Page 12 - Campus Technology, October/November 2020
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Broadly speaking, the experience of attending a school online will need to be every bit as substantive as attending live.
ibility into courses moving forward will offer students of every background and circumstance a better chance to succeed.
In order to meet the needs of low-income stu- dents, higher education institutions should engage them directly to find out what their needs are by asking the right questions. What can I do to help? Is it lending an ear? Is it money? Is it tutoring? Is it finding a place to study? Is it encouragement? There’s not one answer — it can mean deferring tuition, freezing tuition for the time being, or connecting students with someone who can help. I recently found out we have one faculty member at a TCS partner school who, during the pandemic, was regularly calling each of her students. Because some stu- dents have great spaces to learn and some don’t, that engagement with the faculty could mean everything — could keep the student moving forward in the path they’ve set.
Of course, many students are borrowing money to pursue higher education. Figuring out how to work with them so they have the finan- cial resources to live and thrive while in school is key. Borrowing money and not progressing is the worst of all outcomes, so no matter what, colleges need to do whatever it takes to support their students on their path to graduation.
Shifts in Resource Allocation
More students pursuing their education remote- ly will mean fewer students physically present on campus.
Expect institutions to put budget toward in- house media teams, specifically in the realm of video production. Courses that are traditionally hands-on, such as labs and workshops, will require high-quality video to translate effective-
ly into a digital medium. The nature of recruiting will change as well: A recent survey of 1,100 prospective college students found 64 percent expressed interest in virtual campus tours, and 50 percent wanted to video chat with a profes- sor in their major — sentiments that suggest the need for investment in online recruiting.
Other campus resources — libraries, tutoring services, mental health counseling — will also need to be built out in virtual environments. Broadly speaking, the experience of attending a school online will need to be every bit as sub- stantive as attending live.
The American story of higher ed — the value promise — is that it enables you to advance socio-economically. Even in a pandemic, we need to continue to tell students, “We are still 100 percent devoted to keep you progressing on your path toward graduation.” Students are bet- ter served by continuing to chase their goals — continuing to move forward.
It is crucial that colleges step up their reten- tion, graduation rates and career placement for their students. On a macro scale, students with unmanageable debt from student loans, and those who may lack the credentials for higher paying jobs, will impact the national debt and unemployment rates. By engaging with the right target businesses and community members, col- leges can create relationships that can support the success of their students by maximizing their career potential.
The aftermath of this pandemic will be long- lasting. But the ingenuity and innovation born from the crisis can make for a positive legacy — opportunity from adversity.
Dr. Michael Horowitz is president of the TCS Educa- tion System.

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