EAB’s latest take on the coronavirus crisis and what it means for higher education

EAB’s latest take on the coronavirus crisis and what it means for higher education

EAB's Latest Take

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.

The sight of students in business professional clothes clamoring at the doors of a career fair will be but a distant memory for career services leaders and employer recruiters this Fall. With physical distancing measures and employer travel suspensions in place for some time to come, career services must be ready to facilitate virtual connections between students and employers for career fairs and other activities. As the Fall draws nearer, many employers report feeling left in the dark about career services’ plans. Here are three imperatives for career services leaders to immediately develop and communicate Fall plans to employer partners.

As higher education institutions and other organizations continue to move to an increasingly sustained virtual environment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, career services offices face the challenge of adapting to engage students and employers virtually. While many career services offices already migrated their offerings and events to a virtual environment this past spring, they must keep their websites up-to-date as staffing, hours, and programs continue to evolve across the late summer and fall.

Across the last few months, student affairs teams have been working diligently to transform their summer programs to a digital format—no easy task. EAB convened nearly 100 student affairs and enrollment professionals to share common challenges, exchange ideas, and learn from one another. Across these convenings, we discussed the many ways to introduce students to your institution, build a sense of affinity and community, and orient students to important resources and policies.

Today’s K-12 students experiencing "coronavirus slide” are tomorrow’s rising college students, who will require more support to be successful once they arrive on college campuses or log in to their first virtual orientation session. While the education sector’s disjointed ecosystem has long created roadblocks for students, COVID-19 and its impact on learning loss highlights an urgent need to reform developmental education now to best support learning for incoming students and improve equity in student success.

The impact of COVID-19 has forced many colleges and universities to recreate orientation in a virtual format and decide how to use an important component of successful orientations: student orientation leaders. This insight outlines strategies to empower your orientation leaders to build community and engagement for incoming students in the new remote environment.

As campuses continue to operate in our new virtual reality, it is critically important that accessibility is at the forefront of online design and instruction, so that all students can learn effectively. With a lot of progress to be made across the board, the IT Forum has narrowed down the top considerations for institutions looking to make their remote learning environments accessible for all.

Even though campuses are empty and students away, colleges and universities have found new ways to demonstrate their role as a key contributor to the health of their communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Below, EAB has rounded up some of our favorite examples of higher education institutions doing good during this challenging time, illustrating the diversity of ways campuses are giving back to strengthen community ties and drive innovation.

Amid a global pandemic and recession, students face unprecedented challenges securing jobs and internships. According to a Handshake student survey conducted in March, 73% of college seniors are still searching for full-time jobs, and 23% of students with a secured internship had the offer rescinded. Here are three urgent action items for supporting your graduating students’ career needs right now:

Here you’ll find resources to support remote instruction across different types and sizes of courses, guidelines for maintaining equity and accessibility, and strategic frameworks to guide the next phases of online course development for summer and fall.

Nearly 12 million K-12 students live in households without reliable access to broadband and/or a 1:1 device. The problem has grown increasingly concerning now that schools are relying almost entirely on the internet to deliver remote instruction. Here are several temporary suggestions from school leaders who are finding ways to bridge technology gaps and deliver remote instruction.

The phrase we must “meet students where they are,” is one that’s often repeated in student affairs and it has taken on new urgency amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Given the stress and uncertainty in these unprecedented times, institutions are focusing on new ways to engage students around health and wellness online.

The predicted surge in students opting out of or postponing their freshman year has also led to broad concerns around yielding the fall 2020 class. Given these circumstances, keeping students engaged through virtual programming will be vital for institutions’ long-term success. Through six virtual working groups conducted over the month of April, EAB identified seven key strategies for remote student engagement to help guide your institution’s programming through the summer and early fall.

While these are certainly trying times, various circumstances can necessitate virtual services from today’s colleges and universities. Watch the on-demand webconference where EAB's Christina Hubbard, Senior Director of Strategic Research, will share a few recommendations that can help you, your students, and your staff to feel more connected even when they can’t interact in person.

In early May, EAB surveyed our career services partners to learn about the challenges they currently face and how they are changing their services to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the four key trends we uncovered from the 107 survey responses from public and private institutions located across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

In this new remote world, students find themselves in a situation for which many are ill-prepared. In this webinar, we discuss how to promote student success in a remote space and maintain engagement in a socially distanced world.

Providing students with opportunities to build community and form meaningful connections will not only make students more willing to follow distancing guidelines, but will also positively impact students’ mental health—another growing crisis of the global pandemic. EAB has identified four strategies to foster connections among the student body in a physically distant environment.

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