Last year colleges and universities were forced to temporarily close their doors as COVID-19 spread throughout the country. Virtual instruction became the norm as institutions worked to continue with classes while mitigating transmission risks, and meeting students’ basic needs became the focal point as food and housing insecurity were exacerbated by the pandemic. Finding affordable childcare also became a challenge for students working to learn with children at home.
“All of those things had to be rethought quickly to happen remotely,” says Monica Parrish Trent, vice president for network engagement at Achieving the Dream. “I think in a good way, it challenged colleges to think about how can we improve our systems so that there is continuity of instruction when people can’t come to campus. I think that many of our colleges rose to the occasion and we want to see them continue with those efforts.”