Southeastern Ready to Welcome Students Back for Fall

July 1, 2020

HARRISBURG, Ill. (July 1, 2019) - Southeastern Illinois College released its Fall reopening plan to all its employees this week, and will post the plan on the College website in July at least a month before the start of school.

Administrators say that this gives employees time to review and prepare as well as adapt to any changing variables from regulatory agencies. The plan has also been submitted to insurers and legal. The College will forward the plan to the local health agency as well and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).

They say that the public release of the forty-page plan will also include a new addition to the student handbook.

“We’ve had great conversations with faculty and staff on how best to reopen, all the while aligning what we do with the ICCB, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Center for Disease Control,” said President Dr. Jonah Rice.

The plan requires per state mandates and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, for example, the wearing of masks while on campus and respecting social distancing as well.

“Those requirements, among others, are just that—requirements we must follow. Private business may let some folks ‘slide by’ with a lack of enforcement regarding masks and social distance, but as a state supported agency, SIC will not take that approach,” said Rice.

SIC receives over $4 million from the ICCB for general operations plus thousands more for student aid in addition to other grants and funding.

SIC has been very proactive on measures to protect staff and students for the return to campus with significant safety-related construction, sanitizing stations, increased hand-washing areas, protective equipment and altered schedules.

Rice also served on the ICCB return to campus task force earlier this summer.
“Our facilities crew and support staff have all done an amazing job at preparing for our reopening,” said Rice.

“Students will see a hybrid approach to learning emphasized to reduce germ spread, but labs and hands-on type courses will remain as such. They are very skill oriented and must be face-to-face while respecting health protocols.”

Southeastern Illinois College will launch a major information campaign for staff and students utilizing multiple media and communication channels.

Additional plans for extra-curricular activities will be released soon.

So far, some major performances in the Visual and Performing Arts Complex are canceled as is the Cultural Arts Series.

Many other student and community activities will be altered or canceled for public safety. Plans are underway at present.

“We want a positive and safe learning environment,” Rice said. “That’s the end goal for all of this.”