Posts Categorized: Commentary

COVID-19 and the Gap Year

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused elected officials to shut down large segments of the U.S. economy, within 30 days of President Donald Trump’s National Emergency Proclamation in mid-March, putting more than 26 million American payroll workers out of work and shuttering countless small businesses, thereby shutting down the self-employment option upon which workers frequently rely in times of econ...

Trauma in the Time of Coronavirus and Beyond: A NEJHE Q&A with Karen Gross

Karen Gross is an author, educator and advisor on diverse issues along the educational pipeline. Her current research focuses on student success and the impact of trauma on learning, psychosocial development and health. Sadly, the issues on which she focuses have taken center stage with the coronavirus pandemic and the literally thousands of colleges (and schools) closing their brick-and-mortar ca...

A Distance Learning Guru on COVID-19 Changes … Plus Other Quarantine Bits from the NEJHE Beat

A few items from the quarantine … Wisdom from Zoom. COVID-19 has been a boon for Zoom and Slack (for people panicked by too many and too-slow emails). Last week, I zoomed into the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Leadership Series conversation with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) President Paul LeBlanc and HGSE Dean Bridget Long. LeBlanc notes that the online programs ado...

What’s “Open” During COVID-19? In Global Pandemic, OER and Open Access Matter More than Ever

Residential college and university campuses across New England abruptly closed their doors last month during the COVID-19 outbreak, and while some schools were in session and students were asked to vacate, many others were on spring break and students were asked not to return. In both situations, students found themselves at home or in new environments where they waited to see how their education ...

The Amazing Generation

As a nation, we are taught to understand that it is sometimes necessary to send soldiers into harm’s way to fight for values and principles we believe are worth sacrificing for.  Today, and throughout our history as a nation, young men and women have been called upon to fight in foreign lands for the advancement of democracy and to secure and preserve the religious rights and political freedom...

Addressing COVID-19 in the Workplace: Some Legal Tips for Higher Education Institutions

As COVID-19 rapidly changes the economic landscape throughout the country, higher education institutions (HEIs) are facing new, constantly evolving challenges. To address these challenges, federal and state governments are quickly drafting laws and regulations that are impacting colleges and universities, and their employees. Wage and hour challenges As HEIs grapple with COVID-19 fallout, in...

Higher Ed Institutions Facing a Bottom-Line Squeeze Should Look at Their Health Benefits

The COVID-19 pandemic is top of mind for everyone. There’s no aspect of our lives that’s been untouched. For colleges and universities, the novel coronavirus crisis has caused a major educational shift. Campuses are closed to students. Courses have moved online. And many graduation ceremonies will be canceled or postponed. How long the new norm continues is unknown, but there is bound to be an...

Making the Leap from the Traditional to the Virtual Educational Experience

As our computer screens filled with tiny squares of faces of students and faculty alike, we watched them fidget with their chairs and screens and heard their voices ring in our earphones ... Social distancing measures took hold at Wheaton College forcing the same screen encounters that are now spreading across higher education nationwide. In the wake of the effort to control the rapid spread of...

What Can New England Colleges and Universities Do to Prepare for a SCOTUS Decision on DACA?

Last November, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the administration could rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), with the fate of over 650,000 DACA recipients in the balance. While a decision is expected by June 2020, colleges and universities—including New England institutions—can begin preparing now. As of September 2019, New England is home to more than 10...

I’m Worried … Higher Education Isn’t Focused at all on COVID-19’s Psychological Toll

The number of articles on the impact of the coronavirus on higher education is growing by the minute. That’s understandable and necessary. The spread of this virus (which happens easily in a campus setting) raises critical questions about what educational institutions can and should do in light of the now spreading COVID-19 virus. And the raised issues are remarkably varied and call for all thos...