Last updated April 2, 2020 at 7:05 p.m.
1. Is there a website with coronavirus information and updates for the Penn State University community?
Yes. The coronavirus outbreak situation is rapidly evolving, and the University’s approach and actions will adapt in accordance with state and federal governmental and public health directives and recommendations. The latest developments and information will always be posted on the Penn State Coronavirus Information website, which includes steps Penn State is taking in response to the outbreak, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
The Penn State Frequently Asked Questions page includes the following categories:
- General information about coronavirus
- Penn State preparedness
- Classes and academics for students
- Commencement and events
- Classes and academics for faculty and instructors
- Employee impacts
- Travel and study abroad
Additionally, you can access news about coronavirus from the Penn State News coronavirus web page. Read University President Eric Barron’s message to the University Community.
2. What is the status of classes at Penn State Wilkes-Barre?
All classes, seminars and labs will be delivered remotely for students at every campus location through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. For faculty and staff, the University will remain open, subject to certain actions and conditions. The move to remote learning is intended to eliminate large gatherings in classrooms and labs.
3. Is the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus closed?
All of the physical buildings on campus are locked and no public access is permitted; however, business continues to be conducted remotely as appropriate, within normal business hours (Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.) You can reach offices via email or phone.
4. How can I use library services if the Academic Commons building is closed?
The University Libraries website is 100% open and available, as are library faculty and staff. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for reference help, instruction, consultations and other online services. The Library’s online resources are available on the Nesbitt Library website.
Read the latest information on the University Libraries’ response to the hiatus from on-site instruction.
5. What is the guidance on remote learning for Penn State Wilkes-Barre students?
Visit the Penn State Remote Learning for information on transitioning from the classroom to remote learning. For further information, visit Student Resources for Learning Remotely, on the Wilkes-Barre website.
6. What is the guidance on remote teaching for Penn State Wilkes-Barre faculty?
To support students’ learning virtually, faculty and staff are encouraged to work with students to provide digital course materials for those who may not have access to their textbooks or course materials during this period.
There is information provided by Teaching and Learning with Technology and Undergraduate Education to help faculty move and teach classes remotely using online resources like Canvas. Another source of information is the Faculty Resources for Teaching Remotely webpage on the Wilkes-Barre website.
7. How will I find out more information about my classes?
Students are asked to check their Office365 email as well as their Canvas email to watch for messages from faculty regarding course information and updates. If your current courses include an off-campus, engaged learning opportunity such as an internship, watch for additional communications from your faculty member.
8. Can I still contact my advisor?
Yes. All academic advising will be conducted via phone appointment or online via Zoom through the end of the Spring semester. If you need an advising appointment, schedule a meeting with your assigned academic adviser. For quick questions, email your assigned adviser; if you are unable to connect with them, email email@example.com. Please use your Penn State email.
9. Can I come to campus to use the computer lab?
No; the computer labs are closed. Students with unmet technology needs should contact Penn State IT at 814-865-HELP (4357) or ITservicedesk@psu.edu for individual arrangements.
10. What if I have problems with my computer or with the technology used to teach remotely?
For technology assistance, students, faculty, and staff should call the Wilkes‑Barre IT Help Desk at 570‑675‑9140 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
11. How long will classes be delivered remotely?
Classes will be delivered remotely through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
12. What about counseling? Will campus counseling services still be available?
Yes, but all counseling appointments will take place over the phone or via Zoom conferencing. Please call 570-675-9282 or email Sarah Luvender-Newman at email@example.com for appointments.
13. Will I be able to speak to someone about disability services and accommodations during this time?
Yes, but all Disability Services appointments will take place over the phone or via Zoom conferencing. Please call 570‑675‑9282 or email Sarah Luvender-Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments.
14. What do I do if I am not feeling well?
Students are advised to see their personal physician or go to the nearest medical facility if they are feeling ill and presenting a high fever. The campus nurse will be available for phone conferencing, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please call 570‑675‑9174 or email Suzanne Attanasio at email@example.com.
15. Will the Food Bank still be open this semester?
Yes, but the process is different. Students just have to fill out the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Food Bank Request Form to request items from the food bank. Students who submit a request will receive an email with contactless pickup instructions. Most requests will be available on the next business day.
16. I’ve used the Ride Share program in the past to do my shopping. Is that still available?
Students can access the Ride Share program by appointment. Only three students per trip will be allowed. Please call 570‑675‑9279 or email Susan Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments and Ride Share dates.
17. Will students still be able to attend campus events and participate in student activities?
No. All university-sponsored events, activities and trips will be cancelled through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Student organization leaders will be contacted by Campus Activities for assistance with cancelling group-sponsored travel and events and for assistance in convening virtual group meetings. Campus Activities can be contacted, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 570‑675‑9284 or email@example.com.
18. Will sport competitions and athletic events occur?
No. All team practices, games, and intramural sports have been suspended during this time and the gym will be closed to all students, faculty, and staff. During this suspension of athletic activities, no athletic contests, practices or training will take place, including at non-University affiliated facilities. Student-athletes are expected to continue with academic progress, as University and national organization eligibility standards for current and future semesters will apply.
19. I am a high school student considering Penn State. How is the admissions process affected by these changes? Can I still visit campus?
The Admissions office will be available to all prospective students and their families Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. via email and telephone. Although we cannot host visits to campus at this time, virtual (online) appointments are available upon request. Please note that all larger events (e.g., open houses, receptions) have been postponed for the spring. If you would like to discuss your financial aid package, please call our Student Aid office at 570‑675‑9242.
For more admissions information, see the Admissions section of the FAQ page on the Penn State Coronavirus Information website.
20. Does Penn State Wilkes-Barre have a coronavirus response team?
Yes. Penn State Wilkes-Barre has a coronavirus task force to lead response efforts at the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus. Members of the task force are in touch with Penn State University leaders and administrators who provide guidance on the University’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The task force members are: