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Three Rivers College will alter its Fall 2020 calendar as part of its Return to Class Plan, which includes a number of elements to protect the health and safety of students and faculty/staff as classes resume August 17.

“Over the past weeks the College has worked closely with our medical advisors to develop a plan that allows a safe and sensible return for the Fall 2020 semester, said Dr. Wesley Payne, President of Three Rivers College.

That plan includes adjusting the Fall schedule so students and faculty will not return to classrooms after the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Because of the travel that normally occurs during the holiday period, the medical professionals we consulted believed we would stand a significant threat of a rapid increase in cases during what was originally scheduled to be the final exam period,” Payne said.

The plan calls for eliminating the Labor Day and Fall Break holidays and making November 24 the last day of instruction for the Fall semester. Final exams will be given face-to-face on the last day of instruction for each class or virtually during the final exam period November 30 – December 3, 2020. Winter Session will begin on December 10, 2020, one week earlier than previously scheduled, and will end January 8 as previously scheduled.

The Return to Class Plan also includes requiring face coverings to be worn by faculty, staff, students, and visitors while inside TRC facilities (with a few exceptions including in apartments in Housing and for those alone in offices) and outdoors if the recommended six feet social distancing cannot be maintained.

“Social distancing is often not possible in classrooms and crowded hallways, for instance,” said Payne. “We have been consulting with local health officials, and all recommend face coverings when social distancing is not possible.”

Other elements of the plan include:

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols.
  • Guidelines for students preparing to return to class, including CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  • Self-assessment steps students should take before going to class each day.
  • Protocols for classrooms, College facilities, dining areas, public events, campus meetings, and travel.
  • Conducting Advising and Faculty visits by phone or virtually when possible.
  • Protocols for returning to campus after precautionary quarantine and after testing positive for COVID-19.

“We developed this plan to protect our students’ health and safety, which is as important to us as the quality of the instruction we provide to them,” Payne said. “We want to recognize our medical advisors Dr. Dean Dye and Dr. Chris Montgomery, who assisted in creating this plan and managing our current situation.”

Three Rivers will continue to register students for the Fall semester through August 14. Advising can be done by phone (573-840-9605), email ( or virtually (schedule at

New for Fall is TRC Online, 12 fully online pathways to an associate degree. For details visit

Three Rivers College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in Southeast Missouri with quality, affordable higher education opportunities and community services that support and encourage the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the region. For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit

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