LANCASTER, Pa. — What were once empty college hallways and classrooms will now be replaced with students filling in seats for in person learning.
The Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences is allowing students from health programs like nursing, surgical, and respiratory care to get the hands on experience they’ve been missing out on.
“Having the time to practice in the labs with our healthcare professionals really builds their skills and confidence. So, it’s important to bring them back so they can put into practice what they’ve learned," said Dr. Erika Wilkinson, a Strategic Enrollment Management at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.
Students are not required to show proof of vaccination, but they will be screened when entering through the designated entrance as well as having to wear a mask at all times.
They are also only allowed to be on campus 30 minutes before class starts and must leave soon after it ends.
"To have them back on campus brings energy and excitement for all of us to work here at the college. So, I know the students are excited to come back, but I think our faculty and staff are just as excited about sort of returning to that sense of normalcy and being together," said Dr. Wilkinson.
The college can have up to 1,300 students coming through the building through the spring semester with the largest classroom being able to hold up to 42 students.
One of those students getting hands on experience is Hannah Holderer, who transferred to The Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences in January.
"This is really my first experience here at the campus," said Holderer, a Junior studying Nursing.
Hannah says that now that’s she’s back on campus, she’s looking forward to being able to have a normal college experience.
"I can’t wait to be in the midst of that experience and just rejoicing on the moments that we’ll have together you know as professor-student, student-student," said Holderer.
And as more colleges and universities start to welcome back students, the question becomes whether they will require students to be vaccinated.
FOX43 reached out to other colleges and universities to see if they would require students to be vaccinated. Here's what some of them said:
"We have not determined that at this point."
"We have not made a decision about students. We are not mandating vaccines for employees."
Lebanon Valley College
"We are strongly encouraging students to get vaccinated, but as of this time, we are not requiring it. We continue to monitor the situation."
Franklin & Marshall College
"As you know, every college will have to make a decision regarding whether to require the vaccine for in-residence students in the fall. Franklin & Marshall is aware that a few institutions have made this decision, but we are not yet at the stage. We want to see more about how the vaccine roll out process proceeds."
"At this time, Messiah does not plan to make this vaccination mandatory for students or employees during the spring 2021 semester.
"Dickinson has not yet discussed it."
Penn State University
"For now, we are strongly encouraging everyone in our community to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible and a dose is available. We are continuing to monitor developments and vaccine availability carefully and may alter our approach in the future if it is determined to be in the best interest of our community or called for by public policy."
York College of Pennsylvania
"Decisions regarding vaccinations for the Fall 2021 return to campus have not yet been made. We are currently looking into all aspects of such a decision."
"At this time, the State System (PASSHE) has told us we cannot require the vaccine for faculty, staff or students."