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Penn State Extends Remote Learning Period Through End Of Semester

Penn State has decided to extend its remote learning period from three weeks to the end of the semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, the university announced Wednesday morning. Additionally, commencement will be postponed and final exams will be conducted virtually.

Originally, Penn State announced on Wednesday, March 11 that it’d be canceling in-person classes for three weeks at least. This announcement one week later comes out of evolving federal guidance and statewide mitigation plans announced by Governor Tom Wolf around the growing coronavirus pandemic and the global efforts underway to stop its spread.

“We also know that this is causing significant distress for many in our Penn State family, for a variety of reasons. Please know, while we are not together physically, we are here to support you virtually in any way we can,” President Eric Barron said in a statement. “The administration, faculty and staff are doing everything we can to manage disruptions to your learning, teaching, working and living arrangements as much as possible, given these extraordinary circumstances. And there are services and various support mechanisms in place or in development.”  

Students will receive addition information about returning to campus to move out of their on-campus residence halls and topics like room and board refunds, on-campus jobs, internships, and research projects. But for the time being, they will not be able to swipe into their on-campus residences until they receive specific information and detailed instructions regarding the schedule. Additionally, the university is working with local authorities and landlords to come up with an efficient way for students living off-campus to move out.

Penn State is the latest university to cancel in-person classes for the remainder of the semester, joining Bucknell, West Chester, and Michigan. Ohio State, Indiana, and Rutgers also originally intended to close for a short period of time before moving to a semester-long policy just a few days later.

“Graduation is a significant milestone for our students and while it may not be the same as our traditional ceremony, we are committed to finding the best way possible to recognize the achievements of our graduates,” Barron. “However, as the world works together to slow the spread of COVID-19, these decisions must be made with public health at the forefront along with the health and wellness of our students, faculty, staff, their families, and our local communities.” 

Still, there has not been a confirmed or presumed case of the coronavirus in Centre County. However, as of Tuesday, there were 96 in Pennsylvania.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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