Doralee Heurtelou always had a plan when it came to college. But when the pandemic hit, so did reality.
She's not alone. Last semester, more than 600,000 Massachusetts residents changed their college plans. Two-thirds of those students canceled all plans to take college classes in the fall. The biggest reasons: being sick with or worried about COVID-19 and not being able to pay for courses because of loss of income from the pandemic.
Unemployment helped Rey Justo achieve his dream. In April, Justo lost his job working as an appliance installer. By fall, he and his family of six were living between a Honda Pilot and his in-law’s living room.
Then he heard about Sacramento’s program to pay residents $600 a week for nine weeks while they trained for digital jobs like data analysts and technical support specialists. The opportunity was life changing, he says.
The effort may be transformative for Sacramento, as well, boosting the city’s struggling workforce quickly and putting more people like Justo back on track.
Do professors believe their virtual teaching improved with more time to prepare? Did institutions step up their training and support for instructors? And did some students fare better than others in the online and blended classroom?
Two education experts offer answers as they describe the numerous challenges higher ed faculty members have and continue to experience amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Their insight is both heartening and troubling.
As the 116th Congress drew to a close in late 2020, retiring Senator Lamar Alexander chalked up a final victory when a package of bipartisan higher education bills were signed into law. The bills included some of his much-prized Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) simplification changes, as well as the restoration of Pell Grant eligibility to incarcerated students.
Notably absent, however, was one of the most bipartisan pieces of legislation circling the higher education orbit: the College Transparency Act.