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.
It is common for Student Care & Advocacy to receive notice from a hospital, 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 their 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. 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.
PawPrint Cards - Paw Prints is a cloud-based printing available on campus. Through the Student Initiated Fee, Free PawPrint cards are available for students to pick up at the following locations:
- Academic Advising- SEC 204
- Career Services- SEC 212
- CUB Front Desks - Both Entrances
- Health Services- CUB 220
- International Student Office - Olmsted E131
- Learning Center- SEC 201
- Residence Life Staff - Community Center
- Student Aid- Swatara Building
- Student Care and Advocacy Office- SEC 212N
- Student Engagement- SEC 112
- Student Government Association Office- SEC 113
- We cAre Pantry- Church Hall 306
We understand transportation assistance may be needed, on occasion. Student Care and Advocacy may be able to assist with your transportation needs. Please schedule a meeting with a case manager to discuss if we can provide assistance. Note: transportation assistance is not intended to be ongoing.
CAT Bus Vouchers
FREE CAT Local Quick Trip (aka single ride) bus vouchers are now available to ALL students (courtesy of SIF Funding).
Quick Trip vouchers may be secured at the following campus locations when the location is staffed (please plan accordingly):
- CUB Front Desks
- Office of Student Engagement (SEC 112)
- International Student Office (Olmsted E131)
- Residence Life (Community Center)
- WE cARE Pantry (Church Hall 306)
Multiple-ride vouchers are still available through the Student Care and Advocacy Office (SEC 212).