COVID-19 Gives School Administrators’ Headaches

The coronavirus pandemic may prove deadly for some colleges and universities.

Without a vaccine and uncertainty of when to reopen the classroom doors, many institutions may be looking at a financial debt trap.

Consequently, many may be forced to either closed their doors permanently or merged with other schools.

Today, administrators have expressed concerns about new enrollment, students’ responses to online learning, and retention, among other issues.

There is also the postponement of graduation ceremonies, as well as the cancellation of orientation.

Additionally, some parents and students have expressed reservations about the quality of online education.

The question of cost and value of online education also goes a-begging.

Many colleges and universities have resisted changing their tuition fees even though students are not on campus having face-to-face interactions.

“To be successful academically, you need a support network, you need friends, you need classmates,” said Kevin Stange, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Gerald Ford School of Public Policy in a press report.

He added, “You need faculty that care and that know a little bit about you — some of that happens in the classroom, some of it happens outside the classroom.  All of those things are quite central to the residential college experience and even a commuter in-person college experience.”

Meanwhile, thousands of adjunct instructors and support staff have lost their jobs.

In contrast, many full-time professors and professionals have experienced cut in pay or placed on furlough due to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carol May, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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