• Benjamin Fong

The Future of Colleges: Jeopardizing Safety or Staying Remote?

With the current health and safety issues regarding Covid-19, colleges and universities haven been shifting their instruction to a remote option as early as Spring 2020. This has caused many students to head home to take their classes or to make arrangements for off-campus housing. These are unprecedented times and students have to complete all of their work and get the education they need, with significantly less guidance. Either schools have to identify what safety measures can be implicated to ensure student safety, for example screening and testing capabilities can really help track the health of the students; or students must normalize remote instruction and learn how to stay productive by using self-strategies or new technologies to help with their organizational skills.

Having to leave the campus environment and either going back home or finding a new one, the biggest commodity that comes with it is stress. Students are no longer in that “college” environment and having hard times finding the motivation to complete their work, and to study. Some students can’t stay focused when they aren’t in the right environment and some have new problems to worry about. Students who live in a different time zone are not ensured accommodations, some professors still require everyone to attend lectures no matter what time it is where they live. There should be systems put in place that help students stay organized and focused, without them students won’t get the education they need. There are many new apps and strategies that were made to help people working remotely to stay organized. Having your work time and break time planned out will help make a big difference in staying on task during dragged-out and repetitive days.

Other problems that students worry about is whether or not they are getting the quality of the education they are paying for while being instructed remotely. With lectures and discussions all online, instructors must provide all materials and speeches remotely. In addition, while it is nice that instructors are providing lots of accommodations for students, it also sometimes means that students aren’t getting the full education that they would have received in-person. With this idea, lots of college students are worrying how their degree will be looked at when they graduate. With tests and exams online, there is not much stopping students from cheating. Will this mean that students who took classes during the pandemic have a somewhat invalid degree? Will this be how future graduate's degrees be perceived? Time will tell, however the issue now is returning instruction back to normal. The main objective is just implicating new safety measures to combat the spread of the virus in schools. The CDC has stated that screening, testing, and contact tracing are the three biggest safety strategies for schools to implicate if they want to stop the spread of Covid-19 especially on campuses, but in reality these strategies will help stop the spread everywhere.

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