Fall 2020 Semester

Updated August 4, 2020

How is the University working to ensure the safety of all students?

Dominican has established a COVID-19 response team comprised of administrators and health care providers who are working with the university’s long-term partner, Rush University Medical Center to institute measures that ensure the well-being of students, faculty and staff. The university continues to align its response to COVID-19 with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Restore Illinois plan.

The university is using a mobile app, #CampusClear, for self-monitoring and self-reporting and as a first-line of defense for detecting COVID-19. Individuals are expected to self-monitor at home or in their residence hall room and report symptoms on the #Campus Clear app, which is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Based on their answers to several questions, individuals either will be cleared to report to a screening station for a temperature check or prompted to stay off campus or return to their residence hall rooms.

#CampusClear also will be used for contact tracing following direct exposure to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. If #CampusClear indicates that a COVID-19 test is warranted, a test will be provided at no charge.

Other safety measures include:

  • Organization of classrooms to ensure 6 feet of social distance between all students and faculty
  • Single occupancy option for all resident students
  • Onsite nurse practitioners under physician oversight ready to respond to student health needs
  • Installation of Plexiglas shields at strategic high-traffic areas and main student service points
  • Installing antimicrobial film on high-touch surfaces
How is the University working to ensure the safety of resident students?

The university has adopted a single occupancy strategy which allows for safe social distancing within the residence halls. Our single occupancy strategy works to reduce density in the residence halls.

How will single occupancy affect the cost of living on campus?

Single rooms will be priced at the lower double room rate. Some double rooms will also be available, at the reduced price of a triple room, to a limited number of students who opt to live with a roommate.

Will courses be offered in a face-to-face format?

Yes. Dominican will hold face-to-face classes this fall with courses available in multiple modalities. Face-to-face classes with safety-conscious physical distancing protocols in place, hybrid classes, or fully online classes—some with fixed, scheduled online meeting times, and some without—will all be offered. You’ll work with your advisor to determine a schedule that meets your specific need. Our intentionally small classes have an average of just 16 students, so you can feel confident in your safety in any case.

What is the university doing to proactively mitigate the spread of COVID-19?

Some of the strategies include:

Face coverings/masks: Face masks or face coverings must be worn by all students when in the presence of others and in public settings where other safe social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.).

  • Dominican-branded, washable cloth masks will be made available for all faculty, staff and students.
  • Disposable masks will be provided by the university, at all Welcome and Information Desk (WID) locations around campus.

Social Distancing: Keeping a safe distance between you and others is one of the best tools for avoiding exposure to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. All Dominican community members on campus must follow these social distancing practices:

  • Always maintaining at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people at all times
  • Wear a mask at all times when in group settings, traversing hallways, and in close proximity of others

Cleaning Practices and Safety Measures: Dominican will conduct a continuous deep cleaning process of all buildings in accordance with Illinois Department of Health and Center for Disease Control Standards.

Hand Sanitizers: Hand sanitizer stations throughout campus are available and more than 100 additional stations will be accessible to students. Sanitizing wipes stations are mounted in key areas, particularly near elevators. Additionally, large sanitizing gel containers are available at all main student service points.

Gloves: Gloves are not required, except for food handlers, janitorial workers and staff in the Wellness Center.

Community Hallway Flow Management: When navigating hallways, faculty, staff and students are expected to walk on the right side. Blue arrow floor decals will serve as reminders.

What do I do if I have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you have been in close proximity (six feet or less for 15 minutes while not wearing a mask) with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must stay away from campus for a minimum of 10 days after the date of exposure, including being symptom-free without fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours. After you have reported this exposure with #CampusClear, you will be provided information about contact tracing and possible testing.

Resident students who live within 60 miles of campus are required to quarantine at home. Resident students who live farther than 60 miles from campus should contact the Residence Advisor on duty to receive instructions for being placed in one of the university’s quarantine rooms.

Students who are in quarantine will be supported by the Division of Student Success and Engagement if their quarantine impacts their ability to stay fully engaged in their coursework.

What do I do if I have tested positive to COVID-19?

If you have a positive COVID-19 test, report your condition through #CampusClear. You must stay away from campus for a minimum of 10 days after the onset of symptoms, including being symptom-free without fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours.

Resident students who live within 60 miles from campus are required to go home to isolate. Students who live farther than 60 miles from campus should contact the Residence Advisor on duty to receive instructions for being placed in an isolation room. The university has reserved a number of isolation rooms.

Students who are in isolation will be supported by the Division of Student Success and Engagement in their effort to remain engaged in their coursework as much as possible. You may return to campus activities after a minimum of 10 days and have remained symptom-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.

Will students in quarantine and isolation rooms be provided meals?

Yes. Students will receive meals delivered to their room by staff with appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of the virus.

Will students who need to miss time from class be given extensions if impacted by COVID-19?

Yes. Students will be allowed excused absences from class if impacted by COVID.

Will students be expected to self-monitor their symptoms?

Yes. Students are expected to self-monitor daily and report their symptoms in #CampusClear. You may come to campus or leave your residence hall room only if you are free of any of the symptoms related to COVID-19 as determined by the CDC and included in #CampusClear:

  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell
Will the dining hall be open? 

Yes. The Dining Hall will be open in a modified schedule with safe social distancing and food service precautions taken to prevent exposure and spreading of COVID-19.

Are all events/activities canceled? 

No. We are working with student organization leaders to develop virtual engagement opportunities where possible to further the mission of their organization and create community among students. Gatherings on campus will follow state guidelines (Restore Illinois phased approach).

Will the Wellness Center open this fall? 

Yes. The Wellness Center will be open to support students. Please visit Wellness Center Online or call (708) 524-6229 to schedule an appointment. 

What departments and resources will be  available this fall?   

The University is currently open and resources will be available in person and online to support student academic success. Our Student Success and Engagement team tracks and analyzes huge amounts of data in real time to identify students who may need additional support and takes action—fast. During the Coronavirus closure, student support continued uninterrupted and will continue to be accessible both on ground and online. This includes:

  • NowPow: An electronic tool which allows Student Success and Engagement to pool resources for students and families in the communities they reside.
  • Student Self-Reporting: Students may self-report any academic or socially related challenge they may be experiencing through our Star Tracker system.  
  • Tutoring: Students can schedule an appointment in person or online with the Writing Lab or Math Clinic for extra support or work with a student tutor for guidance on nearly any discipline.  
  • Advising: Your advising team is here to help you craft a college roadmap that maximizes your success. Meet with an advisor via Zoom or an in-person, pre-scheduled appointment during orientation.
  • Multicultural Center: Join us for community building, online dialogues about important issues, and more.
  • Library: The Rebecca Crown Library will be open to current students and equipped with appropriate social distancing protocols to ensure safe studying.  
What about other high-impact opportunities?

Yes. Dominican is committed to offering opportunities beyond the classroom for hands-on learning. Ensuring state guidelines, we will continue to offer these opportunities in both online and on-campus formats, including undergraduate research opportunities, civic engagement, and career development supports.

What happens if the state reverts back to a prior phase of Restore Illinois?

Should the university need to move to remote education due to Illinois reverting back to earlier Restore Illinois phases, select class and lab fees, room and board, and parking fees will be revisited for impacted students.

Will your NCAA division III teams be competing this fall?

The Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) has announced that all conference games scheduled for this fall will be moved to the spring 2021 semester. The decision, made with the safety and welfare of student-athletes in mind, effectively postpones any league competition and championships through December 31, 2020. The league will release conference schedules for the spring semester in the coming weeks.

The Department of Athletics will now reimagine a fall offering for its student-athletes, including individual and team skill development. Student-athletes will focus on their academics and staying on track towards their degrees while continuing to improve athletically as individuals and teams. We look forward to a busy, exciting spring season of athletics competition.

What safety precautions are in place for student-athletes?

Dominican University’s student-athletes will receive education on the COVID-19 virus, and related mental health issues, in an attempt to control its spread. Student-athletes will be asked to sign a pledge, committing to personal hygiene and other measures to limit spread and exposure of the virus.

Will fans be permitted at home competitions?

For now, our home events will not include spectators, but please check back regularly for updates. In the meantime, all home contests are being live streamed on the athletics website, DUstars.com. We look forward to welcoming our fans back just as soon as we can.