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As the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down and focused attention on public health and epidemiology, college and university leadership anticipated increased growth in student and employer demand for non-clinical health care skills and degrees. While we reported earlier that clinical health care education will likely only face short-term declines in interest, it remains less clear how the COVID-19 crisis will impact employer and student demand across non-clinical health care fields in the future.

As colleges and universities continue to gear up for the new academic year, career services leaders are grappling with how to connect students and employer partners in a virtual environment. To learn more about what virtual engagement will look like this fall, EAB hosted a webinar in late July 2020 with leaders in the career services and campus recruiting spaces to discuss the future of virtual employer engagement.

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Up until earlier this year, engagement has meant tailgates, alumni happy hours, professional development workshops, and other in-person events. Digital programs were a rarity, an afterthought, a side-of-desk activity for busy event planners. All of that got turned on its head in March of this year. COVID-19 forced an abrupt pivot and, as a result, pushed alumni engagement strategy years into the future.

Administrators may be crossing their fingers and hoping their institution won’t be affected by the election. Many campuses took a similar approach in 2016 and were subsequently caught off-guard by the fury and fervor that followed President Trump’s win like racist graffiti and flyers, spikes in counseling center visits, and students feeling silenced. The 2020 election promises to be even more contentious and divisive.

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