Guidelines for college closings, delayed starts, emergencies

Published 11.01.2023

Student News
Faculty & Staff

Pennsylvania College of Technology has procedures for announcing closings and delays – caused by weather conditions and other circumstances – and for communicating with students, faculty and staff during emergencies. The procedures may be implemented at any time.

Decisions on closings and delayed starts for weather conditions are made by the college administration as early as possible, typically by 6 a.m.

PCT Alerts/Omnilert
The best way to ensure timely notification of closings, delays and emergencies is to subscribe to PCT Alerts, a messaging system designed to notify employees and students about situations that may require immediate attention.

Employees and students who register for PCT Alerts can receive text and/or voicemail messages on their cell phones. PCT Alert messages are also sent to all college email addresses, and they may be posted on the home page of the college’s public website and the college’s Facebook page. Additional information about closings, delays and emergencies may be found on the Penn College News site.

Instances for which such messages are issued include snow-closing notifications, security-threat warnings, evacuation situations and individual class cancellations.

To register for PCT Alerts, students and employees can visit the Emergency Response Guidelines & Resources page on the portal, which has a description of PCT Alerts, sign-up instructions and information for managing your account.

When registering for PCT Alerts, you may add other noncollege accounts, including those designated by students for their parents.

Closing/delay information is also dispensed through area TV stations; however, the administration has no control over how soon the stations announce the messages.

In most cases, these area TV stations provide timely announcements of closings/delays: WNEP-TV, WBRE-TV and WYOU-TV.

The college’s main phone line, 570-320-2400, also provides immediate closing/delay announcements.

Check one or more notification modes before traveling to the college on days when weather conditions warrant. Do not call Penn College Police for this purpose.

For closings, announcements apply to main campus and all other sites, unless otherwise noted in the message. Announcements that indicate “the college is closed” or “classes are canceled” mean that all classes, activities, office functions, special events and other operations are canceled for the period of closure.

Students, faculty and staff are not expected to come to the college in the event of a closure. Exceptions include employees who have specific instructions from a supervisor to do so in order to provide crucial services (such as snow removal, security, food service, etc.).

When the college is closed because of weather conditions, the Madigan Library will remain open for the following hours:

  • Sunday, noon to midnight
  • Monday, noon to midnight
  • Tuesday, noon to midnight
  • Wednesday, noon to midnight
  • Thursday, noon to midnight
  • Friday, noon to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In the event of a delay, the library will open when the college opens.

The library may change those hours according to weather conditions. For the most accurate hours during college closings, please check the library website.

For closures* occurring Monday through Thursday, Dining Services locations and hours are: Capitol Eatery, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fuel, noon to 7 p.m.; and Wildcat Express, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. All other units open when/if the college opens.

For Friday closures, Dining Services hours are: Capitol Eatery, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fuel, noon to 6 p.m.; and Wildcat Express, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For Saturday closures, Dining Services hours are: Capitol Eatery, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 7 p.m.; Fuel, noon to 6 p.m.; and Wildcat Express, 1:30 to 6 p.m.

For Sunday closures, Dining Services hours are: Capitol Eatery, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 7 p.m.; Fuel, noon to 7 p.m.; and Wildcat Express, 1:30 to 6 p.m.

If there is a two-hour delay, Capitol Eatery, Keystone Dining Room, Nature’s Cove and Wildcat Express will open at 9:30 a.m. Bookmarks Café and Fresh will open at 10 a.m. CC Commons and Penn Central will open at 11 a.m., and Fuel will open at noon.

If there is a three-hour delay, Capitol Eatery will open at 9:30 a.m.; Wildcat Express will open at 10 a.m.; Keystone Dining Room and Nature’s Cove will open at 10:30 a.m.; Bookmarks Café, CC Commons, Fresh and Penn Central will open at 11 a.m.; and Fuel will open at noon.

If the college has an early dismissal, Bookmarks Cafe, CC Commons, Fresh, Keystone Dining Room, Nature’s Cove and Penn Central will close with the college. Capitol Eatery, Fuel and Wildcat Express will follow the closure schedule as noted above.

*during closure days, dining units will be running limited menus.

Delayed Starts
The college normally opens at 8 a.m. A “delayed start” means that all classes, office operations, and other activities that normally start and stop before the delayed start time are canceled. Students and staff resume their normal schedule at the start time, missing whatever activities had been planned prior to the delayed start.

For example, if it is announced that the college is on a two-hour delay, staff and students should report beginning at 10 a.m. and follow their normal schedule from 10 a.m. through the remainder of the day. For example, 9:30 a.m. classes resume at 10 a.m. or when the college opens.

If you cannot report at the regular or announced start time due to a weather-related problem, notify your supervisor or a faculty member as soon as possible. Employees should communicate early with their supervisors and determine if emergency leave time can be granted for their absence.

Employee questions may be raised with the Human Resources Office (ext. 2244). Student questions may be raised with a faculty member or school dean.

Always be safe; make sound decisions about traveling in poor weather conditions.

Allowing Time for Plowing
When the college announces a snow-delayed start, it generally is in response to the need for additional time to prepare the lots for parking. Employees are requested to report for work at a time near the announced opening hour.

Employees who report early and park on college lots may interfere with snow removal or prevent a second cleanup, when necessary.

Some employee groups (Penn College Police, General Services and Dining Services) have normal reporting times that are not impacted by snow delays. Please plan your arrival time to allow for plowing.