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Future Planning, Assistance for Students Discussed at JALC Board Meeting

Published on July 30, 2020

The fluidity of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has resulted in constant planning and daily changes to the start of the fall semester at John A. Logan College.  Administrators updated the Board of Trustees at their July meeting on plans to begin classes on August 12.

According to Vice President for Instructional Services, Dr. Melanie Pecord, faculty, and staff, have worked throughout the summer months to develop a schedule that will allow for some face-to-face classes, hybrid classes, and both online anytime and scheduled online courses.

“We have communicated with students through various platforms, the modalities that we will use to deliver instruction this fall,” said Pecord.”  Students are showing a preference for face-to-face and online scheduled classes.  To meet the needs of students coming on campus, we will require masks to be worn by anyone entering the College.  We will also have only four entrances open with temperature checks required to enter the building.”

Pecord added that tuition for online and hybrid classes will be reduced by 10 percent for the fall semester and that the activity fee will be waived as well.

“We cannot do what we normally do for students this semester, and students are taking online classes that they had originally planned to take face-to-face, so we feel the discount is necessary,” said Pecord. “In addition to the reduction in fees, the College has remaining CARES Act funds that students that were enrolled during the spring semester and have reenrolled for the fall semester could be eligible to receive.”

Administrators also discussed plans to offset potential revenue losses due to COVID-19. Vice President for Business Services and College Facilities, Brad McCormick, reported that he is anticipating decreases to all three of the College’s revenue streams: tuition and fees, state funding, and local property taxes.  McCormick informed the Board that final budget recommendations would be presented at the August Board of Trustees meeting.

“We will make final budget recommendations after the start of the fall semester so that we have a clearer picture of what tuition revenue will be, and we will make adjustments based on that information,” said McCormick.

Vice President Pecord informed the Board of a plan that will include the reassignment of duties for several staff members that will assume the responsibilities of recently retired staff members. In addition to the personnel moves, the College will close the Extension Centers in Du Quoin and West Frankfort for one academic year.  According to Pecord, the staff members at those facilities will be reassigned to the Carterville campus. According to Pecord, the plan has the potential to save the College over 400 thousand dollars.

President House reported that while enrollment is currently down, there has been a steady improvement in recent weeks.

“I am optimistic regarding fall enrollment,” said House. “With the finalization of our fall schedule and increased messaging, we are gaining ground in enrollment. Our current numbers do not include dual credit classes or our professional programs like nursing, so while the pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty, we do see reasons to be optimistic.”