The University has been made aware of COVID-19 cases that affect our campus. Cal U is working to mitigate risk for our students, our employees, and the communities where we live and work. Learn more

NEW: The Pennsylvania Department of Health is using the COVIDAlert PA app in a voluntary effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about the app and how to download it to your personal digital device.

Cal U's plan for remote operations aligns with the State System of Higher Education's Fall 2020 Framework and the University Operational Framework.

Cal U Campus.

Guide to Operations


Learn about Cal U’s plan to provide a rigorous and engaging academic experience while protecting our campus community.

Read the Guide 

Learn about our Shared Commitment


Student on computer at Cal U.

FAQ for Students


The FAQ for Students has answers to many of your questions.



Student on computer at Cal U.

COVID-19 Response


Review previous messages to the campus community about Cal U’s pandemic response.

Read more


To reduce the risk to our University community, no in-person University events will be held on campus.

Family members who have additional questions may call the Cal U Information Hotline at 724-938-5600 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please leave a message so we can return your call.

It’s important for you to have timely, accurate information as Cal U responds to the evolving public health situation. This webpage will be updated with current, accurate information pertaining to Cal U. Please check back regularly so you can stay informed.

Important Messages to Students, Faculty and Staff

November 2, 2020: Cal U's Plan for Spring 2021


To our campus community,

After a full semester of remote learning, it’s time to “level up.”

Responding to the needs of our students – especially those in programs with a significant hands-on component – Cal U expects to operate at Level 3, as outlined in the Guide to Operations, during the Spring 2021 semester.

That means we will resume some in-person classes and on-campus activities this spring, while continuing to offer high-quality, real-time remote learning for students who feel safer staying at home.

I know that many students are eager to return to campus life. But with that choice comes a responsibility to protect ourselves and those around us. We have all seen how quickly the coronavirus can spread if we don’t remain vigilant, and we know how serious COVID-19 can be.

Frequent handwashing, keeping our distance, wearing a mask and monitoring our health – these are the basic steps we all must take to mitigate risk and keep Cal U open. To protect our students, faculty, staff and community neighbors, this spring’s on-campus experience will include some mandatory safety measures:

  • Everyone on campus will be required to wear a face covering inside classrooms and other buildings, and to “mask up” outdoors when they are not able to keep six feet apart.
  • Social distancing will be required in classrooms, dining facilities, the fitness center and other indoor locations. No visitors will be permitted in residence halls.
  • All Cal U students, faculty and staff will be expected to use a customized app to perform a daily self-check for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus.

Individuals whose self-check indicates potential exposure to the coronavirus will receive instructions for follow-up care via the app. Those who report being symptom-free will receive a time-sensitive badge that can be used to gain entry to residence halls, classrooms, common areas, offices, workspaces and other campus locations.

The app does not store users’ personal information. More details, including instructions for downloading and using the app, will be provided before the start of spring classes.

Cal U staff will be cleaning and disinfecting on an enhanced schedule this spring, but asuccessful move to Level 3 relies on your cooperation. As we have learned over the past six months, the actions of one individual can ripple outward to affect the entire community.

Our spring reopening plan assumes that you, and every member of our Cal U community, are committed to its success. Please review the document Our Shared Commitment as a reminder of how Cal U’s “Bill of Rights and Responsibilities” applies to our pandemic response this spring.

You can read more about our Spring 2021 plans online in the updated Guide to Operations. Our FAQ for Students will be updated soon. For now, here are some highlights:

  • Academic Calendar: Spring classes begin January 25. To reduce the risk of spreading infection , there will be no spring break. Classes end April 30, and final exams will be held May 3-7. This schedule applies to all on-campus and Global Online courses.
  • Academics: About 50% of undergraduate “on-campus” classes will be conducted in person; these primarily will be labs, studio and performance courses, and courses that require specialized facilities and equipment. Most evening graduate courses will be offered in person as well.

The remaining “on-campus” courses will be delivered through real-time remote learning, a hybrid format (blended in-person and remote learning) or entirely online.

Cameras have been installed in classrooms, giving students the option to attend classes virtually if they feel safer at home, are feeling ill, or are self-isolating or in quarantine.

o   In VIP, remote learning sections will be coded with an “R” in the section identifier. For example, course ABC-100-002 would be coded as ABC-100-R02. Remote learning courses meet at a specified day and time.

o   In VIP, online classes are identified with either “G” or “W” as the first character in the section code. Online classes are asynchronous (you complete assignments on your own schedule) and delivered through D2L/Brightspace.

To meet the needs of students and faculty, there will be some changes to the course schedule between now and the start of classes on January 25. If a class is changed from in-person to remote learning or online delivery, or if the day/time of a class meeting is changed, students will be notified by email. Students, please check your campus email daily so you don’t miss important information.

  • On-Campus Housing: Residence halls will be open this spring. With limited exceptions, students will be housed singly, with one student per bedroom/bathroom. Students in majors that require labs and other hands-on coursework will be prioritized when assigning rooms. Student-athletes also will be housed on campus.

Some common areas inside our residence halls will be closed. No visitation is permitted.

  • On-campus Dining: Dining services will be available for resident and commuter students, including students who live at Vulcan Village. Grab-and-go options will be available. Social distancing will be required in dining areas; masks must be worn unless a diner is seated and eating or drinking.
  • Student Life: Manderino Library and the Herron Recreation and Fitness Center will be open; hours and occupancy may be limited. Face coverings and social distancing will be required, and no one may enter without a green badge in the self-check app.
  • Faculty and Staff: Employees will receive information from their division leaders and the Human Resources Office about topics such as telework options and accommodations for health conditions.
  • Testing and quarantine: The Student Health Center will refer students for testing if they have symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

Employees and non-resident students who test positive for COVID-19 will be expected to self-isolate at home and follow medical guidance. Unless they choose to return home and can do so safely, resident students who test positive will be instructed to self-isolate in a designated area on campus, and Health Center staff will monitor their condition.

Cal U is prepared to support the state Health Department with case investigations on campus, and to quarantine resident students who have had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.  

Our Spring 2021 plan will empower students to choose the learning style that suits them best. But make no mistake – nothing matters more than the health and safety of our campus community. This plan is subject to change as the coronavirus pandemic evolves.

More news will be shared in the weeks ahead. Please watch your campus email for updates and visit, where you can find a link to our COVID-19 dashboard and other important information.

Meanwhile, let’s stay on track and make this fall semester a success. Keep well and finish strong, Vulcans! I look forward to seeing you in January.

Geraldine M. Jones
University President


There is no vaccine or anti-viral treatment for COVID-19. To reduce your risk of becoming ill, the CDC recommends these commonsense measures:

  • Stay home when you are sick. Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Use a regular cleaning spray or wipes to clean and disinfect surfaces you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, keyboards, computer mice, cellphones, etc.



The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security program (CARES) Act provides institutions like Cal U with federal funds to offer emergency aid “to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted, many of whom are facing financial challenges and struggling to make ends meet” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be considered for these funds, degree-seeking students must have been enrolled in a face-to-face, on-campus academic program, have filed a 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and have met other eligibility guidelines. 

Learn about CARES Act eligibility in our FAQ for Students or read Cal U’s CARES Act Report.


Studying or working from home? Check our these helpful resources:


Use your Cal U login and password to read the University’s 2020 Pandemic Response Plan and unit/department plans for responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.