COVID Vaccine Mandate
I’m a commuter, am I required to get the vaccine?
In most cases, the answer is no. Students in healthcare and nursing disciplines and students on internship may be required to demonstrate evidence of a vaccinated status in order to participate in their assigned workplace. The requirement of vaccines is at the discretion of the facility’s leadership.
If you are commuting to classes and choose not to be vaccinated, PTC will follow the CDC recommendations and perform surveillance testing on all unvaccinated individuals on a weekly basis (expected to commence in October 2021).
PTC strongly encourages and recommends its entire population (students, faculty, and staff) be vaccinated. Vaccination is the leading prevention strategy to protect individuals from COVID-19, stop the virus from mutating into variants, and end the pandemic. A vaccinated campus helps to protect all individuals from contracting COVID-19.
I live in PTC student housing, am I required to get the vaccine?
Yes. To help ensure the safest degree of community living, PTC requires that all students living in college-sponsored housing as of October 18, 2021 be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 by that date.
Students seeking exemptions from the vaccine mandate because of medical reasons and/or strong ethical and moral convictions must complete PTC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request which will then be reviewed for approval or denial by PTC’s Vaccination Exemption Review Committee.
I already had COVID-19. Do I need to get the vaccine to live in PTC student housing?
Yes. Per the Center for Disease Control’s website: “you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because:
- Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.
- Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.
Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19.”
How do I apply for an exemption?
Students seeking exemptions from the vaccine mandate because of medical, religious or strong moral/ethical convictions must complete PTC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request which will then be reviewed for approval or denial by PTC’s Vaccination Exemption Review Committee.
I was vaccinated, but I lost my card so I can’t prove it. What do I do?
Per the Center for Disease Control’s website: “If you need a new vaccination card, contact the vaccination provider site where you received your vaccine. Your provider should give you a new card with up-to-date information about the vaccinations you have received.
If the location where you received your COVID-19 vaccine is no longer operating, contact your state or local health department’s immunization information system (IIS) for assistance.”
Once you obtain your new card, please email a photo/scan/copy of it to email@example.com.
When I moved into PTC student housing I was told the vaccine was not required, but now it is. Why the change?
PTC did not finalize the decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccination until August 22, 2021. The decision to mandate the vaccine for resident students was largely due to the Delta variant, which is showing to be more infections than other variants, even in vaccinated individuals. It was a difficult decision for the college, and one that was made with the health and safety of our entire community in mind. Students who are living in school-sponsored housing, cannot commute, and choose not to be vaccinated, may:
- secure private housing in an apartment off-campus.
- complete PTC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request which will then be reviewed for approval or denial by PTC’s Vaccination Exemption Review Committee.
- transfer to a fully-online program offered through PTC.
Is it really safe to get the vaccine?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is made up of a team of experts who are dedicated to the health security of the United States. The CDC has assured the public that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. More information can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.
Can I choose which vaccine I get?
Yes. Currently the available COVID-19 vaccines, which include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and J&J/Janssen, are authorized, recommended, and considered safe and effective. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots with a required wait time in between, and all vaccines require a two-week period following completion before the recipient is considered to be fully-vaccinated. Please allow enough time to be fully-vaccinated before moving into PTC student housing.
I have an underlying condition, moral/ethical belief, and/or religious belief that prevents me from getting the vaccine. What should I do?
PTC recognizes that some students are not able to be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons, as well as strong moral/ethical beliefs. These students, if planning to live in PTC student housing, must complete PTC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request which will then be reviewed for approval or denial by PTC’s Vaccination Exemption Review Committee.
How am I going to complete my internship requirements?
Internship requirements vary by program, but since the start of the pandemic, PTC has successfully helped students satisfy their graduation requirements. The majority of students are now completing on-site internships as they did prior to the pandemic. However, a remote internship or Career Exploration Capstone course can be arranged for any student unable to complete an on-site internship.
How are commencements ceremonies being handled during COVID?
PTC has held several virtual commencement ceremonies since the start of the pandemic. Links are provided so graduates and families can view the ceremony via PTC’s YouTube channel. The ceremony features all graduates and includes photographs in caps and gowns as provided by the grads. Awards are announced and speeches are delivered as in traditional ceremonies. All PTC graduates, since the start of the pandemic, are invited to walk when in-person ceremonies resume, which is expected in October 2021. Specific commencement questions may be directed to Christine Ioli.
Visit ptcollege.edu/commencement for more information.
How are we going to acquire the hands-on skills that we are missing in the virtual environment?
The PTC virtual education structure, implemented at the start of the pandemic, continues to provide quality academic experiences that ensure you reach your learning goals. Since July 2020, PTC has been scheduling on-campus, in-person labs to ensure students ultimately receive all of the required training they anticipated, increasing the number of available on-ground classes with each subsequent quarter. While some programs remain fully virtual to date, all students can expect on-campus courses beginning in October 2021.
I am having computer issues. How can I deal with – poor service in my area, bad WIFI, a broken computer, etc?
First notify your education team so they are aware of the challenge(s) and may be able to offer solutions. Secondly, contact the PTC Helpdesk at 412-809-5397 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in troubleshooting your issue.
How can I overcome a lack of motivation during this period?
It is not unusual to feel less motivated when experiencing large changes in routine, as well as when facing the uncertainty and fear caused by a traumatic event like the coronavirus pandemic. And if you’ve been learning virtually for an extended period, it’s not uncommon to feel frustrated or bored with the situation. Please keep the following in mind:
- Don’t lose sight of your goal to graduate on time – learning in a virtual environment has been a big change for both you and your instructors, but your instructors and education leadership are working hard to make sure that you still get the skills you need to graduate and obtain the job that you desire.
- Maintain a steady routine by setting up a schedule that you follow Mondays through Fridays. Block out time for your regularly scheduled classes, as well as time to study, relax, and get enough sleep.
- Participate in the online student activities or set up online events with friends via online platforms. Social distancing and virtual learning don’t mean stopping all human contact – we continue to need each other now more than ever.
- Reach out to your education leadership and instructors with questions and concerns. You also can utilize the counseling services provided by PTC at no cost by calling 1-800-647-3327 to set up a telephone appointment. Our counselors, Elizabeth and Patti, are scheduling phone appointments Monday through Friday 10 am – 2 pm. The same phone number also serves as a 24/7 hotline.
- Remember that working together, we will get through this!
If all of my classes are virtual or hybrid, how will I get my books/supplies prior to the start of each quarter?
Students living in on-campus housing and any students with a class on-campus on the first day of the quarter will receive their hardcopy textbooks and additional course materials in their classrooms. All course materials will be shipped to everyone else, including students with on-campus classes later in the week/quarter, to the mailing address that students provided, and PTC will pay the shipping costs. Students should notify the PTC Bookstore of any address changes. Tracking numbers and all electronic codes that allow access to digital resources will be emailed to PTC student email addresses.
First quarter students electing to purchase a computer will receive their devices via mail even if scheduled for on-campus classes so that devices can be and set-up for the first day of class.
How are students and parents/guardians receiving updates on PTC operations during the COVID-19 pandemic?
All communications to date can be accessed on the PTC website by clicking the red COVID-19 bar at the top of any page. New communications are initially sent to students via their student email. The communications are posted to the website. Additionally, certain groups, such as housing students, will receive communications specific to them.
I need a new PTC ID card. How can I get it if I’m not on-campus?
ID cards can be ordered by emailing email@example.com. If you are a current or returning student, simply request a replacement card. New students should include a photo with the request for a card. The photo you provide should show you with a neutral background and no hat, sunglasses, mask, or other accessory that may obscure your face. Photos must be face-forward, no profiles.
Did PTC receive funding from the CARES Act for student aid?
PTC received stabilization funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT) as well as funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund (HEERF II) and from the American Rescue Plan (HEERF III). Funds were available at different times since late April 2020, and eligible students were notified via email and invited to complete the application if they qualified. Learn more about this grant designated exclusively for emergency funding to students.
How are the funds received by PTC through the CARES Act being used?
All education relief funds received by PTC must be used in accordance to the terms of each individual act and are tracked by PTC accordingly. PTC worked hard to get these funds for our students and will only use them for their designated purpose.
Do I need to complete the 2021-22 FAFSA?
If you are enrolled at PTC for the July 2021 term or after, you must complete a 2021-22 FAFSA.
When can I move in to PTC Housing?
PTC’s priority concern is for the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff, and for the public. There is an elevated opportunity for infection when many people live closely together as in a college residence hall. We have been working to bring more students back to campus with the beginning of each quarter while maintaining safety precautions. On-campus student housing is expected to be fully occupied with the start of the October 2021 quarter. If you are identified as a housing student and have not yet been told when you can expect to move into housing, you may contact Resident Life.
Since my program is still fully virtual and I am unable to live in PTC student housing, how is PTC adjusting my housing charges?
Students who had paid for housing prior to the pandemic have been refunded their housing charges. No housing charges will be applied to your account going forward until you are able to move into housing. If you make monthly payments, they will be altered accordingly when you are able to move into housing.
Is PTC still providing student housing in the Westpointe Apartment Complex?
PTC has ended its lease with Westpointe. All housing students will reside in on-campus student housing or other leased properties. Students interested in living in the Westpointe complex may apply to lease directly with Westpointe or other landlord.
Can I still live in Hawthorne?
At this time, we plan to continue using Hawthorne for school-sponsored housing although we’re leasing fewer apartments in light of COVID-19’s impact on housing demand and safe occupancy numbers. Students may choose to terminate their PTC Housing Agreements without penalty charges and apply to lease directly with Hawthorne or other landlord.
When I move back on campus, will I have the same apartment and roommate(s) as I did prior to the start of the pandemic?
With more than a year having passed since the pandemic required evacuation of PTC’s campus and housing, many students have experienced changes in status such as graduation or internship. Some programs have been brought back to campus while others have remained virtual. As such, it is necessary that students be assigned new apartments and roommates upon moving onto campus. As always, requests may be submitted to Resident Life.
I’m a housing student but I’m being asked to commute. Do I have to?
No. If you can commute to any required on-ground classes, it is preferred, but you will not be left without a housing option if commuting is not possible.
I’m willing to commute, but it’s a long drive and I don’t want to do it every day. What are my options?
Class schedules are being adjusted to limit the number of times per week students may be required to be on campus.
What assistance is available for alumni who lost their jobs due to the virus?
PTC’s alumni coordinator, Christine Ioli, is available to assist our alumni with job placement just like always. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is being done on campus to help protect the present students, faculty, and staff from the COVID-19 virus?
Prior to reopening campus to a limited number of faculty, students, and staff in July 2020, PTC’s COVID-19 Administrator and Taskforce compiled and executed an extensive Return to Campus Plan that incorporates repopulation, monitoring and surveillance, containment and shutdown contingency. Guidelines for sanitation, traffic, social distancing, food safety, housing and more are detailed within this document. Personnel have been added to the Housekeeping and Maintenance departments and employees are increasing their efforts and participating in regular sanitizing of the facilities in use. The Taskforce continues to meet regularly to monitor county and state government recommendations and CDC guidelines, and is applying modifications to the plan as deemed necessary.
Is the COVID-19 Vaccine required for PTC students?
No, at this time the vaccination is not required, but PTC is encouraging students to get vaccinated for the health and safety of the campus community. In order for students to gather, socialize, learn face-to-face, and resume the traditional college experience, a high vaccination rate is necessary. Proof of vaccination can be shared with Terri Ducsay, PTC’s COVID-19 Return to Campus Administrator. A decision and announcement will be made by mid-August 2021 whether the rates at that time require that the vaccine be mandated for resident students.
Are masks required on campus?
With everything going on, why is PTC planning an inauguration ceremony for the president?
The president’s inauguration ceremony builds community, celebrates the college, and allows for critical fundraising. It has been delayed until 2022 to better ensure it is safe to gather as a group.
I have a question(s) that doesn’t appear here, what should I do?
Please reach out to your education leadership team or supervisor if you are in need of additional information.
Is PTC offering campus tours for prospective students?
Prospective students are encouraged to schedule a telephone discussion with PTC’s Admissions department at ptcollege.edu/visit. Afterward, the Admissions Coordinator can help you select a date and time to visit the campus in person. Safety protocols have been established and will be discussed before your visit. A virtual tour of the campus is available at ptcollege.edu/virtual-tour.
I am a future PTC student and need to complete financial aid. How can I do that?
Appointments with Admissions and Financial Aid are being conducted via telephone calls. Calls may be scheduled via the website at https://ptcollege.edu/financial-aid/financial-aid-help/ or by calling 1-800-784-9675.
I am a future PTC student and need to tour student housing. When can I do that?
Housing tours are available but on a limited schedule. Please work with your Admissions Coordinator to select a date and time to tour on-campus student housing. Safety protocols have been established and will be discussed before your visit.