School of Graduate Studies' Safety Protocol


Guidelines          PDF Form          FAQs


Guidance for Face-to-Face Contact

June 22-December 31, 2020

As of June 19, 2020, both Cumberland and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania move to Governor Wolf’s “green phase,” Process to Reopen Pennsylvania. Shippensburg University continues to comply with the recommendations from national and state experts to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the community to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The following definitions apply:

Intern: You are a Shippensburg student who is voluntarily gaining practical experience in the field for academic credit.

Paid Intern: You are a Shippensburg student who is gaining practical experience in the field for academic credit and the internship site also pays you for your on-site work.

Field Placement/Practicum: You are a Shippensburg student in a specific course of study that requires on-site training typically for licensure and certification, whether paid or unpaid.

Employee: You work for an agency, non-profit organization, or for-profit corporation that withholds state and federal taxes from your paycheck.

Employer: An agency, non-profit organization, or for-profit corporation that pays you for work performed and withholds state and federal taxes from your paycheck.

Graduate Assistant: You receive a tuition waiver for credit and receive payment from Shippensburg University for work performed for academic or administrative departments.

WHEREAS: Shippensburg University’s School of Graduate Studies remains committed to our teaching and service mission during the COVID crisis; and

WHEREAS: The best practices in the delivery of graduate instruction recognizes there is no substitute for face-to-face contact for certain experiential lessons (for example, science and computer labs, museum practicum, counseling, teaching K-12, servicing those with special needs, social work practice classes and public engagement courses); and

WHEREAS: Application to deliver a graduate face-to-face class on Shippensburg University’s campus or at the Dixon Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, must be made to the applicable college Dean, and approved by the Provost; and

WHEREAS: Graduate students enroll in 400-level undergraduate courses that count for graduate credit and all undergraduate courses for Fall 2020 are meeting face-to-face with the option for remote delivery; and

WHEREAS: In accordance with University COVID-19 safety protocol guidance, Graduate Assistants (GA) are students first whose status is secondary as a Shippensburg University employee. Graduate Assistants may perform GA duties on campus in a face-to-face environment if the student is comfortable coming to campus and their assigned office space meets social distancing guidelines, or GAs may choose to work remotely. Departments may advertise for GA positions as “on-campus only”; and

WHEREAS: Governor Wolf’s June 2020 Preliminary Guidance for Resuming In-Person Instruction at Postsecondary Educational Institutions and Adult Education Programs allow clinical training and field experiences “for all individuals preparing for licensure and certification”; and

WHEREAS: State and local health officials have provided guidance to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in any face-to-face interaction; and

WHEREAS: Shippensburg University guidance for student behavior in face-to-face contact with any member of the University community (faculty, staff, fellow students, administrators) requires, at a minimum, face covering, routine hand washing, and social distancing at the recommended six-feet separation; and

WHEREAS: When interacting with members of the community as part of meeting degree requirements, Shippensburg University graduate students in specific programs must have closer, personal contact to perform their duties (for example, counseling, teaching K-12, servicing those with special needs, social work practice classes and public engagement courses); and

WHEREAS: Graduate students may, in accordance with licensure and certification requirements, apply to opt-out of a face-to-face field placement, internship, and practicum experience by completing an alternative educational experience determined by faculty; and

WHEREAS: Many graduate students perform field placements, internships, and practicum experiences at their current place of employment and have dual roles as Shippensburg University students and employees whose COVID-19 behavior remains under the dominion and control of their employer; and

WHEREAS: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests any local COVID-19 prevention guidance be feasible, practical, and tailored to the needs of each, unique situation; and

THEREFORE: All Shippensburg University graduate students must:
  • Monitor your health and know the symptoms of COVID, fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms
  • If you or someone with whom you have contact is sick, stay home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover or medical mask when around others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • If you have not washed your hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • If possible, remain at least two arms’ length away from others (six feet) even when moving past others
  • If students are employees at their field placement, internship or practicum experience sites, students must defer to their employer’s COVID-19 guidelines
  • If students are not employees at their field placement, internship or practicum experience sites, students must comply at a minimum with Shippensburg University face-to-face guidelines

This guidance is intended to “supplement – not replace – any state, local . . . safety laws, rules, and regulations” with which our students must comply. At all times, Shippensburg University students must rely on their common sense and good judgment to protect themselves and others with whom they come into personal contact. Any questions should be directed to the Career, Mentoring and Professional Development Center by phone at (717) 477-1484, or email Alix Rouby at mailto: ajrouby@ship.edu.

I have reviewed and I understand that I am responsible for the information presented herein. While engaging in off-campus experiential learning requiring face-to-face contact, I understand that I am responsible for following the health and safety requirements presented within this Safety Protocol Guidance. ___________________________________ ____________________________________ (Student Printed Name) (Signature) Date: ________________, 2020. Upon signature, please turn form into your field placement, internship, practicum experience, or Graduate Assistantship supervisor.

Printable PDF Form


Frequently Asked Questions

  • You are a Shippensburg student who is NOT an employee at your field placement, internship or practicum experience site
    • Q. What if I show up at my field placement, internship or practicum experience site and no one is wearing face masks or following social distancing guidelines?

    • A. If you are at the site only because of your role as a Shippensburg University graduate student, you must follow Shippensburg University’s safety protocol guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • You are a Shippensburg student who is an EMPLOYEE at your field placement, internship or practicum experience site
    • Q. What if I am an employee at my field placement, internship, or practicum experience site, do I follow the COVID-19 prevention guidance of my employer or Shippensburg University’?

    • A.Your primary role as an employee supersedes your role as a Shippensburg University graduate student and you must follow your employer’s COVID-19 prevention protocols.

  • Who will provide personal protective equipment (PPE)?
    • Q. Who is responsible for providing personal protective equipment (PPE)?
      • If field placement, internship, or practicum experience site provides PPE
      • A. The graduate student may use the provided PPE for personal use.

      • If field placement, internship, or practicum experience site does not provide PPE
      • A. Shippensburg University will provide the required PPE in coordination with student needs.
  • You are a Graduate Assistant
    • Q. If I am a Graduate Assistant receiving a tuition waiver with an obligation to work 250 or more hours, do I have to come to campus to work or may I work remotely?
    • A. You may come to campus or work remotely based on your comfort level. Shippensburg University will not make graduate assistantships contingent on a student’s willingness to work in a face-to-face environment.

  • You are a graduate student enrolled in a 400-level undergraduate course
    • Q. If I am a graduate student taking 400-level undergraduate course for graduate credit, which COVID-19 prevention guidance do I follow when I come on campus?
    • A. For Fall 2020, all Shippensburg University classes will have a remote delivery option. For those undergraduate classes offered on campus, students who come to campus for class, including graduate students, must comply with face covering, hand washing, and social distancing guidelines.