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COVID-19 Pandemic Response Update – 03/13/2020

Campus Open, Spring Break Extended One Week


SUBJECT: Spring Break Extended, Campus Open

Dear HCC Community,

I write to share an update on our response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. While we have no known cases of Highland students, faculty or staff, the safety of our community is our primary concern in this rapidly evolving situation. After meeting for most of the day yesterday with the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents and the ICCB Leadership Team, I conveyed group suggestions from those discussions back to Highland’s Campus Emergency Operations Planning (CEOP) task force which became part of our dialog leading to a collection of immediate responses. As we approach Spring Break we are taking the following proactive measures to minimize your risk of exposure:

  • Spring Break is now two weeks starting March 16 and ending March 27.
  • Starting March 30-April 12, we will begin an alternative learning period.
  • At this time, staff members will maintain their regular work schedule unless they are ill.
  • No clinical experiences during the extended Spring Break, March 16-27.
  • Lifelong Learning from March 16-April 12 is canceled or rescheduled.
  • All campus events March 16-April 12 are canceled or postponed.
  • Travel suspension through March 30.
  • Athletic events are paused until March 30.

Alternative Learning

Beginning March 30, Students will be completing independent homework, readings and projects from home provided by their faculty.  During the extended spring break, the faculty and staff will be working to move additional courses and services online to the extent possible. Students may call the 815-599-3411 for online assistance.

For students currently enrolled in online courses, including 16-week and 8-week online courses that start in the second half of the semester, we are asking our faculty and instructors to communicate to their students about what is expected in terms of student participation and coursework for the week of March 23-27.

We will also have specific computer labs open for those who do not have internet access from home. When available, the list of locations and hours will be posted at

Nursing clinicals are suspended through March 27. We will reevaluate the safety and availability of clinical sites with our health care partners on a weekly basis.

Please bear in mind our goal of this alternative learning period is to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus, while striving for successful, on-time course completion.

Campus is open

Campus events: March 16-April 12

All on-campus events are postponed or canceled. Athletic events are paused until March 30.

Travel: Now-March 30

Student, faculty, and staff college-related travel is suspended through March 30. Athletic events are paused until March 30. This applies to both out-of-state, domestic and international travel. Please use your judgement when choosing to attend in-state events or explore attending virtually.

Our emergency management task force continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic within our district and state. Please check your Highland email for any updates or changes to this current plan. We will also post updates to the Highland Community College main Facebook @highlandcommunitycollege,  the @HighlandCollege Twitter feed, and the website at

I appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate cautiously through this pandemic situation.


Tim Hood, President