With colleges closing classrooms and dormitories, high schools suspended for uncertain amounts of time, and college admissions decisions delayed, on top of the overarching health and safety concerns, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students across the country has been enormous.
For many students, educational institutions offer stability, sustenance, and hopeful visions of the future, and any pause in their educational path has a significant chance of becoming permanent interruptions. LGR’s students have faced unprecedented obstacles to continuing their education and shared some of their concerns:
“I am worried about missing out on opportunities. I am also worried about not having the funds to continue financing my education since COVID-19 has resulted in me being at home and helping out a great deal financially.”
“I can’t concentrate at home and it doesn’t feel the same as learning in person. The financial aid process has been stressful.”
“Not feeling like I’m getting a real education, not learning well at home, feeling disconnected, dealing with more profound mental illness.”
“I don’t feel that motivated to reach out to professors or use campus resources because I’ve been stuck at my house for a long time. I don’t have the urge to socialize.”
Because of these risks and because of increased student engagement during the crisis, we know that Let’s Get Ready’s coaching was more critical than ever for our students for continuity, guidance, and motivation. As our students shared:
“My coach is the best – she constantly checks in on me and always motivates me to keep on going!”
“The most helpful area of support was in regards to my classes and ways to improve my time management and dealing with all the stress.”
“My coach was very helpful when it came to registering for classes; my advisors didn’t help me at all. My coach, Bricenia, called me and walked me through each step of the way.”
“My coach provided constant reminders and encouragement to keep going – even when things get tough. She showed that someone was cheering me on in my quest to do well in class – so that helped a lot.”
SPECIFICALLY, LET’S GET READY:
- Pivoted to a 100% virtual program model;
- Ensured access to high-quality, virtual mental health counseling for more than 500 students;
- Developed new coaching resources related to many themes, including strategies for successful virtual learning and referrals for meeting urgent needs, such as food pantries, free computers, and financial relief;
- Designed targeted ‘back on track’ curriculum for students who had a COVID-related delay in college enrollment;
- Opened our enrollment process to welcome students from new geographies, including Texas and California; and
- Through webinars, provided best practices to 100 other organizations for high-quality and data-informed virtual programming.
The consequences of this pandemic on college enrollment and graduation will be far-reaching and long-term. We are committed to deepening and broadening our support of students to help mitigate the stress, frustration, uncertainty, and pain experienced in 2020 and beyond.