Shawnee State’s Response to COVID-19

The global COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving with the Governor and Ohio Department of Health estimating that the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ohio will likely peak between late April and mid-May.

Shawnee State University is working closely with Portsmouth City Health Department, Ohio Department of Health, regional Emergency Management Agency, local medical providers, and public universities in Ohio. The health and safety of our campus community is our top priority.

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Here are the measures we are taking to protect our community, while ensuring the continued academic progress of each student:

University Operations

Shawnee State has moved to remote instruction and remote work for the remainder of the semester. No face-to-face classes, labs, or clinical experiences will be held.

Limited areas and services remain open on campus:

SSU Health Clinic

The SSU Health Clinic will be open from 10 am to 3 pm, Monday–Friday, for students who need medical treatment. Anyone with flu-like symptoms should call ahead ((740) 351-4362) to make arrangements to be seen. Anyone experiencing life-threatening symptoms should call 911.

Housing Units

Several units remain open for students who need to stay on campus. Contact Housing & Residence Life if you have questions or need assistance.

Massie Hall

This building will be open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday–Friday for students who need access to the Student Success Center. A limited number of computers will be made available, with proper physical distance between each. We strongly recommend that students who have access to a computer and WIFI at home do not come to campus.

Morris University Center

Daily Hours of Operation
11 am–6 pm

Based on usage of the facility and services, we are adjusting our weekday hours of operation in the Morris University Center to 11 am–6 pm, beginning Wednesday, April 1. Students using the facilities are urged to practice physical distancing.

Bear’s Den

Take-out meals are available:

Every Day
Brunch: 11 am–1 pm
Dinner: 4 pm–6 pm

Bear Necessities Pantry

11 am–2 pm

The Pantry will be open Monday through Friday, 11–2, for all current students for the rest of the semester. Tiffany Hartman will be in the office during these times to assess student and Pantry needs. Donations accepted in the baskets in front of University Center 221.

Student Business Center

Beginning Thursday, March 19, the Student Business Center (SBC) will begin remote services.

All face-to-face services and walk-in traffic will discontinue. For convenience, we are providing a drop box at the side of the doors of the Student Business Center for students who need to physically drop off forms, paperwork, etc. for processing.

Limited staff will be working daily in the SBC, Bursar, Financial Aid, and Registrar’s Office and will be available by phone and email.

Learn more about remote operations in the SBC

Other Departments and Services

Most departments and units have “moved to the cloud.” Shawnee State remains open with many employees working remotely. Department phones and emails will be answered and meetings are being held online.

Academic Programming

Summer Classes and Updates

We have made decisions about our summer “make-up” session for students with required face-to-face clinical hours tied to licensure and for all students registering for summer courses. We anticipate that COVID-19 pandemic restrictions will continue to impact our ability to return to normal operations by the beginning of summer session on May 11, 2020.

With that in mind, and to help you and your families plan, below are our plans for Summer:

Completion of Spring Semester 2020 Clinicals Tentatively Scheduled for June 1-19

Spring semester clinical/preceptor hours will be delivered in a compressed time frame. Tentatively, SSU will offer these hours in a “mini-session” beginning June 1, 2020 through June 19, 2020. This will, of course, depend on ODH guidelines at that time and availability of clinical sites.

Summer Semester 2020 Online

Most summer semester 2020 courses will be online, including additional General Education (GEP) courses to help students stay on track.

Registration for Summer and Fall Semesters

As previously announced, we have moved registration dates for Summer/Fall semesters. Seniors may begin registering on April 6; Juniors on April 7; Sophomores on April 8; and Freshmen on April 9. Open Registration for Summer and Fall begins April 10.

All Classes Have Moved Online

All face-to-face courses at Shawnee State are being taught remotely in an online format for the remainder of the semester.

Online Learning Resources

All face-to-face laboratories, internships, and clinical experiences are canceled with no exceptions.

Provisions are being made for a special summer session for students to make-up clinicals and labs tied to licensing that cannot be delivered online. Examples are labs tied to health profession degrees and requirements for student teaching. 

Helping students progress in their academic degrees and graduate remains our highest mission.

Student Success Center

The Student Success Center is serving as a key resource to students during the transition to remote instruction. Students may email or call (740) 351-4319. The service is staffed from 8 am to 9 pm Monday through Friday.


Tutoring and advising services for students will be provided remotely by the Student Success Center.

Library Services

Library services, including research assistance, will continue remotely.

The Clark Memorial Library and Bear Cave are physically closed and all services have "moved to the cloud." The library staff is committed to supporting teaching, learning and student success. Virtual services will be available to students and faculty throughout the remainder of the semester. (Text 740) 313-4333; Email; or Chat by following the link at Virtual research appointments may be made online.

Events & Public Gatherings

Campus Events

All campus events for March and April have been canceled or postponed. Ticket refunds and exchanges are available for Vern Riffe Center events. Call the McKinley Box Office at (740) 351-3600.


Spring 2020 Commencement Plans

Travel Guidelines

University-sponsored Travel

All university-sponsored travel, whether domestic or international, is prohibited through the end of the semester.

Study Abroad

Study abroad programs are suspended and SSU is arranging for participating students to return to the United States.

Non-university Travel

Staff, faculty and students are requested to report their non-university travel outside the immediate area to

Follow CDC travel advisories.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have offered clear definitions. 

What should I do to stay healthy?

Stay healthy by practicing good health habits to prevent the spread of any sickness — especially the flu. The CDC advises there is no need to wear a mask unless you need to avoid spreading your own respiratory illness to others, or are caring for someone with COVID-19. 

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water. View the CDC guidelines on hand washing.
  2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and practice social distancing - staying 6ft away from others.
  3. Stay home when you are sick.
  4. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at home, work and school.
  6. Practice other good health habits — get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat right.