Most students will encounter some form of health issue during their time as a student. While we hope these occurrences are minor, there are sure to be situations involving students who are sick, injured, or dealing with significant medical or mental health challenges that disrupt their academic pursuits. Should you encounter these kinds of issues, we can help.
Whether you are dealing with a long-term illness, an injury that leaves you permanently or temporarily disabled, or some other issue, you are encouraged to contact us with questions and concerns about how this may impact your status at the university. We will work to connect you with other resources, advise you on how to manage your condition in relation to school, and offer whatever support we can provide. Our goal is to ensure that you effectively balance your own health and well-being with the academic demands of Penn State.
Short & Long Term Disability Accommodations
Student Disability Resources provides reasonable accommodations and services to students with disabilities who are enrolled at Penn State Harrisburg. Students needing to request reasonable accommodations for an ongoing disability should contact Student Disability Resources to schedule an intake appointment with a disability specialist. Student Disability Resources may be able to assist with temporary accommodations. Students should contact that office to discuss individualized need. A student may also choose to work directly with professors to discuss their needs related to a short-term injury or illness.
It is common for Student Care & Advocacy to receive notice from hospitals, residence hall staff, parents, friends, etc. that a student is sick, injured, or dealing with a crisis or emergency. In instances when the student cannot notify their faculty of associated class absences, we send a general notification to the student's instructors to inform them of the student's missed class and expected return date, if known. We are happy to serve as a liaison until it's reasonable for the student to resume his or her studies.
This notification is sent as a courtesy notification that the student's circumstances are such that it may warrant a valid absence from class. Any academic accommodations or arrangements to make up missed work must be agreed upon between the student and faculty member.
Releases of Information
When a student is admitted to a local hospital, the student is invited to sign a release of information which allows the hospital to notify Student Care & Advocacy of the student's status and gather assistance in advocating on the student's behalf, including but not limited to faculty notification & post-hospitalization follow up meetings.
Student Care & Advocacy works closely with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) to provide students with the support they need, especially when they are managing the academic impact of mental health emergencies or related issues. Many students choose to sign an information release with their counselor so that Student Care & Advocacy can stay informed of their progress and know how best to help. Because mental health issues can cause a great disruption to academic, social, and general well-being, we urge students to utilize the services offered on campus.
Information for Uninsured/Underinsured Students
We recognize that financial insecurity has a detrimental impact on not only a student’s academic performance but their overall health, as well. Being proactive about your health and knowing about your health insurance can help avoid distressing situations while at school. What if you have a medical emergency while away at school? How would your medical bills be handled? Being aware of your health insurance status will alleviate confusion, should you have an accident or unexpected illness at school.
Student Care and Advocacy can provide consultation on health insurance for uninsured and underinsured students to assist students in identifying insurance options, including Medicaid or Affordable Care Act marketplace plans. Get started by completing the Basic Needs Request Form.
- For students who have questions about or are interested in purchasing the Student Health Insurance Plan for Penn State, please visit the website.
- For students who have health insurance coverage questions related to services provided by University Health Services, please contact a University Health Services Case Manager.