In-person classroom instruction and residential living for the fall 2020 semester began in August but with modifications to behaviors and campus operations.
This page has been created to keep all of our constituents informed about new decisions made with regard to the MC community, precautions taken on campus against the introduction and spread of the disease, and links to resources for students, faculty and staff.
COVID-19 Matrix Update
The COVID-19 Matrix was developed by the College’s COVID-19 Workgroup to give the MC family a weekly report of the College’s ability to continue in-person operations. The components of the matrix include those factors that could cause the College to pivot from in-person experiences to virtual learning.
|Level 1 - Fall Operations|
|Level 2 - Reduced Operations|
|Level 3 - Restricted Operations|
|Level 4 - Fully Virtual Curricular & Co-Curricular|
|Week of: September 14-20||L 1||L 2||L 3||L 4|
|Quarantine & Isolation Capacity|
Guidance and Compliance
Every member of our campus community holds an essential role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This includes all of our students, faculty and staff, whether residing on campus or in a nearby community. Prevention measures continue to include increased hand washing with soap and water, using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available, maintaining 6 feet or more of physical distance with other individuals and wearing face coverings.
Maryville College has specific COVID-19 Guidance for Students and a COVID-19 addendum to the Maryville College Student Code of Conduct, which states that violations to COVID-19 policies could result in disciplinary actions ranging from probation to separation from the College through suspension. Members of the campus community should encourage those around them to comply with guidance in an effort to promote health and safety. When members of the campus community are witnessed being willfully non-compliant, students, faculty and staff members should submit the COVID-19 Incident Report.
Phased reopening of campus
Maryville College began a phased return to campus on Monday, June 15, that first brought back to campus those people who could not work from home. On July 29, President Bryan F. Coker announced that the College was transitioning to an "Expanded Phase 2" status on Aug. 6, with some adjustments to current operations and expectations. Not a reopening to the public, Expanded Phase 2 was meant to be a reopening to students, faculty, staff, and pre-authorized visitors only.
Official events at the Clayton Center for the Arts and other campus venues are considered on a case-by-case basis and managed by the Events staff.
Employees who can continue to work remotely are encouraged to do so. The purpose of some employees continuing to work remotely is to reduce the number of people consistently present on-campus, thereby providing an additional degree of safety for students, faculty, and staff.
A determination about moving to Phase 3 (a complete reopen to the public) will be based on several factors. Due to the varying nature of work necessary to support the Mission of the College, each Cabinet member will identify employees to return in each phase.
Unfortunately, the foreseeable future does not seem to offer a return to “business as usual.” Among new requirements for employees are a COVID-19 awareness training, mask-wearing in public spaces, social distancing and daily symptom monitoring.
Plan for Fall 2020: Standards for behavior
Updated: July 16, 2020
Reopening the College and operating safely and responsibly will require modifications to behaviors and campus operations. Among the expectations of students, faculty and staff are: following College policy for mask wearing, maintaining physical distancing, completing daily temperature checks, practicing good hygiene, and staying home if/when symptoms are felt. It also means reporting possible exposure to COVID-19, COVID-19 testing, and/or medical directives to enter into quarantine or isolation to the COVID-19 Coordinator at email@example.com.
Closer to the start of the fall semester, students will receive a COVID-19 Student Conduct Addendum, a component of the College's overall Student Code of Conduct, and will be asked to sign a pledge indicating their understanding and willingness to abide by enhanced health and safety protocols.
Additional COVID-19-related guidance for students will be made available on the College’s website and in separate email communications.
Plan for Fall 2020 Semester: Academics
The Fall 2020 Semester began Aug. 19, with students experiencing a variety of class formats: Small classes gathering in large classrooms or auditoriums; large classes may have to move partially or completely online.
All classrooms and labs have been configured to adhere to physical distancing guidelines, which means that the capacity in many rooms has been reduced dramatically. The College is also utilizing other spaces, like the Alumni Gym, to allow for larger in-person classes. Three tents have been purchased and erected on campus – two adjacent Cooper Athletic Center, and one on the Clayton Center Plaza – to allow larger classes to meet in person. Some larger classes have been broken up into smaller sections and/or offered in online components.
The Labor Day holiday and Fall Break have been removed from the academic calendar, and in-person instruction will end at Thanksgiving, sending students home to take their final exams remotely the following week.
The College will continue to assist students and faculty members with the technology and pedagogy required for quality online learning experiences.
MC Academic Support will be a hybrid model of assistance this Fall 2020 semester, utilizing safe, physically distanced and in-person support in the Academic Support Center, as well as the Google Hangout online platform for group study, tutoring, Writing Center, Math Tank, and Cooper Success programming. Supplemental Instruction will also use a hybrid model, meeting safely in-person, as well as online. For scheduling information or any other academic support-related questions or requests, visit the Academic Support Center webpage or contact Noah Bowman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students with a disability requiring accommodations or any student who believes that they will require accommodations due to a disability should contact (via phone or email) Kim Ochsenbein, 865-981-8124, Kim.email@example.com or Debbie Stietenroth, 865-981-8120, Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org in the Academic Support Center located in the lower level of Thaw Hall. Students are encouraged to make contact before or during the first week of classes.
Plan for Fall 2020 Semester: Residential living
Updated: June 5, 2020
Residence halls will open for students in August; dates for move-in are being finalized. Much like the move-out experience in March, we plan to move students in over several days and in shifts with limited people to allow for physical distancing and appropriate cleaning.
The College will move to single-occupancy rooms in halls where residents use a community bathroom. This decision supports an effort to reduce the population in halls, thereby reducing the chances of person-to-person transmission and contamination on hard surfaces like faucets, doorknobs and stairwell railings. Single-occupancy living also allows students to quarantine in their own rooms, should the situation warrant it. These residents will not be charged a single-occupancy rate.
Residents who previously signed up to live with roommates in suites with self-contained kitchens and bathrooms will be permitted to live in those rooms but will need to sign a liability waiver before July 1 to do so. Students not signing the waiver and/or not wishing to live in a suite will be housed in a single room.
Rooms also are being reserved on campus in the event that students who live with suitemates become sick and require isolation.
Plan for Fall 2020: Cleaning and safeguarding measures
Updated: June 5, 2020
Cleaning and disinfecting campus spaces have always been priorities at the College, but with COVID-19, efforts are being increased to comply with contemporary CDC Guidance for Shared and Congregate Housing and the Tennessee Pledge’s Higher Education Guidelines. The College is adjusting housekeeping staffing levels and schedules to ensure compliance. It is also purchasing more sanitizing equipment, hand sanitizing stations and sanitizing wipe dispensers.
Plexiglass and other physical barriers are being installed in areas where face-to-face transactions are necessary. Other safeguards will include: Signage directing traffic flow in, out and through some buildings; visual cues on floors in spaces where lines typically form; and reconfigured workspaces to meet physical distancing guidelines.
Plan for Fall 2020: Health monitoring
A Maryville College COVID-19 Workgroup is meeting twice weekly to monitor developments related to the virus, address associated issues, and make recommendations for operations this summer and fall. Keni Lanagan, the College’s human resources director, is serving as a COVID-19 coordinator for employees; Dr. Melanie Tucker, vice president and dean of students, is serving as a COVID-19 coordinator for students.
The College is partnering with the Blount County Health Department to assist with guidance, planning and monitoring. The health department is able to offer free COVID-19 testing to all members of our campus community.
Plan for Fall 2020: Food services
Updated: July 22, 2020
Just as the College has done to safely and responsibly resume in-person learning this fall, Metz Culinary Management has made significant changes to foodservice operations to make the dining experiences inside Pearsons Hall (the Margaret Ware Dining Room), Isaac’s Café and the C-Store as safe as possible while remaining committed to good nutrition, value and convenience.
Before you return to campus, please learn about and familiarize yourself with the various changes and improvements that are being made for on-campus dining.
All Metz employees are being trained with the COVID Serv-Safe Food Handlers Food Safety Guidelines and are following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the State of Tennessee. These guidelines include, but are not limited to: mask wearing, healthy hygiene practices, daily temperature and symptom checks and intensified cleaning and disinfecting.
Additional plexiglass shielding is being added to provide barriers between employees and diners.
Requirements of students
Just as the College is requiring mask wearing and physical distancing, Metz will require masks to be worn in dining areas except when people are seated at tables and eating. Tables and chairs have been arranged in compliance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the State of Tennessee.
We ask that students follow new processes for entering and exiting facilities. While entrances are largely the same, distinct exits are marked to promote physical distancing. Please look for and follow all floor decals and directional signage.
In Pearsons Hall, students will be required to swipe their own I.D. cards before receiving pre-packaged eating utensils and drinkware. Napkins will be available at tower stands, and hand sanitizer stations will be readily accessible for students to use.
All self-serve stations have been eliminated. Instead, Metz employees will be serving all foods except for pre-packaged items like salads, sandwiches, desserts, ice creams and chips that are meant for “grab and go.”
“To go” meals will be made easy by reusable Green Boxes. Upon move-in, all students who have purchased a meal plan will be given a free Green Box that they can take to any of the dining areas to have filled. Because seating in dining areas has been reduced and because students will be able to better physically distance outside or in their residence hall rooms, we are encouraging students to use their Green Boxes to get their food to go.
Locations, hours and new options
The Margaret Ware Dining Room inside Pearsons Hall will continue to operate as the main location for dining, but Isaac’s Café and the Scots C-Store will see changes to better accommodate students’ needs and schedules.
Metz is adding a “Grab and Go” location in the lobby of Clayton Center Building B that will offer a limited number of hot food items in addition to pre-packaged foods.
Hours of operations are:
- The Margaret Ware Dining Room (Pearsons) will operate 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
- Isaac’s Café will operate 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- The Scots C-Store will operate 7:30-10 a.m. and 8 p.m.-midnight, Monday through Friday; and 8 p.m.-midnight on Saturday and Sunday.
- The Clayton Center café will operate 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
In all locations, meal exchanges are available.
Plan for Fall 2020: Athletics
Updated: July 28, 2020
The USA South Athletic Conference announced July 28 that it was postponing all fall conference competition for 2020. The decision effects football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country and volleyball. The postponement is until Spring 2021, when teams could resume competition and even championship play if medical and safety conditions allow. In late July, the NCAA approved a waiver granting colleges and universities flexibility in their sports seasons for 2020-2021. Decisions about conference play for men’s and women’s basketball (which typically begins in December) will be made in the coming weeks.
Following the appropriate guidelines for health and safety, coaches of fall sports will continue to work with players and teams to prepare them for competition.
Plan for Fall 2020: Campus events
Updated: June 5, 2020
Following the guidance from national, state and local authorities, most of the College’s events previously scheduled through June have been cancelled, including some camps and conferences. For a complete list of what’s been postponed and what’s still on the books, visit the College’s website. For up-to-date information about events in the Clayton Center for the Arts, visit the CCA’s website.
As CDC and state and local guidelines continue to advise against large gatherings, much uncertainty remains for fall campus events, including College-sponsored fine arts events. We are hopeful that these aspects of the Maryville College experience can resume quickly.
Relief funding for students
Money received from the U.S. Department of Education’s CARES Act/Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund—combined with contributions from generous donors—have allowed Maryville College to create a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund that will give assistance to hundreds of MC students who have been financially impacted by this pandemic, regardless of their federal financial aid status or citizenship.
Grants can be requested to cover expenses related to disruptions caused by COVID-19. To receive grant funding, a simple online application must be completed, indicating the amount of funding requested and the types of expenses incurred by the student.
All requests will be evaluated, and payment amounts will be determined based on available funding. Once a request is processed, funding is sent directly to the student by check. Students will need to confirm their mailing address in the application.
Questions regarding the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund are best answered by staff members in the College’s Financial Aid Office. Please contact them at email@example.com or 865-981-8100.
Refunds for Spring 2020
Update: March 31, 2020
For students who were required to move off campus, the Business Office has calculated prorated credits for Spring Semester room and board costs. Students will find the details of these credits by logging into their Self-Service accounts.
Prorated credits will automatically be applied to students’ Fall Semester 2020 statement balances. The advantage to leaving the credit on the student’s account is that it may reduce the amount of student loans for the Fall Semester.
Graduating seniors will need to request a refund check, and other students may opt to receive a refund check instead of keeping the credits. To request a refund check from the College, students should email the address where they want their check mailed to Kay Pritchett, student accounts manager in the Business Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who still owe a balance on their accounts after these credits have been applied should continue to make their payment plan payments or send a check for the balance owed or pay online and cancel their payment plan contracts. Melissa Millsaps, student accounts liaison, can answer these questions at email@example.com.
Commencement for the Class of 2020
In response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Commencement for the Class of 2020 will now be held on the Anderson Hall lawn during a weekend in May, 2021. The exact time of the ceremony will be announced after finalization of the Spring Semester 2021 calendar.
The December 19 ceremony announced previously has been determined unviable since COVID-19 and CDC guidelines for large gatherings remain largely unchanged. We are hopeful that a May 2021 ceremony will allow family members to attend and celebrate with graduates, as they finally close this chapter of their college career.
A virtual Commencement ceremony was hosted on the Maryville College website on May 9.
Memos from College Leadership
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 3, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 11, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 13, 2020
- MEMORANDUM 2 to campus, March 13, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 18, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, March 24, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, April 28, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, May 4, 2020
- MEMORANDUM to campus, June 5, 2020
COVID-19 in Tennessee
The Tennessee Health Department website offers up-to-date statistics on new cases, recoveries, hospitalizations, testing and more. The presence of COVID-19 in Blount County (where Maryville College is located) can be accessed from the health department’s epidemiology and surveillance data reports.
Maryville College is following Governor Bill Lee’s Tennessee Pledge-Higher Education Guidelines.
Info from the CDC
The COVID-19 webpages on the CDC website share up-to-date information on symptoms, complications, transmission, prevention, treatment and summary updates of the outbreak.
Off-campus offers and resources
Beginning Monday, March 16, Charter Communications will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Charter also will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across its footprint for public use.
McKibbon Hospitality, which operates many Marriott and Hilton properties in the Knoxville area, is offering discounts for students, faculty and staff impacted by COVID-19. The $69/per night rate applies at all properties, which are Towneplace Suites, Hampton Inn and Suites Knoxville-Turkey Creek/Farragut, Homewood Suites by Hilton Knoxville West at Turkey Creek, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Knoxville at Turkey Creek, Courtyard by Marriott Knoxville Cedar Bluff and Residence Inn by Marriott Knoxville Cedar Bluff. For discount information or to make reservations, contact Logan Dockery at 865.218.5505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Way of Blount County's Social Service Updates shares information about a variety of services, including food assistance and mental health counseling.