FAQ for Students and Families

At Trinity Christian College, we cannot wait to welcome you back to campus for the Fall 2020 semester! Our entire community, under the leadership of the COVID Planning Team, has been working tirelessly to prepare for our students’ return to campus in August.

This semester will look different for all of us, yet we remain committed to living and learning together “based on the biblical requirements of justice, humility, and love.” All of our planning and actions aim to support those core community values.

COVID-19 has produced a continually changing and complex situation across the globe, and we are closely monitoring information and guidance from local, state, and national health agencies and government organizations. We pledge to communicate with you as situations evolve and adjustments need to be made to support the well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors.  As part of that communication, we are providing responses to Frequently Asked Questions that inform you of the plans in place at this time. We will continue to update this site throughout the coming weeks and encourage you to check this page frequently.

Fall 2020 FAQs for Students and Families

What safety measures are in place for classrooms?
Several measures are underway and will continue to be added as we continue to monitor what is effective. We have adjusted the daily schedule to allow for 20 minutes between classes so that students will be able to wipe down their desk area upon leaving class and upon entering class. Trinity will supply cleaning supplies in all classrooms. All members of the community will wear masks in class at all times. Where appropriate, classrooms will have plexiglass shields installed for faculty members. Additionally, all members of the Trinity community will be asked to do daily self-screening for symptoms and record their screening in an app, so that we can better monitor potential areas of concern.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What will be the expectations of us on campus?
Please read the Covenant of Care to  understand what is expected of each and every member of our campus community. You will be required to sign the Covenant to be an active member of the community. We will have additional expectations for residence hall students, students from certain majors (such as nursing), and student athletes. In each instance, we are working to give you the best information we have at the time, so recognize that expectations may shift as the semester unfolds. We will communicate changes via Trinity email.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What other preventative measures is Trinity taking?
In addition to preventative measures in the classroom, Trinity is implementing safety measures in every building on-campus.  This includes safety-based changes in the Dining Hall & BBC; plexiglass shields in various locations; clear signage with directions for safe, physical distancing; modifications to entry and exit points in buildings; and more frequent cleaning of public spaces and high-contact surfaces.  Trinity is also reducing the number of external guests permitted on campus. Trinity is also implementing several policies, including a Covenant of Care, that outlines the commitments all members of the community will be required to undertake. In addition to the Covenant of Care, location specific policies and guidelines (such as residence halls, dining, chapel) will be communicated as we return to campus.
Updated July 17, 2020.

When and how can we sign the Covenant of Care?
The Covenant of Care is  posted online for you to review and will be available to sign after August 1 on your student portal. Before you return to campus, all students will be required to sign the Covenant along with a COVID-specific release of liability, in addition to typical student life forms. This will be very closely monitored this year, so students should log into their student portal well in advance of the first day of class to complete this work. We also encourage you to talk with your family about the commitments you are making and the terms to which you are agreeing.
Updated July 17, 2020.

How many times should we self-screen per day?
All students will be required by Trinity to self-screen once per day before leaving their residence halls or participating in any activities, courses, or gatherings on campus. Specific instructions regarding the self-screening process and tools will be provided to all members of the campus community in August. If you are employed off campus or at an internship, you may be asked for more rigorous procedures by your site. Additionally, students participating in intercollegiate athletics will have additional screening procedures outlined to them upon return to campus.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What happens if a member of the Trinity Community has COVID-19?
Trinity will follow the established safety guidelines unique to the particular situation while simultaneously caring for the individual and our community. Such response may include implementing a quarantine, closing classrooms or specific spaces for a period of time, contact tracing and disinfecting spaces, notification to potentially impacted community members, and other appropriate, necessary action. The College will have a Campus Health Coordinator in place to oversee this process.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What should I do if I think another member of the community is exhibiting symptoms or not following the Covenant of Care?
As per our usual conflict resolution process at Trinity, we ask that each and every member address one another directly when a person is not living up to the expectations of the community. At the same time, we recognize that COVID-19 presents a more urgent need to be vigilant and protect the community’s safety. If an initial conversation with a member of the community does not improve the circumstances, please complete a student of concern report, and a staff member will follow up in a timely fashion. Faculty and staff reserve the right to deny access to campus facilities to students who are not following the Covenant of Care (for example, to ask a student to put on a mask before entering the classroom).
Updated July 17, 2020.

What if I don’t want to wear a face covering?
Face coverings are one of the key tools we have to mitigate the spread of the virus while we work and learn together in community. They are a way we can demonstrate love and care for others among us – who may be vulnerable to COVID-19. If you are unwilling to wear a face covering, unfortunately, you will be asked to leave campus. Staff from Student Life will work with you to consider if an online option is suitable. If you are unable to wear a face covering due to medical concerns, please complete an online request for accommodations.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What is Trinity doing regarding travel limitations and quarantine? Will certain students be required to quarantine upon arrival?
We are closely monitoring the CDC and  State of Illinois requirements for travel-related quarantine. This is something that is shifting on a very regular basis.  As August approaches, Residence Life staff will reach out to those students who could be directly impacted given the home address registered in the student portal.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What is the maximum amount of people that Trinity will allow us to have in a group this upcoming semester?
Phase Four of the Restore Illinois  plan restricts gatherings to 50 people. We will be holding some classes and chapel (likely outdoors) that get close to that number. However, in general, we will greatly reduce large scale gatherings and events across campus, and will be requiring all student groups to eliminate large scale events. Outdoor group gatherings will be more acceptable as it is currently understood that the virus is difficult to transmit outdoors. However, indoor gatherings will be more restricted. All rooms on campus will have revised capacities listed on the door of the room to guide us, and residence hall guidelines will be provided to residential students.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Will in person classes resume in the Fall 2020 semester?
Trinity will hold many classes in person for the fall 2020 semester. All classrooms have been reconfigured and have reduced occupancy limits to ensure that – at all times – social distancing is maintained in the classroom. Some classes will be offered in online and hybrid formats, to further ensure that space is utilized in a manner compliant with Illinois Phase 4 guidelines. Students and faculty will wear masks at all times during courses.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What is the academic calendar for fall?
Trinity plans to conduct in-person classes for traditional undergraduate students through the end of the day on Friday, November 20. Classes will reconvene in online formats from Monday, November 30, through Friday, December 11. Final exams will be held online during the week of December 14 through December 18. To accommodate this revised schedule, courses will be held on Labor Day and Fall Break will be shortened to one day, Wednesday, October 7. The academic calendar online has been updated by the Registrar’s Office.

Presently, we are planning for all adult undergraduate and graduate courses to meet in person or in the revised hybrid format where needed based on available physical space through mid-December, unless those courses were already planned as online courses.

All classroom assignments are loaded into your academic schedule in your student portal.  Please check those locations the day before your classes begin, as those locations are subject to change.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Will we have final exams?
Final exam week will take place Monday, December 14 through Friday, December 18. Some classes may opt to have final assessments earlier in the semester. Any final exams scheduled in December will be administered online.
Updated July 17, 2020.

How will courses continue if the State of Illinois sees a resurgence of COVID-19 and the College has to return to Phase 3 guidelines of the Restore Illinois plan?
Faculty are preparing for their fall courses with the possibility of this scenario in mind. If we need to pivot to remote learning due to increased COVID-19 spread, we will be prepared to do so.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What if I’m unable to come to campus at all in the fall? Will there be an online option for me?
At this time, we are planning for the large majority of students to be in person; however, we recognize that not all students will be able to return in person – for a wide variety of personal reasons. We are asking all students to complete the survey sent on July 17 by 8 am on Friday, July 24 to assist us in planning for various student needs. We are working to provide options for remote learning for students who feel this is the best option for them at this time. This survey has been sent to your Trinity email.
Updated July 17, 2020.

How will I be able to attend class if I have to quarantine or am ill?
Trinity professors are committed to student learning and meeting individual needs in whatever areas they arise. If you must quarantine or if you experience illness related to COVID-19 or otherwise, your professors and Trinity staff are ready to assist you with accommodations. As the semester begins, we will communicate specific processes that we will have in place for these requests.

If you are unable to attend an in-person or hybrid course, Trinity faculty and staff will work with you to determine an appropriate plan for your access to engagement in the learning community. While the mode of access may vary course by course, the plans will be made to support the continuation of your learning in your courses. We will respond with flexibility and with safe practices to promote our community’s health as well as your academic and personal well-being. If possible, students should plan to bring a laptop computer (with a webcam) to Trinity in the fall. Students who are unable to provide their own laptop are invited to indicate that on the July 17 survey sent to your email.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What will happen with field experience, nursing clinicals, student teaching, etc.?
The chair of your academic department will work with you to determine how you will interface with your internships, field experiences, nursing clinicals, and student teaching. Departments will ensure that you are meeting any state or licensure requirements while also tending to restrictions resulting from the coronavirus. Trinity is in regular contact with schools, hospitals, and other external partners and is working together to ensure that, so long as partner organizations retain their willingness to host our students, options are safe and well-supported. If a partner is unable to support your engagement with their organization, Trinity faculty and staff will work with you to ensure you meet licensure requirements.
Updated July 17, 2020.

If I am doing remote learning, what about access to internet?
Students participating in remote learning from a residence hall room (such as in the case of quarantine) will have access to a Trinity internet connection. Students participating in remote learning from off campus will be responsible to provide their own internet access.
Updated July 17, 2020.

If I receive accommodations from the Office of Learning Services, how will they be applied this semester? Will the OLS’ in-person services be impacted (exam proctoring, tutoring sessions, etc.)?
The OLS will provide plans for accommodations such as exam proctoring and tutoring that observe social distancing guidelines. Some tutoring may move to remote, video tutoring. Exam proctoring will be provided in spaces suitable for the occupancy required.  Students with specific questions or concerns about their accommodation plans are invited to contact Laura Davalos, Director of the Office of Learning Services.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What is the plan for Spring 2021 semester?
We are moving forward with plans to resume in-person education in January 2021. These plans will be reviewed and further developed as the Spring semester draws closer.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Is Trinity offering housing in the fall? Are there new guidelines in place?
Yes, residential students have received their housing assignment and are housed in suites. We will have multiple new guidelines in place. Those guidelines will be shared as we return to campus.
Updated July 17, 2020.

When can students move in?
There will be several different move-in opportunities.  This year, all residential students will be required to register for a specific move-in time slot.   You can view the full list of move-in dates and times.  Students also have the opportunity to register for a time to drop off belongings in advance of their official move-in date.  Information about move-in and early drop-off registration will be emailed to students and posted online before the end of July.  Any student who is unable to move-in to their residence hall on their designated date is invited to fill out an early move-in request form. Residential students will be emailed when that form goes live.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What safety precautions are in place for move in?
Our move-in days have been expanded to allow for reduced traffic at a given time.   All students will need to register for a specific move-in time slot, and there will be a limited number of people allowed to move in per hour, per building.  Students will be allowed to bring a maximum of 2 adults to assist with their move-in.

Before returning to campus, students will be required to confirm that they are in good health and have not been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms within the last fourteen days; students will also need to sign off on the Covenant of Care, the release of liability as well as the other student life forms to confirm their readiness to abide by community expectations in advance of their move-in.

Upon arrival to campus, students and their guests will have their temperatures scanned to confirm they are fever-free (temperatures must be below 100.4 to be permitted to move-in).  Everyone will be required to wear facial coverings and follow physical distancing rules.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What should I bring?
We are strongly encouraging students to pack light  in case there is need to quickly move out of the residence halls. Every residential student should plan to bring a thermometer for daily screening, additional personal cleaning supplies for your residence hall room, a good supply of washable masks (at least 10), hand sanitizer, Tylenol, and a personal water bottle. We also anticipate a large number of outdoor activities, so we strongly recommend all students bring their own portable “bag” chair or lawn chair for outdoor events.
Updated July 17, 2020.

How does Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order impact me if I am traveling from one of the restricted states?
Currently, this order applies to the city of Chicago and not to the Palos Heights community. However, to reduce potential spread, we are asking all residential students to self-quarantine for the 14 days immediately prior to their travel to Trinity.  Students who are traveling internationally, or from a location where the CDC requires a 14-day quarantine after arrival will be required to quarantine in residence for 14 days. Students who wish to move in to the residence halls early for the sake of quarantining before classes begin will have the option of doing so.  Those who arrive later and need to quarantine during the first days or weeks of class will be able to participate in their coursework online from a quarantined, residence hall room.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What should I do if I need special accommodations for housing in the fall?
Trinity is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Housing Act.  Students with disabilities who believe they may qualify for accommodations are welcome to email Laura Davalos with their accommodation request.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What are the cleaning protocols in the residence halls?
Trinity’s custodial service cleans the public spaces and hallways in the residence halls.  Students are expected to regularly clean and sanitize their individual suites and bedrooms.  Additional cleaning protocols will be communicated to residential students in August.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Will we have to move all of our belongings out of our residence hall on Friday, November 20, or are we allowed to leave some of our things there since we will be coming back in January?
Our current plan is that you will not move out fully of residence halls, and that you will return in January (of course, graduating students will fully move out at that time). However, we humbly acknowledge that we do not have control of the virus or state, federal, and local response and regulations to the virus. So, we are encouraging all residential students to pack light and be open and prepared for any scenario.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What happens if I am a residential student who comes into contact with someone who tests positive?
Trinity will follow CDC guidelines regarding individual contact with someone who tests positive. Because of the nature of residential living, students who come into close contact (as defined by the CDC) with a student who tests positive will be required to quarantine. Students will have the option of returning home during this period of time or quarantine on campus
Updated July 17, 2020.

What happens if I test positive for COVID 19 and am living on campus?
If a residential student tests positive, they will be instructed to isolate until they are declared fit to return to campus by a medical professional. Students who are able to return home for their period of isolation will be asked to do so, and students will be able to shift to remote learning during this period of time. Students who are unable to return home will be in one of our quarantine rooms set aside on campus. We have approximately 28 bedrooms (with private bathrooms) on two unoccupied residence hall floors specifically set aside for quarantine. Please note that depending on the circumstances and nature of recent contact, other students who are in close contact with the student who tests positive will also have to quarantine (to include roommates, teammates, or classmates).
Updated July 17, 2020.

Can I remain on campus after November 20?
Because the last day of in-person classes will be November 20, students who are able to return home after the 20th are expected to do so.  International students and students who are not able to return home or leave campus will be allowed to stay in residence with permission. Student athletes who are in competition after November 20 will be allowed to stay.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Will residential students be allowed to have visitors or overnight guests?
Overnight guests will not be permitted. Outside visitors will not be permitted in the residence halls apart from move-in day. Residential students may visit other suites in their same residence hall provided they follow the established guidelines (i.e. physical distancing, facial coverings, etc.). In addition, the number of visitors in a room will be limited to 1 per student, so that larger groups do not gather. For example, in a suite with 4 people, the maximum number of visitors at any time would be 4, so that there are only 8 total people in the suite at one time. Students will not be permitted to visit student rooms in other residence halls
Updated July 17, 2020.

Will students be allowed to leave campus? Will there be a curfew?
Trinity Christian College cannot require residential students to remain on campus at all times. However, students are strongly encouraged to minimize travel and continue to practice all necessary health and safety behaviors while off campus. Visiting hours will remain the same, but all guests must adhere to new guest restrictions.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What meal plan should I sign up for?
We recommend that students sign up for the 190 block plan or  a smaller plan, given the semester schedule.
Updated July 17, 2020.

How will dining services work?
Trinity’s priority this fall will be ensuring that residential students have safe access to their meal plans. Dining Services will only serve a limited number of students at a time in the dining hall and BBC, in order to allow for increased distancing and cleaning. In addition, dining will be serving “grab and go” options from the BBC, the dining hall and the DeVos Concession stand. Students will be able to utilize their meal plans for all of these options. In addition, there will be limited self-serve options (food will be served to you), and you will be guided through the process with signage. Masks will be required around food service areas, with the caveat that they may be removed while eating.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Will you provide meals to quarantined students?
Residential students who are in quarantine either due to their own COVID-19 symptoms or due to exposure will be able to access their meal plan and receive meals delivered to their room.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Do commuters have to do the daily self-screening?
Yes, all members of the campus community including faculty, staff and all students are required to do the self-screening. Specific information about the self-screening tool we are using will be provided to students via email in August.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Where can commuters, adult students, and grad students hang out before and in between classes?
Common areas will have reduced seating or signage indicating physically distanced acceptable seating. We will be adjusting the hours of facilities on campus and communicating that to students through signage and email closer to the start of the semester.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 as a commuter student?
If a commuter student tests positive (including traditional, adult and graduate program students), they will be instructed to isolate until they are declared fit to return to campus by a medical professional. Students will be able to shift to remote learning during this period of time.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What happens if I come in contact with someone who tests positive as a commuter student?
Trinity will follow CDC guidelines regarding contact with someone who tests positive. Students who come into close contact (as defined by the CDC) with a student who tests positive will be required to quarantine.
Updated July 23, 2020.

What are the high-risk categories?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people with the following conditions are considered high-risk for serious infection should they contract the virus:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised
      • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
    • People with a body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher
    • People with diabetes
    • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • People with liver disease

Please consult with your health care provider to determine whether or not you should come to campus during COVID-19.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What should I do if I fall into one of the high-risk categories?
We strongly advise that you consider not returning to campus, but instead to continue learning remotely if you fall into one of the high-risk categories. If this applies to you, please submit a request for  accommodations and a College staff member will consult with you on best options.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Will testing for COVID-19 be required on campus?
Per NAIA athletic competition guidelines, all student athletes will be required to undergo testing and receive a negative test 5-7 days before their first competition. Student athletes will receive information from the athletics department. Throughout the semester, we may introduce testing to the broader population should the local health department or the College deem it necessary to control the spread of the virus.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What should I do if I’ve already had COVID-19?
If you have had COVID-19, please be sure that you’ve tested negative and have an all-clear from a medical professional before coming to campus. In addition, we ask that you include this information as you are comfortable in your “Special Assistance and Medical Information” section in your student portal,  available after August 1. This is one of the forms available to you as you return to campus. This will help us to assist you. This information is kept confidential in the Student Life Department.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What is available to me in terms of medical care?
Trinity’s campus is located within very close distance to multiple medical providers . We are adding a Campus Health Coordinator to support the overall COVID-19 symptom monitoring and response process. This coordinator will be able to assist students in accessing medical resources should symptoms arise, and provide coordination of quarantine.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What if my symptoms of COVID-19 are serious enough to require hospitalization?
We are blessed to be located in an area with a wide range of local hospitals, including access to some of the best hospitals in the country in the Chicago area. We strongly urge students to be sure that your health insurance is fully up to date and can be utilized in the Chicago area, within the state of Illinois. Also plan to bring your insurance card with you.
Updated July 17, 2020.

When do we get our student IDs?
Students who do not have IDs will be able to get photos taken upon their return to campus. Students who have ID cards should plan to use their existing ID card. The IT department will be sharing hours and information with students as we get closer to the return of students to campus. The process will be set up to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What is going to happen with chapel and Outcry?
Pastor Bill Van Groningen and the Campus Ministries team are working together to plan creative ways for us to gather as a campus community for worship. Likely, we will be looking to gather outdoors in ways that are safe. We will be collaborating with student leaders to imagine what this might look like, within guidelines.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Will the Huizenga Memorial Library, Molenhouse, DeVos, and other areas be open to hang out?
We anticipate that facility hours will be adjusted to prevent large groups from congregating in our facilities. However, we also recognize that students will need to access space for academic work. Specific hours and access to campus offices will be shared in August.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What else will be different on campus?
Our campus community will continue to thrive, but we will do life together in ways that mitigate the spread of the virus. We will have to lean into our values of care for one another, and make sure that we are first thinking of others before ourselves. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate love and grace to each other while practicing all the newly learned skills that prevent the spread of the virus. We also acknowledge that life on campus will be different than the various experiences we have all had over the summer. We believe that in order for us to be as safe as possible given the particular nature of a collegiate environment, all members who are participating in life in person on campus must take responsibility for the community by committing to the Covenant of  Care.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What resources are available for International Students and their families?
Students who live internationally or hold F-1 visas are invited to contact Trinity’s Director of International Student and Academic Services Kristen McChesney  about any specific questions or concerns they may have.  We recognize that international students may have unique considerations and challenges during this season, and we welcome communication and outreach from students and their families regarding those concerns.
Updated July 17, 2020.

When will student account payments be due? Can I use my room and board adjustment from Spring 2020 to pay for Fall 2020?
You will receive your account statement soon with your first payment due on August 15.  For a $40 fee, you have the option of paying in four installments due August 15, September 15, October 15, and November 15.  Please review your account statement carefully, especially if you lived on campus in Spring 2020 and received a credit for room and board from Spring 2020.  Your new charges for Fall 2020 will be automatically reduced by this credit.
Updated July 17, 2020.

What should I do if COVID-19 has impacted my financial situation?
If you are facing a particular financial hardship do to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional financial assistance might be available to you.  Please contact the Financial Aid office for further details. The College will also be releasing details regarding the In It Together Fund – an emergency fund set up for students to are facing unexpected emergency expenses this fall. More information will be provided in August.
Updated July 17, 2020.

When are on campus jobs posted?
Campus jobs will be posted at the beginning of the semester on Trollweb.
Updated July 17, 2020.

When does fall sport pre-season begin?
Fall sports may begin practices (as defined by the NAIA) on August 15.  Fall sports include men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, and women’s volleyball.
Updated July 17, 2020.

When do fall student athletes return to campus?
Returning fall student-athletes are asked to return to campus and move into residence halls on Wednesday, August 12.  New fall student athletes are asked to arrive and move in on Thursday, August 13.  Specific information about move in times and processes will be communicated by the residence life staff.  Specific information about schedules, meetings, etc. will be communicated by the respective coaching staffs.
Updated July 17, 2020.

When do winter and spring student athletes return to campus?
Winter and spring student-athletes should plan to return to campus and move into residence halls per the schedule and processes communicated by residence life office.
Updated July 17, 2020.

Will student athletes be tested for COVID-19?
Per NAIA guidelines, all student-athletes must receive a negative test result no more than five days prior to their first date of competition.  For fall sports, the first allowable date of competition is September 5.  Details regarding testing and other symptom and temperature screening are being finalized and will be communicated in upcoming weeks.
Updated July 17, 2020.