Coronavirus Information

COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan

Update 6/11/20: Five different types of classroom instruction for fall courses have been developed. These new offerings were created to ensure that all students feel comfortable and safe within their preferred learning environments.

Dependent upon individual preference, students may register for the following five different instructional formats: split section, virtual classroom, online, in-person, and hybrid.


  • Split Section Instruction (1/2 Face-to-Face and 1/2 ZOOM instruction)
    Split section classes are offered two days per week, where part of the class is on-campus one day, while the other day is conducted via ZOOM at the student’s preferred location. Below is an example of a Monday/Wednesday schedule.
    • Mondays: Half the class meets in-person, while the other half meets via ZOOM.
    • Wednesdays: Half the class meets via ZOOM, while the other half meets in-person.
  • Virtual Classroom Instruction
    Students will participate in class virtually through ZOOM at a scheduled day and time each week. Students will get to choose their preferred day of the week when registering for classes.
  • Online Instruction
    Online classes will be taught 100% online and will not be scheduled to meet on specific days or times. Online classes will have weekly assignments, readings, forums, tests, and activities. These classes are reading and writing intensive. It is recommended that students enrolling in these classes have strong time management, reading, and writing skills.
  • In-Person Instruction
    In-person classes meet physically on-site each week. Classes will meet one, two, or three days per week at scheduled times, with smaller class sizes in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.
  • Hybrid Instruction
    Hybrid classes are a combination of in-person and online instruction. Students must attend class physically on scheduled days and times. They must also complete online assignments, readings, activities, and projects.


In order to adhere to social distancing mandates, class sizes have been reduced to allow for both students and faculty to interact in a safe environment.

Access to the college’s computer labs and the library will be readily available for students at the Richland Campus. All computer lab and library areas will be monitored and sanitized regularly, while every other computer workstation will be available for use in order to maintain proper social distancing.

Students are required to wear face coverings at all college locations. Hand sanitizing stations will also be available at each entrance; students will be encouraged to use them prior to entering any college facility.

Update: 6/4/20: Beginning Tuesday, June 9th, Penn Highlands will allow visitors to the Richland, Blair, and Somerset facilities for the following:

  • Placement Testing
  • Registering for Classes
  • Academic Advising
  • Financial Aid Processing
  • KEYS Advising
  • Bookstore (opening June 15th) to purchase textbooks and supplies

All for-credit classes this summer will continue to be online.

To ensure your safety and the safety of our employees, all visitors are asked to schedule an appointment with the appropriate department or location before coming to a facility. Please call the following to schedule your individual appointments:


Beginning Monday, June 15th, the Penn Highlands Community College Bookstore will allow students to come in to purchase textbooks and supplies by appointment only. Students are encouraged to continue purchasing their textbooks and supplies online whenever possible. Please check the Bookstore’s website for appointment hours as these vary daily and are subject to change.

To schedule appointments, please call 814.262.6453 or 814.262.7913. Students visiting the Bookstore may bring one person into the building with them. While on-site, all visitors will need to abide by the same guidelines of both the College and state.


Before coming on-site, visitors should ask themselves these questions:

  • Do I have a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea?
  • In the past two weeks, have I been diagnosed or come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • In the past two weeks, have I visited a place or lived in a place where COVID-19 is spreading?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, please delay your visit. Stay home and take care of yourself.


While on-site, all visitors will need to abide by the following state guidelines:

  • In order to enter a building, each visitor must call the office when on-site; a college employee will then meet you at the door and walk you in.
  • Visitors must be escorted by an employee at all times.
  • Have a scheduled appointment with an individual office.
  • Wear a mask at all times while on location.
  • Students that are meeting with the Admissions Office, Registration Office, and/or their advisors may bring one person into the building with them.
  • Students coming to any location for testing are not permitted to bring anyone into the building with them.
  • Maintain social distancing throughout the visit.


Penn Highlands has gone to extraordinary efforts to provide a safe environment for its employees and to visitors. Preventative measures include:

  • All employees will wear a mask when working with visitors or other employees.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building.
  • All rooms that are being used or occupied are being robustly cleaned and sanitized.


  • The 1st Summer Session will continue as scheduled; however, all classes will be modified to an online format or moved to the 2nd Summer Session. Classes for the 1st Summer Session begin May 18th and continue through June 29th. Students should contact their instructors for classroom guidance and/or reach out to our staff by completing the Need Help form.
  • The 2nd Summer Session, including lab courses, will be moved to a completely online format. Classes begin July 7th and will end August 17th. Faculty will be in contact with students in medical lab classes that require face-to-face contact for competency verification.
  • All non-credit face-to-face classes are canceled through July 6th. Visit Workforce & Community to take advantage of online training.
  • Richland, Blair, and Somerset facilities will be open beginning June 9th. Central Park, Ebensburg, and Huntingdon will remain closed for the time being.
  • All student and employee travel has been suspended until further notice.
  • All College-sponsored events or activities/meetings on-campus have been suspended until further notice.
  • Our in-person Commencement has been postponed. A virtual Commencement was held on May 15th. Click here to watch.
  • The 25th Anniversary Gala has been postponed. It will likely be rescheduled for the fall.
  • All employees will continue to work remotely until further notice.
  • Employees should work with their direct supervisors to remain productive and efficient.
  • Administration will continue to monitor the situation and modify work and learning environments as necessary.

President's Message

I Need Help - Click Here

Frequently Asked Questions

Pennsylvania Highlands cares about your health, the health of your family, and the health of our region. We are monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

At this time, several cases have been reported in our service region. For updated details on cases and their locations, please click here.

We are also monitoring the seasonal flu outbreaks and encourage students to be mindful of their health during this season.

We will continue to closely monitor this situation and will be prepared to maintain College operations to the best of our ability should illnesses interrupt normal daily operation.

We encourage everyone to sign-up for our emergency text alert system: PEAK TXT.

Reducing the Risk of Infection

  • Wash your hands frequently! Handwashing is the most effective preventative measure. For handwashing guidelines, click here.
  • Use an effective (60-95% alcohol) hand sanitizer in-between hand washes.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue (not your hands).
  • Avoid sharing cups, utensils, water bottles, and other personal items.
  • Avoid personal contact and those who are sick.

What if I get sick?

  • Monitor your symptoms and compare them to the lists provided below.
  • Stay home! While we appreciate the dedication of our students, faculty, and region, we want you to get well and we want to prevent the spread of illness.
  • Report possible exposure or illness to an instructor, advisor, and/or any College personnel immediately.
  • Seek medical guidance. Remember that you can use telemedicine, available through many health insurance companies, for a virtual visit with a physician.


Coronavirus: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • fever (a persistent temperature at or above 100 degrees)
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

Should you begin to experience any of these symptoms and have recently traveled to or near affected areas, or been exposed to others who have traveled to or near affected areas, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Influenza: The CDC reports that Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Should you begin to experience any of these symptoms and have recently been exposed to others who are ill, contact your healthcare provider immediately.



For questions or concerns, please contact:

  • CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund Information

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College acknowledges that the institution has signed and returned the certification and agreement form and that the institution has used, or intends to use, the funds to provide the mandated amount of at least 50% of the emergency financial aid grants to students.

    • The total amount of funds Pennsylvania Highlands will receive, or has received, under the HEERF student portion as of 6/8/20 is $440,143.
    • Of these funds, $225,529 has been distributed to students as of this reporting date (6/8/20).
    • The estimated total number of students at Pennsylvania Highlands eligible to participate (in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965) is 924, and are therefore eligible to receive an emergency financial aid grant.
    • 924 students have received an emergency financial aid grant.
    • Pennsylvania Highlands Community College determined which students received emergency financial aid grants and how much they received using the following formula:
      • Multiplier X Number of Credits X $12.50 = Payment To Student
      • All multipliers are added together.
        Any student taking credits on March 13th = 1 multiplier 
        Students receiving Pell = 0.5 multiplier
        Students receiving SEOG = 0.5 multiplier
        Students taking direct loan = 0.5 multiplier
      • Low need students would receive a 1 multiplier.
      • High need students would receive 2.5 multiplier
      • NOTE: High need students receive 2.5 times more money than low need students.
    • Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by Pennsylvania Highlands to students concerning an emergency financial aid grant was supplied via a letter. Click here to view a sample letter.