Student insights: Takeaways for college leaders

Students are missing community above all else, making it a priority feature for successful future iterations of distance and online learning.

Students rated each potential challenge on a 4-point Likert scale from “not urgent/not applicable” to “very urgent”.

Current students are concerned about the impact COVID-19 has on their outcomes, reinforcing a need for additional clarity and flexibility from schools.

Students rated each type of support on a 4-point Likert scale from “not useful/not applicable” to “very useful”.

Current and prospective students are considering delaying returning or enrolling in school this fall, likely due to financial hurdles and reservations about learning online.

The question above was asked of respondents who were prospective college students.

Targeted aid and emergency grants could ease transitions for FGLI learners, and may help students stay on track to return in the fall.

In summary, institutions can take the following actions to meet the needs articulated by current and prospective students:

  1. Evolve from emergency remote measures for delivering distance education to more high-quality, interconnected and supported online learning experiences
  2. Reduce student anxiety, uncertainty and frustration by setting clear rules and expectations around assignments and grades, as well as providing extra flexibility through the rest of the term.
  3. Invest in career services to help students navigate a challenging post-graduation job landscape.
  4. Advance efforts that ensure programs and services are inclusive of post-traditional students, such as offering flexible scheduling, shorter-term degrees and certificates that are both aligned to the workforce and stackable toward further education, and more comprehensive wrap-around student support.
  5. Centralize social services resources to make it easy for students to access support, in addition to disbursing federal relief funds, waiving fees where possible, and connecting students with work-based learning alternatives for the summer.

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