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Human Resources

It is the mission of Human Resources to contribute to the achievement of the College’s mission by providing quality services for its most valuable resources – the employees and communities we serve.


COVID Update

The CDC has streamlined its COVID-19 guidance to help the public better protect themselves and understand their risk. In the release dated August 11, 2022, this statement was issued. “We’re in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools—like vaccination, boosters, and treatments—to protect ourselves, and our communities, from severe illness from COVID-19,” said Greta Massetti, PhD, MPH, MMWR author. “We also have a better understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, like wearing high-quality masks, testing, and improved ventilation.  This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives.”

The guidance continues to support vaccination and the use of masking and social distancing as appropriate. It updates the guidance on steps to take following exposure or positive test. These are a few items of note:

  • Updating its guidance for people who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines on what to do if exposed to someone with COVID-19. Consistent with the existing guidance for people who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, it is recommended that instead of quarantining if you were exposed to COVID-19, you wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.
  • Reiterating that regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19. You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results. If your results are positive, follow CDC’s full isolation recommendations. If your results are negative, you can end your isolation.

Here is the link to the full release:

As a reminder, if an employee is restricted from being on school district/community college property for a COVID-19 reason, Public Act 102-0697 requires schools and colleges to provide paid leave to their vaccinated employees for reasons related to COVID-19 during a public health emergency. HB 1167 defines “fully vaccinated” as 2-weeks after receiving the second dose in a 2-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Moderna or Pfizer) or a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Johnson & Johnson). The definition of “fully vaccinated” will include recommended booster doses for which the individual is eligible only upon adoption by IDPH of any changes made by the CDC to the definition of “full vaccinated against COVID-19” to include booster doses. Employees who are not covered under this Act, may use benefit time or work with their supervisor to work remotely if possible.

Our focus at HCC remains on the health and safety of all students and employees. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to stay up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccine and boosters. You are still welcome to submit those records to HR. If you’re feeling unwell and experiencing COVID symptoms, please stay home. Positive test results for COVID-19 must still be reported to Christie Lewis in Human Resources. Our practice of not requiring masks and social distancing will continue as we move into fall. Disposable face coverings and hand sanitizer are available across campus.

HCC Active Violence Preparedness Video

Click on the link below to view a video that was created in collaboration with the Stephenson County Sheriff’s Office on actions to take if active violence occurs on campus.  Highland Community College has adopted a philosophy on reaction to a violent situation on campus that we will no longer “lock down” but rather take steps outlined in the ALICE training and the HCC Active Violence Preparedness video.

HCC Active Violence Preparedness Video

SURS Return to Work

Public Act 97-0968 creates a new funding mechanism targeted at SURS-covered employers that employ SURS annuitants under certain criteria. A SURS-covered employer is to make a contribution to SURS if it employs an “affected annuitant” on or after August 1, 2013. The contribution will be equal to the affected annuitant’s annualized retirement annuity payable on the day on which the employer employed the “affected annuitant”. Click here for more information regarding this Public Act.

Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act

While everyone should be concerned about child abuse and neglect, certain individuals are required by law to report suspected instances. These individuals are mandated reporters. In June 2012, the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) was amended to include all personnel of higher education institutions as mandated reporters. Mandated reporters are required to report suspected child maltreatment immediately when they have “reasonable cause to believe” that a child (minor under the age of 18) known to them in their professional or official capacity may be an abused or neglected child (ANCRA Sec.4). This is done by calling the DCFS Hotline at 1-800-252-2873 or 1-800-25ABUSE. Click here to learn more about the ANCRA requirements and procedures.

Requests for Special Accommodations in the Workplace

Title I of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in employment and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Highland
Community College strives to make its services and facilities accessible to all people. In compliance with this Act, employees who require special needs or “reasonable accommodations” in order to perform the essential functions of their job, or to enable them to “enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by similarly situated non-disabled employees,” are encouraged to request such accommodations through their supervisor or the Human Resources Office, utilizing the
Employee Request for Reasonable Accommodation form.

Comments or suggestions on content of the Staff Portal? Contact Christie Lewis

Highland Campus

2998 W. Pearl City Rd. Freeport, IL 61032


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