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 ery that students can access on their own time.” Elms recently reached out to all students to poll them on how classes were going, and 30%
responded, Dumay said. Of those, the vast major- ity said they had what they needed to continue their learning online, while about 2.5% reported difficulty with Internet access. In response, Elms is keeping its library open for that reason — with social-distancing measures in place, of course.
Dumay said, but the college is doing what it can to build an online community where students can connect with each other and access the cam- pus resources they need.
Perhaps no institution in the region was more prepared for the online transition than Bay Path, which has been offering its graduate programs almost entirely online since 2006, and its undergraduate American Women’s College is
Profit and Loss
Leaders of the 15 community colleges in Mas- sachusetts have kept in touch about when they might open campuses up, and even then, under what kind of social-distancing parameters, Royal said. As for summer programs, HCC’s first ses- sion has already been moved fully online, but because a handful of second-session classes will be more difficult to deliver remotely, that deci- sion is in limbo — not to mention what will hap- pen in the fall.
“It’s hard to say definitively what the situation will be in September or October,” she told Busi- nessWest. “What I’m trying to do is position us so that, whatever the situation, we can pivot on very short notice, and respond even faster than we did this time around, because all the parameters are in place to do so.”
Cook said STCC is currently modeling enroll- ment projections and working with trustees on
a budget that takes into consideration a possible enrollment hit. He noted, however, that com- munity colleges in Massachusetts tend to do well during economic downturns.
Royal noted that trend as well. “We run coun- ter-cyclical to the economy. When the economy starts to go down, people start thinking, ‘what do I need to retool myself, and how can I prepare for a career change?’ — and our enrollment goes up.”
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“When you think of recessions we’ve had in the past, we built toward them, but this is so sudden, with high numbers of people filing for unemployment. It’s very unexpected, and we’re not sure how it’s going to play out.”
totally online as well. Leary feels like that’s a path forward to help all students afford an education.
“There will always be people who can afford institutions like Harvard and Prince- ton and Yale, but the majority of Americans can’t afford that type of education,” she said. “That’s why we’ve created a very low- cost model in the American Women’s Col- lege, putting together a well-crafted curric- ulum and a model that supports students, so very few will fall through the cracks.”
For now, she added, the percentage of classes that will continue online is up in the
     “More than 86% feel confident being success- ful in the online environment; some students said this is a lot more work,” Dumay said, con- ceding that in-person learning is preferable in most cases, and for myriad reasons. “Elms is a lot more than being academically successful. Part
of the value proposition for Elms College is its small, very intimate environment that empha- sizes growth of the whole person — the spiritual component, the psychosocial component.”
Trying to replicate that online is difficult,
“Most of us are thinking that summer school
will be online, and then then we start looking at the fall. Even if social distancing is lifted, we don’t know what the impact on the college will be — on the residence halls, the classrooms, the dining rooms. As we look to the fall, we’ll be prepared to open, and we’ll also be prepared to go online. We have to be nimble.”
are now
Learn more about our K–12 remote learning resources during COVID-19 at:
(800) 322-8233 |
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