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College shares strategy for resumption of in-person instruction

Pennsylvania College of Technology remains committed to reopening for hands-on, face-to-face instruction in Fall 2020, rolling out a map for safely and responsibly – and collaboratively – navigating the road ahead. “We continue to be guided by a moral obligation to reduce the spread of COVID-19, an ethical obligation to provide the best possible educational outcomes for our students and their families, and a professional obligation to provide future workforce leaders,” President Davie Jane Gilmour said Thursday afternoon. “To deliver on our mission-driven promise, we will be unfailingly diligent in our efforts to safely educate, house and feed students during these extraordinary times.”

The following message was shared with the college community:

The world has changed profoundly since we parted in March for the COVID-19 pandemic, but as we prepare to open our doors again to returning and new students, we stand ready to recommit to the pivotal role our institution plays in delivering STEM education, partnering with business and industry, and producing the highly skilled “tomorrow makers” needed for essential occupations in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Our hands-on, face-to-face programs have been going well this summer, and in less than two weeks (July 27), we will reopen campus for a group of students completing in-person requirements for their Spring 2020 coursework. On Aug. 3 and 10, additional students return for the same purpose. On Aug. 10, we will also welcome students returning voluntarily to refresh their lab skills before the fall semester begins on Aug. 17.

You will receive detailed communications from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and other college offices as these dates approach; please check your Penn College email for this vital information.

We continue to be guided by a moral obligation to reduce the spread of COVID-19, an ethical obligation to provide the best possible educational outcomes for our students and their families, and a professional obligation to provide future workforce leaders. We know we can best satisfy the latter two responsibilities by delivering in-person instruction focusing on our hallmark hands-on learning experiences. As a college of applied technology, it is part of our mission. It is, quite simply, who we are.

To deliver on our mission-driven promise, we will be unfailingly diligent in our efforts to safely educate, house and feed students during these extraordinary times. While space does not permit me to address the myriad safety precautions we are taking – and the extensive government and health agency protocols we are following – to ensure the health and well-being of the entire campus community, the details can be found on our COVID-19 website, along with our COVID-19 Student Resources page. We are fortunate, as well, to have a local partner, UPMC Susquehanna, with the robust resources necessary for dealing with this evolving pandemic.

I deliberately left the most essential aspect of reopening effort for last. The entire effort is a collaboration. It demands a vigorous commitment from all of you. You will be asked to comply with directives that you might never have imagined a year ago, including the faithful wearing of face masks, social-distancing, avoiding large-group gatherings, and a host of other precautionary measures that will often seem daunting. But they are the price we all must pay to be partners in the social contract, and to emerge as safely as possible from the situation that has been thrust upon us.

Please understand that the actions you take (or don’t take) affect not only you; they impact your classmates, your teachers, employees of the college, the members of the Greater Williamsport community, and your own family. I am putting my faith in you to do whatever is requested in order to produce the best result for all, because we truly are all in this together – no exceptions. I trust you will rise to the occasion and make us all Penn College Proud.

Davie Jane Gilmour
President

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