As the fall approached and colleges considered what impact COVID-19 would have on their campuses, many institutions settled on a solution: an altered academic calendar. Some delayed the start of the semester. Others were more radical: They cut their semester into halves, on the idea that navigating two courses at a time—albeit at a much quicker pace—would be logistically and intellectually easier for students than juggling four at once.
Now, with one semester under their belts, these colleges are looking back on what they learned.
The University of Maryland Global Campus has a decades-long history of educating working adults and members of the military, first by sending instructors to teach soldiers overseas and now through online programs and open educational resources.
The institution's new president, Gregory Fowler, talks about the students he hopes to serve, his perspective on pandemic-era higher education, and what kind of innovation he thinks is needed to help adults meet their academic and career goals.
Dr. Ruth Simmons, a pioneering college administrator and president of Prairie View A&M University, will take part in a special online event today, January 25 at 12:30 p.m. ET, on how to harness the power of higher education as a force for dismantling systemic racism. Lumina's Danette Howard will facilitate the discussion.
This is the first in Lumina's Racial Justice and Equity Series. You can register for the event here.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order last week directing federal agencies to provide more detailed COVID-19 guidance and support for colleges and universities to reopen safely.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued reopening guidance for higher education institutions, but some experts say it gives too much leeway to states and individual colleges. Biden's plan also calls for the federal government to work with colleges to conduct vaccine outreach, as well as help under-resourced institutions access coronavirus tests.