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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/10/20

We hope you were able to join us for today’s Friday 5 Live.  Dr. Denise Swett talked about how to develop student resources and creatively address supporting students when budgets are tight.  We appreciate Denise’s insights and her positivity in uncertain times!



The State of Higher Education This Week

As COVID cases rise in parts of the United States, many institutions are announcing plans for the fall that do not include full face-to-face instruction.  Pomona and Scripps announced online-only instruction for the fall semester. Higher education continues to address the liability of returning to campus.  North Carolina announced it will protect colleges from pandemic-related lawsuits.  Inside Higher Education reports this week on increased insurance premiums for colleges and universities.



The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that international students will be prohibited from returning to or remaining in the United States this fall if the colleges they attend adopt online-only instruction models. This is a reversal of a decision that allowed international students to study online for the spring and summer semesters.  On Wednesday, Harvard and MIT responded by filing a suit in federal court to attempt to block the decision.


More than 90 percent: The number of international students who remained stateside in the spring, according to a survey by the Institute for International Education.


Inside Higher Education reports this week on evolving plans for the fall semester. “Rutgers, Harvard, Princeton and Georgetown Universities on Monday announced plans for a largely online fall, following a similar announcement last week from the University of Southern California.”  The University of Georgia system announced it will require masks this fall after push-back from faculty and staff.  With COVID rates on the rise in many parts of the United States, plans for fall semester may continue to shift rapidly even as the first day of the school year looms.

"Reopening schools doesn’t happen with an all-caps tweet.  It happens with careful planning to meet our students’ well-being and academic needs, methodical attention to preventing virus spread in schools, and sufficient federal resources to help us get there." - Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers



    On Tuesday the White House pushed for full school reopening, reports Education Dive. Leaders “raised the closures ‘social-emotional impact on students' well-being and the community supports schools offer as reasons to return to a face-to-face environment.” However, the push to reopen schools contradicts advice provided by Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and local health departments.  Medical experts advise that decisions about opening be made at the local level so community virus spread can be taken into consideration.


    Innovative Educators On Demand Training: Creating An Inclusive Campus


    Inside Higher Education reports this week on two studies examining  the spring online learning experience.  While much has been reported on student dislike of the rapid shift to online courses in the spring, this research examines what went well and how that information can be used to positively impact fall course design.  Major takeaways from the research: faculty need to use multiple approaches to create engaging online courses, peer contact is important for motivation, faculty remain concerned about supporting disadvantaged students.
    Author: Meg Foster
    July 10, 2020
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