Campus Health & Safety Plan
July 27, 2020
Students returning to campus for a designated hands-on class will need to follow safety guidelines provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the CDC.
Campus Health & Safety Plan
Interim Campus Plan
Monday, July 20, 2020
Bucks County Community College is committed to maintaining the health and safety of its entire community. The well-being of our staff, faculty, students, and the county at large is at the forefront of any and all planning and preparation for the resumption of in-person instruction and on-campus operations. We do not take this responsibility lightly and, in carefully developing our plans to return to campus in a limited capacity, we were guided by insights derived from collaboration with numerous campus constituencies. It is in that same spirit of cooperation that we wish to share our strategy for a return to limited on-campus activity with you.
The campus is now open for a limited number of students who received incomplete (I) grades in spring 2020 semester courses requiring hands-on activities in July and August, as well as students in the Licensed Practical Nursing program who will be on campus to complete required hands-on course components. Only these students have access to the campus at this time. All other classes and services remain remote.
We have comprehensive prevention and public health procedures and strategies in place including mask-wearing and social distancing to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, which is the priority in resuming any on-campus activities. We are following the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Guidelines.
Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines
Following are some of the steps the college has taken:
- Established a close working relationship with the Bucks County Department of Health who will be notified of anyone testing positive for the coronavirus and will follow up with contact tracing
- Designated Dennis McCauley, Executive Director, Security & Safety and Connie Corrigan, Dean, Health Sciences as liaisons to the health department, and appointed McCauley as responsible for coordination of the college reopening plan
- Established communication channels to provide accurate and timely information to the campus
- Requested that faculty be as flexible as possible to ensure sick students are empowered to stay home
- Reduced classroom density to approximately 40% of normal capacity and provided 6 feet social distancing
- Modified campus access and traffic patterns to reduce the risk of virus transmission
- Enhanced cleaning protocols
- Provided hand sanitizing stations
Of utmost importance is the individual's responsibility to mitigate risk by adhering to the following requirements to be on campus:
- Daily health self-assessment at point of entry
- Face covering required at all times on campus
- Maintenance of 6 feet social distance
- Frequent hand sanitizing/washing
- Compliance with voluntary reporting if someone is exposed to or has contracted the virus
Individuals, whether student, employee or visitor who do not comply with the above requirements will be denied access to the campus until they are in compliance. Our goal is to provide an environment which most limits the potential for virus spread. To do that, we need the cooperation of everyone. Students, employees and visitors will be asked to sign a statement indicating their agreement to follow the plan requirements set out for the safety of all. This statement acknowledges that everyone must do their part to keep the campus community safe.
If you have any questions regarding this plan or require further information, please email us.
Fall 2020 Central
July 6, 2020
We have launched our Fall 2020 page, which will be referred to as Fall Central. Here you will find news, policies, and FAQs for Bucks students during the socially-distanced fall 2020 semester. Students should check here for updates - we will be adding more information as it becomes available.
Fall 2020 Announcement
Monday June 22, 2020
In order to ensure the health & safety of our community, most courses will be held remotely or online. Students will be allowed on campus for courses that have a required hands-on component. Students enrolled in designated hands-on courses will be granted access to campus to complete their studies for the class time allotted & will be directed to leave campus once their class has finished. These classes include portions of health science, chemistry, culinary, kinesiology, workforce training, public safety training, and some music and arts.
All students and faculty coming to campus will be required to maintain social distancing rules & wear a mask. There will be no group gatherings and as a result, all fall sports have been canceled. The cafeteria will remain closed and students are not to gather before or after class. Many remote student activities are planned, with more info to be released in the coming weeks. While our facilities, especially classrooms, do not permit us to bring back all students given the strict screening, social distancing, and sanitizing protocol required between each class, under this plan, we will ensure course learning goals are met in a safe manner. We will also be able to determine our capacity for managing the guidelines from the PA Department of Education & the CDC.
Should conditions continue to improve once the semester is underway, we have the option to bring more students to campus. Conversely, should the situation worsen in the fall, our students' learning modality will not be disrupted. Please know that we did not make any of these decisions lightly, and our first priority is ensuring that our Bucks community stays safe & healthy. As you continue to learn & work remotely, know that the college is here to help if you are having difficulties. Please don't hesitate to reach out. Stay safe and healthy.
Summer 2020 Will Be Remote
All summer courses scheduled as "face-to-face" or "hybrid" will be taught remotely. Remote instruction differs from "online," as remote may require students to log in to live lectures on the days and times as originally scheduled for the course. There is no change to courses scheduled as "online" courses. This applies to all sessions.
Board Meeting Materials
April 8, 2020
The College has decided to extend the remote instruction period through the end of Spring semester. All Spring 2020 courses that can be completed remotely shall do so. A small number of Spring 2020 courses cannot complete remotely due to lab, studio work, or other needs. Faculty who teach these sections will be in contact with their students soon regarding how outstanding course requirements will be completed.
Spring 2020 Grading
In light of the unanticipated and sudden alteration of course delivery, the College is offering students the option to pursue Pass/No Pass grading for any or all of their Spring 2020 courses. Students may make this choice after faculty have posted final grades. More information about this option, including a FAQ, will be posted on our website soon.
The College is shifting commencement from an in-person event to a virtual one. More details will follow soon. We are working to ensure that every graduating student has an opportunity to be recognized and to celebrate their accomplishment.
The College plans to conduct ALL instruction for the Summer I 6-week sessions remotely. The first 6 weeks of the 12 week Summer I courses will also be via remote instruction. No decisions have been made yet for the remaining 6 weeks of the 12 week Summer I courses or for Summer II (?June 10 - August 11?) or Summer III (?July 1 – August 11?).
Full message from the President
Emergency Grant Fund
This is to acknowledge that Bucks County Community College signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
Bucks County Community College has been awarded its first installment of CARES Act funding from the department in the amount of $1,508,462.00, for the eligible students. We have also received an institutional award of $1,508,462 to be used by the institution. Our goal is to assist students with the student portion of these funds in accordance with federal guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds provide direct emergency assistance for our students.
The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission is $1,508,462 dollars spent for 1,334 students at this time. (updated February 8, 2021)
The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act at Bucks at this time is 3249 eligible applicants. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
Cares funds will be distributed based on enrollment during the Spring 2020 semester:
Full time- 12+ credits $1,000
¾ time 9-11 credits $ 800
½ time 6-8 credits $ 400
LT ½ time 1-5 credits $ 200
PELL recipients during the Spring 2020 semester will receive an additional award of $ 200 in addition to the award based upon your enrollment.
All eligible students were sent an email and who opt in for text messages were sent a message informing them they must complete an application to receive such funding, and to document an expense related to the Covid-19 disruption.
Additionally, students that did not meet the initial application requirements can still complete the FAFSA application to be considered if available funds remain. Once the FAFSA application is received and you if you meet the eligibility criteria you will be sent an email to complete the Cares Act funding.
Any student that was determined ineligible will receive an email with resources available during this time.
Below are several questions that students have been asking about the emergency aid. Please review and if you still have questions, please reach out to CaresAct@bucks.edu.
What is the CARES Act?
The CARES Act is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability act and provides financial assistance to students through higher education institutions for expenses that a student may have incurred as a result of the disruption from Covid-19.
Who is eligible for CARES Act funds and how is this determined?
Only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. This means that you have to be eligible to receive federal financial aid.
Can I receive CARES act funds if I am currently Unsatisfactory for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
No. Students must be eligible for federal financial aid in order to receive CARES act funds.
When will I receive my funds?
We will verify eligibility and disburse funds to students in accordance with federal guidelines. If you have applied for CARES Act funds for the Spring 2020 term, funds will be disbursed as soon as possible. Due to the high volume of requests, we cannot predict a timeframe. If funds are remaining after all Spring semester applications are received by the deadline we will review for summer 2020, students will receive funds after the first few weeks of the summer semester as we have to verify enrollment and attendance.
Are students enrolled in online only programs, prior to March 13, 2020, eligible for CARES act funding?
No. Students are not eligible for CARES act funds if they were enrolled exclusively in online courses on March 13, 2020.
Can Bucks County Community College use funds provided to a student through the CARES act to pay outstanding or overdue tuition bills?
No. The CARES Act requires institutions to provide the emergency financial aid grants to students even if they owe the college monies. Students can make the choice to pay their overdue tuition; however, they would need to receive the CARES Act funds, then pay their outstanding bill. So, if you owe the college any outstanding balance it may be beneficial for you to pay your balance after you receive your Cares Act funds.
What do I do if I am not eligible for federal financial aid, but have significant needs?
Please reach out to your advisor or counselor or review the resources we have on the College web page with this information. You may also contact CARESact@bucks.edu and the Bucks team will do our best to connect you with any available resources.
March 27, 2020
With the Governor’s stay-at-home order in effect for Bucks County until at least April 6, we have made the decision that all staff will continue to work remotely through April 30. This aligns with our current plan to continue remote instruction at least until that date. Under the Governor’s order, a few, essential staff are permitted to come to campus to maintain life-sustaining activities. These activities include core IT staff, when work cannot be done remotely, a core custodial staff, essential mail, Payroll and Accounts Payable and others to provide essential services while maintaining strict social distancing protocols.
No employees are permitted on campus without prior approval of their Cabinet member. If you believe you must come to campus for an essential need, please work through your supervisor, who will send your request to your Cabinet member. Please continue, as best as possible, regular college business. This includes department meetings, shared governance committee meetings and the like, via Zoom or other technology. The April Board of Trustees meeting will be held remotely with more information forthcoming on details for virtual access prior to the April 9 meeting date.
Message for Faculty & Staff
March 22, 2020
All campuses will remain closed through Sunday, March 29; this is a change from our previous plan to have staff return after Spring Break. We will be in communication next week if this date is extended. Classes will resume Monday, March 23 via online learning. If there is a delay getting your class moved online, your professor will be in touch directly.
Message for Students Message for Staff & Faculty
March 12, 2020
In the last two days, many universities in our region including West Chester, Penn State, Penn and Princeton, have made the decision to move from face-to-face classes to remote instruction. We have made the decision at Bucks to do the same. As of today, our plan is that staff will return to campus on Monday, March 23, following spring break.
Hybrid & In-Person Classes
For students currently taking in-person and hybrid courses, classes will resume remotely beginning March 23. In some cases there may be a delay for up to a week to allow the faculty time to prepare. Faculty will notify students of any and all changes by March 23. Classes will continue remotely, meaning all coursework and communication with be done via electronic devices through April 30. Faculty should be in touch with students as to what this means for a particular class and students have been asked to check Bucks email and their Canvas inbox for more information. Note that while some classes may be online in Canvas, others may take place "live" at the day and time the class is currently scheduled.
Current online classes will continue as planned, resuming March 23. Online March modular courses will begin as scheduled on March 23.
Classes postponed March 23rd through March 29th. You will receive notification of the re-scheduled dates via email. Due to the dynamics of the situation please continue to check your emails and the Continuing Education website.
March 10 & 11, 2020
Out of an abundance of caution for public health and to mitigate any potential spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, Bucks County Community College is suspending all events from noon Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 22, and temporarily closing all locations from March 14 through March 22 to allow for deep cleaning.
The college will be closing all campuses – the Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks in Bristol, the Newtown Campus, the Upper Bucks Campus in Perkasie, and the Public Safety Training Centers in Doylestown and Croydon – from Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, March 22. The closure overlaps the March 16 – 22 spring break for credit students. All noncredit continuing education classes scheduled during this time are canceled or postponed. Ticketholders for events in the Zlock Performing Arts Center will be contacted with more information. In addition, all college-related conference trips and travel for students and staff are suspended until March 31.
Staff will be working remotely from home during this time. All told, the college consists of more than 900,000 square feet of building space at all five locations. Custodial staff will be wiping down and disinfecting all hard surfaces, including desks, chairs, shelves, doorknobs, and railings during the temporary closure, with a goal to reopen Monday, March 23.
Message for Students Message for Staff & Faculty
March 9, 2020
Our best defense against the coronavirus is hygiene. Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds with soapy water, avoid touching your mouth, nose & eyes, and disinfect surfaces regularly. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
March 4, 2020
The college's facilities department is taking extra precautions to combat the spread of any germs by adding extra staff who are frequently wiping down high-traffic areas such as bathrooms, water fountains, doorknobs and handles, along with railings and computer equipment. Hand sanitation stations are scattered throughout all three campuses to use in a pinch, but we urge you to thoroughly wash your hands whenever possible.