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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 3/26/21

Tech Term of the Week:

Rotational Modela course or subject in which students rotate on a fixed schedule or at the teacher’s discretion between learning modalities, at least one of which is online learning.



As we wrap up our observance of Women’s History Month, this week has served to illustrate the challenges facing women in our country from the killing of 6 women of Asian descent to the display of resource disparity between men and women’s teams competing in the NCAA basketball competition.  As our country grapples with a “she-cession” (the growing economic impact of COVID on women), we hope the resources shared this month have provided spaces to learn, ponder, and be called to action.

Beyond AAPI Equal Pay Day: Long Term Unemployment, Essential Work, 

and Racism During the Pandemic


One in five: That's how many community-college students said they were struggling to pay tuition because of the pandemic, according to a survey by the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin.



Tough Year for Community College Students

Research produced by the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin shows how hard this year has been for community college students.  One in four female students reported lack of childcare made it a struggle to complete school work while 30% of students reported “that their financial situations were worse last fall than they were before the pandemic.”  Juggling classes, work and family obligations has been made more complicated by pandemic learning this year.



Students & Pandemic Learning Outcomes

Inside Higher Ed reports on student satisfaction and learning outcomes during pandemic.  In a recent survey, 80 percent of students reported that they struggle with motivation to complete coursework or attend classes. In-person learning continues to be the first choice of students, but 9% responded that they wanted only online classes in the future, an important stat as institutions are contemplating what future learning will look like. In general, four-year students are reporting greater academic struggles this year in pandemic learning versus two-year students.  Other important considerations to come out of this study include: one-third of students are working more hours for pay while one in five students are caring for a sibling while learning online. This is critical information for colleges and universities to consider as they work with students this term and look towards the fall.


“We were doing everything right and nothing right simultaneously,” - Diana Rogers-Adkinson, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s provost



Institutions Withhold Transcripts & Degrees Due to Unpaid Bills

6.6 million students cannot obtain their transcript or degree as a result of monies owed to their institutions the Hechinger Report shared this week. Perhaps not surprisingly the impact of transcript holds falls almost entirely on low-income students. The practice also disproportionately affects students at community colleges.  Research is indicating that the policy of withholding transcripts does not actually result in monies being recovered. In Ohio, “less than 7 cents of every dollar owed by students, graduates and former students at public universities is recovered annually.” Several states are considering or have recently passed legislation to address student debt as it relates to the release of transcripts and degrees.


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Join us April 9 to hear Cliff Nelson discuss accessibility and access. 


California Schools Condemn Anti-Asian Attacks

Higher education institutions and K-12 schools across California have condemned violence against Asian American Pacific Islanders in light of recent attacks. Although most University of California and Cal State campuses have not received any formal reports of incidents targeting students, faculty or staff of Asian descent, “many are offering programs to confront anti-Asian racism and xenophobia.” Colleges and universities are strongly encouraged to support safe and inclusive environments on their campuses while K-12 systems are called to teach ethnic studies and anti-racism curricula.

Author: Meg Foster
March 26, 2021
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