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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 3/27/20

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

– Jimmy Dean

Please know we are thinking of you as you continue to adjust to working, helping students, and living during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are focused on providing resources to support our faculty, staff and students during this time.


Updates on Covid-19 and Higher Education

As the week has unfolded, we see the continued shifts as institutions examine pass/fail grading for the spring semester and consider partial reimbursement for room and board.  Education Dive is continuing to update its resources on Covid-19’s impact on our field. The Chronicle continues its extensive reporting this week as well as Inside Higher Ed who is providing up-to-date reporting.


How Our Students Are Coping

The Hechinger Report discusses this week the impact of school closings on college students across the nation.  In addition to handling the rapid transition to learning online, students are grappling with the uncertainty of what the future will bring.  Research projects have been interrupted, job fairs and internships as well as other critical job networking activities have been called off.


Privacy Concerns Amid Online Pivot

Inside Higher Ed reports this week on privacy-related concerns as institutions rapidly transition to online learning. A first point of concern for privacy experts is ensuring technology platforms do not violate the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Metadata is another area of concern. If institutions are using new technology resources to address the shift online, they need to make sure new contracts are compliant and protect student privacy under the law.


Covid-19 and College Admissions

There was much coverage this week across news sources about Covid-19’s impact on college admissions. The Chronicle reports this week on a survey by  Art & Science Group. The survey of prospective college students found that “one in six high-school seniors who expected to attend a four-year college full time now think that they will choose a different path this fall.” The majority of students surveyed cited concerns about the ability to attend a first-choice college and reported that a campus “closer to home” was now a more realistic option for them.  Education Dive shares that more institutions are considering test-optional admissions processes alleviating the burden of SAT and ACT testing during the coronavirus pandemic .

“While we know there is always flux this time of year as students are getting their admissions notifications, it surprised us that more weren’t expecting to enroll at their first choice.” - Craig Goebel, principle in the Art & Science Group


Implications for Title IX Hearings

The Chronicle reports this week on the potential impacts of Covid-19 related closures on Title IX hearings.  Officials must now figure out, “what to do about their open sexual-assault investigations.” There are concerns that shifting hearings online and school closings will delay the process and thus prolong trauma for students who have already been through traumatic experiences .  In addition, Title IX officers are advised that they might see an increase in virtual harassment issues.

Author: Meg Foster
March 27, 2020
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