Campus Response to COVID-19

Update March 23, 2020

Please watch the following video update from President Payne.

If you have questions or concerns, please email covidquestions@floridacollege.edu.

Coursework: All coursework will be available in an online format through the remainder of the semester. Students will be receiving information about the learning management system in the coming days.

Residence Halls: The residence halls are closed until further notice. We will be making provisions for individuals to return and retrieve belongings at a future date — as soon as it is safe to do so. If you have left something essential in your room, please contact the Dean of Students Office. Please do not request to remove all of your belongings from the residence halls at this time. Due to the current health situation, we cannot recommend travel, and we cannot have a large number of students coming on campus to retrieve their belongings — this would create an unnecessary risk. We understand this will create some questions regarding refunds for room and board. This is being discussed and more information will be shared. We will communicate regarding opportunities to remove your belongings from the residence halls as soon as we are able to do so.

We will communicate in the near future regarding plans for graduation, Senior Legacy Ceremony and move-out dates. 

Please continue to follow the CDC guidelines for your own health and safety, and for the health and safety of our communities and be ready to resume your classes online on March 30 as has been planned. We look forward to meeting you online at that time.

We all face challenges over the coming days. We are committed to being a light to you even in these uncertain times and ask for grace and patience as we all work through this united in the spirit of cooperation and service.

Update March 18, 2020 — OLD

Good afternoon. Florida College continues to monitor closely the frequent changes taking place caused by the COVID-19 virus.

Late yesterday, the Florida Department of Education released a statement that has caused some confusion among state colleges and universities. This guidance was not fully coordinated with other agencies and went beyond its jurisdiction. We have been working to clarify these statements throughout the day.

Florida College is one of the 30 Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF). 26 out of the 30 ICUF schools are going exclusively online following spring break, but their buildings will remain open for the time being contrary to what the FLDOE stated. The Board of Governors and ICUF schools were quick to respond to this today. We, like these other institutions, will make the best decision for our faculty, staff, students and community unless directly instructed through proper channels.

Please consider the following:

  • It is important to realize that current guidance is moving nationwide toward a more restrictive environment. Governor Ron DeSantis would not rule out tighter social restrictions in the near future. Though we have not reached that level of restriction, it is imperative that we make allowances for those circumstances and act in the best interest of health and safety.
  • Authorities continue to urge all people, regardless of risk factors, to employ social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Those healthy and/or younger should consider these requests and take them very seriously in the interest of others.
  • A large percentage of Florida College employees and/or their families are in at risk demographics.
  • Supply chains have been disrupted and are being directed towards areas hardest hit. This creates uncertainties for our facilities and food services.

Given today’s status, we believe the following is in the best interest of our employees and students:

  • Dormitories will remain closed through at least March 30. We understand this will create some questions regarding room and board. This is being discussed and more information will be shared in the near future. We ask for all international students to please contact Colleen Engel immediately.
  • It remains true that classes will move online beginning March 30. We hope to resume conventional classes April 13, but will not do so unless state and local officials are favorable to such circumstances.
  • We are not prepared today to make determinations regarding the continuation of online courses past April 13, the Senior Coin Ceremony, commencement and move-out day. More information will be provided about contingencies related to these events in the coming days.

Please understand that we are hopeful that we can reopen according to our plans, but the fluid nature of the situation forces us to make difficult decisions. The Florida College experience is important to all of us, and it is difficult to make such decisions. Thank you for your patience through such difficult times.

For all other questions or concerns, please email covidquestions@floridacollege.edu.

  • Take your course materials including text books and other resources with you when you leave for spring break.
  • Continue practicing good hygiene and follow CDC guidelines to prevent illness.
  • Know that we plan to open the campus to students sometime after March 30.
  • Be aware classes will begin again March 30.
  • For extenuating circumstances related to your return or your health, please contact the Dean of Students. 
  • For questions regarding your education or course work, please contact the Academic Dean.
  • We are making accommodations for all employees so that work may continue.
  • For employees who are at risk from serious illness, please follow the CDC guidelines and notify your supervisor so appropriate measures can be taken to protect you from exposure. 
  • Preparations are being made for course work to be taught through our online learning management system. Please direct all questions to the Academic Dean and more specific communication will be following. 
  • Faculty should report to campus on Monday, March 23 and be available for on campus and online training.
  • For the time being, all staff should continue reporting to work as usual and take the recommended steps to prevent illness. We ask that staff who are feeling sick please remain at home and follow normal protocols.
  • Chorus Tour
  • Improv Now! Tour
  • March Falcon Days
Dormitories will remain closed through at least March 30. We understand this will create some questions regarding room and board. This is being discussed and more information will be shared in the near future. We ask for all international students to please contact Colleen Engel immediately.

Classes will resume in an online format on March 30 and planned to continue in that format until April 10. This will ensure that every student is provided instruction until they can return. Our goal is to have every student back on campus and resume face-to-face instruction as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so, but we are prepared to offer courses online as necessary. If students are sick, they need to remain home until they are no longer sick.

Students—if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you will need to follow the CDC’s guidelines and self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. Therefore, your return to campus will depend on your condition. This is why your courses will be online for at least two weeks once they resume on March 30. Right now, everyone will be expected to be back on campus by Sunday, April 12, but we hope you will be able to return earlier and this date may change. If it does change, we will notify you at least one week in advance of a change in the date you are required to return. Again, right now, classes resume March 30 online and students are required to be back on campus April 12 with face-to-face classes resuming on April 13. However, this date could change with at least a seven day notice, and we will share more information soon about keeping the Dean of Student’s office informed of your situation.

Mandatory chapel will resume sometime after we reopen campus to students.
At this time, we are not changing the schedule for the remainder of the semester. We are still anticipating graduation will take place on Friday, May 1.

College events following the reopening of campus will be decided on a case-by-case basis. We hope to still have banquet on Friday, April 3, if our local, state and federal officials determine that it is safe to do so.

Update March 17, 2020 – OLD

Good afternoon. The Florida College Leadership Team continues to monitor the coronavirus (known as COVID-19) and review strategies to ensure the health and well-being of the FC community.

The current recommendations from officials is that everyone avoid unnecessary travel and large gatherings. We ask students and their parent to consider whether campus or their permanent residence is safest. As students think about returning to campus, please consider the CDC’s criteria for protecting yourself and your community by clicking this link.

We know that for many of you Florida College is home. Being displaced creates a signifiant challenge for you. For some of you it has become your home away from home. So for our students the following remains true as of today:

  • Campus services will open at noon on March 21 but at limited or reduced capacity.
  • All students intending to return beginning Saturday will be required to notify us. Be planing with your family for what is best regarding this and we will be sending a form in the next day or so. Please do not email your intentions.
  • Guests and friends are prohibited from staying on campus during this time.
  • As previously announced we will transition to an online/remote learning mode on Monday, March 30. Online course work will begin on March 30 and continue at least until April 10, unless conditions allow otherwise. We will hold all courses remotely in order to allow students to continue their courses this semester with as few disruptions as possible. Students will receive detailed information in a separate email on accessing their courses via online learning.
  • Planned events for April and May will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis as the situation progresses.
  • For any specific concerns please email covidquestions@floridacollege.edu

Please know that if you choose to return to campus the local community in Temple Terrace is significantly impacted:

  • Most churches are not meeting
  • Theme parks are closed
  • Disney Springs is closed
  • Restaurants are operating at reduced capacity or drive thru only
  • Most recreational sites are closed
  • Many stores of all kinds are closing or operating on reduced hours

Please remember about your own health to:

  • Delay your return to campus if you are sick or have a fever
  • Delay your return if you have been out of the country (self-isolate for 14 days)
  • Delay your return if you have had contact with someone who has COVID-19 (14 days)

We tell you all this to be very transparent about the current situation in Hillsborough County. We, like many others, are doing our best to make the best decisions within a very dynamic situation. Even in the middle of the current distress we remain hopeful and we are thankful to be serving faithfully along side you all. We will get through this, as we do all things, together.

Update March 13, 2020 – OLD

Florida College leadership is continually monitoring the rapidly changing global threat posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Information is being gathered regularly from a number of sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health as we consider what is best for our community.

“We pray in these times for faith over fear,” President Payne said. “Our intention is to serve our students, faculty, staff and community in the best and most reasonable way that we can. There will continue to be complications and challenges during this situation, and we remain committed to the health and well-being of all those we serve.”

While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 locally or on campus, we are initiating the following actions:

  • Spring break is being extended through March 27, 2020. Faculty and staff report to campus as normal. However, academic instruction will not begin until March 30 for all students.
  • Residence halls will reopen at noon on March 21 and student services will commence to accommodate students who would like to return to campus.
  • Students who become ill during the break are asked to report their illness to the Dean of Students and follow the guidance from the CDC regarding recovery.
  • We will transition to an online/remote learning mode on Monday, March 30. Online course work will begin on March 30 and continue at least until April 10, unless conditions allow otherwise. We will hold all courses remotely in order to allow students to continue their courses this semester with as few disruptions as possible. Students will receive detailed information in a separate email on accessing their courses via online learning. 
  • We continue meeting to formulate our actions if COVID-19 were to become an issue on our campus. 
  • All college sponsored student travel has been canceled through March 30.
  • The Falcon Days event scheduled for March 26-28 has been canceled. 
  • College events following the reopening of campus will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

As we have proven before, we take these threats seriously, keeping the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff as our highest priority. We will implement any new restrictions or necessary measures to keep the Florida College community safe.

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