COVID-19 Update

May 14 - Statement to Health Sciences Program Students

During COVID-19, PHSC is and has been committed to ensuring the safety and health of our nursing and health program students and faculty, first and foremost. The newness of a highly contagious virus impacted College and Universities across the country and the world. We diligently monitored recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), local, state, and federal guidelines, the Department of Education (DOE), and accrediting agencies, recommendations of our clinical partners, and our students that reached out with concerns regarding the return to the Campuses and clinical settings. These guidelines changed frequently, to which we adjusted as needed.

To ensure continuity of education for PHSC’s students, the move to the online environment for all courses was necessary; including nursing and health programs, which were not developed to be delivered online. Faculty rose to the challenge and moved the courses online to provide the opportunity to keep students moving forward with the theory courses; however, unique challenges were associated with labs and clinicals which requires a hands-on approach to ensure that effective learning outcomes and competencies are met. Plans were established with faculty input on how to proceed for the different levels of students and the use of simulation.

Each College has to make the determination of what is best for their students and organization. The academic rigor and sound educational practices of PHSC nursing programs supports student learning and is paramount to what we do to prepare our students to be highly skilled in their field; thus, the demand for a PHSC nurse in the workforce. Repeatedly, the emphasis of discussion points has been on virtual simulation. Simulation provides a great supplement to learning; however, it is not the solution for all learning needs. The most recent communication from the board of nursing indicates that virtual simulation is to end on May 31st, unless another extension is granted, potentially, leaving students in a situation where full completion could not be met. We are proud of our students and the reputation that the nursing programs have, based on the preparedness of graduates. We have the number one PN program in the state and our RN programs excel at surpassing both the state and National NCLEX rates.

The fall 2020 plan has been modified to assist each student to meet his or her educational goals of students graduating in December 2020. The details of that plan are still in production and will be communicated to students so that they may plan their schedule accordingly.

Decisions made were and are fluid as guidelines change, sometimes daily; however, the commitment to student safety and quality education have been the driving forces of decision making.

May 7 - President's Virtual Town Hall Meeting

The PHSC President and Leadership Team hosted a virtual town hall meeting for students on May 7.  

The Town Hall meeting has ended. The Zoom meeting was recorded, however due to a system glitch, only a portion of the meeting recorded. View Recording

Highlights from the chat portion of the meeting are below:

  • PHSC will offer the TEAS testing through remote testing via Proctorio.
  • Testing questions can be directed to testing@phsc.edu.
  • Nursing program questions can be directed to Dean Billie Gabbard at 727-816-3284.
  • Trying to reach a faculty or staff member? Complete directory located in the footer of the website.
  • Planning is in progress for Fall Term with in-person classes still in question.
  • CARES Act funds available for eligible students. See below.

April 28, 2020 - PHSC President Letter to Students

Dear Student:

Thank you for your efforts to adapt to a “new normal” as PHSC enters our fourth full week of online instruction and remote operations. We have faced institutional challenges never seen before in our history. Many of you, on short notice, quickly adjusted to a virtual classroom environment and we appreciate your commitment to work toward academic goals.

While we rely on the guidance and recommendations of health and education officials, it is important to remain proactive in making decisions that could impact the well-being of PHSC students. Maintaining a safe teaching, learning and workplace environment is our top priority; therefore, while PHSC continues remote operations, campuses will remain closed to students, the public and most employees at least through June 1, 2020.

To honor our spring 2020 graduates, the college will host a virtual commencement ceremony on May 26. Additional details will be announced soon.

Along with members of my leadership team, I will host a virtual town hall meeting to address student questions and concerns related to the Coronavirus and college operations on Thursday, May 7 at 2 p.m. More information about how to participate in the virtual town hall meeting will be circulated soon.

As the spring term concludes, I offer my appreciation and best wishes to graduates. To those of you continuing your studies at PHSC, we hope that you will consider enrolling in online summer courses. Our fall schedule of classes will be released as soon as possible. A revised academic schedule and additional updates are available at phsc.edu.

In the meantime, please ensure your success by communicating clearly with professors and administrators. Address any issues that you might face promptly and remain engaged and patient as we adapt to the extraordinary challenges presented by the ever-evolving COVID-19 landscape.

Again, thank you. Please be safe, stay positive, and stay well!

Timothy L. Beard, Ph.D., President

CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund for Students

Students who have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship due to campus disruption may be eligible for emergency relief funding. Students must complete the COVID-19 CARES Act Emergency Relief Funding application and submit to the financial aid office to review for eligibility. Grant funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and are a one-time grant payment.

Students who have submitted a request for a CARES Act Emergency Relief grant must check their BankMobile account for a CARES Act grant deposit.

Submit the completed CARES Act Emergency Relief Funding application in an email to finaid@phsc.edu; or fax the form to 727-816-3713.

CARES Act Emergency Relief Disclosure

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (CARES Act) Reporting:

  1. Pasco-Hernando State College acknowledges that our institution has signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and that the college 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.
  2. The total amount of funds that Pasco-Hernando State College has received from the Department of Education pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants (CARES) to Students is $3,250,000.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants (CARES) distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 15, 2020 is $181,150.
  4. The estimated number of students at Pasco-Hernando State College 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 (CARES) to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act for the spring 2020 semester is 4524.
  5. 224 students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 15, 2020.
  6. Pasco-Hernando State College has made a CARES Act Grant request form available to students through the PHSC web site. The CARES Act Grant request form provides students with a self-identifying method to report eligible financial expenses the student has experienced as a result of COVID-19 and campus disruption. The CARES Act Grant request form provides the student with grant eligibility criteria and options to return the form to the Financial Aid Office for processing. CARES Act grant funds are awarded to students in the amounts of $1,000, $750, or $650 depending upon student eligibility and enrollment.
  7. CARES Act Grant fund student awards were approved by a PHSC institutional committee which included the President’s Administrative Leadership Team. PHSC students have been provided with CARES Act Grant instruction, directions, and guidance through the institution’s web site, students emails, and social media communication.
Virtual Textbook Buy Back event begins April 27. 

To keep in line with the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing, the college has replaced all on campus Buy Backs with an online or virtual Buy Back event. Learn more about the Virtual Textbook BuyBack event.

What Students Should Know

Several communications have been distributed to students from college administration, including video updates and Town Hall meetings hosted by Timothy L. Beard, Ph.D., president, regarding the response to Coronavirus activity and college operations. These communications and more can be found on the main PHSC Coronavirus Update web page.

Key Facts
  • A Spring 2020 Virtual Commencement is scheduled for May 26, 2020.
  • New Summer Term III registration dates are available.
  • All in-person student services are suspended at all five PHSC campuses until at least June 1, 2020.
  • Student services are available online. For more information, students may contact the Information Center at 1-855-NOW-PHSC (1-855-669-7472).
  • The deadline to audit or withdraw for Term II and IIB courses has been extended to April 10, 2020. Steps to audit/withdraw can be found on the Advising registration page.
  • Extended spring 2020 dates and new term dates are pending Board approval. The proposed dates can be found in the March 24, 2020 President's Letter to Colleagues and Students in documents related to this page on PHSC's coronavirus update web page.
  • Updates on all College activity regarding COVID-19 can be found at phsc.edu. Students should continue to monitor the College website, college emails, and social media channels for updates.
  • All face-to-face classes previously scheduled to move online on March 23 are delayed and will now begin on March 30, 2020. Online classes will continue until the end of the semester.