The number of colleges and universities taking steps to combat coronavirus, or COVID-19, is growing significantly, it seems, by the hour.
Here are the latest updates from local institutions of higher education.
Last update: 5 p.m. April 13.
Elizabethtown is shifting to remote instruction for the remainder of the spring semester, the college has announced.
"We had anticipated bringing our campus community back by April 6, but the evolving coronavirus situation presents too much uncertainty," college President Cecilia McCormick said in a letter to students and faculty. "The health and wellbeing of our campus community is always our top priority, and if we were to bring our community back to campus, it creates too many vulnerabilities that could ultimately impact all of us."
It's also postponing its commencement ceremony, but the college said it's "committed to providing the ceremony in another format or at a later date as well as holding other traditional events honoring the accomplishments of our students."
McCormick said the college intends to provide prorated refunds to students as a result of the coronavirus changes.
Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin & Marshall College will spend the rest of the spring semester using online instruction and postpone commencement as a precaution against the novel coronavirus, college President Barbara Altmann has announced.
F&M was the first Lancaster County college to postpone commencement.
"Please know that this has been a very difficult decision to reach," Altmann said in a letter to students, faculty and staff. "We are a close-knit community, and personal interaction is a critical element of the F&M experience."
The announcement came a week after F&M said it would shift online for two weeks following spring break. But, as Altmann put it, "Our world has shifted enormously since this time last week, both locally and globally."
HACC has extended its remote instruction through May 17 and canceled its May commencement, the college has announced.
Graduating students are invited to participate in the December commencement ceremony.
Lancaster Bible College has announced that it will finish the spring semester using remote instruction. In addition, its May commencement in Lancaster has been postponed.
"We know this comes as a great disappointment to all – students, faculty, staff, and our greater LBC|Capital family – but your safety and that of our neighbors in paramount," college President Thomas Kiedis said.
The college has also promised students refunds for room and board.
The county's lone state-owned university is suspending in-person instruction through the summer 2020 semester, as are its 13 sister universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
State system Chancellor Dan Greenstein issued the guidance Friday, saying universities should continue only offering remote or online instruction. That includes experiential learning opportunities such as internships and field experience.
The universities had previously suspended in-person instruction through the spring.
Millersville has also postponed commencement and said it would provide prorated student refunds for housing, dining, and certain fees.
“While we all hoped that this situation would not come to pass,” university President Danies Wubah wrote in a letter to the campus community, “I understand the critical need to make this change in order to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus.”
Millersville also announced it’s making SAT tests optional for all eligible students who apply as the fate of high-stakes testing remains in question due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The rule previously only applied to students from Lancaster and York counties.
Students still must apply for test-optional admissions. They can do so by visiting bit.ly/MUAdmissions.
The university is also giving all undergraduate students the opportunity to receive pass/fail grades, rather than traditional letter grades, in any or all of their spring 2020 classes.
Millersville University, the lone state-owned university in Lancaster County, has announced it’s moving to remote instruction for the remainder of the spring semester.
Penn State University has announced that all classes will continue remotely for at least the rest of the spring semester. Spring commencement ceremonies will be postponed as the university "explores options for celebrating the achievements of our students."
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design shifted classes online March 23.
The college said it will "continue to monitor and evaluate the return to on-campus classes and housing to complete the spring semester."
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences will continue online for the rest of the semester, and the campus will be closed until further notice.
The college closed its campus earlier in March because an individual on campus was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
The college, one of the first in Lancaster County to shut down and shift online due to the coronavirus pandemic, is also waiving its enrollment fee.
Besides eliminating the $500 fee, the college is also offering a free application code: HERO20. Both offers are available for students enrolling in the summer 2020 of fall 2020 semesters.
“Our hope is that this will allow applicants to focus on their pursuit of education and career advancement as we continue to provide a path for those serving a critical need of healthcare professionals,” said Bill Rhinier, the college’s director of admissions.
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology has announced it's finishing the spring semester using remote instruction and canceling the May commencement.
Information about refunds for housing and food services, the college said, will be communicated with students by the end of the semester.