All employees and students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own safety. Faculty, staff and students should use their own best judgment when considering traveling to campus or the need to leave early during times of inclement weather. Information on class attendance policies is available at undergrad.psu.edu (Policy E-11) and in Faculty Senate Policy 42-27 (Class Attendance).
Cancelled Classes and Delivery Modes
In the event of an individual class cancellation, a campus delayed opening, or a a cancellation of all classes and activities, a faculty member has some discretion about how to handle his/her classes, depending upon the course’s mode of delivery. Instructors should communicate directly with their students regarding their plans for their classes in the event of a disruption in campus operations.
In-person. The instructor can choose to cancel class altogether or offer content asynchronously (such as recording a lecture for students to watch at another time or asking students to complete a reading or other self-directed learning activity). However, the class may not meet remote synchronously (e.g., using Zoom), per Faculty Senate Policy 45-00, due to the varying access to University facilities and resources (such as Wi-Fi or materials needed for specialized instruction) or other commitments, such as child care, that our students, faculty, and instructors may have.
Hybrid. If the class is scheduled to meet in-person, then the content can be offered asynchronously or the class can be cancelled. Hybrid classes previously scheduled to be delivered remote synchronously may be held as scheduled if the faculty member wishes and is safely able to do so. Any planned asynchronous activities can continue.
Remote synchronous (Zoom). The instructor can choose to cancel class or hold it as planned.
Remote asynchronous (Web). The class will continue to be offered as planned with no changes.
If students notify the faculty member that they are unable to travel to class because of weather conditions, faculty members should help those students make up missed work.
Notification of Individual Class Cancellations
At times, an individual faculty member may unexpectedly need to cancel a class due to illness or other unanticipated life event. Each instructor should discuss any weather-related arrangements in advance with students, preferably at the beginning of the semester. This discussion should include information about the rescheduling of cancelled classes and/or alternative means of ensuring that students receive a full semester of instruction despite weather-related cancellations.
If a faculty member cancels a class, he/she must notify students, either through email lists, instant messaging, Canvas, or any other appropriate means. These arrangements should appear in the course syllabus. The faculty member should also notify the registrar’s office, who will post individual class cancellations on the campus message board, which you can view online or on the blue television screens around campus. (Class cancellations will scroll across the bottom of the screen.) The registrar also needs this information should students contact the registrar about a class.
To assist students who travel a significant distance for classes, any such cancellation notices should be posted, if possible, no later than two hours prior to the beginning of the class period.