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

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.

1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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

5

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

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

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


“Every noble work is at first impossible.”

- Thomas Carlyle

Please know we are thinking of you all as you move into a space of great uncertainty -shifting classes online, supporting students who are swiftly moving out of residence halls, suddenly caring for your own children who are home from college or K-12 schools.  We are here to support you as you do an amazing job holding it all together. We hope in the midst of the uncertainty, you’re able to carve out a space to care for yourself so you can continue to do your work of caring for others.

1

Updates on Covid-19 and Higher Education

As the week has unfolded, we see more institutions moving their learning online and cancelling or delaying major events like graduation. The Chronicle continues its extensive reporting including institutions adopting pass/fail grades in response to Covid-19 and the financial impact to higher education. Inside Higher Ed is also providing up-to-date reporting and shares that some colleges are dropping SAT & ACT requirements in light of testing cancellations due to Covid-19.   WCET has links to all of the major federal resources regarding Covid-19 response as well as recommendations for shifting to online learning.    


“I implore each of our students to comply with this directive.  You can do your part to help de-densify the campus and make it safer.” Cornell’s President, Ms. Marsha Pollack, to students on their decision to shift to online learning and close campus.

2

Covid-19 Impacts on College Admissions

Much discussion this week in various news sources about how Covid-19 will impact both the undergraduate and graduate admissions processes.  Inside Higher Ed reports on an EAB survey of admissions professionals.  87% “worry that future visits to the campus by potential students will decline” with 67% reporting they will shift to virtual admissions events. One of the biggest concerns of admissions officials is the impact of travel restrictions on international enrollments.

3

HBCUs Respond to Coronavirus

Diverse Issues in Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed this week report on the concern that the coronavirus crisis poses a very significant threat and may impact the long-term survival of 

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).  HBCUs – and other minority serving institutions (MSIs) – are working to keep underrepresented students safe on tight budgets. Leaders of HBCUs are strongly advocating for additional federal funding for their institutions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

4

What If High School Seniors Didn’t Complete College Applications?

The Hechinger Report this week shares about an initiative in Idaho where eligible high school seniors are admitted to all four year institutions and community colleges in the state -- without completing any applications.  One goal is to have more students pursue higher education while also keeping more college-going high school graduates in Idaho. Now other states like Illinois are considering adopting similar hybrid options and South Dakota has already followed suit.

5

Educating the Digital Native

Faculty Focus this week examines educating with technology, particularly for our population of digital natives. The author recommends the use of gamification in learning environments and encourages faculty to consider how technology can create opportunities for interaction.  Research shows students retain information better if they develop an emotional connection to material, so for digital natives, viewing film adaptations of Shakespeare can provide a powerful means for emotionally connecting to material.

Author: Meg Foster
March 20, 2020

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 3/13/20

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 3/13/20


As long as you give it a little bit of time, soap will do its job.

The Palli Thoradarson

1

Updates on Covid-19 and Higher Education

Covid-19 responses and updates continue to fill our news feeds this week as institutions address study abroad programs, and colleges and universities begin shifting classes online.  The Chronicle offers guidance on quickly moving classes online and continues to update on Covid-19’s impact on colleges and universities.  WCET also provides resources for addressing Covid-19.  NPR reports this week on 6 ways universities are responding to Covid-19 including supporting international students.

2

Department of Education Releases Covid-19 Guidance

The Department of Education offers guidance regarding Federal Financial Aid compliance.  Specifically, recommendations cover students who are unable to finish or start a scheduled study abroad due to coronavirus and students who cannot attend class due to quarantine or illness.  Additional guidance addresses students who fall below 12 credit hour minimum due to internship or class cancellation as a result of Covid-19. The Department of Education provides options and flexibility with regards to moving education online including: approval to offer distance education on a temporary basis, permitting accrediting agencies to wave distance education review requirements andre-examining residential requirements.

3

Tips and Recommendations from NYU-Shanghai

NYU-Shanghai’s campus was one of the first world-wide to shift classes online in response to Covid-19.  Faculty are sharing resources they have found particularly helpful and also challenges they’re facing. Recommendations include investigating using Slack for asynchronous discussions and OBS to record lectures.

4

NCAA and the Coronavirus

As the Ivy League announced this week it has cancelled its basketball tournament, much attention is being focused on the NCAA and its response to the coronavirus. With March Madness beginning, teams competing in the NCAA Division III men’s first and second round games played with no fans present as Johns Hopkins prohibited fan attendance and opted to refund tickets.  Tournament play occurs at multiple venues across the nation creating a complicated situation for the NCAA to address. It has responded by creating a six member coronavirus advisory panel which will provide recommendations based on public health.

5

Conference Cancellations Due to Coronavirus

Inside Higher Ed this week takes a look at the growing number of conferences cancelled due to concern about the spread of coronavirus.  In the last week, the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, and the American Educational Research Association have all announced conference cancellations.  Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle have shared opinion pieces about the implications of cancelling conferences and whether virtual options, moving conferences online and the like, create a comparable professional development opportunity.

Author: Meg Foster
March 13, 2020

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 3/6/20

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 3/6/20


“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

- Malala Yousafzai

1

Responding to the Coronavirus

Much discussion this week across higher education news sources about the coronavirus (Covid-19), and its potential impact on colleges and universities. Inside Higher Ed reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that colleges “consider canceling upcoming foreign exchange programs and asking current program participants to return to their home countries.”  Several academic conferences have been postponed or cancelled, and institutions are moving quickly to plan for potential shut downs. Organizations like The Online Learning Consortium and WCET are providing resources and guidance regarding transitioning coursework online should Covid-19 cause temporary campus shut downs. The Chronicle of Higher Education is tracking the most recent updates in Covid-19 and its impact on higher education.

2

College Completion Rates Continue to Rise

Some good news to report this week regarding college completion rates.  According to data released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, most states continued to increase their six-year completion rates.  Across the United States, six-year completion rates reached 60% which is the highest rate NSCRC has reported since it began collecting data eight years ago. Community colleges, many of which are embracing efforts like guided pathways, saw significant gains with 33 states showing increased completion rates at two-year institutions.  Overall community colleges had completion rates of nearly 41% for those students who began their studies in 2013.


According to a Higher Learning Advocates policy brief, in the fall of 2017, 24% of students were parents, 37% were older than 25 and 49% were financially independent. Close to 40% of students were part-time.

3

The Changing Profile Of The Traditional College Student

Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports this week on a brief compiled by Higher Learning Advocates which re-envisions the profile of the traditional students attending our campuses. The policy group’s goal is to encourage institutions to more intentionally consider the needs of part-time students. Only 42% of part-time students complete a credential within eight years at a public four-year institution, compared to 66% of full-time students.  Institutions should consider Competency-Based Education models, address affordability (nearly half of part-time students receive federal financial aid), and provide technology resources like online tutoring to better support part-time student completion rates.

4

US Navy Overhauling Educational System

The Associated Press reported this week on the Navy’s first unified, comprehensive educational strategy: The Education for Seapower Strategy 2020.  This major overhaul to the Navy’s educational system would create a Navy community college to provide associate’s degrees at no cost to thousands of sailors and Marines. Most coursework would be done online through civilian universities and community colleges that partner with the Navy.  The goal is to enroll the first students next year. Plans also include unifying schools within the existing naval university system and creating new policies which would encourage and reward those pursuing educational opportunities.

5

Time In Nature Reduces Stress

In an article published earlier this semester, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at Cornell has found that “as little as 10 minutes in a natural setting can help college students feel happier and lessen the effects of both physical and mental stress.”   According to their research, time outside does not have to be strenuous to have benefits: students studied were either walking or sitting in nature. While this study focused on students ages 15-30, the recommendation to get outside into the natural world is probably good advice for all of us in the world of higher education!

Author: Meg Foster
March 6, 2020

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 2/28/20

Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 2/28/20
Feb 28, 2020 

1 - OER Efforts At Community Colleges: Paying Off?

2 - Helping Schools Use Technology With Intention

3 - North Carolina Seeks to Enroll More Adult Learners

4 - College Enrollment Trends: Concerning News Continues

5 - Positive Impacts of Early College Programs

Connecting Students To Campus Resources

Connecting Students To Campus Resources
Hear from Dr. Laurie Hazard on how to connect students to campus resources. With the start of school upon us, we know that in order for some students to be successful, they will need extra support and it will be critical for students to access various support services on campus.  Faculty have the most regular contact with students and know when students are struggling academically, so one of the many responsibilities of faculty is to connect students to appropriate campus resources (advising, tutoring, counseling, math lab, writing lab, etc.).  But like teaching and learning in general, some students respond well to certain methods of instruction, while other students respond best to another method.