PITTSBURGH TECHNICAL COLLEGE STUDENTS RETURN TO CAMPUS
First College in Area to Return to On-campus Classrooms and Dormitories
OAKDALE, PA—July 22, 2020 – Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC) is welcoming returning students back
to campus on Thursday, July 23, 2020. PTC is the first college in the Pittsburgh region to resume both
on-campus classes and on-campus living.
“This is one of the most critical decisions that any institution will make, and it is vitally important to be
measured in our execution of a return,” explains Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, Ph.D., President of PTC. “We are
committed to our students, their education, as well as their safety. We know that our graduates will have
an important role in rebuilding the commonwealth and, therefore, our plan enables them to continue
their studies and proceed on their journey to their careers, while taking responsibility for the new ways
we will live and learn on campus.”
PTC is using a phased approach in returning students to campus. Only students requiring the use of
specialty labs to enhance their education will return, and the theory components of their studies will
continue to be delivered virtually. This involves less than 400 students, and all other PTC students will
maintain fully virtual class schedules.
Before returning to campus, all students, faculty and staff must successfully complete two educational
modules designed to increase individual awareness of the science as it pertains to the novel coronavirus,
as well as ways to prevent viral spread. Housing students need to complete an additional module specific
to residence life. After completing the modules, all stakeholders are required to sign and submit a Personal
Responsibility Statement that captures the key practices for protecting individuals, those around them
and the entire PTC Community. Signing the document symbolizes each individual’s commitment to
accepting responsibility for their role in keeping the PTC campus safe. Individuals on campus will undergo
a daily health screening that includes a questionnaire and a temperature check.
“PTC has embarked upon an extensive planning methodology and reimagined every facet of the college’s
operations,” adds Dr. Harvey-Smith. “Our work at all times will be guided by the science and a
commitment to the health and safety of our community with an expectation of personal accountability.
We will function as a hybrid institution and remain committed to delivering virtually excellent education
online and applied and technical education onsite, only if they can be delivered safely.”
Fewer than 200 of the returning students will live on campus. PTC has reduced the occupancy limits of its
apartment-style dormitories, permitting only two students per apartment, each with individual, private
bedroom and bathroom accommodations. Apartments will undergo enhanced and frequent cleanings,
and resident students will be required to undergo daily health screenings. Guests will not be permitted
and residents are restricted from visiting each other’s apartments.
PTC’s comprehensive return-to-campus plan was developed using the safety protocols advised by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pennsylvania Department of Health, American College
Health Association and both the federal and state Departments of Education. It includes four key points
including steps toward repopulation of campus, monitoring, containment and, if necessary, implementing
a temporary shutdown and remote learning.
“A thorough, well-executed return-to-campus plan, paired with open and steady communication, is
paving the way for PTC to continue to deliver its special brand of on-ground education and service to its
students,” explains Terri Barbour, MSN, RN, PTC’s COVID-19 Administrator and Dean of Nursing and
Healthcare Professions. “Many of our programs train essential workers, and in light of the situation we
are facing with COVID-19, our nation needs skilled workers more than ever. We look forward to welcoming
students back to PTC’s campus. Our Return to Campus Plan ensures a variety of continuous monitoring
practices allowing us to rapidly identify any evidence of disease and respond accordingly.”