PAY IT FORWARD: The Education Finance & Income Share Agreement (ISA) Blog

 

Dealing With COVID-19 and Going Fully Online

|

In light of COVID-19 challenges, many colleges and universities have been working hard to keep their students safe. As the year presses on and the pandemic continues, some schools have now re-configured a majority of their in-person classes in favor of online platforms.

In an excerpt from Insidehighered.com:

“Many colleges planning to bring students back to campus for the fall semester have reversed course entirely and opted for online-only instruction. Smith College president Kathleen McCartney announced last week that the college would not bring students back to campus this fall, citing ‘new scientific evidence, as well as recent and troubling trends nationally and in Massachusetts.’”

Benjy Renton, an East Asian Studies student at Middlebury College, has been collecting data on these changes since July. According to Renton’s research, since August, approximately ~150 colleges and universities have changed their policies on sending their students to in-person classes, social distancing, and overall safety. Examples of these changes include implementing complete remote instruction, delayed in-person starts, placing most courses online, and mandatory all-campus quarantine.

Additionally, news outlet USA Today reported:

“The Chronicle of Higher Education has been tracking the plans for roughly 1,260 colleges throughout the summer. Earlier this year, nearly two-thirds of institutions had planned on in-person instruction. As of Tuesday, about 49% said they were on that track. About a third were planning for a semester that would include a mix of online and in-person classes, while 13% were planning for online instruction.”

By making online instruction more available, more administrators are taking initiative to keep their schools safer by using a combination of online and in-person, socially distanced classes and activities. Furthermore, classes aren’t the only thing getting cut from in-person attendance. Many schools’ extracurriculars and sports teams are developing similar strategies.

In a recent New York Times article,

“Brigham Young University ended visiting hours at its dorms and stopped intramural sports as infection numbers grew. The University of Colorado’s flagship campus shifted temporarily to online classes in hopes of controlling an outbreak.”

It will be interesting to see how the extensive effort colleges and universities have put forth in safety precautions will affect their students in the months to come. With many students bound to solely online instruction, new challenges may arise in the form of personal responsibility, time management, and resisting procrastination.

As U.S. colleges and universities continue to offer online alternatives, career services offices are also moving many of their processes towards online appointments to get their students the services they need. For many students, online education and interaction is more prevalent in their day-to-day lives than it ever has been before, and their amount of time spent online will only continue to grow.

It’s important for schools and students to use as many available resources as possible to support students and supplement their offerings. With the MentorWorks Talent Accelerator Platform (TAP), students have access to the resources they need to build their own career path. To learn more about the TAP, please visit the TAP page here for more information.