HARRISBURG, Ill. (June 2, 2020) — Under Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan, Southeastern Illinois College will open to key functional work areas only beginning June 8. Still, no students or public members will be allowed on the Harrisburg campus or David L. Stanley White County Center in Carmi during the coming three-week period. This will allow staff time to prepare for a planned, phased in reopening for the Fall.
The SIC summer semester, which also begins June 8, will be completely remote for the duration of the semester, including lab courses. Unfortunately, some typically hands-on courses have been canceled and enrolled students notified due to this restriction.
“We are glad to be moving forward, regardless of pace, toward serving our on-campus community once again,” said President Dr. Jonah Rice. “Our board and staff have worked tirelessly to put a plan in place for a safe reopening that follows state guidelines, and although it will look a bit different, we are excited to see students in person again soon.”
Those key functional work area staff that will be permitted on campus this month will be working in a recommended two-day rotation within each department. This time period will allow staff to begin reopening procedures and prepare functional areas for a safe reopening. Proper protocols per Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and state agencies as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be followed, such as social distancing and the required wearing of masks. Self-monitoring of sickness and reporting measures will also be in place.
The college has also purchased multiple hand-washing stations in addition to sanitizing stations to be placed all over campus in addition to restroom sinks. Remodeling to expand some classrooms and upgrades to lecture halls are being completed this summer as well to increase safety. Multiple other measures are being implemented according to protocols being addressed by organizations like the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
SIC will also finalize plans for reopening the Mary Jo Oldham Center for Child Study in the fall for its youngest students. Those plans will be announced at a later date.
Beginning June 29, SIC will allow students on campus by appointment only while practicing safe protocols. These protocols will be posted soon on SIC’s website, www.sic.edu, and include social distancing and wearing a mask to be on campus.
For athletics, SIC will follow the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) recommendations. Non-NJCAA student activities and events will be engaged by staff on an individual basis with appropriate supervisors. More details will be announced for this step soon.
On Aug. 3, SIC will return to regular operational days and times with the allowance of a modified work schedule by area and according to the SIC Return to Campus Plan under Phase 4 of Restore Illinois following protocols and safety measures. This plan will soon be posted on SIC’s website.
On campus classes will resume the beginning of the fall semester Aug. 17, but will be modified according to the Return to Campus Plan. After the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 25-27), SIC plans to revert to all-remote and online learning. Some events and activities will take place during the post-Thanksgiving break, to be approved on a case-by-case basis.
“Since Thanksgiving is a time for many to travel and then return home, risk for germ spread increases. Plus, the cold and flu season increases in late fall and early winter. We want students, faculty, and staff to avoid such risks. It only seems prudent to operate this way if we can,” said Rice. “SIC has been working closely with the ICCB and the IDPH to determine appropriate measures to open in a way that safely serves our communities.”
As more updates become available, they will be posted to the SIC website: www.sic.edu. Virtual graduation plans are underway and will be announced soon. Registration for summer is wrapping up and registration for fall is underway. Current students can visit https://my.sic.edu/ics to register. New or continuing students can contact [email protected] or call (618)268-5400, ext. 4130 to start the registration process.