COVID-19 Response:
Supporting Students in Times of Uncertainty

Through surveys, focus groups, and countless conversations with staff, students, and instructors at dozens of universities across North America, we have observed that it is when students are going through transitions and/or adversity that their interactions with their college instructors and staff have the biggest impact on their well-being, academic engagement, and outcomes- whether negative, or positive. 

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus is currently placing unprecedented strain on colleges and universities, as educators and administrators everywhere work to support students through this global pandemic. CTC is providing these COVID-19 Response resources to help instructors and administrators support their students during this time of crisis. Please check back frequently, as we will be continuing to add resources to this page in the coming weeks.

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Visit: COVID-19 Response Video Gallery

The COVID-19 Pandemic has disrupted nearly all aspects of daily life, for educators, administrators, and their students. In these short video clips, CTC team members describe how they are navigating these difficult moments of transition and uncertainty. Topics include: Rethinking work and leadership amid COVID-19; maintaining connection and belonging during social isolation; taking a moment to connect with students amid COVID-19; and helping students and scholars whose plans have been disrupted cope with stress.

View: Communicating with Students in Times of Uncertainty

At the request of several of our school partners, the College Transition Collaborative has put together some practical suggestions for how to communicate with students about the challenges they are facing related to COVID-19. Building on our experience as educators and researchers, as well as insights from our work with dozens of colleges around North America, we’ve developed example language and talking points for responding to concerns we know many students are currently facing -- on our own campuses and around the world.

View: Supporting Students in Times of Crisis: Guidance for Instructors

In times of crisis, like we are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must be especially mindful that instructors have enormous influence over students’ broader lives, far beyond the walls of the classroom. Given that structurally disadvantaged students are likely to suffer disproportionately negative impacts of this global health crisis, it is more important than ever that instructors make equity considerations, and students’ psychological experience more broadly, top priorities as we restructure our courses to meet social distancing requirements and as we communicate with students through this unforeseen transition. Here, we draw on multiple sources of evidence to suggest some ways that instructors can support students’ well-being and academic success, and promote equitable outcomes, through this unprecedented challenge. 

View: Supporting Students in Times of Crisis: Guidance for Administrators

It is in times of challenge and stress that the words and actions of front-line staff -- such as academic advisers, student success practitioners, and administrators -- can have their biggest impact on students’ outcomes, including on their well-being and academic success. Here, we draw on our experience to suggest some ways that front-line staff and administrators can support students’ well-being and academic success during the unprecedented challenges created by the novel coronavirus global pandemic.