This webpage is used to provide the Richland Community College community with up-to-date information and resources regarding the College’s response to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please continue to check back for updates.

January 12, 2022 UPDATE

Please see below for updated COVID resources for Spring 2022 Semester:

COVID Guide: Important Info and Links Spring 2022 PDF

Return to Campus Flowchart for Fully Vaccinated PDF

Return to Campus Flowchart for Not Yet Vaccinated PDF

Things that are the same as last semester:

  • Continue to wear a mask over your mouth and nose while indoors on campus. For more information on masks see post below from 1/11/22.
  • Continue to report positive cases, symptoms, and direct close exposures with the Self-Report form, link here: Self Report Form
  • Vaccine records must be uploaded to your MyStatus page: MyStatus – RCC
  • If not yet vaccinated: You must provide negative COVID test weekly to participate in activities on campus. Upload results here if your test is from a test location other than RCC’s SHIELD testing site: MyStatus – RCC

Things that are different this semester:

  • MCHD is not assigned contact tracing at this time, all cases are sent to a centralized “surge center.” The state Surge Center will be sending automated text messages where people can opt in or out. If a person has not received a call or text message, they can call 312-777-1999.
  • SHIELD Testing is now located in W167.
  • ALL Students (regardless of vaccine status) are recommended to test prior to in-person instruction.
  • For students who are fully vaccinated, testing is NOT required (mandatory).
  • For students who are not yet vaccinated, testing continues to be required (mandatory) at least every 7 days if participating in activities on campus.

January 11, 2022 UPDATE

Mask Considerations: 

We’ve received several questions about the effectiveness of different masks. Please remember, an indoor mask ordinance remains in effect in Decatur, Illinois.
We are currently under state mandate AND City Code 73.

We will continue to require individuals on campus to wear a mask while indoors on campus, in accordance with Illinois State Executive Orders.
See here: Executive & Administrative Orders

All individuals, regardless of vaccine status, are required to wear a mask while indoors on campus.
Some considerations when choosing a mask:

  • Cloth masks are better than no mask. Two or three layer cloth masks are better than single layer cloth masks.
  • Three layer surgical masks are better than cloth masks.
  • N95 or KN95 masks offer the most protection- when fitted and worn properly.

At this time, RCC will not dictate the type of mask the individual chooses to wear. The masks we have on campus at entrances were provided in partnership with Illinois Emergency Management and Macon County Health Department. We will continue to offer these masks on campus. If an individual chooses to wear an N95 or KN95 mask, they are welcome to do so. Unfortunately there are many counterfeits online. Be sure to buy from a reputable source.

More from the CDC: Your Guide to Masks | CDC

Thank you for doing your part to help keep campus safe.

Erin Spanberger
COVID Coordinator

December 2, 2021 UPDATE

Note for Healthcare Profession Students and Faculty: Pursuant to the Interim Final Rule published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on November 5, 2021, and other applicable executive orders, all Richland students and faculty who attend clinicals must be vaccinated against COVID-19, with exceptions only as required by Federal law. ​

As COVID-19 vaccine mandates impact Richland employees, faculty, and students, please be aware of Richland Community College’s process for requesting an exemption. Individuals who are requesting an exemption should complete the appropriate form: Request for Medical Exemption: COVID-19 Vaccine OR Request for a Religious Exemption to the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement. Please note: Completing the exemption request form will start the process. Forms may be submitted to electronically to OR in a sealed envelop to SHIELD Testing Area W113/W167 during SHIELD Testing Hours. For hard copies, please write RCC ID# on the envelope. All requests for exemption for COVID-19 vaccines will be reviewed by a panel including the COVID Coordinator. Please be prepared to provide additional information at the panel’s request. Prompt response will be vital in making determinations prior to the Spring 2022 semester start.

Form: Request for Medical Exemption: COVID-19 Vaccine PDF FILE

Form: Request for a Religious Exemption to the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement PDF FILE

November 4, 2021

SHIELD Covid Testing – NEW LOCATION: W167

From the Mueller Student Center (Center core of Main Campus), proceed to the West Wing and look for SHIELD signs. Our new reception area is in the entrance of the Early Childhood Education Center. For scheduling, registration, and more check out the website:

Reminder: If you are NOT YET VACCINATED, weekly testing is currently mandated (REQUIRED) for all individuals who are on campus weekly.

We look forward to seeing you there! As always, thank you for for doing your part to keep campus safe!

October 15, 2021

Local COVID cases are declining. Macon County’s seven day rolling average has decreased for the past 4 weeks in a row. Data here

While this is good news, Illinois hospitals continue to be stressed and ICU availability is low. Data here At the time of this post, Illinois has only 17% of ICU beds available.

Please help our community stay on track. As the weather cools, many activities will move inside. We know the virus is more easily spread indoors.

Continue to take the basic precautions to protect yourself and your family, especially when socializing indoors with individuals outside of your family. Basic precautions include: open a window/increase ventilation, wear a mask over the mouth and nose, cover your cough/sneezes when not masked, keep distance (2 arms length when possible), and wash hands often.

And, please consider taking the vaccine if you haven’t already. See the bottom of this post for next week’s vaccine clinics.

REMINDER: Individuals who are not yet vaccinated AND participate in coursework on campus MUST test weekly. Testing is available at RCC’s SHIELD testing site, local pharmacies and medical providers. If you choose to test at a community test site, upload the results to:

UPDATE: Individuals who have tested positive for COVID19 are exempt from weekly testing for 90 days. Please email if you qualify for this exemption.

Please note: A previous COVID19 infection does not provide the same level of immune response as the shot. Article and infographic from The British Society for Immunology: here. It is recommended to take the vaccine, even if you have had a previous COVID19 infection.

UPDATE: This week, Illinois Department of Public Health updated their COVID landing page. They have vaccine data, case data, outbreaks, and more. See here: COVID-19 Home

REMINDER: Vaccine cards must be turned in by October 29 for the RCC vaccine incentive program. Employees who are actively employed and receive an RCC paycheck are eligible ($500 in your pocket and a chance to win $2500).

Vaccine Opportunities Next Week:

Monday 10/18/21 at Millikin University: Pfizer only, NO boosters at this clinic

Wed. 10/20/21 at MCHD: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson

Friday 10/22/21 from 9am to 1pm at RICHLAND Community College: Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J. YES boosters will be available at this clinic. This is a walk-in clinic.

Additionally, visit – Search for COVID-19 vaccine locations to find a vaccine near your residence. ?

Erin Spanberger
COVID Coordinator
Richland Community College
217.875.7200 ext.6256

August 11, 2021 UPDATE

Face Mask Guidelines and Exemption Form

Richland Community College currently requires all individuals wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while indoors on campus property.

Face Mask Exemptions may be granted for students or employees who cannot wear face coverings due to a medical or mental health condition or disability, or who are hearing-impaired or communicating with a hearing-impaired person.

If you feel you are unable to wear a mask on campus due to a medical or mental health condition or disability, such as those listed above, please fill out the form located at The form will be reviewed once it is completed by your healthcare provider and sent back to us via email at or via fax to (217) 875-5462.

Our COVID Case Coordinator, Erin Spanberger, will be sending out additional information and can answer any of your questions.

SHIELD Testing

SHIELD Testing is available in the North Wing Corridor: N151.

Testing Hours:

• Monday 2pm to 5:30pm
• Tuesday 9am to 1pm
• Wednesday 9am to 1pm
• Appointments recommended, but walk-ins are accepted. Find out more at

Vaccination Clinics

We will be offering Richland COVID Vaccine Clinics for Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson thanks to our partnership with the Macon County Health Department. For more information visit

Pfizer Clinic (two doses):
• August 25
• September 15
• October 6

Johnson & Johnson (one dose):
• August 17
• August 26
• September 16
• October 7

August 5, 2021 UPDATE

Hello Richland Community,

As you may be aware, yesterday, Governor Pritzker announced new masking requirements for Illinois schools. This is in addition to updated CDC masking guidance, in response to the Delta Variant surge.

As you might suspect, we are very concerned for employees’ and students’ safety as we continue to navigate this once in a lifetime pandemic. In order to slow the spread and protect all of us, including children age 0-11 who cannot be vaccinated, we must reinstate mitigation efforts.

Effective Friday, August 6, 2021, we will all be required to wear masks while on campus, this includes employees, students and visitors.

Because we believe we all must take the necessary steps to move us past the devastating effects of this virus, it is important to inform you about what else can you do to slow the spread of the virus:

Take the vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccine is the surest way to protect yourself and your family from severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Continue distancing. Try to keep 6 ft distance (approximately 2 arms lengths) when interacting with individuals from outside your household.

Continue hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing/sneezing or being around others.

Utilize free testing options. SHIELD testing​ on campus is noninvasive, quick, and free. If you experience symptoms, find testing here.

​We will continue to closely follow and comply with the latest pandemic guidance. We will continue to follow local trends. And, we will continue to provide opportunities for vaccination​, the surest way to prevent severe disease and death.

Thank you all for your continued cooperation. We are looking forward to a successful start of the Fall semester!

Cristobal Valdez

Erin Spanberger
Covid-19 Coordinator

COVID Return to Work Flowchart – Not Vaccinated Individuals (PDF FILE)

COVID Return to Work Flowchart – Fully Vaccinated Individuals (PDF FILE)

July 19, 2021 UPDATE

Hello Richland Community,

As we approach the last week of Summer 2021 semester, our local community has enjoyed a summer with continued low and decreasing community spread of covid-19: both in Macon County and Region 6.

Illinois, as most of you know, moved to Phase 5: Restored on June 11, 2021. Over the last month, we have seen a slight increase in cases in our community. We will continue to monitor the community spread trends as we are reminded that the pandemic is not yet over. The virus continues to rage in some parts of the world and we are committed to mitigating spread on campus and in our community.

In contrast, over the last four months, on Richland’s campus we have seen fewer and fewer cases of covid-19. We have received fewer reports of symptoms and required fewer quarantine restrictions. Our campus is safe for you to come to work and for our students to come back to campus. As employees on RCC Campus, each of us has been responsible for protecting ourselves as well as contributing to the overall safety of the Richland community. We sincerely appreciation your active participation in these efforts.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have been diligent in maintaining a safe learning environment for our college community, in large part because we followed the guidance of the CDC, IDPH, and our local health department.

In accordance with CDC, IDPH, and our local health department, vaccinated individuals no longer must wear masks while on campus.

This change will take effect on Monday July 19, 2021. Individuals who are not yet vaccinated must continue to wear a mask while on campus.

Again, let us remember to be kind, patient and demonstrate grace during this time of transition. Many are ready to throw off the masks, but others are still hesitant, even some who are already vaccinated. Some are eager to return to the office full-time while others are anxious and taking things day by day.

With the change in mask policy, we must continue to have a multi-faceted approach to prevent covid-19 on campus. We will continue to have the following covid-19 mitigation efforts in place:

  • Self-report tool online- used to report new symptoms or exposure to covid-19
  • Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine protocols for not yet vaccinated
  • Vaccine promotion and education
  • Distancing in classrooms
  • Promoting handwashing and respiratory etiquette
  • SHIELD testing
  • Online sections, as available, for students who are not comfortable attending in person yet

Changes in effect Monday July 19, 2021:

  • Masks no longer required for vaccinated individuals
  • Daily pre-screen tool no longer required prior to coming to campus. Continue to self-asses your health daily prior to coming to campus. Report symptoms, exposure, and positive cases to the covid self-report tool.

Thank you all for contributing to and maintaining our safe learning environment over the last eighteen months. We are ready to see our Richland community thrive. We look forward to seeing you all on campus this Fall semester.

Cristobal Valdez

Erin Spanberger
Covid-19 Coordinator

May 17, 2021 Update

The college campus doors are open.

Employees will continue to use the prescreen tool prior to coming on campus, and may enter through any door to access their workspace. It is no longer required for employees to check in with security staff at the main entrance.

We will continue to follow the recommendations from CDC, IDPH, and our local health department. The CDC released major changes in recommendations this last week for vaccinated individuals, advising that vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks in most situations. In the coming days, we will be evaluating the colleges health and safety protocols to best serve the Richland community throughout the summer and fall…

Please note: For now, all employees, students, and visitors should continue to wear masks while in the community areas of campus including the Cafe (when not eating), hallways, and SHIELD test site.

Vaccinated individuals may remove their mask when they are in their personal work area, or in a vaccinated colleague’s workspace (with their consent).

As we move through this pandemic, personal responsibility will be vital to maintain a safe campus. ​

Continue to watch for emails and updates, as we will release new guidance as available.

Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep campus safe!

COVID and Travel:

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO TRAVEL, contact the COVID Case Coordinator, Erin Spanberger at to make a Return to Campus Plan. Please provide: travel dates, date to return home, destination, mode of travel (car, plane, etc).

The new guidance (3/8/2021) from the CDC this week is clear:

“Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”

If travel is necessary, testing before and after travel can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when paired with a period of staying at home and precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer by reducing spread.

If you participated in higher-risk activities during your travel, take the actions listed above AND do the following after travel:

  • Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days after travel.

Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not. Monitor yourself closely for 14 days following your return. If you develop any symptoms of the virus, self-quarantine immediately and seek medical advice as needed.

In-Person Coaching (March 8, 2021 update):

STUDENTS: Summer registration is just around the corner so beginning March 8 we are increasing availability for student success coaching and financial aid services in the Student Success Center.

Staff will rotate hours on campus while also providing online appointments. We encourage you to check your coach’s availability and check our website for posted hours. Walk-in assistance is available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Please remember to visit before you come to campus and bring your mask.

Fall Update:

Effective November 23, the Student Success Center will reduce its IN-PERSON hours for coaching, financial aid and solution specialists to Monday and Thursday from 8am to 5pm until the start of the new year. This change in hours will not affect virtual meetings with Student Success staff or the Testing Center, which will be open each weekday.

Fitness Center Tier 3 mitigations are listed below and will begin on Friday, November 20, 2020.

  • The Fitness Center max capacity is 12 users.
  • No Fitness Classes in the Group Fitness Room.
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times, including while engaged in individual exercise regardless of person or machine spacing. All users must wear a face covering.
  • The Fitness Center recommends users to call to confirm capacity numbers prior to using the facility. 217-875-7211, ext. 6324.
  • Locker room areas will be closed. All users should come dressed to work out and avoid using the locker room. The bathrooms will remain open.

Pre-Screen Forms

Before you come to campus each day please be sure to use our Pre-screening tool

STUDENTS  and EMPLOYEES – Richland Pre-Screen Tool

Resources and Guides

Drive-Thru COVID Testing Information (PDF file)

Class Delivery Guide for Spring 2021 (PDF file)

Student Guide to Spring 2021 Semester

Richland Return to Work Flowchart – November 2020 (pdf)

Additional Resources and Guides

Restore Richland Quick Facts Su20

Restore Richland Full Plan – June 2020

HSHS COVID-19 Information (pdf)

Coronavirus COVID-19 Information and FAQs (pdf)

Memorial Health System COVID-19 Community Information (pdf)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Information (pdf) 

August 3, 2020

A Message from President Cris Valdez:

Hello Richland Community:

As we ready for the Fall Semester, I wanted to give you a preview of three approaches we will employ to address enrollment, student success and tuition affordability. We are acutely cognizant of the immense challenges that our continuing and new students face each day as this pandemic continues, seemingly out of control. The College’s enrollment remains below our stated financial goals and, in good measure, can be attributed to the uncertainty of the virus spread. Given this uncertainty, we are convinced that students are waiting to make their higher education decisions. To this end, Richland Community College will institute the following three initiatives:

Dedicated Enrollment Days: In addition to the initial Saturday Registration, which was extremely successful, we will host four additional Registration days on the following dates:

  • Friday, August 7
  • Saturday, August 8
  • Wednesday, August 12
  • Friday, August 14

This is an opportunity for all of us to provide additional assistance prior to and during these events. Employees can volunteer or may be assigned to assist. Specific times and potential assignments will be forthcoming from Dr. Zuniga’s office.

Guaranteed Fall Schedule: All courses on the Fall Schedule as of TODAY, August 3, will be a guaranteed GO. We will not cancel any classes from this date forward. Additionally, we are highlighting both late-start and potential slow-start courses as students may make their enrollment decisions at the very last moment.

Online Tuition Discount: We are keenly aware than none of us likely would have chosen the online environment had we not determined the risk was too high for in-person instruction. As a result, we will offer a 15% discount of the online tuition rate for classes. A full-time student enrolled in 15 credits will receive a $375 credit as a result of this discount.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the commitment and diligence you have all displayed to assist our students throughout these unprecedented times. College leadership is also aware that these are challenging times for all of you. It is my hope that you are all doing well. Please remember to practice healthy self-care, support one another and seek out assistance if necessary. I am confident that we will have a very successful fall semester. Not because we will meet enrollment goals, which we will, and not because the College will maintain fiscal health and viability, which we will, but rather because we all understood this virus environment is bigger than all of us and we must work together to the benefit of our students and their success. And, one day, we will be back on campus and the better for it.

Again, thank you,

Signature of Cris Valdez

Dr. Cristobal “Cris” Valdez


COVID-19 Testing Sites – Updated July 13, 2020


CVS on Fairview

Crossings Healthcare
1-4 p.m. Appointment required COVID Hotline 217-877-9117


Drive-thru at Walgreens on N 9th St.

Memorial Respiratory Clinic

  • 2950 S. Sixth St. Springfield
  • Must be symptomatic 217-588-4019


Drive-thru test site at Market Place Shopping Center on N. Neil St.
No appointment needed.



  • Drive-thru test site is at 1106 Interstate Drive
    Must have symptoms or be a critical support services

Drive-Thru Lab Testing – Memorial Health System offers drive-thru lab testing at the following locations:

  • Jacksonville – Passavant Area Hospital: Drive-thru lab testing, Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Lincoln – Memorial Physician Services—Lincoln: Drive-thru lab testing, Mon.-Fri., 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Use side entrance (left of building).
  • Petersburg – Memorial Physician Services—Petersburg: In-car lab testing, Mon.-Fri., 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Springfield – Memorial Physician Services—Koke Mill: Drive-thru lab testing, Mon.-Fri., 7:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. at West Lobby Entrance
  • Taylorville – Taylorville Memorial Hospital: Drive-thru lab testing, Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.; weekends 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Employees with questions about BlueCross BlueShield Member Coverage should visit:

Updated July 9, 2020


The Fitness Center will be opening on July 13, 2020, Monday – Thursday from 5:45am – 7pm. Richland and the Fitness Center will be closed on Fridays until 08/03/2020. The locker room, but the showers will not be in service.

The Fitness Center will operate at 50% capacity. Members should check for available capacity before going to the Fitness Center. The maximum number of users in the Fitness Center is 22 users and will be monitored to ensure your safety. ONLU\Y members can use the Fitness Center – please no guests as this time.

Members should arrive at the Fitness Center wearing workout attire.

The following guidelines are for your safety in using the Fitness Center and outlines procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. The Fitness Center will be enforcing the IDPH Health & Fitness guidelines and procedures and can use either option (a) or (b) protocols in  the check-in process before you use the facility. Fitness Center staff will be wearing face coverings at all times.


  • Option A) At the entrance of the Fitness Center members will be asked if they have any COVID-19 symptoms and will have a non-touch temperature check. Members with any COVID-19 symptoms, or have been around anyone with COVID-19 symptom’s or a temperature higher than 100.4 will be asked to leave and can return if symptom-free and no fever without the use of fever reducing medicine for 72 hours.
  • Option B) Before coming to the Fitness Center each day, all individuals will be required to fill out the pre-screening form at Following pre-screening you will immediately receive an email with one of the following status indicators:

BLUE – indicates that you are clear to come to campus for an onsite temperature check. You will receive a 3-digit code that you must use to verify your status during your onsite temperature check. Upon arrival onsite personnel will • Enter your 3-digit code to verify your BLUE status • Check your temperature with a no-touch thermometer • Record your temperature (information will remain confidential) • Verbally allow (or disallow) access to the Fitness Center based on your temperature reading, which must be below 100.4°F.

RED – indicates you have a risk factor, and should not come to campus.

  • To use the Fitness Center you will need to use a Richland ID card and scan in and out using the scanner located at the front of the Fitness Center desk. There is a barcode on the back of the ID card that can be scanned using the no-touch scanner. If you don’t have an ID card, provide your ID# to the staff and they will enter it in our system. If you are a new user and don’t have an ID card or FC card the ID cards will be printed and distributed to users when they are available.
  • To maintain social distancing please maintain 6 feet from each user while exercising. The free weight area can only have two people in each area as described: the area in front of the dumbbell racks, kettlebell rack, bench press stations, and squat racks while maintaining 6 feet of distance between each user while exercising. Also to use the strength and cardiovascular machines users must keep one machine vacant in between each user. Example: We have 6 treadmills however only three can be used all at the same time with one treadmill vacant in between users. If practical, members should wear face coverings over their nose and mouth while exercising (exceptions can be made for people with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering)
  • Keeping the equipment clean and disinfected is very important and will protect you from germs/viruses. Users will be asked to use disinfectant before and after using the equipment. Disinfectant spray bottles and paper towels are available in multiple locations throughout the Fitness Center. There are also signs where the disinfectant is located. Please also wash your hands often and refrain from touching your nose or mouth.
  • Users should wear face coverings over your nose and mouth whenever you’re not exercising (exceptions can be made for people with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering) If you have a conversation with someone please maintain at least a minimum of 6 feet between you and the other person.
  • The locker room and bathroom can only have one person in it at a time. The only exception is if someone is using the bathroom stall. If that is the case a maximum of two people is allowed. Showers are not in service at this time.
  • If you need assistance from someone to spot your lift, the spotter must wear a face covering. If you don’t have a face covering they are available at the Fitness Center desk. Please dispose of your face-covering in the trash receptacle and don’t leave it on the equipment.
  • The equipment will be disinfected by the Fitness Center staff throughout the day and every hour. The staff will also be monitoring the use of the equipment. The failure of a user to comply with the guidelines, maintain social distancing and disinfect the equipment before and after use will result in the user being asked to leave the Fitness Center.
  • Equipment should not be shared between members at the same time unless from the same household.
  • The Fitness Center fans will not be in service to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Updated June 15, 2020

Restore Richland Plan

The safety of all Richland employees is our highest priority. Implementing safety protocols and requirements, and conducting ourselves in responsible manners as we gradually reintegrate into our buildings, offices, classrooms, labs and other spaces to serve our students and community will be key to the success of the plan.  

The Restore Richland Plan is guided by information collected from several organizations with expertise in the field of disease control and public health preparedness. Key documents and information that were considered when developing this plan were: Restore Illinois, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Macon County Health Department 

This plan will serve as a guide to best practices and outlines the requirements Richland is implementing to help ensure the health and well-being or our entire college community. Implementation of this plan will begin Tuesday, July 7, 2020, and be in effect until further notice as statewide or regional Restore Illinois restrictions allowAs such, the plan will be amended as needed and under the guidelines of the State of Illinois Restore Illinois plan. Richland Community College will never be less restrictive than the State of Illinois guidelines.  

Click Here for the Full Plan

Updated May 29, 2020

Summer Courses begin online June 1; Campus remains closed until Phase 4 of Restore Illinois

Richland Community College summer courses are set to begin online June 1, allowing students to stay on track with their educational goals in a safe environment.

Richland offers a low tuition, financial aid and scholarship options and easily transferable credits, giving students the tools they need to complete their education. Dr. Isaac Zuniga, Vice President of Student Success at Richland Community College shared that “students who progress more quickly through the curriculum, even during challenging times, are considerably more likely to complete their degrees than
those who do not.”

Although the central Illinois region will be moving to Phase 3 this week, the Richland Community College campus and programs will remain closed until Phase 4 as outlined in the Restore Illinois Plan. Richland leadership is developing a phased approach to reopen campus with a focus on the safety of the campus community.

“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our greatest priority,” stated Dr. Cristobal “Cris” Valdez, President of Richland Community College. “We remain committed to providing our students a high-quality education while following social distancing and public health guidelines.”

In accordance to Governor Pritzker executive orders, the Illinois Community College Board and accrediting agencies, Richland will make it a priority to safely return students and faculty to campus
to complete their spring 2020 lab requirements.

“As restrictions are lifted, we will begin to reach out to students unable to complete spring semester due to lab requirements,” Dr. Denise Crews, Vice President of Academic Services said. “Our first priority is to put processes in place to keep everyone safe. To do this, the new normal will require us to shift our daily habits in the learning environment while continuing to provide learning experiences that are at the heart of Richland Community College.”

Richland employees will continue working remotely as the college remains in Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan and phase back onto campus as restrictions allow.

Richland students facing food insecurity will have options throughout the summer months. Free meals will continue to be served Monday-Thursday, between the hours of 11am – 1pm. Meals can be picked
up curbside at main entrance of campus by the flag poles. The Richland Pantry will remain open for Richland students on Wednesdays only from 11am – 4pm. To access the food pantry all students must enter through the food pantry entrance located in Parking Lot C.

Updated May 5, 2020

Virtual Graduation Planned for Students

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Richland Community College will be moving its May commencement to a virtual format in order to celebrate its graduating students.

“In these uncertain times, as COVID-19 continues to affect our lives in unprecedented ways, we want to keep our students health and safety at the forefront of our decision-making. It is with a heavy heart that I announce that we will suspend our in-person graduation ceremony scheduled for May 15,” said Dr. Isaac Zuniga, Vice President of Student Success. He added, “Even though our in-person celebration will not occur, I am happy to announce that we will hold a virtual graduation ceremony in lieu of our traditional event.”

Richland’s virtual graduation will occur on Friday, May 15 at 7:00pm, the original planned date for the ceremony. It will be streamed on Richland’s Facebook and YouTube page. “We want to celebrate the accomplishments of our students in a way that they deserve. During the virtual graduation, there will be remarks from Richland President, Dr. Cris Valdez, and Vice President of Academic Services, Dr. Denise Crews; as well as officially recognizing our graduating students.”

Graduating students who confirmed their participation in the ceremony should be on the lookout in their Richland email for additional information about the event.

Click here for the Richland’s Facebook Page


Updated April 25, 2020

Annual Plant Sale and Saturday Market Canceled

Due to the ongoing restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and based on current recommendations from local and state public health and governmental officials, Richland Community College will not host its Annual Plant Sale or Saturday Market this season.

“At the forefront of the decision-making is the health and safety of vendors, customers, and our community at-large. We were looking forward to building upon the very successful 2019 Saturday Market season and Plant Sale; unfortunately we will have to wait until next year to do so. We will continue to investigate new ways to improve upon the Saturday Market and Plant Sale to ensure that the 2021 season is the most successful of all,” says Deanna Koenigs, Saturday Market Director and Small Farm Coordinator.

Vendors with pre-paid fees for the Saturday Market can email Koenigs,, to provide a mailing address for reimbursement checks.

Updated April 23, 2020


We are getting questions from you about returning library materials, both those borrowed from the Richland library and from other libraries. Please rest assured that the library is not charging fines for overdue materials. There is no pressure to return those items you need to complete the semester. You will NOT be prevented from receiving your transcript or registering for summer or fall classes if you have outstanding materials.

For those of you that are finished with your materials and just want to return them, you can do so beginning today (Thursday) between the hours of 11am – 1pm, Monday through Friday. There will be a box at the front entrance of campus near the flagpoles for your returns. Please contact Campus Police at (217) 875-7211, Ext. 6555 if these hours do not work for you.

Students may return items in the parking lot of the CLINTON Education Center on Wednesday, May 6 from 1-4pm and on Thursday, May 7, from 9am – 12pm.

Updated March 27, 2020

Richland Students:

If you haven’t touched base with your Success Coach in the last two weeks, please do it this week to let us know you are okay! You can get coach contact info by visiting If you don’t know who your Success Coach is, email or call 217.875.7211, Ext. 6267.

Updated March 23, 2020

Hello! As we officially start our remote learning adventure, Richland’s Online Learning staff would like to provide some helpful information and reminders.


Student Online Help Desk – For questions/tech support the best way for students to get help is to either: Click on the Help link in Canvas and “Report a Problem” OR Email the Help Desk at We will respond days, evenings, and weekends. Limited phone support (217-875-7211, Ext. 6376) is also available Monday-Friday from 8am – 4:30pm.

Canvas Student Resource Course – If students have general questions about Canvas and how to work and submit assignments in Canvas, the Resource Course has links to tutorials, videos, and guides –

Reset Student Passwords – If students don’t have or know their Richland login information (for myRichland, Canvas, Thrive, and student email) they can get this by “activating” their account. Students can do this by going to myRichland and clicking on the “Activate Account (Student)” link on the left side of the page. This process can also be used to reset a student’s password.

Student E-mail – Online Learning can help students with questions about their student E-mail, as well as helping to get their E-mail on their phone or forward it to another account. For more information for students on how to do this see the following page –

Microsoft Office – Richland students can download and install Microsoft Office 365 software on their personal computer (PC or Mac, not Chromebook), tablet, or phone at no cost. Students can go here to access this –


Faculty Online Learning Support – For any Canvas or remote learning assistance, faculty can contact Kona ( or Liz ( directly via email. If additional assistance is needed, they will also be available over phone and live conferencing (Zoom). We will respond days, evenings, and weekends.

Canvas Faculty Training/Resource Course – In this course, Faculty can access resources, guides, and videos related to using Canvas and working in the online environment –


Updated March 20, 2020

In compliance with the Illinois Governor’s Stay at Home or Place of Residence announcement today, we will be temporarily closing our campus to the public through May 30. Only essential employees who have been granted permission will be allowed on campus during that time.

Students will begin their online instruction method as planned on March 23. Students, please log into Canvas and check your Inbox and your Courses for information from your Instructors. The Online Learning team, your student success coaches, and your instructors are committed to your success. We are working hard to make sure you have every opportunity for a smooth transition into this new virtual learning environment.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Online Learning – You can reach them by emailing (days, evenings, and weekends) or by calling the Online Learning Help Desk at (217) 875-7211, ext. 6376 (Monday-Friday, 8am – 4:30pm).

At this time, we will not be providing face-to-face instruction and more details will be provided at a later time. ​

Richland students can still pick up hot meals from 11am – 1pm on weekdays. When picking up meals students are asked to please drive up to the main entrance of campus at the flag poles and someone will direct you to curbside pickup. All meals will be delivered by a curbside method in to-go boxes.

Student Success Services are available through remote access, and will remain accessible through online services, text, phone, email, and video conferencing. If students have questions for their coaches, please reach out to them via email or call (217) 875-7211, Ext. 6267. Coaches are currently scheduling virtual and phone appointments to assist with registration and other enrollment-related questions.

Again, we stress that all our Richland employees and students, please continue to put your safety and health first as we continue to navigate through a challenging time as a country. Your Richland family is here to support you and help in whatever way possible. Continue to check the website for helpful information and resources. We will continue to send alerts when up-to-date information is available.

Updated March 19, 2020

Richland students:

We are ready for online and virtual instruction to begin Monday, March 23, 2020, and continue to the end of the spring semester. Students, please log into Canvas and check your Inbox and your Courses for information from your Instructors. The Online Learning team, your student success coaches, and your instructors are committed to your success. We are working hard to make sure you have every opportunity for a smooth transition into this new virtual learning environment.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Online Learning – You can reach them by emailing (days, evenings, and weekends) or by calling the Online Learning Help Desk at (217) 875-7211, ext. 6376 (Monday-Friday, 8am – 4:30pm).

At this time, we will not be providing face-to-face instruction and more details will be provided at a later time.​

Food options for our students experiencing food insecurity

Richland students who are experiencing food insecurity due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic situation have some options they can take advantage of thanks to the Richland Foundation, the Culinary Arts Institute, and the Good Samaritan Inn.

Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, students can stop by campus to take advantage of a free hot meal between the hours of 11am – 1pm on weekdays. The meals are prepared in advance and not from the regular menu, so items will be limited each day. When picking up meals students are asked to please drive up to the main entrance of campus at the flag poles and someone will direct them to curbside pickup. All meals will be delivered by a curbside method in to-go boxes.

Julie Melton, Executive Director of the Richland Community College Foundation, also noted that Richland students can access the Richland Pantry on Wednesdays only from 11am – 4pm. To access the food pantry all students must enter through the food pantry entrance located in Parking Lot C for food pickup. The Pantry is an extension of the Good Samaritan Inn.

Anyone interested in donating to the pantry, can drop off items during pantry hours or visit The Good Samaritan Inn. Donations can be made online at

Richland’s Campus Bookstore will be facilitating your process to make your online learning experience more dynamic. The bookstore is offering options to supplement and support your needs:

  • FREE Online Shipping Offer: Visit the campus store website  for Free Shipping on all items with no minimum purchase. This includes various formats of course materials, supplies, apparel, technology and more.
  • Access to eBooks AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE: Visit the campus store website to gain access to eBooks at no additional charge with your .edu email address. You can access up to 7 eBooks for the designated period free of charge.
  • Free Shipping on Rental Returns & Deadline Extensions: The campus store is offering free shipping return labels and is also extending the non-return period without penalty to assist with increased returns by mail. Click the COVID-19 message on the home page of the campus store website.


Updated March 17, 2020

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created an unprecedented situation which has forced us and all Illinois public and private colleges and universities to shift to alternative methods of teaching and working.  As we finalize this plan we ask and encourage you to continue to visit this web page for new updates and resources and to check your Richland email as well.

  • For the safety of all on campus, during this time, anyone coming on campus will need to use Parking Lot B, at the main entrance of campus by the flag poles. You must sign in and out upon arrival and departure. All other entrances to the building are locked.
  • The Campus Bookstore is currently closed to in-person business but is still completing online orders. CLICK HERE to visit the online store.
  • Employees on campus can purchase food through the Café’ by calling and picking up the item during the following limited hours: 11am to 1pm.

Updated March 15, 2020

To the Richland Community College community:

Due to the effects of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Richland Community College is taking the following measures to help protect our students, faculty and staff, and to do our part to reduce risk of spreading the infection. All updates will be posted here.

  1. Spring Break will be extended an additional week, through Saturday, March 21. The faculty, staff and administration will use this period of time to move as much class content as possible to Canvas, Richland’s online learning platform.
  2. We will move to online instruction via Canvas for all classes beginning Monday, March 23. This is for the time being, and we will continue to evaluate when we can return to face-to-face instruction. Some formats, such as labs and clinicals, may need to be handled on a case-by-case basis. IMPORTANT: Students, please ensure you have access to Canvas, which can be reached from the MyRichland web page using your student email address and password. Call the Help Desk at 217.875.7211, Ext. 6367, if you need assistance with that.
  3. On-campus college events will be cancelled during this time, unless otherwise noted. Communication will be ongoing with the appropriate audiences.
  4. The campus itself, as well as The Café, will remain open.
  5. The Decatur Public Schools Early Learning Center will mirror District operations and are closed at through March 30.
  6. Support staff and the IT Help Desk (217.875.7211, Ext. 6376, will be available to assist students.
  7. Follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, which include avoiding crowded situations, remaining six feet away from others when possible, regular hand-washing with soap and water, use of hand sanitizer, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, etc.
  8. Students can access the Richland Pantry on Wednesdays from 11:00am-4:00pm. To access the food pantry all students must enter through the food pantry entrance located in Parking Lot C for food pickup.

Questions may be directed to the front desk at 217.875.7211 6267


  • Student email will be an important method of communication. Please make sure you have access to your account.
  • Financial aid refunds will be distributed as originally scheduled.
  • If you feel ill or someone in your immediate household is ill, do not come to campus.


  • Employees will be informed regarding the nature of their attendance (physical vs. remote) with their supervisor.
  • If you have travel plans on college business in the near future, consult with the appropriate Vice President to determine if you should cancel those plans.
  • A separate communication will be sent to faculty regarding work hours and duties from Denise Crews, Vice President of Academic Services.
  • If you feel ill or someone in your immediate household is ill, stay home.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will post updates on our website. We also will alert you of updates to that page via email, social media, Canvas and the Canvas app, and any other appropriate outlets.

We are taking these actions out of an abundance of caution, with the well being of our students and employees in mind. We have been in contact with state and federal sources, as well as educational partners in our area.


Richland recommends that you utilize Canvas messaging or Richland email to contact faculty and staff. Email addresses for most employees can be found online at

If you have additional questions related to course scheduling, billing, or financial aid changes due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, please contact Student Success at, or call (217) 875-7211, Ext. 6267.



Please visit the CDC website for current updates on Level 3 zones

Please visit the CDC website for current updates on Level 1 and 2 zones

Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities

Steps to Prevent Illnesss

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Macon County Health Department, provide regular updates on their websites. Here are links to those agencies:  

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Illinois Department of Public Health 

Macon County Health Department

CDC Travel Notices

Updated: March 12, 2020

Today, we made the decision to extend spring break for students only through Monday, March 23. We will utilize the week of March 16 to assess and develop plan to modify instructional delivery beginning March 23.  It is anticipated that we will move as many of our academic operations as possible, to an online format, in an attempt to create social distancing and reduce the density of people on campus. 

*The College is NOT CLOSING. All employees will continue to report to work. 

  • Following the student spring break, online instruction will begin March 23 and continue through April 3, at which time we will re-assess the situation.
  • During this time, we will be canceling and/or postponing on-campus functions. Please contact your event coordinator if you have any questions pertaining to this information.
  • Richland will remain a polling place and voting will take place on Tuesday, March 17.
  • The college’s response seeks to strike a balance between preparedness and caution and college-wide communication on this important matter is forthcoming.  In Academic Services, our most important responsibility is to provide continuity of instruction.  We want to be prepared to move instruction online where possible.  Our plan is guided by the goal of decreasing the overall concentration of students on campus without disrupting the work of teaching and learning.
  • The college is requiring employees and students who have recently traveled to level 2 and 3 countries and states self-quarantine for a period of 14 days, starting from the day of your departure to return home.  All employees will have their normal work time covered with pay.  Employees who have paid time off benefits will not be required to use these benefits.  Employees are required to provide documentation of their travel to their supervisor.
  • The college is requiring employees and students who have traveled outside of the college district, in the last two weeks, to contact Human Resources via phone call to determine the appropriate plan to return to work.
  • Effective Friday, March 13 all work travel for employees will discontinue until further notice unless approved by the appropriate Vice President.
  • As of now, all other absence and paid time off procedures have not changed.  Employees and supervisors should follow the applicable collective bargaining agreement and/or policy for absences as they normally would with the exception of the abovementioned requirement to self-quarantine due to travel.
  • The Macon County Law Enforcement Training Center will follow a separate protocol from the College, so please follow directions from Commander Tad Williams and his team concerning the MCLETC.

Richland Community College values the health and well-being of its faculty, staff and students. We will continue to closely monitor the situation as we proceed during this time period that students are away. We anticipate additional updates late Monday, March 16, or early Tuesday, March 17, as the situation continues to change. 

Each day brings new change. Students, faculty, and, staff, we will update you via Richland email on changes in how we respond to the situation or you can continue to check back here for more information.