Transition to Remote Learning

The University pivoted fully to remote learning on Friday, November 20.

As the Penn State community shifts to remote learning, it is important for you to make sure you’re ready. We’ve gathered key questions to ask yourself and links to the resources you may need. You can use the “My Pivot Plan” worksheet (PDF) to collect your responses and refer to them later if you need to.

The amount of things to think through can feel overwhelming. Talking through your plans with a roommate, adviser, or someone else you trust might be helpful as you sort out the issues that are most important for you.

Housing

When classes pivot to all remote delivery, will you need to relocate? Where will you live? Is it a place where you feel safe and supported?

  • The University will work with students who may need to remain in on-campus housing through Thanksgiving break and beyond. You will receive an email containing information on how to request this extension.
  • Find contact information for housing resources.

What steps will you take to ensure that your move is coordinated in a way that keeps you and others safe?

  • If you’re currently living on-campus, you will receive an email with details for moving out and with information about how to request housing during Thanksgiving break, the remote learning period, and/or winter break. Be sure to monitor your Penn State email account.
  • Students living at University Park must leave their on-campus residence by 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 22. Students living in on-campus housing at other Penn State campuses must depart by 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 21.
  • Coordinate with your roommate to plan your departures at different times. If someone is coming to help you move, keep in mind that only one person should travel to your campus, and they will need to remain outside the building and in their vehicle while you move your belongings out.
  • You are encouraged to use the voluntary on-campus departure testing at least three days prior to your planned departure. Voluntary on-campus departure testing will be offered November 12–19 at University Park and November 16–18 at other Penn State campuses.
  • Read more information about returning home safely.

Transportation/Moving Help

If you are relocating, how will you transport you and your belongings?

  • Think ahead to January and beyond when you’re deciding what to take with you. Take any belongings you will need before the start of the spring semester, including books, notes, instruments, sports gear, computers, mobile devices, charging/power cords, appropriate weather/seasonal apparel and amount of clothing, medications, plants, and other key personal items. If you are not planning on returning to campus for the spring semester, you should plan to completely remove all personal belongings.
  • If you’re struggling to afford transportation, refer to financial and student support resources.

Wellness and Social Connection

Consider your plan for maintaining your own mental and physical wellness. What is your plan for staying connected to the Penn State resources that support you?

  • Start by exploring Penn State’s Health and Wellness resources for students from all campuses.
  • You can also create a personalized wellness plan with YOU@PSU, a free student resource.

How will you care for your mental health? Do you know how to contact a CAPS counselor?

If you get your medication filled at a pharmacy local to your campus, do you have enough until you return, or do you have a plan for how you will fill your prescription while you are away?

  • Check with your current pharmacy to make arrangements.

Will you be connected to people who you trust and who let you express yourself? How will you stay connected with others who are already providing you this support? How will you maintain a social life? What’s your plan for staying connected with friends?


Finances

What is your financial plan for managing school and personal expenses? Have you used Penn State’s financial planning resources?


Food

Will you have reliable access to enough nutritious food every day from where you will live?


Technology

Do you have a computer, webcam, and microphone that will allow you to fully participate in your remote classes? Do you have reliable internet access from where you will be during class? Do you have the right software?

  • Penn State is committed to providing the highest quality technology resources to help enhance your learning experience. Find resources available to students, including help for troubleshooting broadband connectivity, information on the Student Technology Loaner Program, and ways to get help with technology.

Academic Support

Consider your plan for using resources that support your learning. Where will you set up for class?

  • When choosing your location, consider whether you will be able to concentrate and actively participate in class.

What can you do to remove distractions and minimize disruption? What help will you need from the others living in your space to make this possible? How will you ask them for this help? How will you access tutoring?

How will you contact your professors? If something happens, do you know how to reach them?

  • Your instructors and their office hours are crucial supports for your learning. Check the syllabus for each of your courses to note your instructor’s preferred mode of contact and their office hours.

How will you meet with your academic adviser?

  • Your academic adviser is here to support you in your Penn State journey and is a good person to go to when you’re unsure what next steps to take.
  • Your assigned adviser is in your Starfish network. Many students will be able to make an appointment with their adviser directly through Starfish. If your adviser does not have scheduling enabled in Starfish, you can contact your adviser or advising office directly to set up an appointment.

If you receive support or accommodations for a disability, does your plan need to be revised to support remote learning?


Career Services/Professional Development

What will you do to continue growing your career plan?

  • Don’t stop planning for your future while you finish this semester. Career Services resources are an important part of your success network.