COVID-19 Communications

July 23, 2020

Dear Students,

Beginning Monday, August 3, the College will resume limited on-campus services as we prepare for the Fall 2020 semester. As we start to have more people physically on campus, the health and safety of our campus community is of utmost importance. We have put together a video for the College community regarding what the Fall semester will look like at Kish. Watch now.

Limited services, with reduced hours, will be available on campus. Students are encouraged to continue utilizing online resources, including the Library, Bookstore, Academic Advising, registration, and the Business Office. For a list of offices and services available on campus, visit the Contact Us & Campus Hours webpage.

Information on what students need to do before and while on campus can be found on the Return to Campus, Resources for Students webpage. Please review carefully. Prior to coming to campus, students are required to review the “Student Daily Self-Screening” form. Students on campus for any reason – attending class, utilizing campus resources, or studying / using internet services – must wear a mask at all times and practice social distancing. All students must enter the College through the main entrance (door #6). Alternate doors will be open for evening classes and those held in the Caukin Building (listed on Contact Us webpage). Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available throughout the College.

We have made several changes to the tuition due date process for Fall 2020:

  • The tuition due date for the Fall semester has been extended to August 20th.  Students will not be dropped for non-payment.
  • If you do not attend courses you are registered for, and do not drop them by August 20th or by the 100% refund deadline, you will be required to pay for the course(s).
  • Students have until August 20th, or by the 100% drop deadline, to drop on their own for a full refund.  To determine 100% drop deadline for a course, view the Fall 2020 Drop/Withdrawal Dates document on our web for specific course refund dates.
  • The College is waiving the $25 fee for students who enroll in a payment plan. For more information on the payment plan visit the payment plan webpage or email the Business Office at busserv@kish.edu with questions.

Additional information regarding the College’s response to COVID-19 is available online. This is the College’s plan as of July 2020.  As the COVID-19 virus continues to change, College operations will be modified to respond. 

Take care and be safe.

#KishProud

Previous updates

July 15, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Beginning Monday, August 3, the College will resume limited on-campus services, with increased number of staff assigned to on-campus work.  As we start to have more people physically on campus, the health and safety of our campus community is of utmost importance.

Attached is a Return to Campus guide that outlines the campus re-entry plan, and what an employee should do before and while on campus.  Please review carefully.

We have ordered a supply of "Kish" masks.  All staff will be receiving one from their supervisor the week of August 3.  Faculty masks will be mailed to home addresses.

Additional information regarding the College's response to COVID-19 can be found at www.kish.edu/covidresources.

This is the plan for Phase IV, as of July 2020.  As the COVID-19 virus continues to change, this plan will be modified.  We will continue with regular communication through the Fall semester.

Stay safe and be well.

July 15 - Athletics Update

The following was posted on the Athletic website and through various athletic communications.

July 15, 2020 - Kishwaukee College continues to review the COVID-19 impacts upon our community, state and country.  As of today, Kishwaukee Athletics, in conjunction with the recently approved decision of the NJCAA's new Sports Procedure Guidelines, will be moving forward with several of our fall sport programs. There will be a phased strategy in getting sports returning to play throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.

Women's and Men's Cross Country will begin their fall semester competitions in late-August while Women's and Men's Golf will begin in September, including regional competitions.  Our inaugural eSports student-athletes will begin their gaming season play in late-September.

The current plan includes the traditional fall semester sports of Women's and Men's Bowling starting their inaugural seasons with competitions now moved to January 2021.  Additionally, Women's and Men's Basketball begin their formal NJCAA competition in January 2021 and Women's and Men's Soccer will start their seasons in March 2021.  Traditional spring semester sports of Softball and Baseball will compete in official games in the spring of 2021 as planned.

Any updates will be posted as new information becomes available.  Please continue to check the Kishwaukee athletic website for news.  Kishwaukee College, Kishwaukee College Athletics and coaches will work collaboratively to monitor COVID-19 and subsequent safety guideline updates throughout the year.  The safety and well-being of all of our student-athletes, coaches, officials, trainers and College staff will be of primary importance, while finding ways to return all our athletes to competing for all of our sports. 

June 29, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Illinois moved into Phase 4 of Gov. Pritzker's reopening plan on June 26.  The latest data shows that Illinois has made significant progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19.  This is hopeful news for continued reduction in cases and an increased likelihood that we can remain safe in our return to campus by following issued guidelines.

The campus "re-entry plan" will be finalized soon and shared with you the week of July 6.  Guidelines provided by the Illinois Community College Board, the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health were taken into account.  The draft plan involved the input from different employment groups.  KCSS, faculty representatives and supervisors are giving their input on the draft plan.  We look forward to sharing the finalized plan next week.

I'd like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July.  It's a time to celebrate our freedoms and continue to ensure the same is true for all people.  As an institution, we are committed to a sustainable culture of equity.  We work to make an education attainable to all learners and alleviate barriers to completion.  Thank you for helping make this possible for our students.

Enjoy your shortened week and stay safe.

#KishProud

June 18, 2020 - Students

Dear Students,

Thank you for choosing Kish for your higher education. We are committed to providing quality, affordable education to our students in a safe environment. As previously shared, we are making some changes for fall instruction in response to the ongoing pandemic. The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority.

Over the course of the last few days adjustments were made to the Fall 2020 course schedule, including all face to face courses to be delivered online or have an online component. Please check your student schedule and review closely for changes that may have impacted your fall course schedule.

There are three types of courses for the fall:

  1. Online/Online. These courses will be offered in a traditional online format. Students complete coursework at any time of day that works best for them.
  2. Online/Synchronous. These courses are online at a particular time, with scheduled virtual class meetings that students will attend via computer, providing live interaction between instructor and students. “Online/Synchronous” class sessions will meet during the times already listed on your schedule for those sections.
  3. Hybrid. These courses will combine online lecture with limited on-campus meetings in labs, shops, and studio art.  These on-campus meetings will occur during the times listed on your schedule. Specific dates for lab and studio attendance will be confirmed with students by July 1.

Please reach out to your academic advisor or counselor with any questions you have regarding your Fall 2020 schedule. Classes can be added or changed in Student Planning.

As you continue to plan for the fall semester, the College has several resources available to support you:

Scholarships. There are still several scholarships available for the fall semester.  For more information email tmyers1@kish.edu. In addition, applications are still being accepted for the COVID-19 Student Relief Scholarship Fund

Technology. To be successful in online learning, it is important you have a tablet, laptop, or Chromebook.  The College has devices available for checkout.  If you need technology support, reach out to your academic advisor or counselor.

The College campus will be open in the fall for students needing access to the internet. 

Please check out the additional resources available online.

Kish will continue to provide quality instruction and support services in a safe environment. Thank you for choosing to attend Kish.

#KishProud

June 15, 2020 - Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

The summer semester is in full swing, with courses and support services all online. Thank you to the many faculty and staff who are working to ensure instruction and support services continue to be delivered in the online environment.

Last week we saw a positive shift in enrollment, improving by 2.5% from two weeks ago. We are down 27.8% in credit hours for the year, compared to last year. There are many new initiatives we are implementing to help continue this upward trend for fall.

The activities to increase enrollment continue. Student Services is hosting virtual Registration Events for all new incoming students to assist with technology access, academic advising and registration for the fall.  Text messages regarding the event dates were sent to 760 new students who have applied and have not registered. More detailed information about the events is located at  https://www.kish.edu/regevent.  The enrollment marketing campaign will switch from summer to fall this week.

The College is working on a “re-entry” plan, follow guidelines provided by the Illinois Community College Board, the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The safety and well being of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. We are working with employee groups, and hope to have the plan complete by the week of July 6th. At this point, a limited number of students will be on campus for instruction. Some Labs and CTE courses need face-to-face instruction to serve the learning needs of their students. Staff will start to return to campus in August, with details on how this will look included in the finalized plan.

As a cost-saving measure, the College has opted to discontinue the contract with Quest Food Management Services, our food service provider. The Bookstore will increase their inventory to include a large cooler with grab ‘n go items beginning in August for those that will be back on campus. We will continue to explore additional cost effective food service options.

The College is making progress on securing improved cellular service on campus. It has taken over a year to get agreements with the five major carriers—Verizon, US Cellular, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint—but they are now complete. The companies will be working on their equipment, and Verizon and US Cellular plan to be online with service by the beginning of the fall semester. The other three carriers will hopefully be soon after.

It has been an incredible past few months. We will continue to make the best use of our resources to serve the students who chose Kish. Thank you for your continued hard work and commitment.

Below is a communication that was sent to summer students earlier this morning.

Stay safe.

#KishProud

June 1, 2020 - Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are starting to feel like we have arrived at summer.  The nice weather is certainly helping with "staying at home."

The College's summer session is underway, with more classes beginning soon.  All classes continue to be offered online.  Our summer sessions have had a higher online rate than face to face enrollments the last few summers, so the online transition this summer was rather smooth.  There are a number of faculty who have stepped up to offer online instruction that have not done so before, and we thank them for this quick work to serve our students.

With the end of the spring semester, facilities and maintenance staff have returned to campus to do their essential work.  Construction projects for IT, eSports and the locker rooms are continuing.  The Early Learning Center project has been put on hold due to COVID-19 related budget issues.  We are currently writing for a state grant available to the College to continue work on the project.  We should know the status of the grant in the near future.  Deep cleaning of all campus spaces are underway.

Recently, Governor Pritzker released guidelines for safe reopening of businesses as Illinois transitions into Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan.  Phase 3 includes the opening of offices.  The College is currently working on a return to campus plan.  The draft plan is being developed, and we will be working with employee groups to ensure campus wide feedback and participation.  At this time we will continue with only essential personnel on campus, following appropriate safety recommendations.

The Institutional CARES Act Funding is available, and we will have the full 2020-21 school year to spend the College allocation of $772K.  The institutional funds are to support expenses related to transitioning instruction to online due to COVID-19.  I encourage you to consider resources that would be beneficial or necessary for the successful delivery of courses online or working remotely.  This could include items such as hardware, software, and other materials needed to do your job.  As you identify specific, potential needs, please communicate them with your dean or supervisor.  Now is a good time to get creative in how we can enhance the online student experience.

We are moving forward with planning for the fall semester, as our students and College community would like to know how we will be offering coursework come August.  We continue to work closely with our peer institutions, following the advice of ICCB and the Governor's office.  We are in the process of converting to online all lecture and other courses that are able to be offered online.  Some lab and CTE courses will be held on campus with limited enrollments in each section.  Instruction is working on the details of the conversion, and we are hoping to have the student enrollment system converted by June 15th.  This will be our plan for the entire fall semester, only making changes if we are told we have to move back to 100% online course delivery, as we were told this spring.

College enrollment for summer and fall have been effected by the pandemic.  We are currently down 17.8% for summer and down 35.3% for fall.  In June, we will be presenting a revised operating budget for FY21 to the Board of Trustees.  Fortunately, the College has $3M set aside for our OPEB liability.  We will be transferring $2.4M of this money to operations to balance our budget for FY21.  Pending the Governor's signature, we have a state budget with flat funding for Community Colleges, but we anticipate some decline in state aids due to previous years declining enrollment and the Governor's ability to move funds around in the state budget if needed.  We also have heard from the Comptroller's Office this spring to expect delays in state payments.  We are waiting on almost $1M still owed to us by the state for this fiscal year.

These are unprecedented times, and your flexibility and willingness to adapt to change has been remarkable.  I will continue to provide regular updates, and encourage your questions and feedback.  

Thank you for continuing to provide exceptional learning experiences and support to the students choosing to attend our College.

Stay safe.

#KishProud

May 11, 2020 - Faculty & Staff

Dear Colleagues,

The Spring 2020 semester is wrapping up this week, in a way none of us expected.  I am sure you feel the same way I do with missing the celebrations and events that normally are part of the end of the year.  Thank you for all that you have done to adapt to our rapidly changing world due to COVID-19.

All classes this summer will be online.  Faculty and staff will continue to work remotely, with some essential employees working on campus.  The campus buildings will remain closed to the public until we are told by the Governor's Office and Illinois Community College Board that we can allow more than essential employees on campus.

The summer schedule for College operations begins on Monday, May 18, with operations open Monday through Thursday, and closed Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  This schedule runs through August 9, with employees working during the summer having a 36 hour per week schedule.  Please discuss your hours and work schedule with your supervisor.

Also beginning Monday, May 18, the College will require essential employees working on campus to wear specific Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and will provide the necessary PPE for employees to perform the work required of their position.  The College will work with employees to ensure we remain in compliance with social distancing requirements.  Non-essential employees need to contact their supervisor before coming to campus.

The attached memos outline remote work expense stipend and on-campus work assignments effective May 18 for all non-bargaining unit employees and KCSS members, pending Board approval.

Employees are encouraged to use their vacation and other leave time as they are able to ensure they utilize this benefit and take some well-deserved time away from their duties.  Please check with HR or your supervisor on applicable carryover limits on leave time.

We are starting to discuss and plan for the fall semester, and how we can safely resume normal operations when the time comes.  We will continue to provide periodic updates as more information becomes available.

Thank you for all that you do and stay safe.

#KishProud

May 4, 2020 - Students

May 4, 2020

Dear Students,

You made it to the last week of classes.  It's hard to believe the end of the semester is here.  The world looks nothing like it did when you began the semester in January.  Be proud of making it to this point- in school, work, and life.  You faced unique challenges and adjusted to the circumstances.  Congratulations.

Speaking of congratulations, some of you are graduating!  We had planned on holding a commencement ceremony in August, but currently we do not anticipate being able to hold a large gathering on campus this summer.  While all graduates will be invited to walk in the December 2020 commencement ceremony, we are also planning a "virtual celebration" for the spring 2020 graduates.  Those of you who have applied for graduation will be receiving an email to your Kish email account with the details of this virtual celebration in the coming week.

The federal government passed the CARES Act, which allocates emergency relief funding for eligible college students to address the pressing needs due to the disruption of campus operations.  The College has received this funding and plans to disburse the money to students this week.  The guidance from the Department of Education regarding which students are eligible for the funding and how colleges should distribute the money to students has been continually changing.  We are going to act on the guidance we have today and get the money out to eligible students as quickly as possible.  Please watch your email over the next couple of days for additional information.

In an effort to reduce some of the pressure of changes to course delivery during Spring 2020, Kishwaukee College adopted a Pass/Unsatisfactory grade option.  The form to apply for a Pass/Unsatisfactory grade option is no available on the COVID-19 Student Resources page, under the Pass/Unsatisfactory Grade tab.  Students will need to meet with their assigned academic advisor or counselor to discuss the grade change request by May 23rd.  

As the end of this school year draws near, I know many of us are wondering what life after COVID-19 will be like.  We know it will be different, but life will still go on.  I hope you are able to take some time to reflect on positive aspects of your life during this time.  We still need to plan for the future.  Goals may need to be adjusted, but should still be a part of your future planning.  You still can accomplish what you've set out to do.  Live your life looking forward.

We're in this together and we're here for you.  Thank you for being a student at Kishwaukee College.

#KishProud

April 27, 2020

Dear Students,

It's hard to believe that we are entering the last few weeks of the spring semester.  While it has been a challenging semester in so many ways, and some days seem very long, the finish line is in sight.  I know often this is the time of the semester when students are just ready for it all to be over, even under "normal" circumstances.  So I hope you find the energy to push through the last few weeks, recognizing and feeling proud of the fact that you adjusted quickly to a new world, and successfully complete the academic semester.

Please remember to use the many resources available to you- the library, tutoring services, advisors/counselors, and financial support for challenges you are facing.

View a video here with tips from Kish faculty and staff on completing the semester strong on line.  

Last week we shared information on the CARES Act, which provides $6 billion in federal emergency funding to help college students who were impacted by COVID-19.  Kish has submitted the necessary paperwork last week to receive the funds to disburse to students, but as of today we have not yet received the funds.  We anticipate we will receive the money this week, and will distribute the funds to eligible students as soon as possible.  To receive your CARES Act money faster, sign up for direct deposit.

Go to MyKC > Self-Service > Banking information to sign up or confirm your banking information.

I have heard many stories of students having to put in long hours at work, take on additional responsibilities at home, or deal with the loss of income and security.  I am so proud of all of you, hearing of your courage and determination, and indeed success, in the face of adversity.

We are in this together, and we are here for you.

Be well.

#KishProud

April 20, 2020

Dear Students,

COVID-19 has created financial challenges for many people. We know that some of you may have lost your job or are worried how you’ll cover your living expenses.  We also recognize you may be wondering how you’ll afford to attend college after this semester.  Listed below are some resources to help you with these concerns.

  • The recently passed CARES Act provides $6 billion in federal emergency funding to help college students across the country who have been impacted by the outbreak. Kish is waiting for final federal guidance for disbursing funds to students, and will hopefully be providing more information later this week. In order to receive the funds faster, please consider signing up for direct deposit.  Go to MyKC/Self-Service/Banking Information to sign up or confirm your banking information.
  • If you are experiencing a financial emergency, funds are available through the Kishwaukee College Foundation Champions Fund. Money does not need to be paid back. Please contact your counselor or advisor for more information.
  • The Foundation has developed a new COVID-19 impact scholarship for the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters. Students will be asked to share how the virus has impacted their ability to pay for college. There is $50,000 available. Apply now.
  • The deadline to apply for Fall 2020 Foundation scholarships has been extended to April 30. We encourage you to apply for these scholarship opportunities. 
  • The tuition due date for Summer classes is extended to July 1, and the tuition due date for Fall semester has now been extended to August 20.  Students will not be dropped for non-payment prior to the tuition due dates. The College is waiving the $25 fee for students who enroll in a payment plan for both summer and fall.  Please note that students who register for summer classes and do not drop within the refund period will be responsible for tuition and fees.

Pass/Fail Grades: In an effort to reduce some of the pressure of changes to course delivery during Spring 2020, Kishwaukee College is adopting a Pass/Unsatisfactory grade option.  This policy applies only to courses completed during the alternative delivery method started on March 20, 2020.   More information about the Pass/Unsatisfactory grading option is located on the COVID-19 Student Resources page, under the Pass/Unsatisfactory Grade tab.

Things are changing quickly as we continue to receive new information. We want to do everything we can to support you. If you’re struggling with your classes, needing mental health support or facing financial challenges, please reach out to your counselor or advisor, or email advising@kish.edu

Take care and be safe.   

#KishProud

April 8, 2020

Dear Students,

The landscape for higher education changes daily as we continue to navigate the impact of COVID-19. Summer and fall registration for Kish opened online April 6. We are hearing of the financial concerns you are having and the impact it has on your decision to attend college in the future.  In light of this, we will be making the following changes to alleviate some of the immediate financial burden and uncertainty:

  • Application deadline for fall 2020 Foundation scholarships has been extended to April 30.
  • Additional scholarship opportunities are being developed to support students impacted by COVID-19. Details will be available next week.
  • Tuition due date for summer has been pushed back to July 1.
  • Past practice has been to drop student for non-payment prior to the start of the semester; we will not be doing that for summer 2020. Students will be responsible for tuition and fees for courses they do not drop within the refund period for not attending the courses.
  • The College will be covering the $25 payment plan enrollment fee for students for both summer and fall. Summer tuition due dates will be July 1st and August 1st for those on the payment plan. 

At this time, fall tuition due date will remain the same on July 28. I encourage you to work with your advisor or counselor on any financial hardships that you may be experiencing that is impacting your ability to complete your spring semester and register for summer or fall.

We are here to support you.

Take care and be safe.

#KishProud

April 6, 2020

Dear Kish students,

Congratulations on making it through the first week of our COVID-19 remote learning experience.

Here are a few updates:

PASS/FAIL Grade Option: We have heard from a number of you that you are concerned about your grades, and understandably so.  There are a number of challenges with delivering and completing coursework remotely.  Many colleges and universities are considering the use of Pass/Fail options for the Spring 2020 semester, to help alleviate student anxiety about grades. We are exploring grade options with guidance from the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.  We need to be sure we understand the effect pass/fail grades will have on transfer from Kish to another college or university.  Any decision the college makes will have the best interest of the students and the quality of your education as the highest priority.  We anticipate having more information on this grading option by next week.

If you encounter barriers to completion and feel that you are unable to complete your course, please contact your assigned advisor/counselor (or email advising@kish.edu) to discuss the options available to you. Under these extraordinary circumstances, there are many resources available to you, and your advisor can guide you to the best decision.

Spring Graduation: The spring commencement ceremony has been tentatively moved to August, provided we are able to be physically back on campus.  Graduates walking across the stage to receive their diplomas and certificates is an important milestone for the students and the college community.  We want to celebrate this educational achievement with you, as well as your family and friends.

Summer and Fall Registration:  Registration for both summer and fall opened today, April 6th.  Due to the uncertainty of when we will be able to return to campus, summer classes are primarily online courses.  We will open up labs and other “on campus” instruction as we are able.  We are planning to be fully operational this fall, with both online and face-to-face course offerings. 

Student College Trustee - Thank you Cris Luna and congratulations to Dakota Montavon:  It is in April when a new student is elected to the Kishwaukee College board of trustees.  I want to personally thank Cris for his year of service on the board, and welcome Dakota to his new term.  We have no doubt Dakota will work to represent your interests, just as Cris has done this past year. Dakota will be seated at the April 14th board meeting. You will be hearing more from Dakota in the near future. 

I hope you find some time to enjoy the spring weather, amidst your studies, work, and family obligations.  These are challenging and trying times, as there is no “play book” or past practice for what we are experiencing.  I am honored to serve as president of a college with so many amazing students. 

Thank you for choosing Kish!

#KishProud

 

Update to April 2 Communication: As more cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in the Kishwaukee College district, we will notify the College community when the Health Department indicates a risk for exposure impacts or effects the College.

April 2, 2020

Member of Kish Community Tests Positive for COVID-19

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

This message is to inform you that a Kishwaukee College student self-identified as having tested positive for COVID-19.  The College is working with the DeKalb County Health Department regarding the appropriate next steps. Privacy laws prevent the College from sharing details. However, we can tell you the student has not been on campus since March 13, which is the last day students were on campus.

Because this is the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Kish community, we wanted to personally inform you. As testing increases throughout Illinois, more confirmed cases are to be expected. Going forward, we will update any additional Kish-related cases on our website and public health officials will directly contact individuals who might have been at risk of exposure by being in the immediate area of newly diagnosed people.

Kish students or employees who feel like they may have any symptoms of COVID-19, should contact their health care provider for guidance. Anyone who does test positive for the virus is asked to report that information to Human Resources at 815-825-9370 or kishhr@kish.edu.

As a reminder, College buildings and facilities remain closed to the public at this time. We wish a full and speedy recovery to individuals who are experiencing illness related to COVID-19.

Please be safe and healthy.

March 31, 2020 - Students

Welcome back from the extended Spring Break, and welcome to a new Kish College "fully online" experience.

Today we are starting the Alternative Instructional Delivery Plan, with all courses and support services online.  Our two top priorities are protecting the health and safety of our Kish community members, and helping you finish the spring semester.  It is important to us that you are able to continue on your educational journey.  Your Professors/Instructors will be contacting you soon, if they have not already done so, giving you instructions and guidance on your coursework and assignments.  Please check your email regularly and stay in contact with your Professor/Instructor.

Student services is open online, as is the library and tutoring services.  A webpage has been created to help you navigate resources during this time, "What Students Need to Know Related to College Services during COVID-19".  It is located on the College website at http://www.kish.edu/covidresources

Our Advisors and Counselors are your key resources to help you navigate any challenges or difficulties you experience.  Your advisors name and contact information is located in your Student Planning account on myKC or you can send an email to advising@kish.edu for assistance.  Our Student Services Office is also available via email at onestop@kish.edu, by phone at 815-825-9375 where you can leave a message, or through our live chat on our website under get started, Chat with Us!

We recognize that it may be difficult to do your schoolwork from home.  Many of you have children and family obligations.  We also recognize that some of you may have financial struggles due to the loss of a job, or do not have the technology to support your schoolwork from home.  In an effort to help with technology needs, Chromebooks are available for student checkout.  Assistance is available through the College Foundation to help with internet connection, and other financial needs.  If you are needing support for any of these issues or any others, please reach out to your advisor/counselor for assistance.

Our goal is to help every one of you successfully complete your courses.  Being fully online is a new experience for all of us.  Thank you in advance for working with us as we all navigate this "new normal", recognizing that all new experiences will have "ups" and "downs", but we remain focused on you achieving educational success.

Thank you for being a student at Kishwaukee College.

#KishProud

Laurie Borowicz, Ed.D
President

March 31, 2020 - Faculty & Staff

Welcome back from Spring Break, and welcome to the start of our "new normal" of teaching and working remotely.

This is a new experience for all of us, and with all new experiences, we will have some great "ah-ha" moments, and some "bumps".  I ask that you be patient and kind to each other as we navigate the world of fully online education together.

We recognize how difficult it may be to work from home.  Many of you have children and family obligations.  Faculty and Staff may continue to use sick, personal, or vacation time if they are not feeling well or want to take time off.  Attached is information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act related to COVID-19.  No one will lose pay during this time.  If you need additional resources to support your work at home, please talk with your supervisor.  Information on stipends for home internet and other expenses related to working from home is forthcoming for the various employment groups.

Below is the message students are receiving today.  Faculty will be contacting students with course expectations, and all instructional support and student services are "open" online.

Our priority is to help our students successfully complete this semester, and then our next focus will be on summer/fall enrollment, which opens on April 6th.  The College has Chromebooks available for student checkout, and the foundation is providing support for internet and other student financial needs.  Please refer students with technology or financial needs to their advisor or counselor (advising@kish.edu).

Advisors and Counselors are providing key services.  They will continue to help navigate, support, and encourage our learners.  Please reach out to them as your partner in helping our students during this time.

We recognize that some courses and programs may need extensions in order to complete spring course requirements.  At this time, we are planning for primarily online instruction this summer, comparable to other Illinois Community Colleges.  Dr. Kantner and instructional leadership are working on our next steps.  Some decisions will be dependent on how long the "shelter in place" and other social distancing requirements remain in effect.  We will continue to communicate as more information is provided.

I am motivated and inspired by the passion being displayed by faculty and staff answering the call to serve our students in whatever way possible.  

We are asking everyone to do extraordinary things.  Thank you for being extraordinary people.  

DownloadFFCRA Act

March 25, 2020

Kish Student Technology Update

Our first priority at Kishwaukee College during this uncertain time is ensuring our students have the tools and resources they need to continue their education.  Our faculty and staff have been working to convert courses and services to an alternative instructional delivery system, and will continue to provide you a quality education.

We recognize that not all students have the tools they need to succeed with alternative instructional delivery.  Because of this, Kish will be loaning Chromebooks to students needing an electronic device for their remote learning this semester.  The only requirement is that you return the Chromebook Loan Program agreement to reserve your device and pick-up time. Chromebooks will be available on a first-come first-serve basis.

We will be holding a Chromebook drive-thru pickup on Monday, March 30th  from 10 – noon, and Tuesday, March 31st  from 2-4 pm by the front entrance of the Conference Center, door 16. 

For students not having internet access, please contact foundation@kish.edu to determine options for your situation and area where you reside. 

The Chromebook Loan Program agreement can be found here.  We ask that if you need a Chromebook to return the form to mrothmeyer@kish.edu by noon on Friday, March 27th.  Forms will continue to be accepted past this time as resources are available.

Fill OutAgreement

Thank you.

March 17, 2020

NEW Plan (3/17) on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and its effect on College Operations

Thank you to our students, faculty, and staff for your patience and understanding as we work to provide timely updates regarding the College’s response to COVID-19. The guidance the College, and our fellow higher education partners, are receiving is rapidly changing. Following a conversation with the Governor’s office this morning, the College is planning to fully operate remotely beginning March 30. 

Monday, March 16, 2020 thru Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - (College Open)
*** NO CHANGE ***

  • No classes are being held
  • The College remains open with limited hours of 7 am to 5 pm
  • Kody’s Cupboard (Food Pantry) will be open 9 am to 2 pm, with additional perishable items available in Kish Café on a first come basis (For Students Only)
  • Support services will continue to be available for students per the normal schedule, during the hours of operation of 9 am to 5 pm
  • Kish Café will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday and remain closed through April 9

 

Thursday, March 19, 2020 thru Sunday, March 29, 2020 - (College Closed)
*** NO CHANGE ***

  • The College will be closed during this time period
  • Continuing Education (non-credit classes) will be cancelled and rescheduled where possible

 

Monday, March 30, 2020 and planning thru May 16* – Remote Education (Previosly had May 19 in error)
*** REVISED ***

  • No in-person class meetings or in-person laboratory, clinicals, studio or shop-based sessions will be held.  All instruction will be delivered online or through other alternative formats to the maximum extent possible. The College is working on a plan to deliver essential instruction that cannot be accommodated online and will be communicated in the near future
  • Individual course faculty will communicate directly with students on specific course plans
  • Support services will continue to be available remotely for students per the normal schedule, during the hours of operation of 8 am to 5 pm

*This could change in the event we receive new information that safely allows us to reopen campus. (added 3/17 at 6:45 pm)

Important Numbers and Contacts:

Students are encouraged to contact their instructor for all course specific information and their assigned academic advisor and/or counselor for student services questions. Emails and voicemails will be returned as quickly as possible.

 

Additional Information:

  • Students and employees are encouraged to continue checking their College email and the website for the most current update at www.kish.edu/covid19
  • Students who experience additional hardships during this time are encouraged to reach out to their academic advisor
  • Student workers will be paid their average hours worked for the past two pay cycles during this time period.  Human Resources will submit this time for payroll

Comcast is providing Xfinity WiFi Network Nationally for Free: find a hotspot near you

March 16, 2020

Update on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and its effect on College Operations

The College continues to closely monitor the changing landscape surrounding the local and national response to COVID-19. At this time there have been no reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Kishwaukee College or in our district.
The College is taking the following immediate actions, based on the information available at this time:

Monday, March 16, 2020 thru Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - (College Open)

  • No classes are being held
  • The College remains open with limited hours of 7 am to 5 pm
  • Kody’s Cupboard (Food Pantry) will be open 9 am to 2 pm, with additional perishable items available in Kish Café on a first come basis (For Students Only)
  • Support services will continue to be available for students per the normal schedule, during the hours of operation of 8 am to 5 pm
  • Kish Café will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday and remain closed through April 9

Thursday, March 19, 2020 thru Sunday, March 29, 2020 - (College Closed)

  • The College will be closed during this time period
  • Continuing Education (non-credit classes) will be cancelled and rescheduled where possible

Monday, March 30, 2020  thru Thursday, April 9, 2020 – (College Open)

  • The College will be open during this time but we are encouraging social distancing
  • Classes will resume, Monday, March 30th with lecture components of all courses, when possible, being delivered online
  • Individual course faculty will communicate directly with students on specific course plans
  • Support services will continue to be available for students per the normal schedule, during the hours of operation of 8 am to 5 pm

Additional Information:

  • Students and employees are encouraged to continue checking their College email and the website for the most current update at www.kish.edu/covid19
  • Students who experience additional hardships during this time are encouraged to reach out to their academic advisor
  • Student workers will be paid their average hours worked for the past two pay cycles during this time period.  Human Resources will submit this time for payroll
  • Comcast is providing Xfinity WiFi Network Nationally for Free; find a hotspot near you
  • March 16, 2020 email communication to staff (pdf)
March 12, 2020

Alternative Instructional Delivery Plan
In an attempt to reduce the density of people on campus, Kishwaukee College is going to an alternate instructional delivery plan.

The College is NOT CLOSING.

Classes remain on campus through Saturday this week.  Next week the College will add an additional week of Spring Break for our students, from March 16th through March 21st with campus operation hours from 7:00 am- 5:00 pm.  Faculty and staff will continue to report to work with faculty having time to develop their alternative instructional delivery plans.  The week of March 23rd through March 27th will be spring break as scheduled.  The alternative instructional delivery method will begin on March 30th and will continue through April 9th.  At that point we will reassess the situation.  We will be canceling all group functions on campus, per the recommendation of the DeKalb County Health Department to suspend activities for groups of 25 people or more (link to release updated 3/13/20 at 10:41 am).

We plan to keep the Early Learning Center open as long as it is feasible/safe.

The College’s response seeks to strike a balance between preparedness and caution on this important matter.  Our most important responsibility is to provide continuity of instruction.  We are preparing to move instruction online where possible, with limited on campus labs, studio and shop based face to face classes.  Our goal is to decrease the overall concentration of students on campus without disrupting the work of teaching and learning.

At this time, college travel is limited to in-state travel only. 

The college is requesting employees and students who have recent travel to level 2 and 3 countries per CDC guidelines to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days, starting from the day of your departure to return to the United States.  All quarantined employees will have their normal work time covered with pay.  These employees who have paid time off benefits will not be required to use these benefits.  Employees are required to provide documentation of their travel to their supervisor. 

Students who indicate that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have come in direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed, should not come to campus and should be advised to immediately contact Human Resources at 815-825-9370 or kishhr@kish.edu.  An instructional plan will be developed for these students.

Healthy employees should continue to report to work as scheduled. Employees with concerns about being on campus should first contact their direct supervisor and subsequently consult Human Resources.  Employees who experience any illness not believed to be related to coronavirus should stay home until they are recovered.

If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 or comes in direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed, they should not come to campus and should immediately contact Human Resources at 815-825-9370 or by email at kishhr@kish.edu

As of now, all other absence and paid time off procedures have not changed.  Employees and supervisors should follow the applicable collective bargaining agreement and/or policy for absences as they normally would with the exception of the above mentioned requirement to self-quarantine due travel or positive diagnosis of COVID-19.  Those with a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 and have or will have eliminated their sick leave prior to the doctor’s release to return to work will not incur a loss of pay.  Those with autoimmune disease or are feeling sick and out of sick leave, should contact HR.

Student workers should not report to work and will be paid at their average hours worked during their previous two pay periods.

Guidelines for Planning

  • Faculty, staff, and students should continually check their College email for information and updates.
  • Lecture components of all courses, when possible, will be delivered online beginning March 30th.
  • Lab and studio components of courses will continue to meet on-campus.  Faculty should work with their Dean to make any lab time schedule changes. Thought should be given in lab and studio classes to increase social distance when possible and to avoid group clusters. 
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures are being implemented in the labs.
  • The current plan is for the alternative instructional delivery plan to continue for two weeks, March 30th through April 9th.  This will be updated as the situation evolves.
  • Professional Development Day, scheduled for April 9th, is cancelled.  It is a regular workday.
  • Faculty will communicate with students their alternative instructional delivery for each course section.
  • Scheduling of clinical components will be determined by faculty/departments.
  • Faculty may move office hours online for the duration of the alternative instructional delivery.
  • Faculty may continue to come to campus to work in their offices and use college resources. 
  • Every course section already has a shell in Brightspace and the IT Help Desk can assist faculty who need help putting content or assessments in Brightspace. 
  • A plan to support faculty in preparing their courses for the alternative instructional delivery will be shared on Friday, March 13th.
  • All of the college-based student support resources that students need to be successful in their coursework will be available during this time, including the library, computer labs, Tutoring Services, and Advising and Counseling, among others. 
  • The conference center will work with scheduled events for alternative plans.
  • Please visit the website for ongoing information. www.kish.edu/covid19.

Each day brings new change.  We will update you via Kish email on changes in how we respond to the situation.

March 10, 2020

March 10, 2020

Kishwaukee College continues to closely monitor the global outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We will keep our campus community informed as developments occur. To date, we have not identified any cases of infected Kishwaukee College students, faculty or staff.  It is important for everyone to remain aware of this public health situation.

As of today, Kishwaukee College Senior Leadership Team and security, in partnership with the DeKalb County Health Department, are working on our continuity of operations plan (COOP) in the event that this outbreak progresses.  The draft will be shared for review with key stakeholders. This team will continue to monitor and plan for necessary responses or changes to college operations. UPDATE 3/11: Link to draft plan was added.  Please note, plan is fluid and may change as more information becomes available.

As part of the development of the COOP, the team decided to implement the following:

Changes to Travel

International: Following the guidance of the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kishwaukee College is suspending all college-sponsored international travel.

Domestic: Nonessential out-of-state travel, including professional development, college-sponsored activities and events, are restricted as of Monday, March 16. We will continue to monitor the situation locally.

March 6, 2020

Kishwaukee College is committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.  The College has been in contact with the DeKalb County Health Department and there currently is not anyone in DeKalb County who has contracted the COVID-19 virus.  For more information on the COVID-19 Virus click here.

Information the College is currently receiving from Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) is that "the health risk to the general public from COVID-19 remains low, both in the U.S. and in Illinois."  Also IDPH is stating, "At this time, there is no need to cancel classes or events on campus.  However, as with any respiratory virus, students, faculty members, and other College staff should stay home and avoid events when they are ill."

The Illinois Department of Public Health advises as with any respiratory virus, students and school personnel can protect themselves and others by taking every day common sense actions.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Kishwaukee College will also continue proper sanitary practices and deep clean classrooms to help prevent the spread of germs over spring break.  Kishwaukee College Leadership will continue to closely monitor recommendations regarding coronavirus and will update students, faculty and staff on any significant changes or recommendations to the College.

To see complete Guidance for Illinois Universities and Colleges regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus click here.

Prevention

The CDC recommends the following everyday preventative actions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Resources

The CDC has valuable information on the following:

Watch the informative video “Get the facts on coronavirus.”

Questions or concerns?

Have questions about coronavirus? Contact the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline.

Phone: 800.889.3931

Email: dph.sick@illinois.gov

If you have questions or concerns specific to health and safety at Kishwaukee College, please submit them through the comments and suggestions form.