Frequently Asked Questions
Is the College working with local, state and federal health officials?
The College remains in constant contact with appropriate governmental agencies and continues to follow the coronavirus guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control.
What steps is TJC taking to help protect the safety and well-being of faculty, staff and students?
The College’s ongoing monitoring of COVID-19 is being coordinated by the Office of the President.
The College is working diligently to do everything possible to ensure the health of the campus, Tyler and surrounding communities.
The College has and will continue to invest aggressively in a series of strategies, which taken as a whole, will augment community health and safety. They include:
- A rigorous physical distancing framework that will apply to all aspects of campus life, including dining facilities, libraries and classrooms
- Protocols for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing
- Health screenings for students, faculty and staff
- Plans and resources for isolating students who test positive for COVID-19 and quarantining close contacts, including the ability to participate in classes remotely
- Cleaning and disinfecting protocols consistent with CDC standards
- Plans designed to promote healthy building environments
What should I do if I believe I might have the coronavirus or think I have been exposed?
If you or someone you know – especially those with travel exposure – develops symptoms, please seek urgent medical attention. Call ahead before visiting your clinic or emergency room to inform them of your symptoms and concern for COVID-19 infection. Once arrived, stay in the car with a mask on, and ask the clinic or emergency room to call you on your cell phone when they are ready to see you. Do not use the waiting room in the clinic or hospital.
For students, please visit the "What to do if you are sick" page.
How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?
We ask all employees and students to help the TJC community stay well by taking the following steps to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash. If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into your elbow or upper sleeve, not into your hand.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Consider using telephone and video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings, if available, during this outbreak. If face-to-face meetings are unavoidable, meet in a large room to avoid close contact.
- Refrain from shaking hands.
What is the campus doing for infection control?
Cloth face coverings are required in all buildings, including classrooms, dining facilities, common areas within residence halls, and in outdoor settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
The TJC custodial teams are conducting extensive cleaning and sanitation efforts at all campus/site buildings. Appropriate testing and screening protocols will be in place for all faculty, staff and students.
Is the College shutting down?
On-campus offices are open to students.
What will the fall semester look like? Has TJC made changes to class schedules, attendance?
Consistent with the published academic calendar, fall semester classes will begin August 24 with finals ending December 9. Classes will be offered in three modalities.
1. Face-to-face classes
All in-person classes will be assigned to a classroom that allows for appropriate physical distancing. Some classes have been rescheduled to provide an appropriately sized room. To that end, the College will hold classes at all available times (including evenings) and days of the week, as well as convert many campus spaces that have traditionally been used for other purposes to academic classrooms.
2. Hybrid classes
In some cases, classes originally scheduled for fully face-to-face instruction may have been converted to hybrid courses—meaning half of the instruction will be in class and the other half will be online. This change will ensure each course can meet safely while providing the element of dynamic in-person instruction our world-class professors are known for.
3. Online classes
In addition to the online offerings already planned, we have taken the opportunity to move some courses originally scheduled as face-to-face or hybrid to a fully online format.
Our instructional leadership team took a very measured and thoughtful approach in their decision-making around which courses were the best fit to shift online and considered instructional content, faculty experience and student feedback. Our faculty teaching online courses have spent the summer participating in additional training for Canvas and Zoom to ensure they are well-prepared to offer online students a high-quality and engaging instructional experience.
Our hope is that our expanded online offerings may also provide additional flexibility to students seeking an entirely online schedule this fall.
Can I report a change in income on my 2020-2021 FAFSA due to the coronavirus?
Yes, if you or your family have experienced a significant income reduction since filing your 2020-2021 FAFSA, you should consider submitting a Special Conditions request which is a TJC e-form. The Special Conditions e-form can only be processed prior to the disbursement of financial aid and will provide data for the financial aid office to review and possibly update, the financial information already submitted on the FAFSA. Please contact the Apache Enrollment Center if you need more information by calling 903-510-2385 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The form MUST be submitted before financial aid awards are received!
How do I access my online class?
Please see instructions here: https://www.tjc.edu/info/20026/online_degrees/129/how_to_access_your_online_class
What about International Students?
We will work with our international students on an individual basis to devise a solution that balances your needs with the current SEVP policy.
Before traveling, please email us at email@example.com,
or contact the International Student Coordinator:
How will the College communicate its plans?
Information is available on the TJC website, all social media platforms and through local media outlets.
Continue to check TJC email accounts for updates as we follow this evolving situation.
Which locations are included?
TJC West, TJC North, Jacksonville, Rusk and Main Campus are all impacted. Social distancing is an important proactive measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Is the bookstore open?
The TJC bookstore is open for the summer Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Is the Library open?
The library is open with limited support. Visit TJC.edu/library for current hours.
Can I use WiFi on campus?
We have allowed limited computer access in the library, and added outdoor WiFi hotspots in several TJC parking lots. Please look for signage on campus, and stay in your vehicle if you are using one of the outdoor WiFi locations.
Additionally, the FCC has encouraged internet service providers to ramp up access and add local hotspots. Please check with your service provider for additional information.
Is the campus clinic open?
Yes, the campus clinic reopened June 1 with normal Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. operating hours.
Is the Science Center open?
Yes, as part of Gov. Abbott's Phase 1 plan to reopen businesses in Texas, we reopened our doors on Wednesday, May 6, with altered policies and procedures to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
What about the Family Learning Center?
The Family Learning Center of Tyler is now open from 7:15 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.; Monday - Friday.
What about the Ornelas Health and Physical Education (OHPE) facility?
The OHPE will close effective end of day Friday, August 7 for the duration of the health crisis. For more information visit the OHPE page.
What about Selective Admissions Applications?
Selective admissions programs will continue to accept applications. For specific information, please visit your program’s website regarding updates, application requirements and deadlines. Because of COVID-19, testing dates may be delayed and shadowing opportunities may be temporarily unavailable. Document your efforts to complete the steps required and include them with your application. Since TJC is encouraging employees to work from home, processing the applications may be delayed.
What are the College’s policies for personal travel?
TJC is requesting the disclosure of information from students, faculty, and staff, as well as the travel of any individuals that live in your household, regarding personal international and/or domestic air travel. Please contact Director of Risk Management Robby Underwood at 903-510-3067 or email him at rund@TJC.edu with your name, phone number and location to which you traveled.
College community members traveling internationally will be asked to complete a phone health screening survey before returning to campus. These screenings will be conducted by the Office of Risk Management.
To reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, TJC will enforce a 14-day restriction from the College for any faculty, staff, or student who traveled to a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 country during Spring Break or later, until further notice.
Are tours canceled?
Daily tours have resumed as of June 1. Our online virtual tour is always available!
I graduated in Spring 2020, will I be able to attend a commencement ceremony?
Unfortunately, to continue to keep everyone at TJC safe, the May graduation ceremony was postponed. It is tentatively scheduled for August. Please note the ceremony may take on a different look and feel depending on the state of the health crisis at that time but we are committed to finding a way to celebrate these students and their accomplishments. Graduates have received communications regarding their ceremonies. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is COVID-19 and how does it spread?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, which can cause illness in humans and animals. Those who have become sick are reported to suffer coughs, fever, breathing difficulties and tiredness. In severe cases, organ failure has been reported.
What experts know about COVID-19, a relatively new virus, is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The World Health Organization named this illness “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated COVID-19).
Person-to-person: The CDC says that the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person, which means those who are in close contact with one another, and/or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby and possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
CDC officials say that it is possible a person can contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or an object that has the virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes, but they said this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How serious is COVID-19?
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including some cases that have resulted in death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but the risk of severe illness is higher in older people and those with underlying conditions such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
Flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat. For most people who have had the illness, symptoms were mild and resolved after several days.
The CDC says people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic – the sickest. Still, it's possible to spread the disease before showing symptoms, so a person can feel fine and still have it, just as with other viruses. Such cases have been reported, but are not thought to be the main way it spreads. WHO reports that most people – roughly 80 percent – recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for COVID-19?
Medical experts across the globe are rushing to find a cure. However, there is not one at this time. The disease is viral, which means antibiotics will not help; the antiviral drugs that work against the flu do not work against coronavirus. Those with a weak immune system and those who already are sick are urged to be especially cautious.
Should I wear a mask?
All employees, students and visitors to TJC facilities are now required to wear a mask. This is consistent with Gov. Abbott’s executive order dated 7/2/20. The CDC suggests wearing a cloth face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read more information on the CDC website.
How can I track the COVID-19 outbreak?
There are a number of online resources for tracking the number of reported cases of COVID-19 globally. Johns Hopkins University is maintaining an interactive map that is gathering data from a number of sources. See Johns Hopkins map.
Please check https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ for country and state-level statistics concerning COVID-19.
Does the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) apply to absences due to COVID-19.
Yes, COVID-19 qualifies as a “serious health condition” under FMLA allowing eligible employees to take FMLA leave if either the employee or an immediate family member is diagnosed with the disease. Please contact Human Resources for questions or assistance with FMLA.
If I am displaying signs of respiratory symptoms such as coughing or other symptoms identified by the CDC, can my supervisor require me to go home?
Yes, employees can be sent home; however, they cannot be penalized for being sent home.
If I am displaying signs of respiratory symptoms such as coughing or other symptoms identified by the CDC, can my supervisor require me to go to a doctor?
Supervisors should encourage employees to seek medical advice, but they cannot require them to go to the doctor.