COVID-19 Updates for Students and Employers

The following information will be updated as appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic.


August 4, 2021: Revised Guidance on Masking

At this time, Penn State is requiring all students, faculty, staff, and visitors—including those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated—to wear masks indoors at all campuses. Universal masking is required in all classrooms—regardless of size—as well as in meeting rooms, common areas in residence halls, and at any indoor events.

See the Penn State Coronavirus Information website for the latest health and safety updates.


July 1, 2021: Guidance for In-Person Events

At this time, masking outdoors and physical distancing are not required. Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear face masks indoors; however, individuals who are not fully vaccinated are expected to wear face masks inside University buildings. Your presence at [any] program, event, or activity indicates your agreement to adhere to all University policies, including health and safety policies such as masking if applicable, and your acknowledgement that you are voluntarily participating in this program, event, or activity. You further acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and assume any and all risk of exposure to or infection by it or any variant thereof, including, without limitation, personal injury, illness, severe complications, permanent disability, and/or death.


April 29, 2021: Internship/Co-op Exception Web Form and Acknowledgement (Summer 2021 Update)

All students planning a short-term work experience in person for credit in summer 2021 must complete an Internship/Co-op Exception Web Form and Acknowledgement prior to the work experience. Learn more about this requirement.


February 16, 2021: Alternative Grading

Alternative grading, first implemented in spring 2020, will continue to be an option for the spring 2021 semester for undergraduate students. The University advises students to choose this option very cautiously, since there are no definite answers about how alternative grading may impact future graduate school or job prospects. Students who choose this option should understand what the alternative grade notations mean on their transcripts and how to explain them to outside parties, as needed. See the University information about optional alternative grading for more information.


November 6, 2020: Internship/Co-op Exception Web Form and Acknowledgement (Spring 2021 Update)

Penn State is currently planning to continue with a mix of in-person and remote instruction for the spring 2021 semester. Accordingly, credit-bearing internships and co-op experiences starting in spring 2021 may be completed either in-person or virtually. Virtual experiences are still recommended to the extent possible to help maintain the health and safety of both students and employers. Learn more about the guidelines.


August 2, 2020: Internship/Co-op Exception Web Form and Acknowledgement (Fall 2020 Update)

Penn State is currently planning for a mix of in-person and remote instruction for the fall 2020 semester. Accordingly, credit-bearing internships and co-op experiences starting in fall 2020 may be completed either in-person or virtually. Virtual experiences are still recommended to the extent possible to help maintain the health and safety of both students and employers. Learn more about the guidelines.


May 27, 2020: Job Search and Skills Development During the Pandemic

Students seeking career experience this summer need to adapt their job search strategies, think creatively, and be open to different kinds of opportunities—including those that aren't "real jobs" but still help them develop professional competencies.

Here are some ideas and suggestions for finding work and/or developing career-related skills and expertise:


May 5, 2020: Internships During Remote Instruction

To help maintain the health and safety of both students and employers, the University has instituted a new policy that all credit-bearing internships and co-ops (including internal Penn State short-term positions) for both undergraduate and graduate students must be completed virtually at least through the summer. Students who are not planning to receive credit for summer work experiences may work on-site if a virtual option is not available; however, the University’s recommendation is that all students request the opportunity to work remotely if possible. Read more about this policy.


April 14, 2020: Summer-Start Job Status?

Students: What is the status of your internship, co-op, or entry-level full-time job status starting this summer? If you haven't heard anything from your employer, now is a good time to reach out!


April 10, 2020: WebLabs

WebLabs is a new offering that provides students and faculty remote access to Penn State Cooperative Lab Management (CLM) lab computers so that they can connect to the technology and resources needed to complete coursework. This includes specialty software located on CLM lab computers, such as programs used in engineering and other scientific disciplines. To access, connect through the new Penn State WebLabs website.


April 9, 2020: Free CollegeRecruiter.com Videos Available

CollegeRecruiter.com has recorded a series of videos designed to help students and recent graduates who are planning to start their job search, who are in the midst of a search, or who already have a job but are afraid of losing it as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students can view all videos for free at on the CollegeRecruiter.com YouTube channel.


April 2: Tech Tutors Can Help

Now that classes and employers have moved interactions online, it's important to be familiar with tools like Zoom, Canvas, and Kaltura. Tech Tutors offer personalized tech help for Penn State students, faculty, and staff. Learn more at the Tech Tutors website.  


April 1, 2020: CPT Processing Delays for International Students

If you are an international student seeking Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for a summer 2020 internship or co-op experience, please be advised that DISSA processing times have increased to 3–4 weeks. Please plan accordingly! Make sure that your offer letter meets the requirements for CPT and that you have a detailed job description from your employer. If your documents are missing any of the requirements, please reach out to your employer for updated documents to avoid further delays.


March 31, 2020: Career Envoys Available Virtually

Starting April 6, some of our Engineering Career Envoys will be available virtually to talk to engineering students and answer questions about résumés, cover letters, interviews, and preparation for the workplace. Please see the undergraduate and graduate Engineering Career Envoys pages for updates to virtual office hours.


March 30, 2020: Engineering Career Resources LinkedIn Page

Did you know? Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations has a Engineering Career Resources LinkedIn page. If you aren't already following us, please do! We will be sharing career-related articles and tips, available internship and co-op positions, and much more!


March 24, 2020: COVID-19 Impact on Summer Work Experiences

With the uncertainty generated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering: Will my internship/co-op/full-time job for this summer be impacted?

Here are some recommendations if you are feeling uncertain about where your previously confirmed job opportunity now stands:

  1. If you have concerns, be proactive. Reach out to your primary contact at the company or organization where you plan to work. Given that the severity of the impact of the coronavirus varies in different geographic locations, your employer is the best source of information about what is going on at that location right now.
  2. Be patient if the employer doesn’t respond immediately. Many people are suddenly trying to navigate working from home—often while managing children or other household responsibilities—and managing their own daily workloads.
  3. Understand that the employer may not have all the answers to your questions right now. With new information and updates coming in daily and often hourly, it’s likely that employer decisions and direction about both short-term and full-time hiring can and will change over the next weeks and months.

Please continue to read all email communications from our office and from the University. For the latest updates and information regarding university policy and procedure related to the coronavirus, please visit psu.edu/virusinfo. If your questions are not answered at remotelearning.psu.edu or psu.edu/virusinfo/faqs, please reach out to COVID19StudentSupport@psu.edu


March 23, 2020: Internship and Co-op Directives

Students

If you are completing an internship or co-op experience this semester, please continue to monitor health recommendations from reputable sources such as the CDC and the department of health in the city/state where you are working, as well as the guidance of your employer.

Are you working remotely?

  • Please continue to keep in touch with your supervisor (virtually) about your ongoing projects.
  • When you have completed your work experience, you and your supervisor must each complete your End-of-Semester Evaluations. You must also complete your End-of-Semester Report.
  • See more information about ENGR 195, 295, 395, and 495 requirements and ENGR 595 requirements.

Are you working onsite (even part-time)?

  • We understand that you may be anxious or worried about continuing to work onsite at your company or organization. At this point in the semester, you have completed enough work to meet the employment requirements of the Internship and Co-op Program.
  • If your employer is unable to provide a remote work option, we support you in ceasing your work experience now if you so choose.
  • If you plan to stop working, please let us know. We will send you the End-of-Semester Evaluations for both you and your supervisor to complete. Any discussions about your performance should take place virtually. You will also need to complete your End-of-Semester Report.
  • See more information about ENGR 195, 295, 395, and 495 requirements and ENGR 595 requirements.

Student Survey

We will be sending a brief survey this week to all students working at internships and co-ops this semester to request some information about your current work circumstances. Since things are changing quickly, we may ask you to complete additional surveys in the weeks to come. Please watch your email for these surveys and other communications.

Employers

If you have Penn State students completing internship or co-op experiences this semester, please continue to monitor health recommendations in your area from reputable sources such as the CDC and local authorities.

Are students working remotely?

  • If you have Penn State students working remotely for your company, either from internship/co-op housing or from their permanent addresses, please continue to keep in touch with them (virtually) about their ongoing projects.
  • When they have completed their work experiences, you (and they) will need to complete End-of-Semester Evaluations. Please watch for communication that will include links to these evaluations. Students will also be completing End-of-Semester Reports.

Are students working onsite (even part-time)?

  • We understand that due to the nature of your business, you may not be able to offer students virtual work experiences. We also understand that, in some states, all non-essential businesses have been ordered to cease operations temporarily and that this may be the case for your company or organization.
  • At this point in the semester, Penn State students have completed enough work to meet the employment requirements of the Internship and Co-op Program; students who are uncomfortable working on site have our support to cease their work experiences now if they so choose.
  • When they have completed their internships or co-ops, you (and they) will need to complete End-of-Semester Evaluations. Please watch for communication that will include links to these evaluations. Students will also be completing End-of-Semester Reports.

Summer 2020 Internships and Co-ops

Nittany Lion Careers is still open for business! If you have internship and/or co-op positions to post, especially those that can be done virtually, please continue to post them. Students are still looking for opportunities!


March 19, 2020: Extension of Remote Learning

Based on evolving federal guidance and statewide mitigation plans announced by Gov. Tom Wolf around the growing coronavirus pandemic and the global efforts underway to stop its spread, Penn State has extended the remote-delivery period for classes through at least the spring semester. The University has also mandated that all nonessential meetings and events through at least May 15 should be canceled, rescheduled, or offered virtually.


March 14, 2020: Evolving COVID-19 Recommendations

Students

COVID-19 recommendations are continuing to evolve. The Dean of the College of Engineering has recommended that all staff work remotely until April 6, 2020. As such, Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations staff likewise strongly advise our students completing internships and co-ops during the spring 2020 semester to work remotely until this date at the earliest.

If you haven't done so already, please speak to your manager immediately about implementing remote work arrangements.

If you are unable to work remotely due to the nature of your work, please speak to your manager to determine an appropriate course of action for the next three weeks; if you are in this situation, please contact Rick McClintic (rxm166@psu.edu) or Kim Fox (kaw163@psu.edu) to share the plan that you and your manager have developed. Please note that the inability to complete work during this time period will NOT impact your co-op or internship course requirements.

Your health and safety are our primary concern—please continue to follow all COVID-19 health recommendations.

Internship/Co-op Supervisors

As you may know, the University has instituted remote course instruction until April 6, 2020 (see more information here). Our students' health and safety are our primary concern, and Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations staff strongly advise that all students be provided with remote work opportunities until this date at the earliest.

If you haven't already done so, please talk to any Penn State engineering students under your supervision immediately about implementing remote work arrangements.

If students are unable to work remotely due to the nature of their work, please talk with them to determine an appropriate course of action for the next three weeks.  Please contact Rick McClintic (rxm166@psu.edu) or Kim Fox (kaw163@psu.edu) to share the plan(s) you and the student(s) have developed. Please note that the inability to complete work during this time period will NOT impact students' co-op or internship course requirements.

We have sent a similar notice to students as well.

Thank you for your partnership during this unprecedented time.


March 13, 2020: Shift to Online Learning

Students: By now you have likely seen President Barron's message regarding Penn State's decision to move to remote learning for all classes Penn State-wide between Monday, March 16 and Monday, April 6 (at least) in order to minimize any risk of the COVID-19 coronavirus spreading throughout the university community.

Since you are all working in different locations that may be differently impacted by the threat of the coronavirus, we unfortunately can't offer you consistent advice about what steps you should be taking right now. Instead, we would refer you to your employer's health and safety office or officer and to government guidelines and trustworthy news sources in the area where you are working for the best plan of action in the next few weeks.

In terms of your internship and co-op courses, the requirements for ENGR 195, 295, 395, 495, and 595 are all already available on our website and all requirements can be completed electronically, as usual. Our staff will still be available by email (career@engr.psu.edu) or phone (814-863-1032) during regular business hours to answer career-related questions during the time when classes are offered remotely. Please let us know if your internship or co-op assignment has been impacted by the coronavirus.

For the latest updates and information regarding university policy and procedure related to the coronavirus, please visit psu.edu/virusinfo. If your questions are not answered at remotelearning.psu.edu or psu.edu/virusinfo/faqs, please reach out to COVID19StudentSupport@psu.edu.

 
 

Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032