Frequently Asked Questions

Please know that the answers below reflect the university’s current plans and expectations.  The university is making decisions based on federal, state, and city public-health guidance and the actual circumstances occurring on the campus. As public health guidance is revised and/or circumstances change, the university may need to modify its plans and expectations.

Illinois Tech COVID-19 Contact Information

Click one of the links below to scroll to that section. If you would like to search the questions on the page you can use your web browsers in-page search by clicking Ctrl + F on windows or Cmd + F on Mac OS.

 

Academics

At present there are no plans to shift the academic calendar.

At present all scheduled breaks will proceed as planned. 

We continue to seek to develop appropriate classroom operating protocols based on guidance from the CDC, the state, and the city. At present, our intention is to provide students with the opportunity for as many in-person classes as possible, should they wish this. In-person classes will operate in accordance with applicable guidance, including social distancing protocols and maximum attendance limits. Some classes will be offered online but with opportunities, to the extent possible, for direct student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction. Many classes will be hybrid with options for both.

We are planning for courses that will be capped at smaller than typical sizes and that will also operate at lower densities than usual, to follow expected social-distancing guidelines. At this time we believe that online courses, with opportunities for direct student-to-student and student-to-faculty interaction, will not be significantly impacted by such limits.

Most courses will have a remote component, and students will be able to participate fully in those courses. In some cases, such as some (but not all) lab and experiential courses, live participation is important, and our aim is to provide these courses to the extent allowed by applicable state and city guidance, including, but not limited to, public health social-distancing protocols, but any student who does not want to participate will be provided alternative courses in fall 2020 so that they can maintain equivalent progress toward their degrees. Students should speak to their academic advisers about this.

We anticipate the state guidelines will require social distancing in class. Currently, the state’s general social distancing guideline is set at 6 feet of separation, but the state may modify this with respect to classroom social distancing.

Yes.

Yes, tuition and fees will be the same regardless of the means by which instruction is delivered. (The university operates some distinct, online-only graduate programs that are only available to residents of certain foreign countries. These programs have specific tuition and/or scholarship arrangements, and these programs will remain subject to these arrangements regardless of any change in circumstances.) Most students will have the ability, if they wish, to take all or some classes in-person and/or online. The university shall have no obligation to adjust tuition and fees or to provide refunds or credits in the event circumstances arise that result in a change to the means of instruction during the semester. A course’s number of associated credit hours will be the same regardless of the means of instruction.

Additionally, Illinois Tech has invested very heavily to prepare for this semester in classroom technology, new personnel, testing, plexiglass barriers, and many other items.

It should also be noted that 98 percent of our undergraduate students receive financial aid, and the average financial aid award is in excess of $25,000.

In the event that the state or city issues a “shelter-in-place” or a stay-at-home order, the university will fully transition to online instruction.

The university will seek to monitor infections on campuses and make shutdown decisions based on the particular circumstances of the infections and consistent with state and city public-health guidelines.

Should the need arise for such a decision, we will make it in conformity with public health guidance, including Chicago Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Public Health guidance. In making the decision, we will bear in mind that current guidance states transmission occurs most likely with close contact, defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period) starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Therefore, it may be that only those students who are in the classroom at the same time as the infected student, and within six feet of them for more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, will need to quarantine, while students who have used the same classroom but not at the same time will not be required to quarantine.

We are currently studying this issue.

Once students submit their deposit and sign up for a virtual SOAR session, they can meet with their academic advisers, who will help them select their fall courses. Students who plan to attend online classes this fall can participate in SOAR remotely and also set up remote appointments to meet with their advisers for one-on-one guidance.

Because Illinois Tech is a small, private university, our faculty have always been especially accessible to our students. Once a student submits their deposit and signs up for a virtual SOAR session, they can begin meeting with their academic advisers. Consistent with applicable public health protocols, students attending classes on campus can meet one-on-one with their other professors to receive mentorship and guidance on everything from which courses to take to class projects and other learning opportunities such as undergraduate research programs. Our Blackboard learning module enables students who are studying remotely to connect with faculty for personalized communication and one-on-one guidance. Some professors also offer additional, virtual office hour sessions.

Students will be able to join the Illinois Tech community as soon as they submit their deposit for the fall 2020 semester. Through our online, collaborative summer programs, students can begin to form connections with fellow classmates and faculty right away, whether on campus or studying remotely, through the Blackboard learning module’s engaging collaboration tools. Illinois Tech has an active student community, and many student groups offer remote participation, including our popular Esports team. Incoming students and their families can also listen to the student-run radio station, WIIT, online, and stay up to date on campus news by reading the online edition of TechNews, the student newspaper.

As the fall semester approaches, the Office of Campus Life will continue to plan and execute social programming opportunities for all students virtually.

Research will continue under public health guidelines this fall. For students who study remotely, research is still an option. For example, several computing and technology research projects have continued remotely during the past several months.

Tools within Blackboard enable collaboration and teamwork. Students can share and discuss their work as they would in an in-person setting, and work remotely outside of class times to complete team projects. Some classes that involve hands-on construction of projects can be conducted remotely. For example, in one course, a professor mailed students hardware packages so they could complete their projects remotely. Design-based courses that require students to use software to complete projects also can be conducted remotely. For more information about Blackboard and how it facilitates student and faculty engagement and remote learning, read this platform overview.

Athletics/Gym Operations

The Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) has made the decision to postpone fall 2020 athletic competition through December 31, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Unfortunately, we will not allow spectators at Illinois Tech sporting events. The events will be live-streamed. 

We will have intramural sports that stay consistent with the social distancing guidelines. So sports such as tennis, badminton, and 2v2 volleyball, for example, may be allowed. 

Keating will be open to Illinois Tech students, faculty, and staff only beginning on Saturday, August 22.  We will have new hours, guidelines, and restrictions in place for the usage of Keating, which are available here.

The IIT Tower gym space will be open to Illinois Tech faculty, staff, and building tenants only, with new guidelines and restrictions. 

Locker rooms will be cleaned on a regular schedule during hours of operation.

We will have designated locker spaces for patrons in accordance with social distancing guidance.

Classrooms

Illinois Tech students are required to wear face coverings at all times and to maintain social distancing (six feet between individuals) when in public, which includes in traditional classrooms, instructional laboratories, and similar settings. Students who feel ill or are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, fatigue or a higher than normal temperature are expected to stay at home. If you start to feel ill after leaving your home, you should immediately return there.

Instructors have the right to ask those who are not complying with these requirements to leave class in the interest of everyone. In the event that a student refuses to comply with instructor directions regarding face coverings and/or social distancing, the instructor has the right to cancel class. A student who refuses to comply with these requirements will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for possible disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.

Additionally, as a reminder, following other simple practices such as frequent and thorough hand washing using soap and water for 20 seconds, wiping down desks and seats using disinfecting cleaning materials when possible, not sharing personal items such as pens and cell phones, and avoiding crowded hallways and other enclosed spaces are advised in and out of the classroom.

Visit iit.edu/COVID-19 for details on Illinois Tech’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Students are also welcome to call 312.567.5810 between 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. CST for university-related information regarding COVID-19.

For information from government authorities, please visit chicago.gov/2019-nCoV or cdc.gov/coronavirus, email coronavirus@chicago.gov, or call 312.746.4835.

COVID Health Protocols - Maintain Social Distance - Wash Your Hands Often - Wear A Face Covering - Stay At Home If You Have Symptoms - infographic

Common Spaces

Individuals will be expected to maintain a 6-foot (or such other distance established by public health protocols) separation as much as possible. However, given that the number of people and degree of movement in these spaces will make constant social distancing difficult, masks will be required in common areas such as lobbies, restrooms, corridors, and elevators for all who can medically wear basic masks.

Individuals should rely on opening push doors with wrists or forearms, and pull doors with a paper towel or cloth, and should always practice hand washing and use of hand sanitizers to reduce their risk of spreading the virus. (Note: recent CDC guidance indicates that surface transmission is not a primary means of spread).

Elevator occupancy limits will be set by the university based on the characteristics of each elevator and consistent with then-available public health guidelines, with maximum occupancy indicated on or near each elevator. 

There will be signs on or near each elevator showing the maximum occupancy. Lobby managers in IIT Tower and Conviser Law Center will assist during periods of high traffic. However, we all will need to take responsibility for complying with the maximum elevator capacity. Any issues can be reported to public safety or your building manager. 

Yes. Under current public health guidance, masks will be required on elevators until we enter Restore Illinois Phase 5 (Normalcy).

Yes. We are increasing cleaning of these items. We will follow CDC, state, and city guidance on cleaning frequency.

 

The university has been using these chemicals for the past number of months and intends to continue to do so.

The current custodial staffing levels planned for the fall 2020 semester are expected to be sufficient to meet the needs of the campus, however, we will monitor workload as the academic year proceeds and decide on additional staffing, if needed.

Yes, it is our current intention to make a reasonable amount of cleaning products available.

Public space is intended to have a broad meaning. It is meant to capture any space where others may be present. A public space includes, but is not limited to, any lobby area, classroom, hallway, restroom, conference room, kitchenette, or sidewalk or outdoor space in which it is not possible to maintain at least six feet of distance from others. It does not include one’s personal residence or private office.

Conviser Law Center/Moffett/Rice Campus Operations

Yes. These three campuses are all engaged in university-wide plans for reopening and are developing tailored plans within the overall university plan. 

The Conviser Law Center intends to reopen the bookstore and cafeteria (the “Spakateria”) consistent with applicable guidance, when the building reopens in August.

Mies Campus and Conviser Law Center will follow the stricter of State of Illinois or City of Chicago guidance. A determination is being made whether the Moffett and Rice campuses will follow state guidance or the same protocols as the Mies Campus and Conviser Law Center.

Department/Office Signage

Please fill out this google form and you will be contacted by a member of the Return to Campus Signage Committee to answer any questions you have and to provide signs for your workspace.

Dining

For the summer months dining hours have been adjusted, and food service is provided only in Center Court. Hours of operation are 11 a.m.–7 p.m. and Monday to Friday only.

Fall hours may be adjusted to ensure that all safety guidelines are in line with CDC guidance and state/federal mandates. 

Our Dining Services team takes social distancing seriously. Floor decals, coughing etiquette, and directional signage are posted throughout the dining facilities in use to inform and educate everyone in the spaces. Staff members are also present during meal hours to assist students.

For the summer months, grab-and-go is the only option. At this time, indoor dining is not allowed. Students, faculty, and staff who want to sit with others, consistent with applicable public health guidance, may have limited options throughout the campus, but tables and chairs must be set 6 feet apart. Sandwiches, salads, and hot food from our partners, Asiana and Saffron, along with our grill station, are available daily. 

During the fall semester, grab-and-go service will continue. In addition, we intend to provide mobile ordering and pick-up options.

Our Dining Services team requires pre-shift health screenings including temperature checks in a designated area. There is also a schedule for vendors to arrive for socially distanced drop-offs. Vendors are not allowed to drop off products without the screening and without a set time.

Faculty and Staff

Staff will be provided with guidance around social distancing specific to their immediate and broader workspaces. Guidance will also be provided relative to the use of kitchenettes, coffee machines, restrooms, schedules, and parking.

Center Court in the MTCC will be open during the summer. It is anticipated that the Commons Dining Hall, 10 West, and Center Court will be open beginning August 17, 2020. Hours will be posted at each venue as appropriate and also be listed online at https://www.dineoncampus.com/iit.

Yes. In March 2020 the university adopted a temporary COVID-19 policy that grants faculty and staff two weeks of paid leave in the event they contract COVID-19. This is in addition to any other paid leave that they may have accrued.

Like any employee, faculty members will, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, be provided a reasonable accommodation, should they require one due to a personal health condition. They need to request an accommodation through the Department of Human Resources. Other administrative considerations may be made by the faculty member’s chairperson or dean.  We are also taking measures to ensure that the classroom environment is such so as to minimize the risks associated with COVID-19, including upgrading classrooms to MERV-13 filtration to remove human-generated aerosols from the air, as well as installing portable HEPA filtration units in some classrooms. We have also been inspecting and servicing our HVAC systems over the summer to make necessary repairs/adjustments and achieve a good supply of outdoor air in keeping with ASHRAE guidelines. This, coupled with masks required in every classroom, social distancing, good hygiene, and self-monitoring of symptoms, will serve to minimize the risk of viral transmission.

The University will consider, to the extent that it can, accommodations for personnel who are members of a vulnerable population and will engage in an interactive process with such personnel in an effort to develop such accommodations. Otherwise, vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that, no matter how cautiously protocols are followed, by returning to work there is some increased risk that they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable individuals. 
 

Answered by President Alan W. Cramb during August 19 Town Hall:

At this time, the current expense-saving measures that we have put into action are expected to accommodate fully the revenue losses that we have projected. If the losses end up being greater than predicted, we have additional budget measures identified that we can put into place before we would look at cutting people’s pay. Once we’ve exhausted all other alternatives, we would make sure that any approach that would impact an employee’s pay would be fair and equitable across the entire faculty, staff, and administrative population. Our strategy has been to maintain all full-time personnel’s normal bi-weekly or monthly salary. Thus, the 4 percent reduction in the pension plan that occurred this summer was applied to everyone—faculty, staff, and administrators—but did not affect one’s bi-weekly or monthly salary.

If salary decreases become necessary, and we will not know this until early September, the strategy for salary decreases would be that those who earn more would lose more than those who earn less. Salary cuts would be applied to everyone: faculty, staff, and administrators. As I noted in the previous town hall, I and other people eligible for a bonus due to their employment agreements will not receive any bonuses in this calendar year or until salary cuts, if any, are restored.

I have not implemented salary cuts for our senior administrators and faculty as this is not necessary at this time. Faculty and staff are working diligently to allow our university to be successful, and I do not think it appropriate at this time to reduce anyone’s salary, beyond the steps I outlined in the last town hall.


 

The student who tests positive will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days and will be monitored by our Student Health and Wellness Center staff. The remainder of the class will be asked to self-quarantine for five days and will then be tested. This exceeds the guidelines set by the city, which only require that persons in “close contact” self-quarantine, but we are adopting a more cautious approach. If after five days all students are negative, then all but the positive student can return to class.

As with students, if a faculty or staff member develops COVID-19, they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days and will be monitored by their primary caregiver.

If a family member becomes ill with COVID-19 and you are the caregiver, you will be expected to self-quarantine. As with other cases of illness of our faculty, it will be the responsibility of your department chairperson to identify a substitute instructor for your classes.

Yes, faculty can be tested in one of two ways: periodically, we will have a Matrix Medical mobile unit on campus and you can register to have a test completed with Matrix. If you have symptoms, we also have a BioFire point-of-care system, and you can register for a test through SHWC staff.

As you know, in recognition of this being an extraordinary year, we have automatically extended the tenure clock for everyone who wanted that extension. With regard to promotion to full professor, we have always weighed quality more than sheer quantity. So, yes, we believe we are taking the extraordinary circumstances of this year adequately into account.

Since the pandemic started, we have used student course evaluations only for formative feedback, not summative. That will be the case again this year.

We are actively working on voice amplification options. Our delay of in-person classes for two weeks will help us ensure we adequately resolve this issue.

Health and Wellness

No institution—government, corporation, school, or any other entity—can guarantee the complete safety of their employees and those they serve. In short, the pandemic imposes an inherent risk to all that cannot be eliminated. However, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate risks associated with and reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus, and Illinois Tech has developed plans for our fall 2020 reopening that aim to accomplish this. Information on these plans are outlined on our main Fall 2020 Reopening website. This site covers topics ranging from testing to masks to social distancing guidelines. Of course, in order to be effective, these plans require all individuals—faculty, students, and staff—to take proactive steps to protect themselves and others, including, but not limited to, practicing social distancing, monitoring health, wearing face coverings, staying home when not feeling well, and regularly washing hands.

As a matter of university policy, if students, faculty, or staff should come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, have a positive test result, OR have a fever of over 100.4 degrees or other symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they must stay home and monitor their health for 14 days. Students who fall into this category should notify the Office of the Dean of Students at 312.567.3081 or dos@iit.edu. Faculty and staff who fall into this category should notify the Office of Human Resources at 312.567.3318 or vrill@iit.edu.

All members of the Illinois Tech community are expected to follow city, state, and federal guidelines for social/physical distancing. At a minimum, this currently means that people are expected to keep a 6-foot distance from others and to wear masks when social distancing is not possible.

Yes. The university is also working in conjunction with several local higher-education consortiums.

Illinois Tech will follow the City of Chicago’s guidance, which can be more restrictive than the state’s guidance but not less. A possible exception may be our campuses in Bedford Park and Wheaton, in which case state guidance may prevail.

Since March 2020, Illinois has taken concrete action to slow the spread of COVID-19. For example, Executive Orders were issued banning large gatherings as early as March 13, closing K–12 schools as of March 17, and requiring residents to shelter in place beginning on March 21 through much of the summer. Illinois and Chicago have also developed comprehensive, multi-phased reopening plans. Although subject to change, Illinois and Chicago have moved into Phase 4, which states that no gatherings should exceed 50 people or 25 percent of the space's occupancy capacity, whichever is less, so long as public health guidance is followed, including, but not limited to, social distancing protocols and the wearing of face coverings.

University leaders are working to prepare for a variety of future contingencies, including future outbreaks. For example, the university has designated space for students who may need to quarantine. From the date of the Illinois governor’s shelter-in-place order to the end of the semester, more than 500 students needed to remain in on-campus housing. The university operated campus housing in accordance with public health protocols, and it educated these students on these safety protocols. These measures—and the students’ compliance with them—helped to prevent an outbreak on campus.

The university has planned, and will continue to plan, for the possibility of another increase in COVID-19 infections throughout the city and state and the effect that increase might have. Illinois Tech will continue to work closely with city and state public health officials. If a future shelter-in-place order is issued, the university will comply with it, and will be able to move classes online for the remainder of the semester so that students are able to continue their studies and earn their credits.

As was the case with the spring 2020 semester, should it become necessary for students to leave the residence halls, housing fees would be prorated based on the time spent in campus housing. However, as instruction will continue to be offered, grades issued, and credit earned, tuition and fees will not be refunded.

Yes, this is our current intention, as long as they are over 2 years of age and medically able to tolerate wearing a mask.

The CDC does not recommend using masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent.

Though many students will have their own masks, and the university strongly encourages them to utilize their own masks, we plan to provide masks for any student who needs one. Disinfectant spray and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the campus, and plexiglass barriers will be in place at cashier/customer service stations and in classrooms, where necessary.

Yes, we aim to have hand sanitizers in common areas of all buildings.

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • - Before, during, and after preparing food
  • - Before eating food
  • - Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • - Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • - After using the toilet
  • - After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet 
  • - After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • - After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • - After handling pet food or pet treats
  • - After touching garbage

September 25, 2020

The Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) is now open for in-person visits! 

The SHWC has a check-in and screening area located in the northwest corner of the IIT Tower lobby (next to the auditorium). This area will be the first point of contact for all appointments and open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. All students who have an in-person appointment or those who would otherwise walk in should report to this area. 

During the check-in process, students will be assessed and either sent to the SHWC on the third floor or to the COVID Care Clinic, which is located in a trailer adjacent to the Minerals and Metals Building. The new COVID Care Clinic is equipped to provide care for students who are exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19. 

Appointments are preferred. If a student walks in and through the pre-screening process and a discussion with a SHWC representative their issue is not deemed urgent, they will be asked to call to make an appointment. All counseling and psychiatry appointments will remain remote for the duration of the fall semester. 

We look forward to serving you this semester. Please call 312.567.7550 with any questions or to make an appointment.

Counseling and psychiatry appointments will remain virtual for the duration of the fall semester. If the need for immediate mental health support should arise, students should call 312.567.7550 to schedule a same-day mental health triage appointment.

All of the center’s normal services, both physical and mental, will be available, as well as COVID-19 testing.

Counseling and psychiatry services that can be accessed online will be available through the Student Health and Wellness Center. Services are provided via a HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platform to ensure privacy.

Answered by Dean of Students Katherine Stetz during August 19 Town Hall:

Yes. All students are required to submit proof of vaccination to the university. Students who are up to date on their vaccinations can simply upload proof of vaccinations at medproctor.com. Those who need to receive vaccinations are encouraged to obtain one at any Walgreens or CVS pharmacy. However, the SHWC will have appointments available beginning August 31. Students can call the center or email at student.health@iit.edu. Please check in with the staff in IIT Tower Lobby (behind the elevator bays) for your appointment.

Student health insurance is provided through Aetna. Insurance premiums are set by the insurer based on utilization rates, both by the covered entity (which in our case is the Illinois Tech student body) and across all entities insured by the insurer. In addition to the general increase in utilization rates over the past year, there was also a significant increase in the utilization rate by Illinois Tech students, all of which contributed to this year’s premium increase.

Answered by Vice President for Facilities and Public Safety Bruce Watts during August 19 Town Hall:

It is very important, and is our expectation, that all members of our community, including staff, faculty, and students, voluntarily comply with the public health protocols not only on campus but also when they are away from our campuses. Our commuter students, our faculty, our staff, and our residential students need to comply with the public health protocols, whether on or off campus, to minimize the risk of an outbreak which may force us to go completely online again.  

These protocols apply to everyone, not just staff, as the question was worded. Administrators and supervisors have been coached to reinforce the protocols across campus and will be frequenting classrooms and public spaces to ensure compliance. Individuals who are seen not complying will be reminded and counseled. Repeat and/or willful violations will be handled through the applicable employer or student discipline process. All of that said, this will be most successful as a cultural community awareness approach where everyone participates in a positive way, rather than something that is completely dependent on a rules and infractions approach. So, we all need to set the example and protect one another. 

Students in our residence halls and in Greek houses must also understand that the state’s definition of “family unit” status in terms of public health protocols is limited to roommates. This means that roommates do not need to wear a face covering while they and only they are in their room, but that face coverings must be worn outside the room and/or when a non-roommate is in the room. It is wrong to think that everyone in a Greek house or a residence hall wing is considered part of a family unit and, therefore, does not need to wear a face covering while anywhere in the house or the residence hall wing. Recent news reports indicate that outbreaks at other universities are associated with campus residence halls and/or Greek houses. So, more than just rules, this is critically important to stopping the spread. 
 

The university uses the definition supplied by the CDC, which is being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period) starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

The university using CDC definitions of these terms. “Self-isolation” separates infected individuals from people who are not infected. “Self-quarantine” separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID or otherwise might be infected, to see if they become ill and prevent spread.

Housing

First- and second-year students are required to live on campus. Therefore, we plan to make spaces available to this population first. Students will have the ability to choose a single-room accommodation in addition to double and triple rooms. Students will also be able to request a roommate(s). There will be no additional cost for a single room accommodation for the fall 2020. The decision to room with someone will be at the discretion of the students seeking to do so, and both must be willing to assume the responsibilities and risks of having a roommate. Accordingly, students are encouraged to consider carefully whether they prefer to have a roommate.

We will do our best to accommodate students who need to move in prior to August 17, 2020, but we cannot guarantee the ability to do so. There will be no extra fee for early move-in requests this fall.

All students can request a change in room accommodation, but the university cannot guarantee that it will be able to grant the requests. Decisions regarding changes will be made based on individual circumstance and availability of space.

Cancellations fees will be waived during the fall semester to allow students the most flexibility with their health and safety.

General public health guidance states that staff access to student rooms should be limited. Cleaning supplies will be made available to students upon request and will be in common areas.

The university has designated rooms for students who may need to self-isolate or be quarantined. These spaces include private bathrooms and kitchens. Students who self-isolate will be given disposable thermometers, masks, and gloves. A health care provider will also communicate with students in quarantine daily during the allotted time.

Dining Services will prepare food for students in quarantine/self-isolation. The residence hall staff will manage delivery to each student as needed.

Students in self-isolation/quarantine will be given the CDC guidelines to assist them with staying safe and keeping the community safe. Quarantine/self-isolation spaces will be designed to have one person per unit with a private kitchen and bathroom. A health care provider will also monitor each student in quarantine/self-isolation daily by phone health screenings and temperature checks. It is incumbent upon anyone in self-isolation/quarantine to adhere to the guidance for the benefit of the entire campus community.

First- and second-year students are required to live on campus. Contract cancellations for this group of students will be issued if there is appropriate medical documentation to support the request or if the student lives with a family member within 20 miles of the campus. Students should submit a waiver by emailing housing@iit.edu. For those students not required to live on campus, cancellation fees will be waived during the fall 2020 semester to allow students greater flexibility in finalizing their housing arrangement for the upcoming academic year.

Students who are living on campus are expected to submit documentation that they have been tested for COVID-19 by Monday, August 24. Students who are registered for in-class instruction and/or plan to visit campus are expected to submit their documentation by September 4. 

Gary Walley and his team in the SHWC will be checking up on all quarantined students on a daily basis.

We are giving students windows for check-in times that start as early as August 7.

Currently, we are expecting approximately 1,200 students to live in our campus housing this fall, not including fraternities. The estimated breakdown by residence hall is 300 students in Kacek Hall, 300 in Rowe Village, 200 in student apartments (Gunsaulus and Carman), and 400 in MSV.

Most on-campus students will be living in two-bed standard double rooms. Students can request to live as a single in a double room at the same cost. Student gatherings in individual rooms will be limited to ensure the university complies with city and state current guidelines.

Sororities and fraternities will be expected to follow the same guidelines as other residence facilities on campus. These include mask wearing in common areas; frequent hand washing; and social distancing in rooms, common areas, hallways, elevators, and other public spaces.

After Tuesday, September 8, only registered Illinois Tech students who have proof of a negative test will be allowed on campus and, therefore, in the residence halls and fraternity and sorority houses.

Occupancy in residential spaces is limited to the number of beds in each room. For example, if you live in a room with two beds, then no more than two people are allowed in that space at any given time. This capacity applies to any residential guests from another hall.

International and Out-of-State Travel

At this time, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has issued an Emergency Travel Order directing travelers entering Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine in accordance with Chicago Department of Public Health guidance. Though the states on the list may well change over the next few weeks, it is Illinois Tech’s expectation that the order’s quarantine requirements will be in effect for some number of states when you arrive for move in and the beginning of classes this fall. The university also requires all international students or visitors to follow the same quarantine guidelines.

In order to comply with the order, students, faculty, and staff may either: 

1. Quarantine for two weeks prior to coming to campus with a method of documenting adherence;
2. Quarantine for two weeks after arrival on campus;
3. Quarantine at home for one week prior to coming to campus with a method of documenting adherence, followed by:

a. A negative test consistent with university deadlines for submitting test results.
b. Quarantine for another week when arriving to Chicago/campus.

Based on the foregoing, if students do not reside in Illinois and will be living and/or participating in classes in person on Illinois Tech’s campuses, we need to gather some information regarding their plans for arriving on campus so we can best accommodate their individual needs and circumstances. Students are requested to please fill out our Illinois Tech Returning Student Arrival and Quarantine Preferences Form to help us identify their needs. 

Large Gatherings

Yes. Although subject to change, Illinois and Chicago have moved into Phase 4, which states that no gatherings should exceed 50 people or 25 percent of the space's occupancy capacity, whichever is less, so long as public health guidance is followed, including, but not limited to, social distancing protocols and the wearing of face coverings.

Public Safety Escort Policy

Safety Escort Policy for During COVID-19 Pandemic

After careful evaluation, the University has determined that it cannot continue to operate both on and off-campus safety escort vehicles in an efficient and timely manner while remaining consistent with public health protocols for vehicle capacity limits and post-ride disinfecting requirements. Accordingly, such escorts, as they are described below, are discontinued until further notice.

The Department of Public Safety will continue to provide, as described below, walking escorts for students, faculty, or staff from an on-campus location to another on-campus location, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Face coverings must be worn and social distance practiced during all walking escorts.

Non-Emergency Medical Escorts

Non-emergency medical escorts will also be provided via walking escort if the student is able to do so. This applies for students seeking escorts to/from Student Health and Wellness. If the student is unable to walk or the escort is to/from Mercy Hospital, the escort van will be used to complete these escorts, except when the student is in quarantine or isolation status or is experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. When the van is used to provide a medical escort, no one but the ill/injured student will be allowed in the van, and both must wear a face covering at all times. An ambulance may be called if a student's condition prevents them from reaching Student Health and Wellness or their condition makes using the escort van to transport them to an off-campus medical site impossible or imprudent.

Illinois Tech Public Safety may provide walking escorts for students displaying symptoms of COVID-19 only if effective safety protocols can be met. Public Safety will consult with Student Health and Wellness staff and/or Housing professional staff on the appropriate response when these situations arise.

Again, face coverings must be worn and social distance practiced during all non-emergency escorts.  

Research and Lab Facilities

Research labs have all developed a socially distant operations protocol. Students engaged in undergraduate research should contact their lab supervisors to discuss whether and how they will be incorporated into these plans.

For specific guidance regarding research operations on campus, please view the guidelines posted on the Office of Research website.

Self-Quarantine, Self-Isolation, Contract Tracing

A person who is positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate for at least 14 days. A medical health practitioner will be assigned to each student who has tested positive to assist with managing their care. The self-isolation period of 14 days begins at the date the test was taken. 

A person who has been verified by a contact tracer to have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus is required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine period begins at the last known point of contact. In addition, those students coming from a state identified in the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order and those traveling internationally are also required to self-quarantine as per university policy.

Contact tracers will work with those who test positive to identify their close contacts. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period) starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Contact tracing begins when a person receives a positive COVID-19 test result. This means that a university official will work with the person who tested positive to identify people they may have come into close contact with.

Illinois Tech has set up a dedicated Contact Tracing Hotline for students to call to report a positive test result or possible close contact. The hotline number is 872.216.7440, and the email is contacttracing@iit.edu. Students, faculty, or staff members who receive a positive test or believe they may be a close contact and have not heard from a university official should call the hotline. A contact tracer is on call 24 hours each day.

Not all accommodations are appropriate for self-quarantine/self-isolation. An appropriate accommodation must have a private bathroom and kitchen space (i.e., refrigerator and microwave/stove). The university has secured space in two hotels near campus to assist students who live on campus with accommodations for self-quarantine if necessary. A student who currently lives on campus and needs accommodations for self-isolation will be able to stay on campus or may return home if appropriate. Self-isolation spaces are reserved in the residence halls.

When a student enters self-quarantine, they will be given information about their hotel assignment. When a student enters self-isolation, they are assigned a space in one of the reserved residence hall spaces. A team member in the Office of Residence Life will work directly with the student who needs to self-isolate to ensure that their self-isolation space is appropriate for the individual; this may, in the right circumstances, include facilitating the student’s ability to go home. The student will also receive information about how to arrange meal delivery and self-quarantine or self-isolation guidelines and expectations, which includes a phone number for a professional staff member who serves in a 24-hour on call rotation.

Student Community

Although subject to change, Illinois and Chicago have moved into Phase 4, which states that no gatherings should exceed 50 people or 25 percent of the space's occupancy capacity, whichever is less, so long as public health guidance is followed, including, but not limited to, social distancing protocols and the wearing of face coverings. The university is currently developing plans to proceed with events such as these in the fall semester consistent with public health guidelines, and planning information will be shared on the Illinois Tech Fall 2020 Reopening website.

Virtual SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration) sessions have been running all summer. Students who were unable to participate will be able to connect with a SOAR leader and view sessions on-demand.

Students can anticipate scheduling a specific time for their residence hall move-in time in August. This will allow us to ensure that social distancing is easier to achieve.

We also currently expect to have a hybrid of virtual and in-person Welcome Week and Convocation activities. Planning is underway, and details will be released at a later date.

Students can begin to make connections with fellow students as soon as they submit their deposit for the fall 2020 semester. Students can then sign up for a virtual SOAR session, which allows them to meet friends and start forming a social network from the comfort of home. Once students are on campus, the small-group, suite-style living of our residence halls will facilitate their ability to build friendships while maintaining social distance and complying with other public health guidelines. They will also meet students through their courses, which will be offered in accordance with public health guidelines. For students who enroll in online courses for the fall, our collaborative Blackboard learning module will allow them to engage and collaborate with fellow students on class projects.

The Student Government Association will continue to webcast meetings and is planning to offer the opportunity for students to participate via Zoom. All student organizations, in general, are being encouraged to conduct virtual meetings through Google Hangouts or another online meeting software.

Testing/Screening

Answered by Dean of Students Katherine Stetz during August 19 Town Hall:

Our original schedule for testing using Matrix Medical was devised to screen our community and assist many to get a test prior to arriving on campus. The Mies Campus offered three days, and one day of testing at Conviser Law Center, the week of August 17. We have added August 21, September 9, and September 21 to the testing schedule, and all spots have filled.

We are currently working with Matrix Medical to add at least one additional date prior to September 9. More information is to come.
We wanted to offer the “screening” testing option so that we could calculate and monitor the positivity rate on our campus. This rate will assist us in making decisions about the operations of campus.

The second step to our testing strategy is to have a point-of-care unit on our campus. This will allow those who have either come into close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms to get an immediate test and results within the hour. We are expecting our BioFire machine and testing modules to arrive next week. This service is scheduled to be available the week of August 31.

In addition to everything we have done and will do on campus, we are also encouraging those who have not been tested to use local resources. President Cramb actually went to Loop Medical Center this week—Loop Medical Center at 1921 South Michigan Avenue (loopmedicalcenter.com). It is an official IDPH COVID-19 testing site. He scheduled his appointment online in three minutes, visited the location on 19th and Michigan, and was in and out within 10 minutes.

We have also stated that all members of the Illinois Tech community who plan to be on campus after September 8 show proof of a COVID-19 test by September 4. Those who are not able to comply with this expectation may be required to leave campus.
 

Yes. Checking your temperature, like regularly washing your hands, is one of those actions we can all take to mitigate the spread of the virus. The university plans to follow applicable city and state mandates with regard to temperature checks. These mandates have not yet been finalized.

The university is piloting four devices in four different locations during the summer session. We anticipate increasing the number of locations in the fall to accommodate our students. These devices will be available for self-use so that anyone can check their temperature at any time. Unless the city and state mandates differently, no personal information will be captured by the thermal cameras.

If a student observes that they have a temperature above 100.4 degrees, they will be encouraged to have a telemedicine consultation with a professional in our Student Health and Wellness Center. The student may then be asked to come in for testing. Everyone with such a temperature should also minimize contact with others to the extent possible.

Faculty and staff will be advised to contact their healthcare provider for further guidance.  

To the extent possible, COVID-19 testing will be available through the Student Health and Wellness Center for students who wish or need to be tested. There are several on campus locations open for COVID-19 testing. The university has also established a COVID-19 Care Clinic.

The university will follow all applicable privacy and HIPAA laws to ensure the privacy of our community.

The university will, to the best of its ability, use contact-tracing and reporting methods.

A. Once someone is confirmed as infected with the virus, contacts are identified by working with the student to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period) starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated).

B. Illinois Tech personnel will contact Illinois Tech community members to inform them they may have had contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus. To the extent possible, Illinois Tech personnel will work directly with the affected student to assist in making contact with those who are not Illinois Tech community members. Communication to those who may have had contact with an infected person will include information based on applicable public health guidance about common symptoms, a recommended plan of care, and information on seeking medical attention.

Students who have a health request for accommodations should contact the Center of Disability Resources, which will engage and interact with students regarding their circumstances and possible options. Other health and safety concerns can be directed to the Office of Student Affairs at dos@iit.edu.

Those who believe they fall under this category may have the option to work and/or to take classes remotely, if possible, or other possible accommodations to minimize their contacts with other.

To reduce transmission among the Illinois Tech community, the university will, subject to space restrictions, the commercial availability of supplies, and other relevant circumstances, be guided by the following:

1. Sick students/employees should stay home and not come to campus. 
2. Students who live on campus and are ill may be eligible for a temporary living space to self-isolate.
3. Routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs will be increased.
4. We will notify individuals of the expectation that they practice social distancing protocols to the extent possible.

 

Students who are living on campus are expected to submit documentation that they have been tested for COVID-19 by Monday, August 24.

Essential staff and faculty currently working on campus are also expected to submit their documentation by August 24.

Students who are registered for in-class instruction and/or plan to visit campus are expected to submit their documentation by September 4.

Faculty and staff who will be returning to campus starting on September 8 are expected to submit their documentation by September 4. Faculty and staff starting after the week of September 8 are expected to submit their documentation no fewer than five days prior to their start date. 

COVID-19 tests are valid only at the time of testing and do not predict the potential for future infection. The aim of this initiative is to establish a baseline positivity rate against which to compare ongoing assessments of our positivity rate. This information will be used in conjunction with other relevant data to determine and evaluate any spread of the virus on campus and to be able to compare that to the infection rate in our larger Chicago community.

We have explored using the saliva COVID-19 viral test to screen all students, faculty, and staff to get baseline positivity. It appears that test will not be available to us through our partner until October at the earliest. We therefore contracted with Matrix Medical Network, a premier COVID-19 testing company, to provide screening viral test using nasal samples. We will also have point of care (POC) testing available for any member of our community who presents symptoms. This is in addition to the state and city testing sites and private testing facilities that are available throughout the Chicago region.

Our current plan is to have Matrix Medical come to Main Campus every two weeks to assess the positivity rate of our campus community.

We have not yet worked through all of the details, but our current plan is to seek to randomly test 300-plus members of our community using on-campus testing every two weeks. Our current expectation is that it will take about five minutes to take each sample. Based on this, we believe our initial plan will be to provide a one- to two-hour window for individuals to walk in and give their samples.

The SHWC will perform the POC test (nasopharyngeal), and test results will be available in two hours (approximately). The POC test is primarily intended for students who are showing symptoms or who have had contact with someone who has tested positive. Matrix Medical will also test using nasopharyngeal sampling, and those results will be available in two to three days.

The times given above reflect the time by which we estimate being able to deliver results to students.

No. If VanderCook College of Music staff, faculty, and students, who are not also staff, faculty or students at Illinois Tech, wish to pursue benefits at Illinois Tech, then they will need to have their leadership approach our university and negotiate that.

Illinois Tech  has decided that it will be using part of the most recent generous gift from Board of Trustees Chairman Michael P. Galvin (LAW '78) to cover up to $1 million of student out-of-pocket COVID-19 testing expenses, starting at the beginning of the fall semester. The university will, however, ask any student who is eligible to apply for COVID-19 testing coverage and/or reimbursement through their insurance to do so, particularly for those students who are tested and are symptomatic.

Illinois Tech will reimburse out-of-pocket travel costs up to $20 related to obtaining a COVID-19 test. A receipt is required for reimbursement, so please save that documentation. We will not reimburse for mileage or gas for a personal vehicle. One reimbursement per student will be granted during the fall semester. 

Students can apply for travel reimbursement by clicking here. If you have questions, you can email covidcosts@iit.edu.

Our cost for POC tests will be roughly $135 per test. As noted above, up to $1 million from Chairman Galvin’s gift will go to support student out-of-pocket costs. Again, any student who is eligible to apply for COVID-19 testing and/or reimbursement through their insurance will be asked to do so.

Once you have your COVID-19 viral test results, students should report results to medproctor.com, while faculty and staff should report their results to Viktoria Rill in the Office of Human Resources at vrill@iit.edu. 

  • Any faculty or staff member with Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage can be reimbursed for the full cost of a COVID-19 viral test at any in-network provider. For the purposes of the required pre-opening COVID-19 testing, and for those purposes only, the university will allow individuals to use regular work hours to get tested. 
  • Any student, faculty, or staff member can also obtain a COVID-19 test at any state testing site at no cost. Travel costs up to $20 will be reimbursed, and details on requesting reimbursement will be provided shortly. 
  • Another alternative is to schedule a test at a Chicago Department of Public Health testing site. Again, travel costs up to $20 will be reimbursed.
     

Answered by Provost Peter Kilpatrick during August 19 Town Hall:

Given that it is impossible to test everyone simultaneously, we recognize that the mass testing at the beginning of our school year is helpful for establishing our baseline positivity rate and to catch as many positive cases as possible. Of course, all persons who test positive will be mandated to self-isolate for two weeks, and we will, consistent with public health guidance, seek to contact trace all with whom they were in close contact. Thus, we will allow students, staff, and faculty access to campus if they have been tested by September 4. However, after September 4, those who have not demonstrated proof of testing will not have public access to campus and will have to engage our campus community virtually.

Tuition and Fees

Yes, tuition will be the same regardless of the means by which instruction is delivered. (The university operates some distinct, online-only graduate programs that are only available to residents of certain foreign countries. These programs have specific tuition and/or scholarship arrangements, and these programs will remain subject to these arrangements regardless of any change in circumstances.) Most students will have the ability, if they wish, to take all or some classes in person and/or online. The university shall have no obligation to adjust tuition and fees or to provide refunds or credits in the event circumstances arise that result in a change to the means of instruction during the semester. A course’s number of associated credit hours will be the same regardless of the means of instruction.

Additionally, Illinois Tech has invested very heavily to prepare for this semester in classroom technology, new personnel, testing, plexiglass barriers, and many other items.

It should also be noted that 98 percent of our undergraduate students receive financial aid, and the average financial aid award is in excess of $25,000.

The mandatory fees that you are charged depend on a range of factors, such as what type of student you are (graduate, undergraduate, new, returning, or graduating) and the location from which you are studying (domestic or abroad).

To this end, we have created the below dashboard, which provides you with your individual information (click on the link to view):

https://datastudio.google.com/reporting/08c227fd-fb52-4bdf-a478-e37143e23995

To see the full email sent to all students on August 27, 2020, click here.

Illinois Tech will reimburse out-of-pocket travel costs up to $20 related to obtaining a COVID-19 test. A receipt is required for reimbursement, so please save that documentation. We will not reimburse for mileage or gas for a personal vehicle. One reimbursement per student will be granted during the fall semester. 

Students can apply for travel reimbursement by clicking here. If you have questions, you can email covidcosts@iit.edu.

Yes, Illinois Tech still has a portion of the allocation from the CARES Act available to assist students during fall 2020. These funds—called the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF)—are aimed at providing emergency relief to students for expenses related to the COVID-19 disruption to campus operations. Eligible expenses include food, housing, course materials, health care, child care, technology-related expenses, and transportation. These funds cannot be used toward tuition. 

These funds are designated for undergraduate, FAFSA eligible students. Eligible students can apply through the Student Assistance Form by selecting the HEERF option and indicating relevant expenses and any other relevant details.

Under U.S. Department of Education guidance, students must be meeting satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements to be eligible for HEERF grants. Students can appeal their SAP status by completing an SAP appeal form and sending it to finaid@iit.edu.

Hawks4Hawks was created by the Class of 2017. It is aimed at assisting students who are facing financial challenges in completing their degree. Illinois Tech’s Advancement team has been working to increase donations to this fund during this time of crisis. Undergraduate students faced with financial hardship will be considered upon completion of the Student Assistance Form.

The Office of Financial Aid is available to assist with any questions related to your financial aid offer, FAFSA completion, or aid-related requirements. Staff are available at finaid@iit.edu or 312.567.7219, or via virtual appointment

The Office of Student Accounting is available to assist with any questions related to your billing statement. Staff are available at sa@iit.edu or 312.567.3794, or via virtual appointment.

Students facing financial hardship due to parent job loss, change of income, medical expenses, or other financial situation are welcome to submit a Student Assistance Form the 2020–21 academic year. The Office of Financial Aid will work with students to determine if an EFC adjustment is possible (for federal aid-eligible students) and will review all students for any available institutional aid. To learn more visit, the Financial Aid website.

Additional Communications

Yes. Please visit https://www.iit.edu/COVID-19 for up-to-date information.

You are welcome to call 312.567.5810 between 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. CST for university-related information regarding COVID-19. We also encourage you to contact the below offices:

- Current students: Office of Student Affairs at dos@iit.edu
- Current parents: Office of Student Affairs at dos@iit.edu
- Prospective students/parents: Office of Undergraduate Admission at admission@iit.edu
- Staff: Office of Human Resources at HR@iit.edu
- Faculty: University Faculty Council at ufc@iit.edu
- Alumni: Office of Advancement at alumni@iit.edu

For additional links to the Chicago Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization, please visit our Additional Resources page https://www.iit.edu/COVID-19/additional-resources