There is a need for high-education institutions to prepare differently for the 2020-21 academic year. The ongoing COVID-19 challenge is unprecedented in general, especially regarding educational institutions, among them being universities and colleges. The scenario for universities and colleges has entirely changed in every aspect. Campuses that used to be bustling with students and professors are now empty, as remote learning has taken over. This overnight change has left institutions with grave financial challenges due to rising expenses and plunging revenues. Furthermore, researches indicate that the stress levels of students and staff are on a rise, due to the current situation. Management members at high-education institutions are constantly working towards creating feasible strategies for the institute and student wellness while dealing with a shortfall in university finances.
The challenges that these managements are currently facing include moving the traditional campus recruiting activities to a virtual setting, providing solutions to students whose financial needs are shifting, and forecasting the enrolment outcomes for the new term. Staff members, professors at colleges and universities are adapting to working remotely and provide the same level of education to their students as in the classroom. Although higher-education leaders cannot know when and to what extent education will resume as usual, given the uncertainty in the epidemiological and economic outlooks they must start to ask themselves questions about the long-term implications for teaching, for the students’ experience, as well as for infrastructure, operations, finance, staff, etc.
5 tips on how to prepare for the 2020-21 school year:
(1) prepare for e-learning, but also for e-teaching:
Prepare professors and faculty members for the online delivery of content and models, which require very different skills than in-person teaching.
Make sure to send them a guide or video tutorial going through the highlights of e-teaching, with explanations about possible issues and necessary preparations – content adjustments, or technology-wise and proper space. Be sure to equip them with the required technology and teaching props to ensure the students high-quality learning experience. It will also help to have an in-office help representative, to help with any technical issues that may arise in the middle of class.
(2) Online registration and payment process:
Make sure that the online-courses registration system on your website is clear and accessible. As opposed to past years, this year students will not have the luxury of in-person course counseling and guidance, so make it easy on them and prevent as many problems as possible with a clear, accessible registration and payment process.
Also, make sure that all of the necessary information that’s usually given on campus is delivered by mail. Take notice that during the registration days (especially in the first and last few days) the system will be over-loaded with the early and late students wanting to register. Be sure to have an on-call assistance and technical support for any system over-load issues that might occur.
(3) A COVID-19 representative office:
Have office representatives available on call and online for any questions and concerns regarding COVID-19 as well as general health and wellness instructions and updates. The contact info of the office representatives should be published on the institution’s website, social media, and presented on visible campus signs, so that students can receive important information, answers, and updates in real-time.
(4) Prepare for the physical restrictions on campus with the Back-to-Campus Strategy Guide:
As some colleges and universities are preparing for gradual opening this fall, and with the presence of foreign students living on-campus, physical and administrational preparations are required. From meal solutions to spacing class seatings – this guide offers some top recommendations and guidelines promoting the safety and wellness of on-and-off-campus students and staff members.
Download the guide now (free)>>
(5) Take care of your students’ wellness:
Student wellness services provide are important now more than ever. These are challenging times for students. Already known as a population who suffers from a 27% higher rate of mental difficulties from the entire population, due to the COVID-19 effects, students’ reports of facing depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues are rising. Some away from home typical support systems. Provide your students with remote, professional wellness solutions to help them remain safe, healthy, active, and positive.
Encourage your students’ sleep.
Sleep plays a crucial role in determining the level of good mental health and emotional well-being in the life of an individual. It is scientifically proven that if a person gets sound sleep at adequate times, it can help protect his mental health and quality. Moreover, the way a person feels while he’s awake depends enormously on the quality of his sleep. Certain studies show that due to sleep deficiency some brain activities get altered. Inefficiency arises in activities like problem-solving, controlling one’s behavior, and adapting to change. Another side-effect of sleep deficiency is associated with severe mood swings, a reduced attention span, and a lack of motivation. All of these factors may lead to lowers grades and higher stress levels.
A digital sleep improvement program can significantly reduce the mental and emotional stress levels that university students and staff members are facing and can even help to increase their mental health and overall wellness with time. The most effective and cost-efficient self-help sleep improvement app for employees and students’ wellness is provided by Sleeprate.
The best remote & affordable wellness solution: The Refresh Sleep Program powered by Sleeprate provides personalized digital sleep improvement for Individuals, professionals, enterprises, and students. This mobile app is based on 40M+ hours of unique sleep data and has helped many to overcome sleep problems and achieve individual sleep goals. Using the first-line treatment for sleep disorders – CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia), the app contains professional-grade features that help users gain sleep knowledge and insights, improve their sleep, and feel better during the day. Used and recommended by MIT, University of Iowa, and Kentucky University.