Colleges Preparing for Fall 2020 (5/1/20)


April 30, 2020: Michael A. McRobbie, President, Indiana University: “We are also looking at three additional scenarios [in-person and hybrid are the first two] that would correspond to [1] the pandemic remaining so serious that the fall semester has to be held virtually but we can resume hybrid operations in the spring; [2] the need to return to virtual operations in the spring after having begun hybrid operations in the fall; and [3] what would be the most difficult of all, virtual operations for the whole academic year…. We must also recognize that students’ expectations of the quality of virtual instruction will be much higher next fall or spring …. Everyone understood this semester that … the great majority of classes offered after spring break were neither intended nor designed for virtual delivery.”

B. DeVos

April 30, 2020: U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: “‘This administration is committed to the success of HBCUs, minority-serving Institutions and the students they serve.’ The money, under the terms of the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill approved by Congress and signed by President Trump last month, can be used to pay for technology as classes move online during the pandemic, as well as other costs from campus closures, such as lost revenue associated with the transition to distance education, grants to cover the costs of attendance for eligible students and faculty and staff training.” – Kery Murakami, Inside Higher Ed

April 28, 2020: “Proponents of ‘synchronous’ learning argue that live video instruction allows teachers to do regular check-ins, ensuring that students stay on track. But some warn that live sessions are vulnerable to privacy and security breaches, a worry that has proved well-founded. ‘Asynchronous’ learning avoids those issues, advocates say, while granting flexibility to families and teachers whose lives are in chaos or who lack consistent access to online resources. In Virginia, two school districts are taking opposite approaches: Alexandria City Public Schools is offering synchronous learning, while Arlington Public Schools chose asynchronous instruction.” -Hannah Natanson, Washington Post.

J. Roche

April 30, 2020: “[Kim Reid, an analyst with Eduventures, and her] research team surveyed more than 7,000 college-bound high school students and found one in four believe the pandemic may force them to change their college choice. Students who are most likely to change their plans come from middle- and low-income families…. ‘If you can tolerate certainly one semester of distance learning, you should absolutely go with your choice,’ [Jim Roche, vice provost for enrollment management at UMass Amherst,] said, signaling the university’s plans for the fall without confirming them. Whatever schools decide to do, a recent survey found more than 40 percent of parents say they are either uncertain or would not send their child to college in a remote-learning scenario.” -Kirk Carapezza, WGBH.

J. Fonash

April 29, 2020: “Jayne Fonash, NACAC’s president, told The Chronicle on Wednesday that she was worried about challenges that applicants on the wrong side of the digital divide are confronting because of Covid-19. ‘Not every student has a computer at home, a network that’s stable, or a quiet place to take a test,’ she said. ‘Many counselors are concerned about the impact of all those variables on students’ access to standardized testing.'” -Eric Hoover, Chronicle.

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