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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 9/25/20

We hope you were able to join us for our Friday 5 Live when we discussed working and teaching from home while we also support children of all ages learning at home in all manner of ways.  We were fortunate to have Andrea, Sarah and Kristen join us to reflect on their experiences and also share valuable insights they’ve gained!  Please join us on October 9 as we examine how to support our students’ mental health needs this fall semester.

 

1

The State of Higher Education This Week

COVID cases continue to increase on college campuses around the country this week.  On Monday, the University of Colorado at Boulder announced it was shifting all classes online for two weeks following an outbreak on campus.  Northeastern University suspended 11 students for not following campus health guidelines; the university announced that it will apply a portion of their fall tuition to the spring semester versus taking the entire tuition this semester.  At the University of Michigan, faculty has voted “no confidence” in the university’s President Mark S. Schlissel in part as a response to the institution’s handling of the fall return experience.  James Madison University will have students return to campus after sending them home abruptly the week after classes began.

 

2

Education Dive reports this week on institutions’ efforts to address student mental health needs.  “In a recent survey of more than 45,000 students attending public research universities, roughly one-third screened positive for major depressive disorder and 39% screened positive for generalized anxiety disorder.” In a separate survey, 60% of students indicated that it was harder to find mental health care due to COVID.  The College of Charleston is offering virtual mental health services through a relationship with the Medical University of South Carolina.  InsideTrack is offering coaching services to support students in crisis at ten different institutions.

 

57%: The percentage of college students who responded they had seen a party since arriving on their campus according to a recent survey by College Reaction

  

3

Colleges are concerned about the status of their Latinx students as Education Dive reports this week.  Latinx students are more likely than their White peers to have lost jobs; more likely to have had insufficient access to food and housing, and less likely to have the technology that makes remote learning possible. The pandemic is causing some Latinx students to postpone college this fall.  Institutions are continuing response efforts.  El Paso Community College is responding by giving students additional opportunities to apply for federal financial aid.  At Long Beach College, officials have taken laptop distribution out to the community in an effort to get Chromebooks into the hands of their students.

 

4

Resident Assistants at institutions from the University of Michigan to Louisiana State University to Cornell are pushing for additional resources given their additional responsibilities in supervising students during pandemic.  At the University of Virginia, Resident Assistants complained that the two hour Zoom call on COVID preparation was not adequate.  Institutions like the University of North Carolina-Wilmington are seeing Resident Assistants quit over concerns about their safety as well as the mental toll caring for residents during pandemic is taking.

 

Check out our upcoming webinars on critical topics like supporting students’ mental health and planning engaging online classes.


5

Prior to the pandemic, sixteen states had initiated free college programs with other states offering extensive scholarships.  State budgets have been decimated by the pandemic.  In August, “Oregon lawmakers stripped $3.6 million from its promise program, which allows high school graduates or adults who complete their GED to attend community college tuition-free.” New York may be cutting resources to its Excelsior Scholarship.  Other states like Washington and New Mexico are working to continue to fund free college initiatives.
 
 
Author: Meg Foster
September 25, 2020
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