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Why is PCA&D moving to hybrid learning for the 2020-21 academic year?

We want to have students on campus and faculty teaching them in person, and we realize that some faculty and students will not be able to be physically present for a variety of reasons. Hybrid or blended learning creates a system in which all students and faculty can access their courses whether they are able to be on campus or not. Additionally, this model offers us maximum flexibility in the event of a COVID-19 resurgence that forces us to switch to fully online, and it accommodates temporary steps if a faculty member or student comes in contact with the virus.

Why is PCA&D changing the academic schedule for the 2020-21 academic year?

To limit exposure, we are eliminating breaks and condensing the schedule. For instance, for the Fall 2020 semester, we are working to keep students on campus for instructional purposes from Monday, August 24 (first day of classes) to Wednesday, November 25 (last day of classes). The fall term will be broken down into 10 weeks of more intensive instruction vs. our normal 15 weeks.

Will all courses be available online?

No. A fifth of the classes on the fall schedule will be available fully online. All others will require you to be in class each period, and others will be hybrid, where you will be expected to be in class some days, and connected remotely to others.

Will I be required to log in to my online classes at specific times?

If any of your online courses are delivered synchronously (that is, in real-time), your professors will expect you to attend class on the scheduled days and times, most likely through Google Meet, just as if you were attending a class on campus. Even some asynchronous classes will require you to take exams at a specified time. Check your class syllabus.

When will I know if my online courses are synchronous or asynchronous?

Additional updates to the Fall schedule will go live on or soon after July 27. You will be able to determine at that time whether the course will be synchronous (in real-time) or asynchronous (available for defined online access). Details will also be provided in your course syllabus.

Will I be able to change my schedule?

Yes, you may do so by contacting the registrar@pcad.edu during the add/drop period of the semester, which for Fall 2020 is August 24 through September 4.

Will I be able to complete the work for my online classes at any time?

Not necessarily. Some online classes will be delivered asynchronously, meaning that there may be few if any specific times that the entire class is required to log in. However, these classes will most likely have specific deadlines for the completion of assignments and may require you to take exams at a specific time. If you are in an asynchronous class, your professor will provide you with the details on assignment and exam deadlines in the class syllabus and/or on Google Classroom.

How will hybrid classes work?

Your professors will be developing a variety of different approaches to hybrid classes. In some cases, you may be in class on certain days of the week and expected to complete other assignments online. Your course syllabus should provide this information.

How will social distancing work in classrooms?

The College has lowered the room capacities of all classrooms to ensure proper social distancing protocols can be maintained.

Can I participate in hybrid classes fully remotely?

If there are scheduled on-campus class times for any of your courses, you are expected to be on campus as usual. Please contact your professors for information about specific courses.

How will my studio classes work?

Depending on the specific course, some studio classes will be delivered fully online through simulations, other studio classes will be fully on campus, and others will be a hybrid of the two. In this case, you may be expected to begin a project in the studio, but complete it remotely. Check your course syllabus for details.

Will face shields be an acceptable face covering for students and staff?

Masks will be supplied to all members of the PCA&D community and are expected to be worn at all times on campus. Faculty members in teaching settings are the only PCA&D community members who can transition from a mask to a face shield, depending upon the classroom setup. When wearing a face shield, it is also recommended to wear a mask if possible.


Will I need to wear a mask in class and around campus?

Yes. The College is requiring all students, faculty, staff, and any approved guests to wear masks while in public spaces, both indoors and out of doors. Your professors will have the right to ask you to leave class if you are not wearing a mask.

What if I don’t have a mask?

All students will be provided with a mask. It will be your responsibility to have it with you at all times when on campus.


What will moving-in look like this year?

Student Move-In will be a coordinated effort between the Housing Service and students and families. Students will sign up for a time slot to limit the number of individuals in the building at once. Each student will have 4 hours to move their belongings into their apartments. Students are asked to limit family and moving helpers to 3 additional people. Masks will be required while moving in.

Do I have to wear masks in my apartment?

Students are required to wear masks in shared indoor spaces and when social distancing is not possible. This includes entrances to Housing, laundry rooms, lounges, elevators, and other shared spaces.

Can I have guests over to visit?

Yes. Guests will be permitted but limited to 1-2 guests. All guests are required to follow health and safety guidelines.

What happens if my roommate tests positive?

Roommates of a student who test positive will be asked to quarantine with instruction online.

How would I quarantine if I am exposed to COVID-19 or become ill?

If a student comes into contact with or is exposed to COVID, and/or becomes ill, the college has a step-by-step process to assist students in quarantining themselves in vacant spaces in PCA&D housing or local hotels, as well as working with students and families to make the best choices for their students, which may mean returning home

What happens to my PCA&D housing lease if I must leave my housing for a COVID-19 event?

The safety of all students continues to be our top priority. The College functions under the guidance of the PA Governor’s Office. Any order to shut down public businesses due to COVID-19 or related emergency would result in a closure of campus and closure of PCA&D housing.

Will I get a housing refund if I must leave housing because of COVID-19?

The President’s Council determines what refunds can be made as a result of emergency declaration scenarios. PCA&D consults with national and state organizations frequently to determine best practices.


If a student tests positive, what does that mean for the rest of the students in the class?

If a student communicates a positive COVID-19 diagnosis with PCA&D, the College will work with the student to identify individuals who appear on their contact tracing log. As a reminder, this will document those with whom the individual has been in close contact (less than 6 feet apart) for a sustained period of 15 minutes or more. Given all of the safety measures that PCA&D is initiating on campus (wearing of masks, social distancing, etc.) it is PCA&D’s hope that contact tracing lists will include very few individuals. For individuals who do appear on the contact tracing log of a member of the campus community who has tested positive, they will be contacted by PCA&D to be informed that their name has been identified on a contact log and to exercise caution and monitor any symptoms that arise.

If a student comes down with a fever will they be required to get tested for COVID-19 and provide the school with documentation of the results?

Any student who registers a higher than normal temperature will not be able to access the building. PCA&D will communicate with that student to assess ongoing symptoms. If the student has a fever that continues and/or is contracted in combination with any other symptoms, the College will highly recommend that the student be tested for COVID-19. PCA&D will retain the right to monitor the student’s health and make the final call for when the student will be permitted to physically return to campus.

Who do I contact to express concerns or ask questions?

As always, PCA&D students have multiple outlets to express concerns or questions (Student Life staff, Orientation leaders, Academic Affairs staff, faculty, etc.) For any questions or concerns related to health and wellness, students should also feel free to contact health@pcad.edu.

Are the dates for the spring semester firm? Will the spring semester also be a mix of online and in-person?

The spring term is currently set to take place from Monday, January 11 to Friday, April 2, 2021. The same reasoning for a condensed fall term and classes in a hybrid format applies for the spring term as well. We will be evaluating recommendations from the CDC and the State throughout this time. These recommendations could change, which may necessitate a change in our plans. The College will keep students and families abreast of these changes (if any) throughout the fall term.