Message from the President - April 1, 2020

Hill College Family:

Yesterday, the Hill College Board of Regents held a special board meeting in order to receive an update on our COVID-19 preparedness and altered operation efforts.  The Board approved a Resolution allowing a delegation of authority and accountability expectations to me, as Hill College President, during the COVID-19 emergency situation.  I urge you to review the information regarding COVID-19 that may be found at the Hill College COVID-19 webpage, link: https://www.hillcollege.edu/Safety/COVID-19.html.

The Regents and I would like to convey to our employees and students that they are proud of the work and commitment that has been shown during the pandemic. 

Hill College understands that these are unprecedented times, and with that being said, listed below are my main objectives:

  1. To protect the health and safety of our students and employees
  2. To continue assisting our students for the completion of the spring 2020 semester through online and alternative coursework
  3. To keep students on track for completion
  4. To enable the majority of the College employees to work remotely, while continuing to provide necessary services to our students, with the remainder of our employees working on site; and
  5. To retain full-time and part-time employees, reduce turnover, increase morale, and facilitate a prompt future return to normal College operations

A. COLLEGE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE:

My last communication to you indicated that the College would be closed to the public and not reopen until April 6.  Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases throughout Texas, the President’s extension of the CDC guidelines until April 30, 2020, and Governor Abbott’s Executive Order to close public schools until May 4, 2020, Hill College offices will be closed to the public until further notice.  Employees who have been deemed as performing essential functions will be notified, approved and scheduled by their supervisors to be on a campus/center.

B. EVENTS:

All college events, on or off campus, have been cancelled through May 15, 2020. This includes, but is not limited to, recruitment events, tours, student programs, performances and commencement.

C. INSTRUCTION:

All Spring 16-week, 2nd 8-week, and dual credit courses will continue to operate through distance education through May 15, 2020.   All instruction that can be moved online/remote/distance education should be moved.

Continuing Education courses will continue to be assessed. 

We are currently registering for the May mini-mester and summer terms.

D. ONLINE SERVICES

We will continue to provide online services for students, as we are committed to supporting you during this time academically, socially and in all aspects of your educational goals.

  1. Academic Advising and Success Center: Your academic advisor and/or success coordinator is available virtually to support and assist you. To “meet” with your advisor, register or ask questions about registration, academics, education plans or accommodations, contact the advising team at advising@hillcollege.edu.
  2. Admissions: Our Student Information Services staff wants to do everything they can to help students apply and complete the admission process, request transcripts and complete the graduation process. For more information, contact the staff at sis@hillcollege.edu.
  3. Business Office: Please make payments online and communicate through email to the Business Office staff at businessoffice@hillcollege.edu.
  4. Financial Aid and Scholarships: Student Information Services staff can discuss your options with you, including any financial hardships or changes in your financial situation. If you haven’t already, we strongly suggest you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2020-2021 academic year. We can help you determine what options are available to you through the state and federal government. And, don’t forget to apply for scholarships as well. Our application is online and available until June 1, 2020. Just contact Student Information Services at sis@hillcollege.edu.
  5. Tutoring: Hill College offers Smarthinking to all students through Schoology. Smarthinking is an online tutoring service available 24/7 for subjects such as mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, accounting, statistics, Spanish and writing.
  6. Health and Wellness: We know this time can be challenging and we encourage students to make healthy lifestyle choices that support the student’s wellbeing. For resources, please see the Health & Wellness Services web page at: https://www.hillcollege.edu/Safety/HealthWellness.html.

Although, we are sailing in unchartered waters, we will get through this together.  We will continue to reassess daily.  From an instructional standpoint, we want to complete this spring semester, and work with students to enroll in the May mini-mester and summer semesters.    

I appreciate the Board’s support and approval of the Resolution regarding various matters associated with the COVID-19 virus.  This support is a direct reflection of their love for Hill College and the Hill College family.  I could not be prouder of the work that each of you are doing and will continue to do during this COVID-19 altered operation period.  Please know that we do not have all of the answers, and we may not get everything 100% correct; however, we are making decisions with compassion and concern for our employees and our students.  We will adjust and change course as the circumstances change. 

Sincerely,

 

Pam Boehm, Ed.D.

President


CONTACTING STUDENT NAVIGATORS REGARDING FINANCIAL AID:

Students may contact the Office of Student Information Services and communicate with a Student Navigator or Loan Coordinator regarding financial aid.  Students may call the Hill County Campus at 254-659-7600 or Johnson County Campus at 817-760-5600 or email questions to sis@hillcollege.edu

ONLINE CLASSES AND FINANCIAL AID:

Enrollment prior to spring break:

  • Students, who were enrolled prior to Hill College’s spring break (3/16-20) AND who will continue their spring 2020 classes with an online format, will not see any change to their financial aid awards.

Changes to enrollment after spring break:

  • IF a student decides to withdraw from some courses but NOT ALL courses, there is no change to the financial aid awards. However, it could still affect Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. You can review the SAP standards on the Hill College web site.
  • IF a student chooses to resign from ALL courses, then the Return to Title IV calculation is still required. This will require a calculation to determine how much aid a student earned as of the date the student resigned from Hill College. 

2nd 8 week courses:

  • If a student enrolled in a 2nd 8 week class prior to spring break and now wishes to DROP that course, the financial aid tied to those hours of enrollment will be returned to the Department of Education. Since the student did not begin attendance in that class, the student is not eligible for those funds.
  • If a student enrolled in a 2nd 8 week class that has changed from face-to-face to online, the student must begin attendance in that class immediately upon the online instruction being available to the student. Instructors will still be required to report who has begun attendance for each online course. Please see the syllabus and reference Schoology for each of your courses to know what is required of you in the online environment. 

WORK-STUDY STUDENTS

Students that were participating in the State or Federal Work-Study program prior to Hill College’s Spring break (3/16-20) will be eligible to receive wages for hours they are scheduled to work going forward.  Students will not enter time into ADP and time sheets will not be required to be signed by students.  Supervisors will provide the “scheduled” hours of each student and approve the “scheduled” hours within ADP.  This will be provided to the Office of Student Information Services to process with Human Resources for payroll.  If a student drops below half time enrollment status or resigns from Hill College before the end of the spring 2020 semester, work-study payments will cease as you will no longer be eligible for the program.  For additional work-study related questions, please email Delsa Copeland or Denella Stark in the Student Information Services Office.


Hill College has made the difficult decision for classes to be held online through April 5, 2020. We will continue to provide online services for students, as we are committed to supporting you during this time academically, socially and in all aspects of your educational goals. 

Stay connected to your resources: 

Academic Advising and Success Center: Your academic advisor and/or success coordinator is available virtually to support and assist you. To "meet" with your advisor, register or ask questions about registration, academics, education plans or accommodations, contact the advising team at advising@hillcollege.edu.

Admissions: Our Student Information Services staff wants to do everything we can to help you apply and complete the admission process. Our application for admission is online at www.ApplyTexas.org. We do not charge an admission application fee, but we will need your transcripts! Be sure to send official transcripts to the Student Information Services Office at Hill College. For more information, contact our staff at admissions@hillcollege.edu.

Business Office: Please make payments online and communicate through email to the Business Office staff at businessoffice@hillcollege.edu.

Dual Credit: Do you need to register or ask questions about admissions, registration, or academics for dual credit, contact the Dual Credit staff at dualcredit@hillcollege.edu.

Financial Aid and Scholarships: Student Information Services staff can discuss your options with you, including any financial hardships or changes due to canceled courses. If you haven't already, we strongly suggest you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the 2020-2021 academic year. We can help you determine what options are available to you through the state and federal government. And don't forget to apply for Scholarships as well. Our application is online and available until June 1, 2020. Just contact Student Information Services at finaid@hillcollege.edu.

Library: Hill County Campus: Mon. - Thur. 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.; Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Johnson County Campus: Mon. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Tue. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; Wed. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; Thur. 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; and Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Hill College Library system serves the students, faculty and community of Hill College through two campus libraries and a wide range of online resources. Please visit the website at: https://www.hillcollege.edu/CampusLife/Library/index.html. The Library staff offers a chat room at https://hillcollege.mlasolutions.com/ or they can be contacted by email at library@hillcollege.edu.

Tutoring: Hill College offers Smarthinking to all students through Schoology. Smarthinking is an online tutoring service available 24/7 for subjects such as mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, accounting, statistics, Spanish and writing.

Health and Wellness: We know this time can be challenging and we encourage students to make healthy lifestyle choices that support the student's wellbeing. For resources, please see the Health & Wellness Services web page at: https://www.hillcollege.edu/Safety/HealthWellness.html.


On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Public Law 116-127, 134 Stat 178, was signed into law by President Trump.  The FFCRA includes paid leave for community college employees, in certain and specific circumstances, when affected by COVID-19 through the provisions in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA).  The legislation is effective April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • respiratory droplets release into the air by coughing and sneezing; 
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes; and
  • rarely, fecal contamination

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Texas Department of State Health Services