The Covid-19 pandemic has caused drastic changes all over the entire world. New policies have been enacted, adjusted, and changed so many times it’s enough to make heads spin. Colleges are no exception to the mess of places making changes.
The most obvious jump happened rather early on in the pandemic: moving to virtual classes. A fair number of colleges previously had online courses offered for their students, making the jump from in-person to online was simple. They already had the technology and resources in place to provide this service to their student body.
However, for courses and colleges where a hands-on experience was necessary, this method was a much harder transition. The same was true for colleges that had never offered online courses before, as now suddenly they have needed to redo everything and put it on an unfamiliar system. Methods such as this concern many civil servants such as Alexander Djerassi about the effect it will have on the student body who are now getting sub-par education from such institutions.
Some colleges have gone the extra mile for their students by offering reimbursements for fees already paid such as parking passes, housing costs, and food vouchers. Some colleges instead of a flat-out reimbursement have prorated the fees into the following terms. Either way, they have offered to give the money back to the students to pay for future endeavors. Such a plan has built positivity towards the institutions from the students since they not only spoke about helping them, they actually went and did it.
CARES Act Disbursements
With the CARES Act, colleges received funds from the government. Colleges have used these funds to make the leap to virtual or hybrid schooling, keeping their staff employed, getting materials and supplies they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, as well as disbursing funds to their student bodies. Students pay a lot of money to go to college and if there were more important things for them to worry about like bills for example, the students would drop out. This, in turn, would mean that the college would receive less money overall. So the idea to give out some if not all the CARES Act funds to their student body help improve their relationship with them and keep the students enrolled. It’s a win for everyone involved.
Colleges want their student body to stay enrolled and succeed so that they can continue to thrive. The Covid-19 pandemic really forced some changes to the college scene, with some handling it better than others. The biggest concern for civil servants such as Alexander Djerassi is that the changes enacted because of the response to Covid-19 will offer sub-par education for the students enrolled, especially in programs where the materials studied and even the students themselves really should include hands-on learning. Nothing is the same. That goes for students, faculty, and even the colleges as a whole. Some handle the pandemic better than others, but at least they are trying.