Spring 2022 Information and Resources

The Grad Center is committed to supporting all graduate and professional students and is working with campus partners to provide resources and opportunities for engagement to help you stay connected and academically during throughout your time at Penn.  

Announcements & Official Information  Grad Center Resources 

Resources and Support   Grad Student Spaces

Grad Center Resources and Reopening Plans

 Important Note: At every point the safety of our staff and our users is our top priority. All services are subject to change; revisions will be made as necessary with guidance from the University of Pennsylvania, city and state officials, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Grad Center Phased Reopening Plans

We are excited to announce plans for a phased reopening of our space at 3615 Locust Walk with newly upgraded HVAC system, meeting rooms, and other improvements throughout the building.

January 5-23:The Graduate Student Center building at 3615 Locust Walk will remain closed January 5 - 23. During this time, members of the Grad Center team are on campus and available to provide assistance and support to all Penn graduate and professional students. Call 215-746-6868, email gradcenter@upenn.edu, or use this form to connect with us.

Beginning January 24, the Grad Center building at 3615 Locust Walk will be open to Penn graduate and professional students Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

What does this mean? Starting 1/24, you can:

  • Study or hang out in the Grad Center
  • Ask Grad Center fellows and staff questions
  • Pour yourself a free coffee or tea - be sure to Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM)
  • Take or leave a book in our 3rd floor book swap 
  • Pick up your SEPTA Key Card (M-F 12-4pm through Feb 11 - read details here)

We will resume full operations in February. This includes:

  • Expanded operating hours (M-Th 8:30-7:30, Fr 8:30-5:30, S/S 12-6pm) 
  • Group meeting and study room reservations
Grad Center Visitor Policies

Please be aware of all University and Grad Center public health and use policies. 

Spring 2022 visitor policies include: 

All visitors are required to double mask (layering a cloth mask on top of a disposable mask) or to wear a KN95 or N95 mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Students, faculty, and staff may be asked to show a Green PennOpen Pass at any time while in the Graduate Student Center. 

Food and Drink Policy 

 

Current public health guidance identifies eating as a high risk activity to disease transmission. Outdoor eating remains a preferable and safer option.

Grad Center visitors may consume small snacks and drinks only while socially distanced at least 6' from any other person in the space. Masks can be temporarily lifted or lowered while you are actively consuming food or drink and for no longer than a few minutes at a time.

Graduate Center staff reserve the right to request that visitors refrain from eating/drinking or leave the Center if they are unwilling or unable to comply in a reasonable manner.

Grad Center Drop-In Hours & Advising

Current graduate and professional students at Penn can connect with the Graduate Student Center to get the information, resources, and guidance they need to be successful throughout their time at Penn. Visit our website for information about ways to connect with us in person or online.

Grad Center Advising and Support 

Spring Break Hours
The Grad Center will have special hours over the University Spring Break:   
Sunday, March 6 - Tues, March 8: CLOSED
Wednesday, March 9 - Friday, March 11: 9AM - 5PM (first floor only)
We will resume our regular hours on Saturday, March 12

 

 

COVID-19 Resources and Information
Announcements and Official Information

Testing & Vaccine Requirements

Testing and Vaccine Requirements 
Public health guidance on campus continues to evolve. The following requirements are in place as of July 2021:

  • Beginning July 1, faculty, staff, postdocs, and students must be fully vaccinated and upload their vaccine documentation or take part in Penn Cares screening testing.

  • Students who will be on campus for the Spring 2022 semester are required to undergo Pre-Arrival and Gateway Testing.

  • For COVID-related guidance for visitors to campus, consult the Visitors page.

Spring Semester Guidance 

Testing & Vaccination Resources

Vaccination Information

Gateway Testing

Testing Program

Student FAQs | Student Compliance with Testing

Testing Positive, Contact Tracing, Quarantine & Isolation
 

Upload Your COVID-19 Vaccine Record in Student Health
Immunization records, including those for COVID-19, should be uploaded to the Student Health Service portal.

Conduct and Compliance 

One of the responsibilities of Student Citizenship, as outlined in the University’s Code of Conduct, is to respect the health and safety of others. This includes but is not limited to following current public health guidance, complying with isolation or quarantine, and cooperating with contact tracing efforts. Students who do not comply with these expectations may be brought before the Office of Student Conduct and may face disciplinary action.

University Updates & Announcements

The University of Pennsylvania has instituted mitigation practices and policies in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest information visit the University’s coronavirus webpage.   

Conduct and Compliance 
One of the responsibilities of Student Citizenship, as outlined in the University’s Code of Conduct, is to respect the health and safety of others. This includes but is not limited to following current public health guidance, complying with isolation or quarantine, and cooperating with contact tracing efforts. Students who do not comply with these expectations may be brought before the Office of Student Conduct and may face disciplinary action.

Campus Operations 
Some campus departments and offices are continuing to provide services remotely. Please check official websites for the most up-to-date information. 

Safety 
Unfortunately, bias-motivated attacks have been reported in Philadelphia and around the country. Penn’s Division of Public Safety supports the physical and emotional wellbeing of all Penn communities. Should any member of our community receive any threatening messages or become the victim of a criminal act, or see suspicious activity that should be indicative of a future act of violence, regardless of the location of the occurrence, please call the Division of Public Safety’s Emergency Communications Center immediately at 215-573-3333

Request a Walking Escort: Penn Public Safety and the University District Ambassador Program are available to provide Walking Escorts from 10:00am until 3:00am between 30th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue. Students can call 215-898-WALK (9255) 

Penn Transit and Parking

At this time, all Penn Transit Services are operating on regular routes and schedules. All Penn Transit riders are required to display a valid institutional identification card and a “green” PennOpen Screening Pass before entering a vehicle.

Penn’s on-demand Evening Shuttles and Penn Accessible Transit services will continue to operate as normal. Shuttles provide free transportation from campus stops to anywhere in the service boundaries between 20th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue.

Penn Dining 
Visit the Penn Dining Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources page for the most up-to-date information. Please be aware that hours and locations are subject to change. 

Penn On-Campus Housing 
Information and resources for campus residents can be found at https://residential-services.business-services.upenn.edu/


Official Information and Websites

Penn will be easing restrictions relating to both on-campus activities and University travel as conditions permit. These are important steps as we continue to transition toward  a more normal, on-campus experience for our students, faculty, staff, and researchers this fall. Please use the links below for the most up-to-date information.

UNIVERSITY CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION PAGE   

PRESIDENTIAL MESSAGES  

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

ACADEMIC ISSUES AND RESOURCES 

COVID-19 FAQS FOR STUDENTS  

FAQ FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS  

RESEARCH RESUMPTION RESOURCES 

GRADUATE RESOURCE GUIDE 


Penn Cares Button

Wellness at Penn and Penn Public Health have partnered to create new social media accounts to serve as a central source of COVID-19 information for the Penn community.

Be sure to follow @COVIDPenn on Instagram & Twitter for the latest guidance & public health information from Penn!

 

Spring 2022
In-Person Events & Activities

Event Registration

As part of the University’s community care efforts, all student groups must register in-person social events they would like to host on campus, at an off-campus residence, or at a third-party venue. This includes all events where alcohol will be served as well as social events without alcohol ("dry events").

Event Registration

Spring 2022 Guidelines for Student Group Activities

This guidance governs in-person activity that can be organized and/or funded by your student organization. Guidance is based on current university and city/state policies and has been communicated to the University community via email from the President and the Public Health Guidance website. If these policies change during the semester, the guidelines for student organizations may also change. In cases where these sets of guidelines are not aligned, deference should be given to the University public health guidance.

Spring 2022 Student Event Guidance

 

PennOpen Pass
  • PennOpen Pass is a daily symptom tracker and exposure reporting system designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading within the Penn community.
  • Beginning July 1, 2021, PennOpen Pass is not required for entry into most University buildings. However, PennOpen Pass is required to enter health care settings at Penn Medicine and University facilities that serve patients, such as Penn Dental at the Schattner Center, and Penn Cares testing sites.
  • Beginning July 1, 2021, only University faculty, postdoctoral trainees, staff, and students who are not fully vaccinated or have not recorded their fully vaccinated status in their appropriate system of record, Workday@Penn or Student Health Service, are required to use PennOpen Pass daily.
  • Beginning July 1, 2021, fully vaccinated University faculty, postdoctoral trainees, staff, and students who have recorded their fully vaccinated status in their appropriate system of record are not required to use PennOpen Pass daily.
  • While fully vaccinated individuals are not required to complete PennOpen Pass daily, all University campus members should continue to use PennOpen Pass to report new symptoms and exposures to guide testing and clinical management according to the latest guidelines.
  • Penn Medicine faculty, postdoctoral trainees, staff, and students entering Penn Medicine health care settings are required to complete daily symptom checks using PennOpen Pass and show a Green Pass upon entering.

For individuals who are not fully vaccinated or do not report their fully vaccinated status, symptom checks must be completed in PennOpen Pass before the start of each day, including on weekends, to reduce the risk that any COVID-19 case could lead to an outbreak. Daily symptom tracking enables PennOpen Pass to act as an early warning system of potential COVID-19 infections on campus. If COVID-19 cases are diagnosed, clinical staff and contact tracers will respond quickly to contain spread and connect individuals at risk to care in an expedited manner. For persons working or learning remotely 100% of the time, PennOpen Pass still provides access to expedited clinical guidance should a need arise.

For information on how it works, answers to frequently asked questions, the privacy policy, and other resources, visit the PennOpen Pass website.

Visit PennOpen Pass

Additional Resources and Support

Resources, programs, and services at Penn and beyond. 

Graduate Resource Guide

Health and Wellness

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS offers counseling sessions by phone or video conference, as well as in person. CAPS is available for students seeking drop-in or individual appointments. To schedule an appointment, dial 215-898-7021 and press 2 to speak to the Front Desk (M-F, 9am-5pm) or you can press 1 to talk to a clinician 24/7. For more information, visit https://caps.wellness.upenn.edu/

CAPS also provides support groups for students on various topics, including groups for those experiencing racial trauma and grief.

Your Mental Health and COVID-19: Tips and resources to help you cope with COVID-19, including dealing with issues of bias, coping skills, and more. CAPS also introduced Wellnest, a gamified, mindfulness app that promotes self-reflection and journaling in a fun and creative way. Learn more about the benefits of journaling in this YouTube video of a recent workshop we held. You can download the Wellnest app on your iOS device or join Wellnest on their web-based app

The Office of the Chaplain | SPARC
The Chaplain / SPARC staff is available to students, faculty and staff for pastoral support, guidance, or informal advising and counseling via phone or video chat. 

Student Health Services
Student Health Services remains available for students in need of medical services. Visit their website for more information: https://shs.wellness.upenn.edu/. SHS services are available for free to all students who pay the clinical fee or are enrolled in PSIP.  

Students with medical emergencies should utilize emergency medical services and dial 911. 

Important changes to PSIP in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

Please contact the Insurance Office at 215 746 3535 or vpul-shsinsur@pobox.upenn.edu with any questions.

HELP LINE
One call to the HELP LINE can assist you in finding personal and mental health support, 215-898-HELP.

Additional Resources and Information 

COVID-19 Testing Information

WELLNESS AND ENGAGEMENT RESOURCES 

Academic, Teaching, & Research Support

Weingarten Learning Resources Center 
The Weingarten Center is providing both in-person and online academic assistance (e.g., individual consultations with learning instructors, tutoring) and overseeing the implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities.

  • The Office of Learning Resources (OLR) is offering virtual access to academic support resources and advising. Students can schedule 50-minute virtual meetings or sign up for 25-minute virtual drop-in sessions with a learning instructor via the MyWLRC portal to discuss their study strategies and approaches to a variety of academic assignments and assessments. More details at www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/lr/

  • Student Disabilities Services staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations. For information explaining how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/. Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

Contact the Weingarten Center at 215-573-9235 to get updated information about Student Disabilities Services, Office of Learning Resources, and Tutoring Services and to be connected with a staff member who can address your needs.

Writing Center 
The Writing Center provides writing support to graduate students enrolled in credit-bearing courses during specific hours. A guide to scheduling and attending online writing consultations is available at writing.upenn.edu/critical/wc/files/Online_Appointments.pdf (PDF, opens in new tab) 

Those students in time zones not well-suited to Writing Center hours should contact Stacy Kastner, PhD, Associate Director of The Writing Center.   

 

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Online Learning Initiative (OLI) have partnered to provide a guide to strategies and tools for teaching remotely. Check out the guide to teaching remotely at www.ctl.upenn.edu/resources-and-strategies-teaching-remotely.

CTL is also offering a series of online workshops related to teaching remotely. More details at https://bit.ly/ctl-grad-workshops

Check out our Penn Grad Blog where Grad Center Fellow Elizabeth Bynum outlines some of the things graduate instructors will take with them when we go back to in-person classes.

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching or office hours? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

 

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes.

The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources guide provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

 

Technology & Software

All Penn students have unlimited data storage via Penn+Box, a cloud-based collaboration service for securely managing and sharing files and folders within the Penn community and externally. Users can access, create, manage, and distribute content across various device types and operating systems via Single Sign On (SSO). 

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching, research, or office hours? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes. The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources guide provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

Internet and Phone Service 
Information about free and low-cost internet & wi-fi access and updates made to mobile phone service plans to help support individuals during the COVID-19 crisis.

IT Support
Penn Information Systems & Computing (ISC) has put together a Remote IT Support Guide to assist students with accessing and using virtual instruction and software. Please click on a link below to jump to a section in the guide: 

 

COVID-19 RELATED ACADEMIC RESOURCES AND FAQ 

ADDITIONAL ACADEMIC RESOURCES AND SUPPORT

 

Resources & Information for Student Groups

Support for Specific Populations

International Students
International students who have questions about travel and visas can contact ISSS directly to schedule virtual advising: https://global.upenn.edu/isss

Although International Student & Scholar Service's (ISSS) in-person services remain suspended, ISSS advisors are available by email or virtual advising appointment. For instructions, visit https://global.upenn.edu/isss/advising.

ISSS has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19 at https://global.upenn.edu/isss/coronavirus-FAQ and is scheduling a series of virtual town halls and webinars (https://global.upenn.edu/isss/coronavirus#townhalls).

Students leaving the United States do not need a travel signature on your I-20/DS-2019 before exiting the country. Before you return to the US, please complete the Travel Signature request form in iPenn. Once your request has been approved, please complete the Shipping Request form and your document will be mailed to you. 

Students and Postdocs with Children 
The Family Resource Center facility will remain closed through the spring semester. Family Center staff remain available to advise and meet with students, postdocs, and campus partners via phone, email, or Skype. 

Visit the Family Center Virtual Resources Page with special resources for parents and families during the COVID-19 outbreak and connect with other students, faculty, and staff parents through the Parents at Penn group on Facebook. 

Working from home while juggling caregiving can be a challenge, and many of you have asked for neighborhood-based approaches to help meet your caregiving needs. In response, Penn has launched Caregiver Connections, a new online platform for faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs who are also caregivers to build connections and find support in our local neighborhoods. We welcome feedback on this pilot program as we aim to develop the most useful solutions for members of the Penn community.

Students with Disabilities 
Student Disabilities Services is currently offering virtual support services for students in online classes. While the physical office is closed, SDS staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations.

For information about how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/. Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION RESOURCES

Visit the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion section of our resource guide for additional resources and information.

Financial assistance and public services

Resource Connects: Philadelphia Assistance Programs 
Find community services to support your family, such as help with food, utilities, transportation and more. Resource Connects is part of a greater Philadelphia collaborative working to expand access to valuable programs and services to support your needs. 

Benefits.gov Coronavirus Resources
On Benefits.gov, you can find government benefits related to unemployment assistancehealthcare, and food and nutrition. You can also use the Benefit Finder to find additional benefits for which you may be eligible. 

To learn more and stay up to date about the steps you can take to keep safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, refer to Coronavirus.gov, offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House. You can also visit USA.gov to learn more about the government's response to the outbreak. 

Public Benefits for PA Residents 
Individuals in Pennsylvania who lost a job or have reduced hours due to coronavirus may be eligible for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, cash assistance, or assistance with utilities. Visit https://clsphila.org/public-benefits/benefits-coronavirus/ for more information. 

Assistance for Philadelphia Renters and Homeowners
There are resources available to help Philadelphia renters and homeowners facing housing issues during the pandemic. For more information, visit: https://www.phila.gov/programs/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/updates/support-for-residents/#housing-and-utilities

Unemployment Resources 

If you are facing unemployment or a lapse in employment due to the coronavirus, the following resources may be available to you:  

Under the Federal CARES Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expanded eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits. Individuals covered under PUA include the self-employed, those unable to start a new job, those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits.

To apply for unemployment assistance, please contact your State Unemployment Assistance Agency. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Unemployment Assistance Page

Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks)
First check: According to the IRS, stimulus checks will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Eligible taxpayers, who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents will receive $500 for each qualifying child. Visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center to learn more. 

Second check: Eligible individuals who filed a 2019 joint tax return will receive up to $1,200, and all other eligible individuals will receive up to $600. Those with qualifying children on their 2019 tax return will receive up to $600 in additional payment per qualifying child. Visit the IRS Questions and Answers about the Second Economic Impact Payment page for more information.

Third check: Those eligible will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $1,400 for individuals or $2,800 for married couples, plus $1,400 for each dependent. Unlike EIP1 and EIP2, families will get a payment for all their dependents claimed on a tax return, not just their qualifying children under 17. Visit the IRS More details about the third round of Economic Impact Payments for more information.

The IRS also has information on obtaining Economic Impact Payments for people experiencing homelessness.

For more information specific to Social Security during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit the U.S. Social Security Administration's Coronavirus Disease Page

Resources for Families in Need
For families requiring temporary assistance during the outbreak, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program can help provide financial assistance and related support.

Philadelphia residents who are pregnant or caring for an infant or toddler: see a list of resources and free supplies available to you and your family during COVID-19.

Food and Nutrition
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves millions of people annually, ensuring that they and their families have access to nutritious food options. The SNAP for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides for the special dietary needs of nursing and pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of five.

Additional federal programs can be found on the Benefits.gov Food and Nutrition Page. See additional food assistance programs and food banks in the "Other Assistance Programs" box on this page. 

Utilities
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps provide low-income families with their heating and cooling energy costs. See a state-by-state list of utility assistance programs on the  Benefits.gov Housing and Public Utilities Page 

For Philadelphia and Pennsylvania specific utility assistance programs, please visit the city of Philadelphia's support for residents page.

 

211 Help
United Way-supported 211Help connects you to a specialist in your area who can put you in touch with organizations that provide critical services like food, housing, and utility programs and more.

 

Wifi, data, and internet. 
See information about free and low-cost Internet and Phone Service available to local residents.

See this guide to internet and mobile service plans for those with financial need for more information about qualifying for discounts on internet, computers, and resources to stay connected remotely. 

Food Assistance 
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services offers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to help low-income households get more food. Applications can be submitted online or filed in person at your county assistance office. For additional information and resources, visit the Department of Human Services website.

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger connects people with food assistance programs and nutrition education; provides resources to a network of food pantries; and educates the public and policymakers about responsible solutions to food insecurity. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity, you can call the WHY Hunger Hotline at 1-800-5-HUNGRY or visit http://www.auntbertha.com

  • Philadelphia
    The City of Philadelphia and partners are providing free food for households and students at sites throughout the city.  
     
  • Montgomery County 
    Visit MontCo Anti-Hunger Network for the latest information on food pantries in Montgomery County.

Many area food banks were still operating with adjusted or limited hours. Please call in advance.  Many food pantries and banks are also accepting volunteers and donations. 

  • Philabundance 3616 South Galloway Street Philadelphia, PA 19148
    215-339-0900
  • Food Bank of South Jersey 1501 John Tipton Blvd. Pennsauken, NJ 08110
    856-662-4884
  • Share Food Program 2901 W. Hunting Park Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19129
    215-223-2220
  • Mary's Cupboard 100 Levittown Parkway Levittown, PA 19054
    215-945-2550
  • Manna on Main Street 606 E. Main Street Lansdale, PA 19446
    215-855-5454
  • Narberth Community Food Bank 201 Sabine Avenue, 2nd Floor Narberth, PA 19072
    484-278-4579
  • St. Mark's United Methodist Church Food Pantry 220 S. Sproul Rd. Broomall, PA 19008
    610-325-0130
  • Chester County Food Bank 650 Pennsylvania Drive Exton, PA 19341
    610-873-6000

 

Hurricane Irma Flooding Assistance 

If you are a student who was displaced or seriously impacted by the recent flooding, there are several resources at Penn and beyond that may be able to help.

 

Short Term Housing

Off-Campus Housing: http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/offcampusservices/

Through the Off-Campus Services website, there is a link to rental listings.  You can create a guest account to search the listings. I would also recommend the “more “ section. You select short term as a search parameter.  Most high-rise apartments have short-terms rentals.

Graduate Resource Guide

Health and Wellness

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS offers counseling sessions by phone or video conference, as well as in person. CAPS is available for students seeking drop-in or individual appointments. To schedule an appointment, dial 215-898-7021 and press 2 to speak to the Front Desk (M-F, 9am-5pm) or you can press 1 to talk to a clinician 24/7. For more information, visit https://caps.wellness.upenn.edu/

CAPS also provides support groups for students on various topics, including groups for those experiencing racial trauma and grief.

Your Mental Health and COVID-19: Tips and resources to help you cope with COVID-19, including dealing with issues of bias, coping skills, and more. CAPS also introduced Wellnest, a gamified, mindfulness app that promotes self-reflection and journaling in a fun and creative way. Learn more about the benefits of journaling in this YouTube video of a recent workshop we held. You can download the Wellnest app on your iOS device or join Wellnest on their web-based app

The Office of the Chaplain | SPARC
The Chaplain / SPARC staff is available to students, faculty and staff for pastoral support, guidance, or informal advising and counseling via phone or video chat. 

Student Health Services
Student Health Services remains available for students in need of medical services. Visit their website for more information: https://shs.wellness.upenn.edu/. SHS services are available for free to all students who pay the clinical fee or are enrolled in PSIP.  

Students with medical emergencies should utilize emergency medical services and dial 911. 

Important changes to PSIP in response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

Please contact the Insurance Office at 215 746 3535 or vpul-shsinsur@pobox.upenn.edu with any questions.

HELP LINE
One call to the HELP LINE can assist you in finding personal and mental health support, 215-898-HELP.

Additional Resources and Information 

COVID-19 Testing Information

WELLNESS AND ENGAGEMENT RESOURCES 

Academic, Teaching, & Research Support

Weingarten Learning Resources Center 
The Weingarten Center is providing both in-person and online academic assistance (e.g., individual consultations with learning instructors, tutoring) and overseeing the implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities.

  • The Office of Learning Resources (OLR) is offering virtual access to academic support resources and advising. Students can schedule 50-minute virtual meetings or sign up for 25-minute virtual drop-in sessions with a learning instructor via the MyWLRC portal to discuss their study strategies and approaches to a variety of academic assignments and assessments. More details at www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/lr/

  • Student Disabilities Services staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations. For information explaining how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/. Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

Contact the Weingarten Center at 215-573-9235 to get updated information about Student Disabilities Services, Office of Learning Resources, and Tutoring Services and to be connected with a staff member who can address your needs.

Writing Center 
The Writing Center provides writing support to graduate students enrolled in credit-bearing courses during specific hours. A guide to scheduling and attending online writing consultations is available at writing.upenn.edu/critical/wc/files/Online_Appointments.pdf (PDF, opens in new tab) 

Those students in time zones not well-suited to Writing Center hours should contact Stacy Kastner, PhD, Associate Director of The Writing Center.   

 

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Online Learning Initiative (OLI) have partnered to provide a guide to strategies and tools for teaching remotely. Check out the guide to teaching remotely at www.ctl.upenn.edu/resources-and-strategies-teaching-remotely.

CTL is also offering a series of online workshops related to teaching remotely. More details at https://bit.ly/ctl-grad-workshops

Check out our Penn Grad Blog where Grad Center Fellow Elizabeth Bynum outlines some of the things graduate instructors will take with them when we go back to in-person classes.

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching or office hours? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

 

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes.

The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources guide provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

 

Technology & Software

All Penn students have unlimited data storage via Penn+Box, a cloud-based collaboration service for securely managing and sharing files and folders within the Penn community and externally. Users can access, create, manage, and distribute content across various device types and operating systems via Single Sign On (SSO). 

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching, research, or office hours? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes. The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources guide provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

Internet and Phone Service 
Information about free and low-cost internet & wi-fi access and updates made to mobile phone service plans to help support individuals during the COVID-19 crisis.

IT Support
Penn Information Systems & Computing (ISC) has put together a Remote IT Support Guide to assist students with accessing and using virtual instruction and software. Please click on a link below to jump to a section in the guide: 

 

COVID-19 RELATED ACADEMIC RESOURCES AND FAQ 

ADDITIONAL ACADEMIC RESOURCES AND SUPPORT

 

Resources & Information for Student Groups

Support for Specific Populations

International Students
International students who have questions about travel and visas can contact ISSS directly to schedule virtual advising: https://global.upenn.edu/isss

Although International Student & Scholar Service's (ISSS) in-person services remain suspended, ISSS advisors are available by email or virtual advising appointment. For instructions, visit https://global.upenn.edu/isss/advising.

ISSS has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19 at https://global.upenn.edu/isss/coronavirus-FAQ and is scheduling a series of virtual town halls and webinars (https://global.upenn.edu/isss/coronavirus#townhalls).

Students leaving the United States do not need a travel signature on your I-20/DS-2019 before exiting the country. Before you return to the US, please complete the Travel Signature request form in iPenn. Once your request has been approved, please complete the Shipping Request form and your document will be mailed to you. 

Students and Postdocs with Children 
The Family Resource Center facility will remain closed through the spring semester. Family Center staff remain available to advise and meet with students, postdocs, and campus partners via phone, email, or Skype. 

Visit the Family Center Virtual Resources Page with special resources for parents and families during the COVID-19 outbreak and connect with other students, faculty, and staff parents through the Parents at Penn group on Facebook. 

Working from home while juggling caregiving can be a challenge, and many of you have asked for neighborhood-based approaches to help meet your caregiving needs. In response, Penn has launched Caregiver Connections, a new online platform for faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs who are also caregivers to build connections and find support in our local neighborhoods. We welcome feedback on this pilot program as we aim to develop the most useful solutions for members of the Penn community.

Students with Disabilities 
Student Disabilities Services is currently offering virtual support services for students in online classes. While the physical office is closed, SDS staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations.

For information about how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/. Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION RESOURCES

Visit the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion section of our resource guide for additional resources and information.

Financial assistance and public services

Resource Connects: Philadelphia Assistance Programs 
Find community services to support your family, such as help with food, utilities, transportation and more. Resource Connects is part of a greater Philadelphia collaborative working to expand access to valuable programs and services to support your needs. 

Benefits.gov Coronavirus Resources
On Benefits.gov, you can find government benefits related to unemployment assistancehealthcare, and food and nutrition. You can also use the Benefit Finder to find additional benefits for which you may be eligible. 

To learn more and stay up to date about the steps you can take to keep safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, refer to Coronavirus.gov, offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House. You can also visit USA.gov to learn more about the government's response to the outbreak. 

Public Benefits for PA Residents 
Individuals in Pennsylvania who lost a job or have reduced hours due to coronavirus may be eligible for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, cash assistance, or assistance with utilities. Visit https://clsphila.org/public-benefits/benefits-coronavirus/ for more information. 

Assistance for Philadelphia Renters and Homeowners
There are resources available to help Philadelphia renters and homeowners facing housing issues during the pandemic. For more information, visit: https://www.phila.gov/programs/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/updates/support-for-residents/#housing-and-utilities

Unemployment Resources 

If you are facing unemployment or a lapse in employment due to the coronavirus, the following resources may be available to you:  

Under the Federal CARES Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expanded eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits. Individuals covered under PUA include the self-employed, those unable to start a new job, those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits.

To apply for unemployment assistance, please contact your State Unemployment Assistance Agency. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Unemployment Assistance Page

Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks)
First check: According to the IRS, stimulus checks will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Eligible taxpayers, who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents will receive $500 for each qualifying child. Visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center to learn more. 

Second check: Eligible individuals who filed a 2019 joint tax return will receive up to $1,200, and all other eligible individuals will receive up to $600. Those with qualifying children on their 2019 tax return will receive up to $600 in additional payment per qualifying child. Visit the IRS Questions and Answers about the Second Economic Impact Payment page for more information.

Third check: Those eligible will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $1,400 for individuals or $2,800 for married couples, plus $1,400 for each dependent. Unlike EIP1 and EIP2, families will get a payment for all their dependents claimed on a tax return, not just their qualifying children under 17. Visit the IRS More details about the third round of Economic Impact Payments for more information.

The IRS also has information on obtaining Economic Impact Payments for people experiencing homelessness.

For more information specific to Social Security during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit the U.S. Social Security Administration's Coronavirus Disease Page

Resources for Families in Need
For families requiring temporary assistance during the outbreak, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program can help provide financial assistance and related support.

Philadelphia residents who are pregnant or caring for an infant or toddler: see a list of resources and free supplies available to you and your family during COVID-19.

Food and Nutrition
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves millions of people annually, ensuring that they and their families have access to nutritious food options. The SNAP for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides for the special dietary needs of nursing and pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of five.

Additional federal programs can be found on the Benefits.gov Food and Nutrition Page. See additional food assistance programs and food banks in the "Other Assistance Programs" box on this page. 

Utilities
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps provide low-income families with their heating and cooling energy costs. See a state-by-state list of utility assistance programs on the  Benefits.gov Housing and Public Utilities Page 

For Philadelphia and Pennsylvania specific utility assistance programs, please visit the city of Philadelphia's support for residents page.

 

211 Help
United Way-supported 211Help connects you to a specialist in your area who can put you in touch with organizations that provide critical services like food, housing, and utility programs and more.

 

Wifi, data, and internet. 
See information about free and low-cost Internet and Phone Service available to local residents.

See this guide to internet and mobile service plans for those with financial need for more information about qualifying for discounts on internet, computers, and resources to stay connected remotely. 

Food Assistance 
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services offers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to help low-income households get more food. Applications can be submitted online or filed in person at your county assistance office. For additional information and resources, visit the Department of Human Services website.

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger connects people with food assistance programs and nutrition education; provides resources to a network of food pantries; and educates the public and policymakers about responsible solutions to food insecurity. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity, you can call the WHY Hunger Hotline at 1-800-5-HUNGRY or visit http://www.auntbertha.com

  • Philadelphia
    The City of Philadelphia and partners are providing free food for households and students at sites throughout the city.  
     
  • Montgomery County 
    Visit MontCo Anti-Hunger Network for the latest information on food pantries in Montgomery County.

Many area food banks were still operating with adjusted or limited hours. Please call in advance.  Many food pantries and banks are also accepting volunteers and donations. 

  • Philabundance 3616 South Galloway Street Philadelphia, PA 19148
    215-339-0900
  • Food Bank of South Jersey 1501 John Tipton Blvd. Pennsauken, NJ 08110
    856-662-4884
  • Share Food Program 2901 W. Hunting Park Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19129
    215-223-2220
  • Mary's Cupboard 100 Levittown Parkway Levittown, PA 19054
    215-945-2550
  • Manna on Main Street 606 E. Main Street Lansdale, PA 19446
    215-855-5454
  • Narberth Community Food Bank 201 Sabine Avenue, 2nd Floor Narberth, PA 19072
    484-278-4579
  • St. Mark's United Methodist Church Food Pantry 220 S. Sproul Rd. Broomall, PA 19008
    610-325-0130
  • Chester County Food Bank 650 Pennsylvania Drive Exton, PA 19341
    610-873-6000

 

Hurricane Irma Flooding Assistance 

If you are a student who was displaced or seriously impacted by the recent flooding, there are several resources at Penn and beyond that may be able to help.

 

Short Term Housing

Off-Campus Housing: http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/offcampusservices/

Through the Off-Campus Services website, there is a link to rental listings.  You can create a guest account to search the listings. I would also recommend the “more “ section. You select short term as a search parameter.  Most high-rise apartments have short-terms rentals.

Calendar of Events 
Have a suggestion for resources or activities you'd like to see offered? Let us know