Frequently Asked Questions

Online Instruction & Student Services

  • What are the details regarding online instruction?

    Faculty may use Zoom to deliver face-to-face instruction and also record the session to be posted to Brightspace for viewing later. Faculty may create pre-recorded sessions, but they will still provide an opportunity for students to interact during the time that classes were originally scheduled.

    Students should continuously monitor their College email and Brightspace accounts for instruction from faculty.

  • What are my options if I do not have computer or internet/Wi-Fi access?

    Please contact your instructor or the Information Technology (IT) Office for guidance as to how to complete your coursework. Information may also be posted on your Brightspace or myPEAK accounts.

    If you need additional assistance, please click here to fill out our Need Help form.

  • What are the office hours for my instructor?

    Faculty office hours can be fulfilled through availability to students via email, Zoom, or Brightspace during posted hours.

    Click here to see updated office hours during this time.

  • What if I have to take a make-up exam?

    Online exams will be the only way to make up exams during our closure. We will reassess access when the College re-opens.

  • What if I have a lab class?

    There will be no access to labs while the College is closed. Please discuss with your instructor alternative means to hold your lab class virtually.

  • How do I access the library and online resources?

    All Library databases are available remotely. Included in those databases is a repository of over 150,000 online ebooks. The Library has also implemented an online chat where students can reach a librarian for assistance. The Library has a YouTube channel with tutorials regarding citations and using the Library resources. All of these resources are available through the Library page; click here to access.

  • Will I still have my advising appointment?

    Yes. Advising appointments are still occurring. Please confirm with your advisor first. They can meet with you in person, by phone, or via Zoom.

    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. For advising appointments, please call 814.262.6451.

  • Am I still able to get a transcript?

    Yes. Electronic requests are still being processed. All paper requests will be processed once the College opens.

    Click here to request a transcript.

  • Can I still make a bill payment?

    The only way to ensure a payment is received currently is to pay online using either a Visa, Mastercard, or e-check.

    First, access your myPEAK account. Then, click the Student Financial Services tab at the top of the page, and select ‘My Financial Account’ on the list running down the left-hand side of the page.

    Follow the prompts from there to make a payment online.

  • Am I able to return my rental books online?

    Yes, you are able to return your books online and via mail.

    The steps outlined below will start the process of returning your rental book(s) by providing a pre-paid shipping label in the event you are unable to bring your rented book(s) to the bookstore before the rental due date of May 8, 2020. Books are not officially checked in until it arrives in the store and the check-in process is completed by a store team member.

    *If you rented your book in-store, you can also generate a label from an email reminder link that will be sent to your registered email address as the due date approaches.

    Important: The packing slip generated from this process must be included in the shipment. Books shipped without identifying information will not be properly removed from your account.

    To initiate a rental check-in online:

    1. Visit http://www.pennhighlandsshop.com/.

    2. Click the Sign In link found at the top right bar of the screen and sign in.

    3. Select the button in the Rentals box under Purchase Details. Note: Not all buttons display if no outstanding rentals exist at the time of login, just the View Rental Agreement button displays. The Rentals screen displays.

    4. Check the box next to each rental to be checked-in or select the Return All Rentals by Mail link.

    5. Select the CHECK-IN button. The Return By Mail screen displays

    6. Select Continue. The Generate Your Return Label screen displays.

    7. Select Get Label.

    8. Select Print, then Close Window. A packing slip and package label are printed.

    9. Affix the shipping label to the outside of the package containing your rental books and place the packing list inside the box. Drop off the package at any FedEx Ground location.

    Important: Packing list must be included to ensure proper processing of your rental items.

    Please contact the bookstore during business hours for assistance with returning your rental books. Click here for current store hours of operation.

  • What IT support services do I have available?

    If you are having trouble, please reach out to our Information Technology team; they are here to help. Please contact the IT Help Desk at 814.262.6470 or helpdesk@pennhighlands.edu.

  • Are facilities and locations remaining open?

    Effective June 9th, Penn Highlands will allow visitors to the RichlandBlair, and Somerset facilities for the following:

    • Placement Testing
    • Registering for Classes
    • Academic Advising
    • Financial Aid Processing
    • KEYS Advising

    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.


    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 that both the College and state requirements.

    Click here for more information.

Events & Athletics

  • What events have been cancelled?

    All College events are cancelled until further notice. Some may be rescheduled for a later date if necessary. No new requests for third-party events are being accepted at this time.

  • What athletic events have been cancelled?

    All athletic events, clubs, and activities are cancelled until further notice.

  • What is happening with Commencement?

    On Friday, May 15th, 2020, at 7:00pm, Penn Highlands celebrated with over 350 graduates, their families, and their friends in an online gathering that had never before been seen in the College’s history.

    In 2021, Penn Highlands will celebrate the Twenty-Sixth Graduating Class with ceremonies on May 14th and May 15th, as follows:

    • Friday, 5/14 | Richland Campus Auditorium | 7pm: AA & AS degrees, certificates, and diplomas
    • Saturday, 5/15 | Richland Campus Auditorium | 10am: AAS degrees

    Additional information regarding this event will be posted to the Commencement page as it becomes available.

    Please continue to monitor our COVID-19 website for updates on Penn Highlands Community College’s response to the pandemic.

Health, Hygiene, & Prevention

  • What additional cleaning or sanitation measures have been taken?

    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.
  • What is social distancing?

    Social distancing is an evidence-based public health practice to mitigate the spread of viruses. Per the latest public health guidelines, we encourage members of the Penn Highlands community to avoid large public gatherings/events and continue to follow standard wellness practices, such as:

    • Frequent handwashing (20 seconds with soap and water), along with use of hand sanitizer.
    • Sneeze or cough into a tissue and then throw the tissue away. If you do not have a tissue, cough into the crook of your elbow.
    • Do not shake hands if you’re sick or fear others could be.
    • Avoid sharing personal items such as utensils, water bottles, or beauty products.
    • Do not travel to countries currently under US State Department Level 3 travel warning for a COVID-19 outbreak. Please follow the link for an updated list of countries.
    • Stay home when sick and avoid others who are sick.
  • What is self-isolation?

    Self-isolation is an agreement to remain at home and not go to work or school while monitoring health for 14 days. People in self-isolation may never show any signs of sickness and this is done as a precautionary measure.

    Below are some suggested guidelines to follow whether on-campus or not:

    • Stay in a space with access to your own room and bathroom. Practice social distancing of 8 feet if others are in the household with you.
    • Do not go to class, work, or participate in any campus activities.
    • Do not allow visitors.
    • Monitor your health daily. Take your temperature twice a day to monitor for changes.
    • Call your healthcare provider immediately if you become sick and follow their advice.
  • Who is most at risk for COVID-19?

    Cases of the new coronavirus continue to climb in the United States, and multiple deaths have been reported. In the midst of these uncertain times, it’s important that we come together to protect each other and the most vulnerable populations in our communities.
    While the situation is still evolving, currently available data shows that, like the flu, COVID-19 poses a much higher risk to the elderly population and people with underlying medical conditions (such as heart and lung diseases, diabetes, and immune-suppressing conditions). Combined with the fact that we are in the midst of a very active traditional cold and flu season, public health officials are implementing policies and guidance that are intended to keep ourselves and, critically, the most vulnerable around us healthy.
  • What if I experience cold or flu-like symptoms?

    If you experience cold or flu-like symptoms, please stay home and rest. It is still the regular cold and flu season, so you can also still catch a common cold or flu at this time of year. Follow these What To Do If Sick guidelines, and be sure to communicate with your advisor and professors accordingly.
  • If I am sick, should I get tested for COVID-19?

    The CDC and local health officials continue to review and issue updated guidance on who should be tested. For this information, please visit their website.

    If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from an impacted region, or have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider and mention your recent travel or close contact.  Your provider will use the most recent guidance from local, state, and federal authorities to determine if you need to be tested.

    Testing when not clinically indicated diverts essential resources from where they are most needed. Only a healthcare professional can make the determination if you need testing at this time.

Travel Restrictions

High School Students


For questions or concerns, please contact: