COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

The Office of Student Affairs continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please review the following for answers to frequently asked student questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on operations at PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia.

Return to Campus

Will fall term classes resume as scheduled?

Ultimately, the guiding priority of our College, from the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been to protect the health and safety of our faculty, staff, students and other community members. This priority continues and will continue.

We are pleased to report that as of today, over 1,500 of our students and 500 of our employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19. This demonstrated voluntary support for vaccination across all three of our campuses demonstrates our understanding, as health care professionals that broad immunization will help stop the current pandemic generally and protect our PCOM community from COVID-19 specifically. 

Widespread immunization as well as continuation of our other safety measures such as masks, distancing, surveillance testing and #CampusClear will allow us to follow through on our plans to return to on-campus classes, events and activities as soon as possible. 

To help enable a safe return to campus for the fall semester, as of July 12, 2021, all incoming and returning PCOM students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. 

This policy will also ensure our students will be prepared to meet the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements of their experiential and clinical education rotation sites. Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for valid medical or religious reasons by filling out and submitting an exemption request form that will be available starting June 1 on myPCOM. Students who are granted such exceptions will be required to be tested for COVID-19 periodically.

With the extra protection of widespread vaccination, our PCOM community will be able to resume more activities and operations sooner, leading to a more engaged educational and professional experience.

View details in the College's April 14 announcement and within myPCOM.

Is vaccination required?

To help enable a safe return to campus for the fall semester, as of July 12, 2021, all incoming and returning PCOM students will be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. 

This policy will also ensure our students will be prepared to meet the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements of their experiential and clinical education rotation sites. Students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for valid medical or religious reasons by filling out and submitting an exemption request form that will be available starting June 1 on myPCOM. Students who are granted such exceptions will be required to be tested for COVID-19 periodically.

With the extra protection of widespread vaccination, our PCOM community will be able to resume more activities and operations sooner, leading to a more engaged educational and professional experience.

View details in the College's April 14 announcement and within myPCOM.

Is proof of vaccination required?

PCOM is requiring every student to upload proof of the COVID-19 vaccination (such as the card provided at the time of vaccination) or their granted exemption request, on or before August 5, 2021. Additional information with directions on how to perform the upload will be sent out by email, university-wide by Monday, August 2.

Please note, exemption requests must have been submitted and approved prior to the August 5 deadline. Approval exempts you from having to take the vaccine but does not exempt you from wearing a mask and submitting to mandatory COVID-19 testing.

As of August 9, proof of vaccination or a granted exemption will be required to enter any PCOM campus building.

Where can I find the vaccination exemption form?

View the Office of Student Affairs’ Request for COVID-19 Exemption form.

Am I required to wear a mask?

As of July 28, 2021, a mask is required to be worn by everyone at the PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia locations.

Housing

Do I need to find housing?

We recommend securing housing as you normally would. Despite programmatic changes in attendance requirements, There will be mandatory small group activities or skills labs within the various programs.

If your original plan was to obtain housing before COVID-19, you may want to follow that plan. If you do not live within a feasible driving distance from the college, you should strongly consider moving closer to campus. If you are within driving distance from the College, you may want to stay home and come in on the days that are mandatory. This is a choice each student will need to make.

Are reservations being taken for PCOM on-campus housing?

PCOM on-campus housing will be available for Philadelphia students during the fall 2021 term.

COVID-19 Related Questions

How do I obtain an academic accommodation for issues related to COVID-19?

In the event that a student is exposed to and/or contracts COVID-19, the first course of action must be to contact covidnotice@pcom.edu and copy the Student Affairs Office at your campus as well as the course director.

The Office of Student Affairs will work with your academic department to address identified concerns and coordinate a response that is tailored to the needs of the individual student.

What do I do if I’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19?

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, you must stay home, seek medical advice, and immediately notify your program director and email covidnotice@pcom.edu. Also copy the Student Affairs Office at your campus as well as the course director.

When sending an email to covidnotice@pcom.edu, please include:

  1. Your name
  2. PCOM campus you attend
  3. Program you are enrolled in
  4. Name of program director
  5. COVID-19 information: positive test or symptoms; or close contact with someone with positive test or symptoms

Your cooperation in reporting is essential to helping your colleagues and classmates stay safe from infection.

These guidelines can also be found on myPCOM.

Computer Equipment/Internet Access Requirements

Which computer should I purchase?

Visit the Information Technology Services new users page to view computer recommendations including hardware specifications.

Do I need access to the internet?

A high speed internet connection with a connection speed of 5 Mbps (download and upload) or better. If the internet connection is being shared by multiple devices a faster connection speed may be required. The use of satellite and cellular connections (hot spots) may result in slowness or errors (timeouts, access problems) when accessing the classroom and course materials. The use of public internet access (for example, at restaurants and public institutions such as libraries) is not recommended.

Practicum/Clerkship/Internship Information

What should I do if I have safety concerns about my practicum/clerkship/internship site?

Students with COVID-19 related safety concerns at their site should report concerns immediately to their site supervisor, the clinical training director of their program as indicated below and PCOM’s Chief Occupational and Environmental Safety Officer.

How will this affect clinical placement, internship or practicum (DO, PA Studies and psychology programs)?

Clinical clerkships and experiential learning opportunities for osteopathic medicine and physician assistant studies students will be reopened at the discretion of individual sites. As students are called back to their clinical sites, they should confirm the site follows applicable Pennsylvania Department of Health and CDC safety guidelines. Students should continue to communicate any questions or concerns with their program directors. Additionally, other clinical teaching modalities have been implemented.

Psychology students returned to their practicum experiences in the summer term. In response to COVID-19, practicum sites should follow applicable Pennsylvania Department of Health and CDC safety guidelines.

Students with COVID-19 related safety concerns at their site should report concerns immediately to their site supervisor, the clinical training director of their program (below) and PCOM’s Chief Occupational and Environmental Safety Officer.

How will this affect clinical placement, internship or practicum (Pharmacy)?

Effective immediately and until further notice, students in the School of Pharmacy, will have restrictions on all direct patient care experiential learning opportunities.

For additional details please refer to communication from Dr. Shawn Spencer or contact him at shawnsp@pcom.edu.

How will this affect clinical experiences (Physical Therapy)?

PCOM's DPT department is working with clinical partners to ensure all students have access to quality clinical rotations while making sure to respect the difficult situation our clinicians are facing during this time. PCOM greatly appreciates all the help our clinical partners have offered our clinical education program.

For more information, please contact either Dr. Jenny Wiley or Dr. Melisa Smith.

Resources Available to Students

What academic support services are available for students when they are off campus?

PCOM will continue to provide academic support online, through email and the use of online video platforms. Students can direct any questions to the academic support specialist on their campus:

What counseling and support options are available to students?

The college personal support counselors will be working remotely and are available to students. Please continue to email them with questions or concerns.

In addition, please know that the Carebridge Assistance Program is available to students.

About the Carebridge Assistance Program

Identify yourself as a student at PCOM. PCOM's access code is: R5SAF.

These services are available at no cost to all PCOM students and their dependents.

Remember: Carebridge is not replacing the comprehensive support services you receive from the Office of Student Affairs. Carebridge is an additional resource option for those who wish to utilize confidential resources, if you are away from campus, or if you need emergency confidential assistance when PCOM is closed.

What financial hardship support options are available to students?

PCOM has announced the creation of the Student Emergency Fund (SEF) in an effort to provide relief for students having financial hardships. This fund was made possible by generous donations from the PCOM Alumni Association, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of PCOM.

The SEF is designed to provide relief to students who need assistance with unexpected and additional costs related to basic needs such as housing, food, travel, healthcare and other personal expenses incurred as a result of personal or a national emergency such as COVID-19. The Offices of Student Affairs and Financial Aid ask that if you are in hardship, please complete the PCOM Student Emergency Fund Application. Please note that completion of the application does not guarantee funding will be provided; however, every effort will be made to assist the student.

On-Campus Food Pantry

Students are able to access the on-campus food pantries during these difficult times.

  • PCOM – Main security desk in Rowland Hall
  • PCOM Georgia – Security desk at the back of the main building
  • PCOM South Georgia – Main entrance security desk

Financial Aid/Tuition

Will this affect tuition or financial aid?

Please visit the Office of Financial Aid’s frequently asked questions page for information relating to tuition, loan disbursements and other financial aid questions.

Will students be charged for the comprehensive fee and parking this spring?

PCOM facilities will continue to comply with governmental guidelines and limit student access to common areas (such as the library, cafeteria, labs and gym). As a result, PCOM will not charge the comprehensive fee for the spring term. Parking fees will also be waived.

This decision will be evaluated on a term-by-term basis.

Deferral and Leave of Absence

How do I request a deferral?

Accepted students who have paid the required admission deposit(s) are eligible to request an enrollment deferral by submitting the request via email to the Office of Admissions for Faculty Committee consideration.

How do I request a leave of absence?

For more information, please visit the Leave of Absence information page.

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