When COVID-19 threw higher education into chaos, Lebanon Valley College quietly took a small step with big implications. It recruited transfer students this year by promising that their general education courses would count toward a degree—something that doesn’t usually happen.
The measure wasn’t only a way to give a boost to students churning through a global health emergency. It was also meant to help the college meet its enrollment targets for this turbulent fall and improve its diversity in a year of renewed emphasis on racial equity.
Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz knows about the many barriers facing Native Americans in getting to college. She has spent much of the past three decades working to improve college access for Native American students. Still, she says, there's an invisibility unique to Native people. Only about 14 percent of Native Americans attend college and many often leave before graduating.
Yazzie-Mintz addresses the path to higher education for Native Americans—and how colleges and universities can do a better job at welcoming and keeping them in this space.
Pierce College theater student Sonny Lira was in the middle of rehearsing a script when his phone overheated and shut off, abruptly ending his performance.
This isn't the first time technical difficulties interrupted Lira’s community college class. More than 100,000 low-income college students in California, like Lira, lack access to the technology they need in order to participate in their online studies.
Across the country, millions of first-year students are adjusting to college during a pandemic. That means classes conducted mostly online, dinners in dorm rooms, and a hard time getting to know professors and peers.
The first semester of college is challenging even in normal times. But this year, psychologists and other experts fear that the necessary precautions taken by colleges and universities will increase the loneliness and isolation.