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Hilltop READY

Hilltop READY Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Hilltop READY plan was created to provide the safest possible environment for our students to return to campus and stay on track to Graduate READY. Use the categories below to find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. Not seeing what you are looking for? Email your question to info@ic.edu and continue to check back as topics are updated daily.

NEW & UPDATEDWelcoming New Students | General Questions | Teaching and Learning | Academic Calendar | Move-In Policies | Residential Life | Travel/Off-Campus Policies | Dining | Athletics & Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center | Student Involvement | Safety, Health and Wellbeing | Fees and Cost


New & Updated

[ UPDATED ] Student travel outside of Jacksonville
  • The College is strongly discouraging travel outside of Jacksonville during the semester in order to limit the possibility of students being exposed to COVID-19, both to protect themselves and out of concern for the health and safety of the entire campus. 

  • Students who have reason to travel outside of Jacksonville should contact Dr. Jennie Hemingway, Associate Dean of Student Success for travel notification and determination if quarantine will be required before returning to campus.

[ NEW ] If Illinois College has to move to a remote learning environment due to COVID-19 at some point during the fall semester, will I receive any refund of my room and board fees?

Yes, Illinois College will offer refunds for room and board only to students who qualify if courses are moved to a remote format before Nov. 8, 2020. Refunds will be prorated on a graduated scale based on the date that you complete the check-out process with the Office of Residential Life to document your official move-out date. 

Because a room and board refund will decrease your Cost of Attendance, IC will reduce your refund proportionately to the percentage of your institutional (IC) aid. For example, if your financial aid covers 40% of the Cost of Attendance your refund eligibility will be reduced by 40%. 

[ UPDATED ] What happens if I test positive for coronavirus?

Once a test is confirmed as COVID-19 positive, the individual will be isolated either at their home residence or at a designated isolation room on campus until meeting the requirements for recovery. If your  home residence is located within a four-hour radius from campus, you will be asked to quarantine at home. You should develop a plan with your family members prior to moving on campus. The plan should designate which family member or friend will drive you from campus to your home. If your family member/friend is not your emergency contact, you will need to supply the contact information to the College prior to move in.

[ UPDATED ] Will there be a place on campus where students can isolate if they test positive?

Yes. We have designated isolation rooms for those who do not have a home residence located within a four-hour radius from campus. If you are required to isolate on campus, meals will be provided by Chartwells. If you do not have a meal plan, you will be charged for the meals provided. If Chartwells is not in operation during the period of your quarantine, College staff will work with you to order groceries at your cost and have them delivered to you. Students are not permitted to leave the quarantine/isolation location or allow anyone to enter. College staff will pick up/deliver laundry and assist with other needs. 

[ UPDATED ] Do I have to go home if I test positive for COVID-19?

If possible, yes. Best practice suggests one will be better monitored and recover quicker in one’s home environment. If your  home residence is located within a four-hour radius from campus, you will be asked to quarantine at home. You should develop a plan with your family members prior to moving on campus. The plan should designate which family member or friend will drive you from campus to your home. If your family member/friend is not your emergency contact, you will need to supply the contact information to the College prior to move in. 

[ NEW ] If I decide to take a semester off this fall will I have to repay my student loans?

Maybe. You must be enrolled at least halt-time to stay in deferment on your student loans; otherwise, you will use your grace period. The grace period is six months for the Federal Direct Loans and nine months for the Federal Perkins Loan. Once your grace period ends you will be required to make monthly payments on your loan until you are re-enrolled at least half-time. Contact the Office of Student Financial Services sfs@ic.edu or 217.245.3035 to discuss your circumstances. 

[ NEW ] If I decide to take a semester off this fall will I lose my financial aid?

Returning students who leave Illinois College in good standing are generally allowed to reinstate their Illinois College scholarships and grants upon their return. New students should discuss their options with their admission counselor. Any state or federal grants, loans, or work-study will depend on your eligibility as determined by your FAFSA.

[ UPDATED ] Will fall varsity sports teams be allowed to compete?
  • On August 21, the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference President's Council announced that it will suspend fall sport athletic contests, competitions, scrimmages and other shared athletic activities with outside competition of any classification or nature through the remainder of 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns.
    • Men's and women's golf at IC competes within the SLIAC and will suspend all competition for the fall. IC will consider other athletic activities on campus not suspended in the decision by SLIAC.
    • The SLIAC President's Council cited new guidance from the NCAA and a concern for the safety of the student-athletes, coaches, athletic personnel and campuses in general as the reason for its decision.
  • On July 27, the Midwest Conference (MWC) Presidents’ Council announced that it has voted to suspend all league competition for the fall and winter sports through Dec. 31.
    • This decision suspended the fall season of football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, women’s and men’s cross country, and women’s tennis at IC. It also delayed the start of competitive seasons for basketball, swimming, and indoor track and field  to January. Golf competes in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and was not impacted by the MWC suspension. From the MWC statement:
    • “The Midwest Conference announced today that it will suspend league competition  through December 31. The  presidents of the ten member institutions made the decision in coordination with representative athletic directors in order to protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administration, their families, and broader campus and local communities. 
    • The Midwest Conference remains focused on providing meaningful experiences for all student athletes in 2020-2021. Member institutions are committed to providing engaging and significant team experiences for their student-athletes, which could include opportunities for practice, small-group training, skill development and/or strength & conditioning. Engagement in limited non-conference competition remains at the discretion of individual institutions.
    • The MWC will continue to monitor those factors impacting the decision for suspension of the fall and winter sport seasons, and take action to resume athletic competition when it is deemed safe to do so.”
[ NEW ] Will teams hold practice on campus in the fall?

Per the MWC release on July 27:

  • “Individual return-to-play protocols will be in place at each member institution to allow for meaningful team experiences for their student-athletes, which could include opportunity for non-conference competition, practice, small-group training, skill development, and/or strength & conditioning within the parameters of federal, state, institutional, conference and NCAA guidance.”

Illinois College is exploring opportunities for practice and development through the fall. IC will follow the Sport Science Institute’s Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport.

[ NEW ] What restrictions will teams face during practices?

Illinois College is working with the local health department on testing options that could be implemented should practices and competitions resume. IC will follow the Sport Science Institute’s Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport.

[ NEW ] Will I be able to move in early as student-athletes typically do?

Student-athletes will not be moving in early this fall. Your move in date will be with the rest of the student population dependent on if you are a new or returning student. Residential life will be in contact with your move-in date and time in early August. 

[ NEW ] Will practicing affect my NCAA eligibility?

No. For Division III student-athletes, participation in workouts, meetings or practices in their usual season during the fall term will not trigger the use of a season of participation. 

Additionally, the NCAA recently issued a blanket waiver that states that Division III student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50 percent or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCAA also issued a blanket statement stating that a student-athlete will receive a two term extension of eligibility (towards their 10-semester/15-quarter total) if they are unable to participate due to COVID-19 or if their team completes 50% of less of that sport's maximum contests/dates of competition. Visit the NCAA website for the full announcement.

It is important to note that a student-athlete must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester or quarter hours, regardless of institutional definition of what it means to be full-time, to be eligible to practice or compete in DIII athletics.

[ NEW ] When will decisions be made about MWC winter and spring sports competition?

The MWC remains committed as a conference and as individual institutions to building an academic and athletic experience for our student-athletes that is as safe and robust as possible. This could include the opportunity for competition among Midwest Conference institutions in the spring; decisions about what intercollegiate competition looks like after December 31 remain under consideration. 

[ UPDATED ] How will students be notified if someone on campus tests positive for COVID-19?

In the event someone tests positive for COVID-19 in the future, the College will communicate this change of status to the campus community via the Campus COVID-19 Dashboard.

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Welcoming New Students

Are there any orientations at the start of the year for new students? What is the schedule of events?

A full slate of Welcome Week activities will begin the afternoon of Thursday, August 20 for first-year students. Transfer students will begin their Welcome Week activities on Sunday, August 23. A wide range of events are scheduled to help you connect with other new students, explore campus, and settle into the IC community. You will meet with your Seminar and get to know the team of faculty, staff, and student leaders who will continue to support your transition to campus. 

Welcome Week activities will observe social distancing guidelines, all in service to helping you make a smooth transition to IC and forge connections with other students, faculty, and staff.

Students and families will receive information about how to access the Welcome Week schedule on the mobile IC app.

I’m a new student and don’t yet know my way around campus. How will I find my classes?

Each new student will be assigned an Involvement Leader to help them during Welcome Week and beyond. One of the goals of Welcome Week is to help you learn your way around campus and start to make the Hilltop your home. Involvement Leaders will offer “Find Your Classes” tours of campus before classes begin.

Will IC staff be able to help me move in?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to assist students by physically carrying items during the move-in process as has been our tradition during Welcome Week. Staff members will be present to direct traffic and answer any questions you may have concerning the process.

When will I hear about my room assignment? 

We hope to have your room assignment ready by the end of July. This is a little bit later than we anticipated because we have made changes to different residence halls and added new residential options for this fall to enhance safety.  Thank you for your patience as we work to complete your assignment. 

I want to get involved on campus. How can I learn more about clubs and organizations?

The Center for Student Involvement or CSI wants you to find ways to get involved that are meaningful and focused on learning (and fun!). We want you to think intentionally about how you spend your time – and don’t want you over committing yourself. Take a look at our current student organization list. A student organization  involvement showcase will take place early in the semester virtually and in-person through social distancing in small groups. All of the student organizations will share their purpose and plans (through videos and table displays) so you are able to make informed decisions about the different groups you want to explore.

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General

How will students and parents receive news updates from the College concerning the Hilltop READY plan?

This website will be updated regularly as new information is available and FAQs will be flagged as “Updated.”  Important information will be sent via email from President Farley to students’ IC email address. Messages may also be shared with parents who have a valid email on file with the College. Any message that is emailed to students and parents will be available (with a link to the Spanish translation) in the Hilltop READY Updates section. Check your spam folder if you have not received a message. 

Will the use of face masks be mandatory for faculty, staff and students?

Yes, all Illinois College community members will be expected to wear a mask over their nose, mouth and chin in accordance with the CDC recommendation and the Restore Illinois guidelines. As members of the Illinois College community we have a responsibility to each other and the Community of Care agreement calls students, faculty and staff  to commit to wearing face coverings in all common areas and outside when maintaining a distance of six feet is not possible. Students will not be required to wear a mask in their residence hall room. 

Will masks be provided by IC?

Each student will receive two reusable cloth masks provided by Illinois College upon arriving on campus. Masks should be washed daily and students are encouraged to bring additional masks to maintain good hygiene. Additional masks will be available for purchase at the IC Store. 

Illinois College facemask

What if I have a health condition that prevents me from wearing a mask? 

Students who have a health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask should contact Liz Hommowun, disability services coordinator at academic.excellence@ic.edu, about documentation procedures. Emails and inquiries will be responded to within the first week of August.

Will I be required to take a COVID-19 test before returning to campus? 

Per CDC recommendations, Illinois College does not plan to require testing of  students, staff or faculty before returning to campus.You should be social distancing, following hand-hygiene recommendations, wearing a mask, and taking all necessary precautions, particularly in the 14 days leading up to your move to campus. You should also be monitoring your temperature and assessing for symptoms daily. Once on campus, all students, faculty and staff will need to complete a daily health check online.

Will I be required to monitor my temperature daily?

Students, faculty and staff will be required to take their temperature daily and check for other COVID-19 symptoms daily and report them using a mobile app that will be launched by IC in August. Plan to bring a thermometer to campus.

Will gloves be required?

No. Neither the CDC or Restore Illinois guidelines currently recommend gloves.

How long will community expectations such as social distancing and masks stay in place? 

It is unclear how long the global pandemic will continue. Illinois College will continue to monitor guidance from national, state and local authorities.

How will campus expectations be enforced? 

Every member of the IC community — staff, faculty and students — is responsible for wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and practicing safe hygiene practices. We must also respectfully hold one another accountable for following these community guidelines. Concerns over cases in which an individual shows no interest in caring for the health of our community or in following the Community of Care Agreement should be directed to Jennie Hemingway, associate dean of student success.

What kinds of violations to IC’s Community of Care Agreement would warrant making a report to the College?
  • Behavior that clearly and willfully disregards the Community of Care Agreement and the health of fellow community members. For example, refusing to put on a mask before entering a community space/classroom or hosting/attending a social event that exceeds the number of permissible students.
  • Any acts of aggression/intimidation towards individuals who are following the Community of Care Agreement or encouraging others to do so.
With everything going on right now, I am considering staying home this fall. What are the advantages of still coming to campus?

The Graduate READY guarantee is more than a list of classes, it’s a full slate of support services to ensure your success, it is the opportunity to develop the skills employers are looking for in and out of the classroom, it’s expert faculty who are fully focused on your learning and staff who walk you through each step of the process. Whether in person or online, Illinois College will provide you with unwavering support and attention to help you reach your goals.

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Teaching and Learning

Will changes made due to COVID-19 affect the quality of education I receive at Illinois College?

IC faculty are committed to providing an excellent educational experience that will help you Graduate READY to take on new challenges. We will continue to offer a personalized education that prioritizes student-faculty interaction. You should expect to be challenged academically and supported in your learning by faculty and staff, all of whom are working on developing additional tools to help you master your course material.

What percentage of my courses will be online and what percentage should I expect to be in-person in the classroom?

This depends on what classes you are taking. Very few classes will be offered entirely online; almost all will have some face-to-face meetings. 

Some classes will meet face-to-face in larger spaces to allow for social distancing.

Other classes will be using a hybrid model, with face-to-face meetings supplemented by online elements (e.g. discussion forums, recorded lectures, and other resources)/

Will it be possible to take a lab science course this fall? 

Yes. Most lab sections will be half size to balance personal attention from your instructor and physical distancing. The exact time of your lab may be different from when you registered for courses.  You will receive updated information from the Registrar’s Office.

When will I be able to pick-up my fall semester textbooks?

Students will receive information about textbook distribution in mid-August.

Do I have the option to take my classes fully online if I prefer? 

A limited number of courses will be available fully online. The Office of the Registrar can help you to identify if there are courses available online that are appropriate for you. However, Illinois College is not going fully online in the fall, unlike some other institutions.

Will I be able to complete student teaching this fall?

The Education Department has not yet finalized placements for student teachers  because local districts have not yet finalized their plans. Students should contact Professor Bridget English in the Education Department for updated information at bridget.english@ic.edu

Who should I contact with questions about clinical nursing placements?

Nursing students should contact Dr. Pam Brown at pamela.brown@ic.edu 

What will happen in my class if my professor tests positive for COVID-19 or believes she/he has been exposed to the virus?

Faculty have been developing course materials that allow for flexibilty if they or their students need to be out of the classroom for a period of time. 

Will class schedules and locations change? 

In most cases, classes are being moved to meet in larger spaces for safety.  We are working hard to minimize the number of classes with time changes. We anticipate finalizing student class schedules in early August.  It is likely that course locations and times will be different than what is currently posted on Connect2. Please review the master schedule in advance of the first day of classes to confirm the meeting location.

Can I meet with my professors face-to-face outside of class?

Yes, although these meetings may not take place in faculty offices if the office is not large enough to accommodate the student and the faculty member while maintaining proper social distancing. In this case, meetings will take place in another location.  You can also meet with faculty by Zoom or other remote technology.

In addition to meeting with my professors, what resources will be available to support my success?

We will continue to offer the robust academic support services that are a hallmark of an Illinois College education. Tutoring, supplemental instruction, academic coaching, counseling, etc. will continue. If you need additional assistance in your courses, you should contact your academic coach directly. If you are unsure which academic coach to contact email academic.excellence@ic.edu.

Will Schewe Library be open?

Yes. The library will be open, but with physical changes that allow for social distancing.

Will study areas on campus be open? Will I need to reserve the space in advance?

Study areas will be open and you will not need to reserve them in advance.  There will be limits on the number of students who can use these spaces at the same time.

How will I participate in Convocations this fall?

Due to limitations on gathering size, all convocations will be offered virtually this semester. Students will access links to live discussions or recordings of talks, panels, and performances through a Virtual Convocations Moodle page. Some may be available for smaller, in-person audiences but all will be made available remotely. 

Will community engagement still be expected in some courses?

Many traditional community engagement projects will be changed to allow remote participation. Some projects, assuming social distancing guidelines can be maintained, may be able to continue using an in-person model. 

Will returning students attend online classes during/before the move-in process has started? 

Yes, the first week of classes for many students will be done remotely, to allow for a staggered move-in process. Online modules for the first week of classes will allow maximum flexibility for students to start coursework remotely for those courses that are not reserved for new students. 

Will the grading policy for credit/no credit change? 

No. Exceptions were made to the grading policies for Spring 2020 but grading policies will return to normal for Fall 2020. 

Is the College prepared to transition to remote learning if required by state or local authorities?

Yes. Faculty and staff will be prepared to transition to a remote learning environment if required by a change in circumstances in the State or local area related to COVID-19.

What will the typical classroom look like this fall?

The maximum number of students in a classroom is determined by the size of the space. All classrooms have been rearranged to ensure that students can maintain the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing. This generally means that classroom capacity is less than 50% of the usual capacity. 

Desks are being set six feet apart and extra furniture will be removed (see some examples below). Some spaces not traditionally used for classes (such as Rammelkamp Chapel) will be used for large classes. Some classrooms that are too small to hold a class with socially- distanced students will be used as meeting and study rooms. 

There will be disinfecting wipe dispensers in all classrooms and study spaces.  
 

Baxter Hall classroom space

Kirby Learning Center classroom space

Sturtevant Hall classroom space

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Academic Calendar

What is the academic calendar for fall semester?

Details on the fall semester calendar can be found on the Academic Calendar

Will there be a fall break in October?

No, the typical, long-weekend break in October has been replaced with a full week break at Thanksgiving.This change will reduce the number of people leaving and returning to campus in the middle of the term. 

Are any changes planned for the spring semester calendar?

At this time, the spring term will begin January 19, 2021, as scheduled. Changes may be made to the spring semester calendar in the future based on guidance from local, state and federal authorities.

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Move-In Procedures

What residential move-in policies and procedures are in place to allow for physical distancing during the check-in process?

In order to stagger the number of students moving into the same area at the same time, residents will be assigned a specific date and time to move into their residential space. These assignments will be based on early arrival status (fall sports, new students, returning students, etc.), and then based on the number of students moving into a particular building on the same day.  Students will not have the option to move-in earlier than their assigned date and time. Students who need to request special accommodations for move-in should contact the Office of Residential Life. 

Assigned move-in dates and times will be sent to students by early August.  Residents will be limited to having two guests assist them on move-in day. Hallways, stairways, and elevators will have signage that provides directions on the flow of foot-traffic to prevent crowding and to provide for physical distancing. 

All students and guests must wear a mask during the move-in process as part of IC’s commitment to our Community of Care responsibilities.

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Residential Life

Is there a possibility my housing assignment could change?

Yes, to help protect residential students amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made changes to several residence halls and added new residential options. Students whose room assignments are directly impacted will be contacted by the Office of Residential Life.

Will I have to wear my mask in my residence hall?

As members of the Community of Care, students will commit to wearing masks in common spaces, which include lobbies, hallways, lounges, laundry and study rooms. You will not have to wear a mask in your own room, suite or apartment. 

Will students be able to have guests in their rooms this fall?
  • Out of an abundance of caution, while students are moving to campus from their home communities, and to limit unnecessary exposure, students will not be able to have any guests in their residence hall rooms, houses, or apartments until the completion of the third week of fall semester classes, or September 12. This is an expectation for all students, regardless of their move-in date. For example, a fall student-athlete moving in the second week of August will still not be able to have other students in their room until a change to residential guest policy is announced.
  • An exception to this expectation will only be made during the move-in period, when students will be permitted to have two additional persons assist with their move-in and room setup. All students and guests must follow the College’s Commitment to Care, including the wearing of masks.
  • The in-room guest policy will be reviewed on a continual process throughout the fall semester. 
Will non-IC students and family be permitted in campus residence halls after move-in?

No. For the entire fall semester, non-IC-students will not be permitted in the campus residence halls or in College-managed residential facilities.

Are single rooms available in the residence halls?

The College has increased the number of single rooms that will be available this fall. Single room requests will be filled based on availability. You can make your request by filling out the single room request form on Connect2.

Is there enough space in IC’s residential halls to accommodate requests for housing?

Yes. The College has increased residential capacity to meet all requests for campus-owned housing.

Will students be allowed to stay on campus during Thanksgiving week, end of fall semester, and the extended winter break? 

Yes. The College plans to remain open during this time period.

Would students be able to stay on campus if the College were required by the state or local authorities to move to an online format during the semester?

Yes. The College plans to keep residence halls open if state or local authorities require a transition to online learning.

Will there be gatherings/activities within the residence halls?

There may be some small gatherings in the residence halls by floor, but there will not be any large all-hall gatherings held inside this fall. Residential Life activities will be reimagined for the fall term.

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Travel/Off-Campus Policies

[ UPDATED ] Student travel outside of Jacksonville
  • The College is strongly discouraging travel outside of Jacksonville during the semester in order to limit the possibility of students being exposed to COVID-19, both to protect themselves and out of concern for the health and safety of the entire campus. 

  • Students who have reason to travel outside of Jacksonville should contact Dr. Jennie Hemingway, Associate Dean of Student Success for travel notification and determination if quarantine will be required before returning to campus.

Will there be any College-sponsored travel for students during fall semester?

All College-sponsored travel must be approved by the President or Provost and Dean of the College.

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Dining

Can I gather with other students in the dining hall (Cafe)? Will Starbucks and Mondos be open?

Service will continue at all three food service locations. In response to social distancing and seating limitations more grab-and-go items will be available.  Seating will be limited in the dining room, permitting only two people per table with the tables distanced from each other. If all seating is full, students will need to take their food to eat elsewhere on campus. 
        
Additional information about campus dining and hours will be available in August.

Do I have to wear my mask when entering the food service locations?

Yes. Everyone is required to wear a mask when entering the Cafe, Mondo’s, or Starbucks and when getting food. Once you sit down to eat, you can remove your mask.  When you leave the location, you will put your mask back on to throw out your trash and exit the area.

What safety practices will be put in place for on-campus food service?

Chartwells will implement food safety and cleaning protocols at all three food service locations on campus (the Cafe, Mondos and Honest Abe Coffee/Starucks) as determined by the food industry’s regulatory bodies, corporate policies, the CDC and the Restore Illinois Plan.

In response to social distancing and seating limitations more grab-and-go items will be available and self-service stations will not be available. One-way traffic flow will be implemented in all eating locations to prevent individuals from passing or congregating. For example, students will enter Cummings (the main dining room) through the east entrance (from the fireside lounge area in Caine) and will exit the dining room through the west exit by the dish drop off. Tables will be sanitized by staff prior to use by the next diners. 

Can I choose to opt out of the College’s meal plan?

All residential students who live in campus-sponsored housing are required to be on a full meal plan, except for those living in apartments or campus houses. The residence halls are not set up to allow for students to cook their meals. Students living in the apartments or the college houses can waive their meal plan; these students are also eligible for the 75 meal-block plan if they want the convenience of eating some meals or buying coffee on campus. 

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Athletics & Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center

[ UPDATED ] Will fall varsity sports teams be allowed to compete?
  • On August 21, the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference President's Council announced that it will suspend fall sport athletic contests, competitions, scrimmages and other shared athletic activities with outside competition of any classification or nature through the remainder of 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns.
    • Men's and women's golf at IC competes within the SLIAC and will suspend all competition for the fall. IC will consider other athletic activities on campus not suspended in the decision by SLIAC.
    • The SLIAC President's Council cited new guidance from the NCAA and a concern for the safety of the student-athletes, coaches, athletic personnel and campuses in general as the reason for its decision.
  • On July 27, the Midwest Conference (MWC) Presidents’ Council announced that it has voted to suspend all league competition for the fall and winter sports through Dec. 31.
    • This decision suspended the fall season of football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, women’s and men’s cross country, and women’s tennis at IC. It also delayed the start of competitive seasons for basketball, swimming, and indoor track and field  to January. Golf competes in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and was not impacted by the MWC suspension. From the MWC statement:
    • “The Midwest Conference announced today that it will suspend league competition  through December 31. The  presidents of the ten member institutions made the decision in coordination with representative athletic directors in order to protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administration, their families, and broader campus and local communities. 
    • The Midwest Conference remains focused on providing meaningful experiences for all student athletes in 2020-2021. Member institutions are committed to providing engaging and significant team experiences for their student-athletes, which could include opportunities for practice, small-group training, skill development and/or strength & conditioning. Engagement in limited non-conference competition remains at the discretion of individual institutions.
    • The MWC will continue to monitor those factors impacting the decision for suspension of the fall and winter sport seasons, and take action to resume athletic competition when it is deemed safe to do so.”
[ NEW ] Will teams hold practice on campus in the fall?

Per the MWC release on July 27:

  • “Individual return-to-play protocols will be in place at each member institution to allow for meaningful team experiences for their student-athletes, which could include opportunity for non-conference competition, practice, small-group training, skill development, and/or strength & conditioning within the parameters of federal, state, institutional, conference and NCAA guidance.”

Illinois College is exploring opportunities for practice and development through the fall. IC will follow the Sport Science Institute’s Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport.

[ NEW ] What restrictions will teams face during practices?

Illinois College is working with the local health department on testing options that could be implemented should practices and competitions resume. IC will follow the Sport Science Institute’s Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport.

[ NEW ] Will I be able to move in early as student-athletes typically do?

Student-athletes will not be moving in early this fall. Your move in date will be with the rest of the student population dependent on if you are a new or returning student. Residential life will be in contact with your move-in date and time in early August. 

[ NEW ] Will practicing affect my NCAA eligibility?

No. For Division III student-athletes, participation in workouts, meetings or practices in their usual season during the fall term will not trigger the use of a season of participation. 

Additionally, the NCAA recently issued a blanket waiver that states that Division III student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50 percent or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCAA also issued a blanket statement stating that a student-athlete will receive a two term extension of eligibility (towards their 10-semester/15-quarter total) if they are unable to participate due to COVID-19 or if their team completes 50% of less of that sport's maximum contests/dates of competition. Visit the NCAA website for the full announcement.

It is important to note that a student-athlete must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester or quarter hours, regardless of institutional definition of what it means to be full-time, to be eligible to practice or compete in DIII athletics.

[ NEW ] When will decisions be made about MWC winter and spring sports competition?

The MWC remains committed as a conference and as individual institutions to building an academic and athletic experience for our student-athletes that is as safe and robust as possible. This could include the opportunity for competition among Midwest Conference institutions in the spring; decisions about what intercollegiate competition looks like after December 31 remain under consideration. 

What steps will be taken to protect the health and safety of student-athletes?

The MWC is developing a common set of criteria for the screening and monitoring of COVID-19 that align with protocol established by the NCAA in guidance titled, “Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition.”

Will Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center be open this fall? 

Yes. Bruner will be open to the campus community. Masks will be required in the public areas of the building and in other designated areas. 

The weight room and fitness centers will have shortened hours to allow blocks of cleaning time in high-traffic areas. Each area will have a maximum number of students allowed at a time. Identified pieces of equipment will not be used to ensure social distancing in those spaces. 

How will equipment be sanitized after use and throughout the day?

The weight room and fitness centers will be closed throughout the day for one hour time slots to fog each space with sanitizer. Disinfecting wipes will be available in each room and users are required to wipe down equipment after each use.

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Student Involvement

Are student activities and events planned for this fall?

Beyond the focus on academics, one of the best parts of an Illinois College education is all of the ways students can get involved with life outside of the classroom. The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) will continue to plan campus-wide events and uphold campus traditions like “On Fridays We Wear Blue”, Involvement Fair and more. The events will be reimagined in light of the pandemic, but our school spirit and involvement will remain. 

Will I still be able to participate in student organizations?
  • Absolutely! All student organization leaders go through a leadership training each semester, and this  fall the  training will have a special focus on how to safely plan small-group meetings and how to schedule and run Zoom meetings for larger events. 
  • Literary Societies will hold literary productions through Zoom this fall to allow all to enjoy the productions and uphold the Community of Care Agreement.
  • The Center for Student Involvement wants you to find ways to get involved that are meaningful and focused on learning (and fun!). We want you to think intentionally about how you spend your time – and don’t want you over committing yourself. Take a look at our current student organization list.
  • A student organization involvement showcase will offer information  virtually and in-person through social distancing in small groups. All of the student organizations will share their purpose and plans (through videos and table displays) so students are able to make informed decisions about the different groups they want to explore.
Will choirs and ensembles still take place in the fall? Will there be performances?

Yes, with modifications. Bands will rehearse outside and have a shortened rehearsal season, ending around mid-October. Choirs will be divided into smaller groups and rehearse with masks and socially distanced, in very large spaces such as Rammelkamp Chapel. Some performances will be live, held outdoors. Others will be recorded, streamed live, or digitally created such as a “virtual choir.”

Will theatre performances take place in the fall?

Yes, with modifications. IC’s fall production, “The Tempest,” is scheduled for the end of September, and student-directed one acts will be performed November 18-19. Monthly improv shows will also be performed. A final decision has not been made about the format performances will take — some may be virtual (recorded or live streamed) and/or live with a limited audience. The theatre program has secured face shields for all actors in rehearsal, and is planning to move forward with the same kinds of performances as in the past while adjusting the formats as necessary. Alternative performance platforms will be used if needed. 

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Safety, Health and Wellbeing

What guidance is Illinois College following in determining safety and health-related protocols for the fall semester?

Illinois College continues to carefully monitor evolving local, state and federal guidance regarding mitigation procedures and action steps to be taken should a positive case of COVID-19 occur on campus this fall. We are working closely with the Morgan County Department of Health and Emergency Management agencies and Passavant Area Hospital on the necessary contingency plans should cases escalate in Morgan County. National agencies and organizations have outlined  guidance for higher education that we are following including the CDC, NCAA, the American College Health Association (ACHA), and the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Each member of the IC community should know the symptoms and act quickly in seeking medical assistance if they show signs of the virus.
People with COVID-19 have reported a wide variety of symptoms that range from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

More information about symptoms including symptoms that indicate the need for immediate medical attention, are available on the CDC website

What steps can I take to mitigate the risk of getting sick?

At a minimum, all students, faculty, and staff should employ strategies to mitigate the risk of infection, including:

  1. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol,
  2. Wearing a mask in compliance with campus requirements, and
  3. Practicing social distancing. Hand-sanitizing dispensers are dispersed across campus.
What should I do if I feel sick? 

If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or develop a fever and/or other symptoms, such as a cough or difficulty breathing, you should contact the Chesley Health and Wellness Center by phone at 217.245.3038

As recommended by the CDC, It is important for students to contact the campus health center or other healthcare provider by phone prior to visiting in person. 

What should I do if I know of someone who is sick and not following guidelines? 

Report this information to Chesley Health & Wellness at health@ic.edu or 217.245.3038, and a member of the staff will contact the student.

What should I do if I have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you need to contact the Chesley Health and Wellness Center at 217.245.3038. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you may need to quarantine or be tested to help protect the campus community. 

[ UPDATED ] What happens if I test positive for coronavirus?

Once a test is confirmed as COVID-19 positive, the individual will be isolated either at their home residence or at a designated isolation room on campus until meeting the requirements for recovery. If your  home residence is located within a four-hour radius from campus, you will be asked to quarantine at home. You should develop a plan with your family members prior to moving on campus. The plan should designate which family member or friend will drive you from campus to your home. If your family member/friend is not your emergency contact, you will need to supply the contact information to the College prior to move in.

What is the protocol if a COVID-19 case(s) occurs on campus? 

Illinois College will work with the Morgan County Health Department to protect the health and safety of the campus. County officials will assess the risk to others and propose next steps for the campus community.

[ UPDATED ] How will students be notified if someone on campus tests positive for COVID-19?

In the event someone tests positive for COVID-19 in the future, the College will communicate this change of status to the campus community via the Campus COVID-19 Dashboard.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine is used when someone who might be sick. When you are in quarantine you stay home, monitor your health, and avoid contact with others to help prevent the spread of the disease. Isolation is used to separate someone who is sick from others. This includes someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or a person who is awaiting a test result. 

[ UPDATED ] Will there be a place on campus where students can isolate if they test positive?

Yes. We have designated isolation rooms for those who do not have a home residence located within a four-hour radius from campus. If you are required to isolate on campus, meals will be provided by Chartwells. If you do not have a meal plan, you will be charged for the meals provided. If Chartwells is not in operation during the period of your quarantine, College staff will work with you to order groceries at your cost and have them delivered to you. Students are not permitted to leave the quarantine/isolation location or allow anyone to enter. College staff will pick up/deliver laundry and assist with other needs. 

[ UPDATED ] Do I have to go home if I test positive for COVID-19?

If possible, yes. Best practice suggests one will be better monitored and recover quicker in one’s home environment. If your  home residence is located within a four-hour radius from campus, you will be asked to quarantine at home. You should develop a plan with your family members prior to moving on campus. The plan should designate which family member or friend will drive you from campus to your home. If your family member/friend is not your emergency contact, you will need to supply the contact information to the College prior to move in. 

What support will be in place if I test positive for COVID-19? 

Physical, emotional and academic support will be put in place for any student who tests positive for COVID-19.

What is contract tracing and how can I prepare for it?

Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and person/people with whom they came in contact, and working with them to interrupt disease spread. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to isolate and their contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily. 

Contact tracers use clear protocols to notify, interview, and advise close contacts to patients with confirmed or probable COVID-19. For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. 

Will mental health resources be available to help students cope with anxiety about the pandemic and adjust to changes on campus? 

Yes. In addition to stress/anxiety management directly related to the pandemic, Chesley will continue their normal counseling services related to all topics concerning mental health. Illinois College is committed to student success and providing mental health services to its students via telehealth through the Chesley Health and Wellness Center. 

Will the College help organize any student support groups to offer emotional support and help students manage stress? How would these groups meet? 

Planning is underway to offer remote support groups to students with a goal of increasing emotional support and healthy stress management. More details will be available as the semester starts.

I have allergies. Will I be allowed to attend classes if I am showing symptoms like sneezing and running nose? 

Allergies are inevitable at times. All students, staff and faculty will be required to do a daily health check to be cleared for daily activities. If symptoms are bothersome, contact Chesley Health and Wellness Center for an appointment. 

Will COVID-19 testing be available on campus? Will I be charged for a test? 

It is our goal to have COVID-19 tests available for students at Chesley Health and Wellness Center. There will be no charge for the testing procedure in the clinic; however the test must be processed by an outside lab which may be billed to the student’s insurance. 

Is testing available near campus? Will the College help me locate a testing facility if needed?

Yes. Chesley Health and Wellness Center will direct the student to the closest testing facility, if campus testing is not available.  

If I have a documented health condition that would require me to stay off campus this fall, is there an option to take all of my courses remotely? 

There will only be a limited number of fully online courses available this fall.  Students with specific, health-related questions should contact Liz Hommowun, disability services coordinator at academic.excellence@ic.edu

What has the College done this summer to clean and sanitize residence hall rooms and all campus buildings?

The custodial department will have deep cleaned every space on campus and thoroughly disinfected each area before the semester begins. In addition, all of the fan coils, fin tubes, cooling towers, chillers, boilers and portable air conditioning units have been thoroughly cleaned.

How will residence hall bathrooms, campus bathrooms, and other communal spaces on campus be sanitized and monitored?

Custodial cleaning schedules have been prioritized to allow for cleaning two times each day for public restroom locations and for residential spaces where communal restrooms are located (Crampton, Ellis, Pixley, Gardner, Mundinger and Turner). Other residential spaces and houses have private restrooms. Residents of campus housing in locations having communal restrooms will be restricted on the times shared bathrooms will be available due to the cleaning schedule determined for those buildings. Signs will be posted.

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Fees and Cost

[ NEW ] If Illinois College has to move to a remote learning environment due to COVID-19 at some point during the fall semester, will I receive any refund of my room and board fees?

Yes, Illinois College will offer refunds for room and board only to students who qualify if courses are moved to a remote format before Nov. 8, 2020. Refunds will be prorated on a graduated scale based on the date that you complete the check-out process with the Office of Residential Life to document your official move-out date. 

Because a room and board refund will decrease your Cost of Attendance, IC will reduce your refund proportionately to the percentage of your institutional (IC) aid. For example, if your financial aid covers 40% of the Cost of Attendance your refund eligibility will be reduced by 40%. 

Will tuition/fees be increased to cover any additional costs incurred by the College to adapt to the pandemic?

While there is a significant cost to the College to implement increased sanitation and safety protocols, there will not be an additional cost to students. 

Will tuition or fees be reduced for the remote learning period at the beginning and end of the semester?

No. These are extraordinary times and the changes to the Academic Calendar have been made in an effort to protect students, faculty, and staff while also continuing the College’s commitment to academic excellence. A full semester of instruction is being offered by Illinois College and, therefore, there will be no adjustment to tuition and fee charges.

My family’s income is different due to COVID-19. Is there additional financial aid available?  

Student Financial Services can review the change in your family's income to determine if you may be eligible for additional financial assistance. To start the process, email SFS@ic.edu the particulars of your circumstance.s additional charges.

Will I receive a discount for room and board fees if I decide to be off campus during remote learning periods? 

No. The campus will be open during the final two weeks of the semester when remote learning will be taking place.  Students will be able to live and dine on campus if they so choose.  It will be up to individual students as to whether they leave campus during this period and thus do not utilize their room on campus and the campus dining facilities.

Will the Student Activity Fee be refunded or discounted?

There will not be a reduction to the Student Activity Fee. The College plans to offer student activities and programming for student organizations. 

If I decide to withdraw mid-semester, can I request a refund?

Refunds for withdrawals during the semester are based on the date that the student withdraws. Please consult the Refund Policy in the College Catalog for details. 

Can I choose to opt out of the College’s meal plan?
  • All residential students who live in campus sponsored housing are required to be on a full meal plan, except for those living in apartments or campus houses. Students living in the apartments or the college houses can waive their meal plan; these students are also eligible for the 75 meal-block if they want the convenience of meals or coffee on campus but not be on a full plan. 
  • Students who will have completed at least 88 credits by the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester and are living in a residence hall other than an apartment or campus house, are required, at minimum, to be on the 75 meal-block plan.
When will I learn about the availability of student work positions?

Students will receive information about on-campus employment in August.

Will there be financial relief from the Cares Act for students for Fall 2020?

Not at this time. The College distributed all of the limited CARES Act funds we received to students displaced in spring 2020 due to COVID-19. Learn more at www.ic.edu/HilltopREADY/CARES-Act

[ NEW ] If I decide to take a semester off this fall will I have to repay my student loans?

Maybe. You must be enrolled at least halt-time to stay in deferment on your student loans; otherwise, you will use your grace period. The grace period is six months for the Federal Direct Loans and nine months for the Federal Perkins Loan. Once your grace period ends you will be required to make monthly payments on your loan until you are re-enrolled at least half-time. Contact the Office of Student Financial Services sfs@ic.edu or 217.245.3035 to discuss your circumstances. 

[ NEW ] If I decide to take a semester off this fall will I lose my financial aid?

Returning students who leave Illinois College in good standing are generally allowed to reinstate their Illinois College scholarships and grants upon their return. New students should discuss their options with their admission counselor. Any state or federal grants, loans, or work-study will depend on your eligibility as determined by your FAFSA.

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