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President’s Message on Coronavirus

UPDATED: 3/24/20

Penn Highlands.

The Coronavirus situation remains fluid where local conditions and state and federal mandates change quickly. In response, the Penn Highlands’ leadership team meets often to discuss and improve upon our planning strategies. Today, we have decided to continue with, or modify, many of our current protocols which will affect the rest of the spring and summer semesters.

  • All classes will remain online through the end of the Spring semester (May 4th). Students should continue contacting their instructors for classroom guidance and/or reach out to our staff by completing the Need Help form.
  • The 1st Summer Session will continue as scheduled; however, 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.
  • The 2nd Summer Session will continue as scheduled. Classes begin July 7th and end August 17th. A new class schedule is being created that includes some face-to-face classes; please check back regularly for class changes or additions to the summer schedule.
  • All non-credit face-to-face classes are cancelled through July 6th. Visit Workforce & Community to take advantage of online training.
  • All locations are closed until further notice. Only essential staff are allowed at any facility.
  • 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.
  • Commencement, scheduled for May 9th, has been postponed. We hope to reschedule Commencement once is it safe for students to return.
  • The 25th Anniversary Gala has been postponed. It will likely be rescheduled for fall 2020.
  • All employees will continue to work remotely until April 13th.
  • 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.

Making these decisions has been quite difficult over the past few weeks. We deeply care about our students, our employees, and our mission. I truly believe that education is the single best way to improve someone’s life and anything that disrupts that mission deeply saddens me. But with that said, your health and safety trump all of those concerns. We will remain strong and persevere.

Stay safe.
#PennHighlandsFamily
#BlackBearProud
#InThisTogether

Steve Nunez, Ed.D.
President

  • Archive: President's Message (3/13/20)

     

    Dear Penn Highlands Family,

    Over the past several days, many colleges and universities throughout our region have made the decision to move from face-to-face classes to online remote instruction in an effort to thwart the possible spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Although there are no presumptive positive cases in any of the Penn Highlands Community College service areas, we recognize these are extraordinary circumstances, which call for extraordinary measures to be taken. To ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the Penn Highlands Community College students, faculty, and staff the following safety measures are being implemented.

    We have implemented the following plan beginning Monday, March 16 to Sunday, April 12. Face-to-face classes are moving to online instruction, and additional learning resources will be available.

    • All credit classes on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 will be suspended. Credit classes will resume via online instruction Wednesday, March 18.
    • Students involved in clinical placement and internships will continue with their instruction uninterrupted and should follow protocols of the host facility and the faculty program director.
    • Faculty, administration, and staff will use March 16th and March 17th as time to prepare their students for online classroom instruction.  Students should monitor their college email and Schoology accounts for further instruction from faculty.
    • All non-credit classes are cancelled; some classes may be rescheduled.
    • ILL STUDENTS SHOULD STAY HOME FROM WORK AND PUBLIC AREAS. Do not enter a Penn Highlands Community College facility if you are sick. Consult your healthcare provider promptly.

    Faculty and Staff

    • All staff will begin working 9-hour workdays Monday through Thursday effective Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 10. All staff are encouraged to practice preventative measures such as social distancing as outlined by the PA Department of Health and the CDC.
    • All support staff and administration will work remotely.
    • All faculty will work remotely.
    • Maintenance staff will continue to employ enhanced measures to ensure that used areas in the facilities along with public areas receive additional cleaning and sanitation. This includes disinfecting door handles, elevator buttons, work surfaces, and desktops.
    • If an employee travels out of the immediate area through Friday, April 10, employees must contact HR before returning to work, especially if you have traveled to an area or county with presumed or confirmed cases, or if you have come into contact with an individual with the suspected illness.
    • IF YOU BECOME ILL, STAY HOME FROM WORK AND PUBLIC AREAS. Consult your healthcare provider promptly. Do not enter a Penn Highlands Community College facility if you are sick.

    Other Measures Being Taken

    • During this time period, College administration will monitor developments and follow the recommendations of the CDC and the PA Department of Health among others. If it becomes necessary to alter this plan beyond April 10, advance notice will be provided.
    • All athletic events, clubs, and activities are cancelled until further notice.
    • All sponsored student travel and staff and faculty professional development travel will be suspended until further notice.
    • All College events will be cancelled, some may be rescheduled for a later date if necessary. No new requests for third-party events are being accepted at this time.

    Preventative Measures: Personal Responsibility

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of any tissue immediately after use and wash your hands.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
    • Practice good health and habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Each department has been provided with a contain of Clorox wipes, please use these often.
    • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.

    As we continue to monitor the Coronavirus impact and its potential impact on our community, we will notify you of any changes to the protocols outlined in this document via text alerts, social media, and Penn Highlands email.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Steve Nunez
    President, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College