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COVID-19 Morton College Response Update - April 3, 2020

As we enter April, more information continues to become available to inform our decisions about the current COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure the health and safety of our college community.   In compliance with the Governor’s state-wide “shelter in place” order, the following is an update on Morton College operations as of April 3, 2020:

On April 1st, Governor Pritzker extended the shelter-at-home ordinance for the state of Illinois through April 30. Accordingly, our institution will follow the guidance of our local and state authorities, maintaining remote operations until at least Thursday, April 30.  This means our campus will remain closed but will continue to operate remotely and virtually for the entire month of April.  Adjustments and notifications will be made as the situation evolves.

Remember to continue to log on to Blackboard frequently and to follow the directions from your instructor.   If your class moved online and you have never had an online class before, please make sure to visit https://www.morton.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/What-Makes-a-Successful-Online-Learner1.pdf some suggestions and helpful links. 

If you have problems or need help with resources log onto the Morton College Library Webpage and click on the ask a librarian link available Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Student Services, Library Resources, and Tutoring departments are available remotely through email and online/video enabled technology.  Students can find additional information on remote services at https://www.morton.edu/covid-19-morton-college-response/

Thank you all for your partnership and fortitude as we continue to navigate these extraordinary circumstances We want to assure you that we are working diligently to ensure that our students have the support and resources they need to get through this challenging time. Please reach out to the Institutional Advancement Office via email at institutional.advancement@morton.edu if you are in need of additional support.

Student Emergency Fund

The fund aims to provide eligible students facing short-term, non-reoccurring financial emergencies with help in the form of grants that range from $100-$500.  For questions contact studentemergencyfund@morton.edu.

Do you need a laptop for your classes? Complete an application for the Student Emergency Fund. Applications available at https://www.morton.edu/financial-aid/student-emergency-fund/ 

Panther Pantry Information 

Open to all MC Students, Faculty, & Staff.

Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Room 328C

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

The Panther Pantry will remain open to assist our community’s increased need for food.  Quantities and varieties of produce and available canned and dry food options will vary weekly. Please bring reusable bag. While campus is closed, please check-in with campus police. 

You can also find a partner agency in the GCFD network at www.chicagofoodbank.org/find-food/. We recommend you call first before you visit to confirm hours of operation and requirements.

Now accepting donations of toiletries and canned, dry and non-perishable foods. Monetary donations accepted at http://bit.ly/MC_Pantry

Questions? Email pantry@morton.edu

Students who do not have internet connectivity at home may be eligible for a service below.

FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots. 

Please note that Morton College does not endorse one internet company over another, however, we want to share all information accessible to our students who may not have online access from home.

COVID-19 Morton College Response Update - March 28, 2020

Morton College was alerted that there was a confirmed case of COVID-19 within a member of our college community.  The student followed the quarantine guidelines of the Illinois Department of Public Health, and all appropriate agencies have been notified.
 
Morton College is taking all precautions as established within our emergency management plans and in accordance with IDPH and CDC guideline for institutions of higher learning. Face-to-face classes were cancelled on March 14th, and our campus was sanitized on March 21st. 
 
We ask that you reach out to your health care provider on general guidance on how to proceed, if you have specific concerns related to potential contact and/or symptoms. Morton College continues to encourage our community to self-isolate through stay-at-home measures. 
Please reach out to the Institutional Advancement Office via email at institutional.advancement@morton.edu to report COVID-19 cases or if you have additional questions.

COVID-19 Morton College Response Update - March 20, 2020

With each passing day, the actions Morton College takes in response to COVID-19 are to ensure the health and safety of our college community.  In compliance of the Governor’s state-wide “shelter in place” order, the following is an update on Morton College operations as of March 20, 2020:

The campus will be closed until further notice.

Classes are scheduled to resume Monday, March 23 in an online/remote format for a minimum of four weeks, ending April 19. Adjustments and notifications will be made as the situation evolves.

The first and foremost thing to remember is to continue to log on to Blackboard frequently and to follow the directions from your instructor.   If your class moved online and you have never had an online class before, please make sure to visit https://www.morton.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/What-Makes-a-Successful-Online-Learner1.pdf some suggestions and helpful links. 

If you have problems or need help with resources log onto the Morton College Library Webpage and click on the ask a librarian link available Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Student Services, Library Resources, and Tutoring departments are available remotely through email and online/video enabled technology.  Students can find additional information on remote services at https://www.morton.edu/covid-19-morton-college-response/

This is an unprecedented situation—one that has caused a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. We want to assure you that we are working diligently to ensure that our students have the support and resources they need to get through this challenging time. Please reach out to the Institutional Advancement Office via email at institutional.advancement@morton.edu if you are in need of additional support.

Panther Pantry Information 

Open to all MC Students, Faculty, & Staff.

Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Room 328C

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

The Panther Pantry will remain open to assist our community’s increased need for food.  Quantities and varieties of produce and available canned and dry food options will vary weekly. Please bring reusable bag. While campus is closed, please check-in with campus police. 

You can also find a partner agency in the GCFD network at www.chicagofoodbank.org/find-food/. We recommend you call first before you visit to confirm hours of operation and requirements.

Now accepting donations of toiletries and canned, dry and non-perishable foods. Monetary donations accepted at http://bit.ly/MC_Pantry

Questions? Email pantry@morton.edu

Students who do not have internet connectivity at home may be eligible for a service below.

 
FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
 
Please note that Morton College does not endorse one internet company over another, however, we want to share all information accessible to our students who may not have online access from home.

WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU: COVID-19 Morton College Response Update - March 17, 2020

Dear Panthers:

 Over the last few days, you have received communications regarding Morton College’s COVID-19 coordination and preparedness.   This is an unprecedented situation—one that has caused a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. We want to remind you of our commitment to our college community and assure you that we are working diligently to ensure that our students have the support and resources they need to get through this challenging time.   

March 23 through March 29, online and hybrid courses will only be delivered in an online format. All other instruction will be delivered remotely through online or alternative delivery formats that do not involve face-to-face instruction. 

Support services such as advising, counseling, and disability services will be available online. 

All College-sponsored events between now and March 30 are canceled or postponed; some events may be rescheduled. 

Below you will find additional information to help navigate through the social distancing phase. 

Please continue to monitor the College’s website, the College’s portal, and your Morton College email daily for updated information. Please reach out to the Institutional Advancement Office via email at institutional.advancement@morton.edu if you are in need of additional support. 

Panther Pantry Information
Open to all MC Students, Faculty, & Staff.
Tuesdays & Wednesdays
Room 328C
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

The Panther Pantry will remain open to assist our community’s increased need for food.  Quantities and varieties of produce and available canned and dry food options will vary weekly. Please bring reusable bag.

You can also find a partner agency in the GCFD network at www.chicagofoodbank.org/find-food/. We recommend you call first before you visit to confirm hours of operation and requirements.

Now accepting donations of toiletries and canned, dry and non-perishable foods. Monetary donations accepted athttp://bit.ly/MC_Pantry

Questions? Email pantry@morton.edu

Student Emergency Fund
The fund aims to provide eligible students facing short-term, non-reoccurring financial emergencies with help in the form of grants that range from $100-$500. To learn more and download the application click here.

Student Services
Our most important responsibility is to provide continuity of student services. The College will offer virtual services for majority of student services departments. Please contact the respective department for further information.

  • Academic Advising is open for online advising appointments through March 29th. Any student can get in touch with their advisor via email or are welcome to meet with an advisor via Zoom. Please email your advisor directly for assistance scheduling an appointment or with any other advising questions. If you are unsure who your advisor is, please contactadvising@morton.edu.
  • Counseling services are available for students feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Personal Counseling services are provided by licensed mental health professional and is provided for currently enrolled students at no cost. To request Counseling Service please email Jennifer Iniquez at Jennifer.Iniquez@morton.edu to schedule an appointment.
  • Disabilities services are available for students. Contact Ashanta Marshall at ashanta.marshall@morton.edu to schedule an online appointment. 
  • Career Services is available for online career development appointments. Contact Gina Torres at gina.torres@morton.edu to schedule an appointment via zoom.
  • For Enrollment and Admissions questions contact Diego U Aleman Santiaguillo at diego.aleman@morton.edu.

Financial Aid
Financial Aid is open for online appointments through March 29th. Any student can get in touch with their Financial Aid advisor via email or are welcome to meet with an advisor via Zoom. Please email your advisor directly for assistance scheduling an appointment or with any other financial aid questions. If you are unsure who your advisor is, please contact Carissa.davis@morton.edu

You can view your Financial Aid access on your Panther Portal. The Self-Service Financial Aid feature allows you to know where you are in the financial aid process, the next steps required and other important details. It gives you real-time access to your financial aid record. See attachment for more information.

Beginning the week of March 16th, all refund checks will be mailed out on Fridays.  If you would prefer to receive your refund check direct deposited, log in to your student Portal and complete your bank information under the Self-Service - Financial Information.

Fitness Center
The College’s Fitness Center is closed through March 30.

Library

Beginning today, March 18th, the Morton College Library will be closed until Monday, March 23rd.

If your class moved online and you have never had an online class before, make sure to take advantage of the list of resources from various colleges and universities to help you with the transition

https://hagerstowncc.libguides.com/remote-learning/home (Hagerstown Community College)

https://bit.ly/3b0X8f4 (Howard Community College)

Adjusting your study habits during COVID.  (University of Michigan)

These “Online Readiness Tutorials” may also help.

Click here for a pdf with some suggestions and helpful links.

The first and foremost thing to remember is that it is to continue to log on to Blackboard frequently and to follow the directions from your instructor!

If you have problems or need help with resources log onto the Morton College Library Webpage and click on the ask a librarian link available Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Students who do not have internet connectivity at home may be eligible for a service below.

  • Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time.
  • AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families.
  • Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
  • T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.

FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.

Please note that Morton College does not endorse one internet company over another, however, we want to share all information accessible to our students who may not have online access from home.

Statewide Adult Education Program Closure
ICCB is hereby requiring the closure of all funded Adult Education Programs beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, through March 30, 2020, with a tentative reopening date of March 31, 2020. These dates are consistent with the Governor’s closings of K-12 schools. Closure extensions beyond this point will be considered on a case by case basis by the ICCB.

Placement Testing & GED Testing
All placement testing and GED testing is postponed until after March 30th, 2020. More information will be forthcoming.

Make Up Testing and Tutoring Change
Make Up Testing will not be open for student testing until further notice.

Limited remote tutoring will be available. Contacts are:

Writing: Julie Steinhaus-  julie.steinhaus@morton.edu

Math: Chemistry, Physics- David Labno david.labno@morton.edu

Biology: HESI preparation- Paul Thomas paul.thomas@morton.edu

Morton College Bookstore Hours
The Bookstore will be closed from now until March 30, 2020. The online bookstore is still accessible to all and Follett is offering free ground shipping on any online orders.

Shop online here!

MC Resources
Videos on How to Drop a Class, how to log-in to your portal, and more available by clicking here.

 

Comcast Internet Essentials Program
Students who do not have internet connectivity at home may be eligible for the Comcast Internet Essentials Program.

From the website: As the country deals with the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Comcast is taking immediate steps to help connect more low-income families to the Internet at home. Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, new Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of Internet service. We are also increasing the speed of the program to 25 Mbps downloads, and 3 Mbps uploads for all new and existing customers.

To be eligible a household must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • MEDICAID: Card or most recent eligibility letter for an adult in your household.
  • Public housing assistance documentation such as your lease, housing assistance payment (HAP) contract, or eligibility documentation from HUD.
  • SNAP: Letter indicating you are approved for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
  • TANF: Eligibility letter for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • SSI: Eligibility letter for Supplemental Security Income.
  • NSLP/Head Start: Copy of a letter indicating current participation in the National School Lunch Program or Head Start, with your child's name, the school name, and the address of where you are requesting service.
  • LIHEAP: Letter confirming your eligibility for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
  • WIC: Eligibility letter for the Women, Infants, and Children program.
  • FEDERAL PELL GRANT: (Colorado and Illinois only) Documentation from your community college’s financial aid office.
  • VA PENSION: Veterans pension eligibility determination letter from the Veterans Administration.
  • Tribal assistance eligibility letter, including TTANF, FDPIR, etc.

Please note that Morton College does not endorse one internet company over another, however, we want to share all information accessible to our students who may not have online access  from home.

For more information on the program and to apply visit their website.

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COVID-19 Morton College Response - Update March 13, 2020

Over the last few days, you have received communications regarding Morton College’s COVID-19 coordination and preparedness.  Face-to-face classes will not meet on Saturday, March 14.  March 23 through March 29, online and hybrid courses will only be delivered in an online format. All other instruction will be delivered remotely through online or alternative delivery formats that do not involve face-to-face instruction.

Currently, there are no known or reported cases of exposure to COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, on campus, and no students or employees have tested positive for the virus. The move to online courses is a precautionary measure.

While face-to-face classes will not be held, the College’s library will be open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during this period to provide students with computer and internet access. The 2nd-floor study area and rooms will not be accessible.   Student IDs will be required to enter the Library.  Attached you will find instructions on accessing your online courses, the Panther Portal and Blackboard.

Support services such as advising, counseling, and disability services will be available online.

All College-sponsored events between now and March 30 are canceled; some events may be rescheduled. The Fitness Center will be closed.

All staff and students should monitor the College’s website, the College’s portal, and Morton College email daily for updated information.

College officials have been monitoring the local situation with COVID-19 and are following all recommendations and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, and state and county public health departments. The College has a high standard of cleanliness for its facilities and on Saturday, March 21 there will be deep cleaning and sanitation of our facilities.   We will continue to take additional measures to ensure a clean environment for the benefit of our students, employees and the community.

This is an unprecedented situation—one that has caused a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. We want to assure you that we are working diligently to ensure that our students have the support and resources they need to get through this challenging time. Please reach out to the Institutional Advancement Office via email atinstitutional.advancement@morton.edu if you are in need of additional support.

Sincerely,

Morton College

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Stanley S. Fields, Ph.D.

President

COVID-19 Morton College Response

College Community,

Morton College is closely monitoring national, state and regional health agencies with regard to the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Fortunately, there have been no confirmed cases among our faculty, staff and students.

Administrators have been coordinating the college's COVID-19 preparedness efforts by forming an Emergency Planning and Response Task Force. The task force will continue to meet and monitor the outbreak and stay in up to date with the information released by the Illinois Department of Public Health, local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other colleges and universities around the state and the nation.  The leadership of this group will continue to meet frequently, assess the situation as new information and data become available, recommending appropriate action as needed, and continuing to communicate with our college community.

During the next few weeks we will need the cooperation of every member of our college community, as we work to protect the health and safety of everyone.

Safety is a top priority for the College community and as any respiratory virus, you can protect yourself and others by taking every day common-sense actions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

With information changing at a rapid pace, it is recommended that you visit cdc.gov or dph.illinois.gov for more information and FAQs related to the coronavirus COVID-19.

If you have further questions, please reach out to Diego Aleman Santiaguillo at (708) 656-8000, ext. 2412.

How is the college working to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) to students, staff and community members?

Preparations campus-wide are being made in anticipation of a possible COVID-19 outbreak on campus.

Effective Friday, March 13, events with more than 50 attendees that are college-sponsored or hosted by registered student organizations and/or clubs will be suspended until further notice.

Events may occur via livestream or other online communications, or be postponed to a future date.

Educational information has been created and has been distributed around campus.  In addition, updated information regarding health hygiene measures suggested above has been published and provided to students and employees.

Communication with other state and regional institutions continues to happen daily.

Morton College is working in line with the recommendations from the CDC.

Morton College is working on Pandemic Flu Preparedness Plan reviewed by the Health Sciences Department, which will be put into action if conditions warrant. The plan is a collaborative effort between all departments at the college.

If we perceive a disruption to your traditional learning environment, MC will send you official communication. Please continue to monitor your email, social media outlets and Panther Portal for further updates.

Students are strongly encouraged to update contact information to receive alerts in the event of an emergency, visit your Panther Portal at my.morton.edu 

Be sure to check your email often for communications from Morton College and instructors. As well as Blackboard for any updates on your Spring semester courses. 

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days you:

  • Traveled to China, South Korea, Iran, Italy or Japan.
  • Had close contact with someone who had traveled to an affected region in China, South Korea, Iran, Italy or Japan and had respiratory symptoms.

You should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Please call your physician or medical provider for advice.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed, who can I talk to?

Morton College provides Counseling services for students who are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Personal Counseling services are provided by licensed mental health professional and is provided for currently enrolled students at no cost. To request Counseling Service please email Jennifer Iniquez at Jennifer.Iniquez@morton.edu or phone 708-656-8000 ext. 2318 to schedule an appointment.

What does the college use to clean and disinfect?

The college’s facilities department uses an EPA-registered disinfectant to clean touchpoints, and public and common area restrooms.

There are dispenser stations throughout campus containing hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, though proper hand-washing technique is deemed to be more effective by the CDC.

Facilities has also implemented extra measures to clean and disinfect surfaces in public areas that are touched frequently. This includes surfaces such as door handles, banisters, and elevator buttons. It is also recommended that all departments purchase single use disinfectant wipes for human touch points within their work spaces such as keyboards, public counters, credit card readers, phones, and shared surfaces and items. We will continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC for preventing the spread of the virus.

Will the college cancel classes?

There are no known cases of COVID-19 at Morton College at this time. MC is currently open and intends to stay open until further notice. All campus community members and event attendees should self-monitor for fever, cough, and other symptoms and stay home or isolate if ill.

We continue to align our recommendations with and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and other local, state and federal agencies.

The college is sharing helpful videos for students to learn about online courses and tools on the Panther Portal. Visit our website for more information.

The college will continue to monitor and adjust policies and procedures as needed. The safety of our college community is always our top priority. Your cooperation and collaboration will help to ensure an appropriate response across our institution to this rapidly changing matter.

How are you following up with people who were in contact with anyone who is being tested?

Local health departments and MC will closely monitor people who are at potential risk and have protocols for contacting individuals who may have been in close contact with community members being screened for COVID-19.

Should any MC community member be diagnosed with COVID-19, the relevant local health department and the college would initiate appropriate protocols to protect the health of anyone deemed to be at risk.

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