete details are available in a July 1 release from the University on Masking and Social Distancing Policies.
- The fall 2020 semester will begin as originally scheduled on Monday, Aug. 24.
- Campus-based, residential instruction will end Friday, Nov. 20.
- When classes resume after Thanksgiving break on Nov. 30, the remainder of the semester — including final examinations — will be delivered remotely and online.
- To minimize travel and lower the risk of possibly spreading coronavirus on campuses, classes will be held on Labor Day (Sept. 7).
- The semester will end following finals on Dec. 18, as originally planned.
Information on the mode in which a class is taught is available in LionPATH. Students are encouraged to consult with their academic adviser if they need to make changes to their schedule, for example, to switch to remote offerings.
For the most current information on Fall 2020 plans, visit keeplearning.psu.edu.
- The spring 2021 semester will start on Jan. 18; however, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there will be no classes on this day.
- Classes will begin Tuesday, Jan. 19.
- There will be no spring break.
- The semester will end on April 30.
- Final exams will be held May 3 through May 7.
Once the Schedule of Courses is posted on October 15, students should meet with their adviser to plan their schedules and ensure they are on track to meet their academic milestones. Students should consult the “Registration Timetable” on the Office of the University Registrar website to determine when they are eligible to register, based on the number of credits earned.
Instructors will deliver their courses using the same flexible instructional modes that were developed for the fall 2020 semester. There are no current plans to start or end the semester remotely.
For the most current information on Spring 2021 plans, visit keeplearning.psu.edu/spring-2021
Pre-Arrival Testing of Students
As part of Penn State’s Back to State plans for fall 2020, the University has implemented a COVID-19 pre-arrival testing program to test select individuals from locations with a high prevalence of the disease before arrival on campus. Not every student will be tested within the pre-arrival testing phase of our multi-pronged testing approach.
Detailed guidance and answers to frequently asked questions about the testing process, test results, and reporting procedures can be found on the COVID-19 Pre-Arrival Testing webpage.
Additionally, a response center has been established to answer questions sent via email to [email protected].
Admissions & Financial Aid
Prospective students: schedule a virtual visit! Connect with us and learn more about the admissions process, academic program options, student engagement opportunities, and what it is like to become part of the Penn State Harrisburg community.
The Penn State Harrisburg Admissions & Financial Aid team is also available Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to meet with prospective students and families via phone or online Zoom meetings.
- To schedule your appointment with an Admissions Counselor (First Year or Transfer), contact [email protected] or 717-948-6250
- To schedule your appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor, contact [email protected] or 717-948- 6307
Students can schedule a meeting with their assigned advisor through Starfish. If your advisor does not use Starfish, you will need to email your assigned advisor regarding appointments. If you don't know who your advisor is, you can find their contact info on the top right of your LionPATH homepage under "My Advisors."
As noted above, students are encouraged to consult with their academic adviser as they work to make changes to their schedule.
Advisors are able to meet with students over the phone, via Zoom, or through email. You will need to communicate with your assigned advisor to confirm how you will meet remotely. If you do not have an advisor listed, we can connect you to an advisor. Advisor assignment questions or any general advising-related questions can be directed to: [email protected]
The John Crain Kunkel Career Center will be available, remotely, to all students and alumni. We are here to help you with: resumes, mock interviews, internship and job searches, graduate school, and all other career/internship related needs. You may schedule your virtual appointment via email, [email protected] or by phone, 717-948-6260.
Housing and Food Services
Arrival Days for Fall 2020 Semester
Check-in appointment scheduling will begin in late July. Residential students will receive more information soon on when and how to schedule their check-in appointment time.
- New Students: August 21-22
- Returning Students: August 22-23
Room and Board Rate Changes
Room and Board rates for the Fall 2020 semester have been adjusted due to the switch to remote instruction after Nov. 20, 2020. Spring 2020 rates will remain unchanged, at this time, from the rates previously passed by the Board of Trustees in February.
The Penn State Harrisburg Library will continue to support faculty, staff, and students through a variety of remote offerings. Please review the Available Library Services page for complete details on textbooks, online databases, research consultations, and more.
Students can schedule an online tutoring session for Subject Area Tutoring, Writing, or Academic Success Coaching via Starfish. All online tutoring utilizes Zoom. A Zoom link will be provided on Starfish. All Subject Area Tutoring appointments must be made by 7 a.m. the day of the scheduled meeting time.
Questions about online tutoring or general Learning Center questions can be asked at [email protected].
|Questions concerning...||Referral||Phone Number|
|Student health||Student Health Services
Refer to SHS homepage for hours and full contact info.
24/7 Nurse Advice Line also available for after-hours care.
|Classes/Coursework - Students||
Students should contact their individual faculty members in the manner that they typically communicate with them (e.g. Faculty/Staff Directory as needed., email, etc.); refer to the
Please review the Student FAQ on the general PSU Virus Info site.
More hints and tips are available at
|Classes/Coursework - Faculty||Center for Teaching Excellence
|Computer labs, getting online||Refer to the ITS website for ways to seek help.|
|Academic advising and tutoring||
As noted above, students are encouraged to consult with their academic adviser as they work to make changes to their schedule.
|Counseling or psychological services||
CAPS staff is available via phone Monday through Friday, 8AM - 5PM.
|Disability services or academic accommodations||Student DisAbility Resources||717-948-6025|
|International student support||International Student Support Services||717-948-6273|
|Other student concerns||Student Affairs||717-948-6180|
|Safety and security||University Police & Public Safety||717-948-6232|
|On-campus housing and dining||Housing and Food Services||Food Services: 717-948-6241
Residence Life: 717-948-6269
|From the media||Marketing and Communications||717-948-4367|
|Library/Research Consultation||Penn State Harrisburg Library||717-948-6070|
|All other questions||Marketing and Communications||717-948-4367|
Please note that many offices and support units may have modified hours or contact methods during this period of remote instruction and social distancing.
Review our Contact Us page for a comprehensive listing of departmental contact information, or search our Campus Directory by name or unit.
Student Care & Advocacy
Student Emergency Fund
Penn State, in collaboration with Barnes and Noble College, has established a Student Emergency Funds Program to help meet the immediate needs of students experiencing crisis situations. Provided in the form of one-time awards, the value of the awards range in response to the specific needs of the student but typically does not exceed $1,000. Visit the Student Affairs website for information regarding eligibility or to share a concern. Direct questions to 814-863-2020 or [email protected].
CARES Act Funding
Penn State was allotted nearly $55 million from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Half of Penn State’s allocation – or approximately $27.5 million – is designated by law to be disbursed as emergency cash grants to students impacted by disruptions to campus operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Penn State is distributing these grants via two rounds of funding. In the first round, the University will award grants up to $1,000 to more than 25,000 students, based on family income and other data from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
More details are available in the Office of Student Aid.or from the campus'
WeCare Food Pantry
The on-campus Food Pantry is available to any Penn State Harrisburg student in need of food. To place an order, please complete the on-line order form on Engage. Please first complete the “Pantry Intake Form” if you haven’t already completed one for this year. Once your order is processed (within 2 business days), you will receive a notification of where and when to pick up your order.
Access to Campus for Faculty and Staff
Limited Access Requests
Faculty and staff may request one-time or recurring (limited) access to campus if a visit is required in support of remote learning or the delivery of instruction, mission critical administrative tasks, or similar. Note that access first needs prior approval by one's immediate supervisor, who will be copied on the access request form submission.
Faculty and staff should not visit campus without obtaining permission to do so, so that we can keep the campus sanitized and safe for our community.
Return to On-Site Work (ROSW) Requests
Faculty and staff who have been approved for Return to On-Site Work (ROSW) by their supervisor may be asked to complete a request via the form below. Please do not select this request option without conferring with your supervisor. Note that ROSW requests may require additional information after submission of this form.
Visitors, including Visiting Scholars
Limiting the density of the on-campus population reduces the chances of incidental contact that could spread illness. To further reduce the chances of exposure, the University has developed protocols to limit public access to campus buildings. Units are strongly encouraged to continue to engage with visitors remotely whenever possible.
Individuals wishing to have a non-employee visit campus for any period of time must make a request to their unit executive. Examples of visitors include, but are not limited to, those wishing to audit a class, those wishing to participate in a meeting in person, invited speakers, guest lecturers/speakers in a class, or research collaborators making a short-term visit.
Visiting Scholars, defined as those whose applications have been approved and have a visa stamp, may come to Penn State as planned. Those who have not yet obtained a visa stamp are asked to reschedule their arrival until Feb. 1, 2021. This guidance will be revisited monthly and revised as State Department and other public health guidance evolves.
More information is available in a July 6 directive from the University on meetings, visitors, and Visiting Scholars.
Meetings, Events, and Gatherings
Effective July 1, requests for meetings of more than 10 but fewer than 250 participants must be submitted for approval to unit executives. With approval, meetings can be scheduled at campuses located in counties that are in the “green” phase of reopening under commonwealth guidelines, taking into account the maximum occupancy of the meeting room, which must allow attendees to maintain at least six feet of distance between participants. No large events with more than 249 attendees may be scheduled.
Details on meetings at campuses that are in the “yellow” or “red” phase, or travel between campuses that are in these phases, can be found in the University's FAQ on meetings and in-person gatherings.
All Penn State employees must follow existing travel guidance.
Effective July 1, 2020, all Penn State employees must seek permission for University-affiliated domestic travel, including air travel, from their unit executive. Employees are asked to limit travel where possible and consider virtual options that might replace or reduce the need to travel.
Employee Support Resources during the COVID19 Pandemic
Penn State employees have access to many wellness services that could be especially beneficial during the current pandemic, a challenging time full of stress and anxiety. The Employee Support Team has compiled informational pieces to address a variety of needs, such as the Employee Assistance Program, tips for helping your child learn remotely, childcare resources, and more. Please visit the HR Health and Wellness page to see the resources available to PSU employees.