Higher Ed's Resilience A Beacon During Pandemic Published August 3, 2020 by Dr. Jeanie Webb

Jeanie WebbThe unprecedented challenges of these times demand extraordinary acts of heroism as we fight for the communities we have worked so hard to build. From hospitals and neighborhood grocery stores to offices and even the halls of higher education, people are stepping up to preserve our way of life while protecting the vulnerable among us.

Like other colleges and universities, Rose State College has continued to monitor COVID-19 developments and determine how they might impact our campus and students. Higher education is at a crossroads. Now is a time for innovation and ingenuity on college campuses as we work to continue educating students while providing a safe and healthy environment.

Schools are working to find and implement the best solutions to combat this crisis. Many have moved classes entirely online. Some are reimagining the college class. Rose State’s new FLEX model allows students to choose how they want to participate in a course whether that’s in person, by Zoom or online. The faculty member will always be available, no matter the format, to provide extra attention and assistance. This model provides a student the flexibility to pursue their education in a format that adapts to their schedule.

In another era, the difficulties presented by COVID-19 may have caused an insurmountable obstacle for higher education. However, we live in a world with endless opportunities to connect through virtual communication as technology evolves. Even our most vulnerable students can pursue their educational goals through FLEX and online learning.

We also are learning more about this disease and how to mitigate its effects. From making college-wide schedule alterations that allow for greater social distancing to enacting policies such as mandatory facial coverings that promote sterile classroom environments, colleges and universities are developing ways to keep classrooms safe. While online and FLEX classes are invaluable educational resources, the classroom provides a hands-on, personalized environment that still has a place in the future of higher education.

As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for trained, educated professionals ready to step into the gaps in their chosen fields. Whether you are seeking to advance your career or entering the workforce for the first time, now is the perfect time to invest in your education. A degree or certificate will help you stand out to employers, make you more marketable and give you a foundation to fill unique needs in the workforce.

In this light, we are thankful for the heroes who accept the challenge of pursuing a higher education for the sake of our world.