With the Covid-19 global pandemic ramping, there are many college campuses across the world that are affected. Many students and lecturers are dying to have that in-person learning and teaching experience once more.
It does not appear that the campus doors will be opening anytime soon for the upcoming semesters. Some suggest enforcing social distancing, using temperature checks, and sanitizing hands to make their campuses safer.
Graduations, events, and work experience practicals have been canceled or postponed. In this post, I will be sharing some of the changes colleges have undergone and how some of these colleges are coping.
Online Collaboration Tools
Many colleges have moved their entire learning systems online. The software used is vast and wide. Some having the ability to offer whiteboard classroom views, see classmates, submit assignments online, do examinations, etc.
Sad to note, it is evident that there are students that will get left behind for one reason or another. Two reasons being- there are students who rely on the library for textbooks and research materials.
This information is lots of times not available for reading in the online library portals. Consistent access to an internet service provider is also needed.
It would be nice to believe that everywhere in the world and every individual has access to internet service however this is not the case.
For half of my college life I never even owned a laptop. I had to live in the computer labs. The reality with this method is that there are a few who will get left behind if they cannot keep up.
Based on locations and timezones for students across the world it might be difficult for students to participate in online classes. While it is 8 am in one country and classes begin, it might be 12 pm-midnight in another.
Many students express concerns that it can be stressful to stay focus in a pandemic. Some may just have to accept whatever grade they get in their classes as they cannot keep up.
The classrooms and hallways on campuses are clear along with dorm rooms. Students have returned home.
Funny enough even though many universities have canceled classes, there are those that have never stopped with their learning processes.
What will and have happened to international students? There are travel bans and many were not prepared to make the trip back home.
Those who make it home have to be in quarantine in fear of being infected themselves and getting their families infected by the coronavirus.
Many students have to go home and take care of a sick family member or start working to put food on the table due to job losses.
Administrators are on the tips of there toes in concern with how their admissions will go for the coming semesters. Many have found virtual ways of introducing students to their campus.
Students do not need to go to a college in person to see what exists and the opportunities for them. They get a vivid picture in an online tour of every aspect of the campus from dorm rooms to cafeterias, gyms, libraries, lounges, etc.
In these tours, aspects highlighted are: where one can get financial aid, departments, and information on pursuing various majors. Not everyone may desire an on-campus tour but it is worth it for those who needed the on-campus visit.
We know that using an app or videos can never replace meeting the friendly face of a campus tour guide but it sure is the best alternative for students and their families to identify and select the most appropriate college to attend.
It is likely that admission will go down as parents’ finances will go down to cover basic needs and health aid for those who have been ill.
Due to the virus more than likely many students will put their studies on pause until everything is over. Saving money and cutting back is now the order of the day less they fall into a financial crisis.
Financial Impact on Student Loan
Many governments have put a freeze on student loan interest. This does not mean that every student loan will be automatically frozen. Students need to apply for this freeze in their respective loan institutions.
Be mindful that these loans can only be deferred within 6 months of the student graduating or having stopped classes.
It is expected that students who have been benefiting from yearly donations from sponsors may see a reduction in the funding given.
While this pandemic may not have affected some entities financially, some funders may no longer offer scholarships or have them on hold for the coming semesters.
Scholarships from commercial institutions have been cut as some of these organizations are being forced to close due to COVID-19. They are seeking to save a little here and there in their budget and make up for losses.
With classes moved online the quality of education received is lessened. One cannot get practical experience for some classes with these online courses.
The education system for many universities was not prepared for the switch to online learning. The year 2020 is a year that many college students will never forget. The crisis has impacted them in so many ways.
I hope that with the information provided you were able to get a clearer view of how colleges are operating in this time of Covid-19 pandemic.
I also hope you will be in a better position evaluating going forward if you are a student and what you can do as an administrator, staff, or lecturer.