“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.”
– John Muir
We hope you were able to join us for last week’s Friday 5 Live. We discussed student success and retention with Dr. Denise Swett. Please join us on May 8 for our next Friday 5 Live.
This week institutions continue to announce tentative plans for the fall semester with schools like Virginia Commonwealth University and Harvard stating their goal to be on campus come fall. As federal relief monies are dispersed, institutions question the implications of accepting funds. And, around the country students are suing higher education institutions or striking to protest perceived lack of student support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chronicle continues its extensive reporting this week as well as Inside Higher Ed. WCET continues to provide updates on relevant federal policy changes.
Graduating students are grappling with a very different hiring environment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “One reality of the current job market is that many college students will now be competing with the millions of people who lost jobs during the pandemic, many of whom will be willing to take low-paying or unpaid work to get by or enhance their résumés,” reported Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. College career experts are advising students to move forward with job and internship searches but to recognize potential employers are in flux and searches may take longer.
Education Dive reports this week on potential fall enrollment trends. In a survey completed by the American Council of Education (ACE) and AACRAO, one in ten college students has either decided not to re-enroll at their institution for the fall or is unsure of whether they will return. The survey results did provide hope that the majority of students will remain at their institutions for the fall semester and that COVID-19 will not disrupt college plans extensively as only 2% of students surveyed reported that the pandemic had altered their academic plans.
Students at institutions like Vassar College, University of Chicago, and Ohio State University are refusing to participate in class or pay tuition or rent, demanding schools better meet their needs during the pandemic. Student demands include: tuition reductions, student fee waivers, and freezes in rent for Spring 2020 semester. At The New School, students are protesting tuition increases for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students at Vassar College are frustrated that they were not included in a college decision to change the grading policy for Spring 2020. In addition to strikes, students at institutions like Drexel and the University of Miami have filed class-action lawsuits against their institutions, “arguing that they paid for services that they are no longer receiving through online instruction.”
“We are going on strike because the university is taking a profit-oriented response to the crisis, rather than an approach that puts its vulnerable workers’ needs first.” - Danielle Carr, graduate student at Columbia University
May 1, 2020