More Infections From an Online Semester?
Many universities have released statements about their intent to reopen. And every university leader ideally would like to invite students back to campus, since that’s what students say they want (and will pay for).
Researchers at Cornell University have concluded an online semester at the university will result in more COVID-19 infections than an in-person one. The university is reopening, with plans to monitor students and moderate misbehavior.By
July 1, 2020
Last week, two of America’s leading liberal arts colleges, Bowdoin and Middlebury, announced their fall reopening plans. It’s hard to imagine how, faced with the same facts, they could have come to such different conclusions about how to best educate their students and care for their communities. And it’s impossible not to wonder how these hard-to-reconcile positions may influence peer institutions, including Williams and Amherst, that as of this writing have yet to announce their own plans for the semester, especially with a new rise in COVID-19 cases nationally.
On June 24, an executive order issued by President Trump that significantly curtails the issuance of new employment-based visas went into effect — sparking a wave of concern among graduates, new hires and students that their opportunities in the United States may now be in limbo. Citing “an unusual threat to the employment of American workers,” the order strictly limits a variety of visas companies use to hire foreign employees until the end of the year. Among the most directly affected are H1-B temporary workers, typically high-skilled individuals often hired in healthcare, STEM and tech industries.
As college campuses prepare for an uncertain fall semester, students face difficult decisions about their futures, too. Should they go back to campus in the middle of a pandemic? Should they keep studying remotely? Or should they take a break from their studies and wait for things to hopefully go back to normal? The latter option is one that worries Greg Gunderson, president of Park University, a multilocation private nonprofit institution headquartered in Parkville, Mo.
This year’s high school seniors didn’t exactly get the full graduation experience this year. In many cases, they missed the last few months of school and with it, proms, spring sports, end-of-school-year celebrations and even their own graduation ceremonies. As uncertainty about the fall looms, graduates may be considering something that is often done even in non-pandemic times: They may want to take a “gap year.”
College-bound high school graduates have a big choice to make: They have to decide whether to take a gap year in the middle of a pandemic or attend college as planned, even if it means attending virtually. Under normal circumstances, some students would take off a year between high school and college to gain life experiences that would improve the story they would eventually share with both admissions committees and potential employers.
Fall classes aren’t scheduled to begin until August at the University of South Carolina at Columbia. But officials are already worried about a recent spike in coronavirus cases among students. The president, Robert L. Caslen, attributed the cases — an increase of 79 in eight days — to off-campus gatherings in nearby neighborhoods and bars.
You’re reading the latest issue of The Edge, a weekly newsletter by Goldie Blumenstyk. Sign up here to get her insights on the people, trends, and ideas that are reshaping higher education. I’m Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, covering innovation in and around academe. As the Covid-19 crisis continues, here’s what I’m thinking about this week.
At a time when many business schools are taking a hard line on deferrals for international admits, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business yesterday (June 18) opened the doors for those students to start the MBA program a year or two later. Michigan Ross is expected to make an announcement about the shape and form of the fall term over the next week. Thus far, several business schools have said they will expect students to be on campus for what will something of a hybrid start with both face-to-face classes and online sessions.
If the Yale administration decides to continue instruction completely online this fall, Zoom classrooms may be less crowded than usual. As the Yale community awaits announcements regarding how education will continue in the fall semester, the News surveyed Yale College students from the classes of 2021 through 2023 about their opinions regarding online learning.