Since mid-March, the least resourced students and their families have been most impacted by COVID-19. The Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) Indicators report of 2019 pointed to many alarming statistics when it was published in early spring 2020, including the fact that students who are both low income and First Gen have a 21% college completion rate in six years. The lowest income quartile cites degree attainment at 13% while 62% of the highest/wealthiest quartile attain bachelor’s degrees. Add to that the 2020 upheaval of employment fallout, the need to leave campus, tech and broadband insecurity, the move to remote learning in the spring semester, the uncertain fall semester landscape, and the revelation of generational racial injustices, and we face the prediction by a McKinsey report issued in June that this already fragile number of diverse graduates is likely to put an entire generation of learners/workers at risk. These promising students constitute our nation’s diverse talent pool, and the circumstances they face with college, learning, the digital divide, mental health, family, and financial issues — ranging from challenging to catastrophic — endanger their ability to learn and to access the career pipeline for which they are so sorely needed. Supporting the persistence, tenacity, faith, and endurance that these already at-risk students need at a time like this must be a top priority of policymakers, college leaders, and community and foundation funders. Nothing short of our nation’s educational, emotional, and economic viability is at stake.Download Student Speak 2020 Report
Carter, C.J., Williams, J.R., Tyler, D.M., (2020, September 30). Student Speak 2020 Student voices informing education strategies. GlobalMindED, The Equity Project, and Every Learner Everywhere. https://www.everylearnereverywhere.org/resources/student-speak-2020/
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