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Fall semester classes for in-person and distance learning

Most fall semester 2020 classes, and J-term 2021 classes will be held face-to-face, but will accommodate students who have opted for distance learning. 

Many courses will have some distance learning components for everyone in the class, whether students are on campus or distance learners.

(A small percentage of courses will be fully online. A list of those courses is available online.)

Students can adjust their class schedules, if they wish, during an open registration Aug. 17-21. New students can make schedule changes during Welcome Week.

Students who live on campus

For students living on campus, most courses will have an in-person component. For some courses, this may mean attending in person for every class meeting. For other courses, students may attend in person some days and join virtually other days.

Students who live in campus housing will be expected to participate in face-to-face instruction in all of their classes. They cannot take classes virtually unless that is the only format in which a given class is offered.

Students who are distance learners

All courses are being designed to include distance learners. Distance learners do not need to change their course schedules. 

Students who ask to be distance learners cannot change their status during the fall semester or J-term 2021. They must complete all of their courses remotely. 

Distance learners will not be eligible to live in campus housing for the fall semester or J-term. They will be expected to return to campus classes and campus housing for spring semester 2021. 

Students taking courses with labs will either join labs remotely or participate in an alternate learning method, such as an online simulation. 

(Students planning to go into a scientific discipline should talk with their faculty advisor about the pros and cons of completing a lab course remotely.)

Students who take a gap period

Students who wish to take a "gap" semester or year should notify the Dean of Students.

Once you know you will return for spring semester 2021 or fall semester 2021, complete the Special Student Application (at least 10 weeks prior to your return to campus). 

Financial aid

The cost of attendance for distance learners will be adjusted. Email or call Financial Aid for details, 309-794-7207.

Students who apply to become distance learners will receive an updated award letter from Financial Aid, and then will be asked to finalize their fall plans.

Students with an increased health risk complete the COVID-19 Increased Health Risk Accommodations Request.

Students who may not be an increased risk, but who do not wish to return to campus, complete the Voluntary Full-Time Distance Learning Request.

Students who submit one of these forms by July 29 may be waived from the residential requirement for the fall 2020 semester and J-term 2021.

Please also see the applicable Refund Policy.

Technology needs

All students will need reliable internet access, and a computer, laptop or tablet with a webcam and microphone. Instructors will let their students know if any other technology and or software is needed for a specific course.

Email or call the Information Technology Services Helpdesk, 309-794-7293, for answers to specific questions.

Most classes delivered remotely will use Google Meet. It is included in Google Suite, which is provided to all students. Instructors will provide more information if there are specific requirements for a course. 

Academic calendar

The start and end dates of fall semester have not changed. However, the academic calendar was revised July 10. Students now have the option not to return to campus after Thanksgiving.

Classes will be held on Labor Day (Sept. 7).

Classes will be held on the day previously scheduled for fall break (Oct. 19).

The college will hold classes the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 25).

Thanksgiving break runs from Wednesday, Nov. 25-Sunday, Nov. 29. Residence halls close at 5 p.m. Nov 25. (Students who need to stay will be allowed to sign up to remain on campus.) 

The week after Thanksgiving (Nov. 30-Dec. 4) will be a study week for students enrolled in semester-long courses.

All courses will meet virtually the week after Thanksgiving.