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The National Academies
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Email: paro@nas.edu
Project Information

Project Information


Response of Higher Education to COVID-19: Virtual Workshops on Graduate and Undergraduate Education


Project Scope:

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (National Academies) propose to undertake a project consisting of 2 virtual workshops that will explore the responses of postsecondary education to COVID-19 so that the community can learn from and build on these experiences. The workshop will address the following questions:

  1. What strategies have higher education institutions of all types (e.g., 2-year, 4- year, Minority Serving Institutions, liberal arts colleges, Research I universities) used to maintain the integrity and continuity of their educational mission at the undergraduate and graduate levels?
  2. What challenges have arisen--and how have higher education institutions adapted--with respect to the need to offer online instruction, maintain labs, offer guidance and support to undergraduate and graduate students, and ensure the fulfillment of credit requirements?
  3. To what extent do the responses by higher education vary by institution type, size, or student population served? Who is best served and who is least well served in this current environment, and how flexible are institutions in meeting the needs of undergraduate and graduate students who need the greatest support?
  4. What are the immediate effects on undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and others in the institution’s community? Do the effects appear to vary depending on characteristics of these groups (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, Socio-Economic Status, nationality, students with learning challenges and students with disabilities, students who work and/or are parents)?
  5. What research data and information can be compiled over the next six months and beyond that can inform the future planning of institutions and their day to day operations?

Status: Current

PIN: DBASSE-BOSE-20-01

RSO: Schweingruber, Heidi



Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership


Tasha R. Inniss - (Chair)
Tasha R. Inniss is the associate provost for research at Spelman College, a liberal arts, Historically Black College for women of African descent. In this role, she serves as the Chief Advocate for Research at the College and leads the Office of Research, Innovation, and Collaboration (ORIC). Dr. Inniss provides leadership and strategic direction for all activities related to individual or interdisciplinary research, creative pursuits, collaborative partnerships, and programmatic initiatives for undergraduate research. With the vision to “empower the Spelman community to achieve and share scholarly excellence”, ORIC has four units that support the Spelman College Community: Research Development & Sponsored Programs; Undergraduate Research & Training Programs; Evaluation, Monitoring, & Data; and Environmental Health & Safety Compliance. Dr. Inniss also holds a tenured faculty appointment in the Department of Mathematics. Prior to returning to Spelman, she was the inaugural Director of Education and Industry Outreach at INFORMS, the world’s largest professional society for professionals in the fields of operations research, management science, and analytics. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team at INFORMS, she was responsible for the overall vision and implementation of all education-related and practice (industry) activities and outreach. Dr. Inniss also did a rotation at the National Science Foundation in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources where she served as the Acting Deputy Division Director of the Division of Human Resource Development and before that, as the colead of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program. Originally from New Orleans, Dr. Inniss graduated summa cum laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. She earned a Master of Science degree in applied mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was one of the first three African American women to earn a doctoral degree in the mathematical sciences from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Higher Education and Workforce.
Alfred Bryant
Alfred Bryant, Jr. is an enrolled member of the Lumbee American Indian Tribe. He served as the dean of the School of Education, the director of the Southeast American Indian Studies Program and full professor in the Educational Leadership and Counseling Department at University of North Carolina (UNC)–Pembroke.. Dr. Bryant is currently the dean of the School of Education at Campbell University. Dr. Bryant has published numerous articles on American Indian racial identity attitudes and cultural orientation, American Indian suicide ideation, school bullying, parental beliefs about children’s emotions, health differences among Lumbee Indians using different sources of care, impact of acculturation and psychosocial variables on academic performance of American Indians, American Indian student success and psychosocial development. Over the past year he has received almost 3 million dollars in federal grants to increase access to higher education for American Indian high school students and to also increase the number of American Indian licensed teachers. He is a past recipient of the UNC-Pembroke School of Education Distinguished Faculty award. His 29 years of service to the State of North Carolina include 3 years as a high school counselor, 2 years as an academic advisor in UNC-Pembroke’s Freshman Seminar Program, 4 years as an academic advisor in North Carolina State University’s First Year College and the last 19 years as professor, program director, department chair, associate dean, dean and director of the Southeast American Indian Studies Program at the UNC-Pembroke. He also spent a year on the campus of UNC-Charlotte working with Chancellor Phil Dubois as an ACE Fellow. Dr. Bryant is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (NCBLCMHC). He received his B.A. in English language and literature from UNC-Pembroke and both his Masters and Ph.D. in counselor education from NC State University.
Jim Julius
Jim Julius is the faculty director of online education at MiraCosta College. He collaborates locally, regionally, and statewide with faculty, administrators, student services professionals, technologists, and students to help MiraCosta strengthen student equity and success through excellent online learning environments, experiences, and support services. Dr. Julius was the associate director of Instructional Technology Services at San Diego State University from 2005-2011. He worked closely with other faculty support and development units on campus, managed evaluation and adoption processes of emerging technologies, and worked with faculty and departments interested in course redesign for increased online learning. Dr. Julius worked first as a software engineer for five years and then, after obtaining a master's degree in teaching, as a 4th/5th grade teacher for five years. He has taught numerous in-person and online educational technology courses at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego. Dr. Julius earned an Ed.D. in educational technology from San Diego State University.
Hironao Okahana
Dr. Hironao Okahana is a higher education researcher, working for the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) as vice president, research and knowledge development. He studies U.S. master’s and doctoral education with particular emphasis on enrollment trends, labor market outcomes, diversity and inclusiveness, and organizational analysis. Dr. Okahana has authored and co-authored a number of technical reports, research briefs, commissioned papers, and peer-reviewed articles. As CGS’s principal researcher, he conceptualizes, designs, and implements research projects, as well as develops and executes various data/policy/research analysis efforts, pertaining to its strategic priorities. Since 2016, Dr. Okahana is serving as the project director and oversees implementation, dissemination, and continuous improvement of the CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees and CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, as well as other ad-hoc member surveys. Also, he directs and co-directs various funded projects, primarily overseeing social science components, including but not limited to: the Understanding Ph.D. Career Pathways for Program Improvement (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant #31600612 & #21500103 and NSF/DGE grant #1661272 & #2000750) and Supporting Mental Health and Wellness of Graduate Students (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant #1905-06801 and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant #2019-12396) projects. His past projects at CGS include, but not limited to: the Labor Market Outcomes of STEM Master’s Education (NSF/NCSES grant #1538769) and Completion & Attrition in AGEP & non-AGEP Institutions (NSF/HRD grant #1138814) projects. As an expert, he has served on several technical review and advisory panels for various studies of graduate education, as well as, has delivered invited talks on the state and implications of U.S. graduate education at national and regional convenings. In addition to his role at CGS, Dr. Okahana is a Higher Education Program Affiliate at the George Mason University and an adjunct assistant professor of education at the William & Mary School of Education. Also, he was a Dean’s Fellow for the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Okahana earned his Ph.D. in education and M.P.P. in Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his undergraduate degrees from California State University, Long Beach.
Juan Ramírez-Lugo
Juan S. Ramírez Lugo is an assistant professor in biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras (UPRRP). The focus of his current position is as an undergraduate biology education specialist focused on teaching and reforming the undergraduate biology curriculum, particularly at the introductory level. He is devoted to improving student success and engagement in the biological sciences through the use of high-impact teaching and learning practices, such as active learning and course-based research experiences (CUREs). He works tirelessly to create an impact by developing curricular materials and approaches that are tailored to our unique student population and institutional context. Furthermore, he has engaged in multiple local and national level efforts to create more opportunities for students to learn science through research experiences. Key amongst these efforts is the creation of the Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology summer research experience undergraduate (REU), an NSF-funded research site designed to increase the participation of individuals from groups that have been historically underrepresented in science in emerging fields of inquiry at the interface of biology and computer sciences. His current research interests are centered around the development of novel tools and approaches to assess the impact of undergraduate research experiences (UREs) on students’ sense of self-efficacy, scientific identity and career decidedness, all of which are predictors of integration and persistence of students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, into STEM fields. Dr. Ramiriez Lugo has a Ph.D. in biology from the California Institute of Technology.
Viji Sathy
Viji Sathy is a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and special projects assistant to the dean of Undergraduate Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). She is actively involved in instructional innovation and faculty development. She is a national expert in inclusive teaching, speaking widely around the country and writing on the topic. Her research involves evaluating the impact of innovative teaching techniques as well as retention in STEM. Dr. Sathy is also the program evaluator of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars an adaptation of the Meyerhoff Program that has successfully increased representation of underrepresented students in STEM Ph.D.s. She regularly teaches undergraduate quantitative courses as course-based research experiences: statistics and research methodology as well as makerspace courses. She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards for excellence in undergraduate education and the campus’ Student’s choice for Best Professor at UNC. Prior to her current position at UNC, she worked at the College Board conducting research on the SATs and non-cognitive predictors of college success. Dr. Sathy completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC and her doctorate in psychometrics from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Heather Thiry
Heather Thiry is a research associate with Ethnography & Evaluation Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her research interests focus on the educational and career pathways and identities of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in scientific and technological fields, including low-income, first-generation college, and students of color. She is especially interested in systems-level change efforts to support the STEM pathways of diverse students in higher education institutions. She is currently one of the evaluators of the NSF INCLUDES Alliance, the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI). She also leads a five-year research study of underrepresented students’ STEM transfer pathways from two-year to four-year institutions. Her evaluation and research interests have also focused on the influence of co-curricular activities and experiences on the persistence in STEM majors, including the role of undergraduate research and student organizations on students’ development as STEM professionals. Dr. Thirye recently served as a member of the National Academies committee that produced the report, “Undergraduate Research Experiences for STEM Students: Successes, Challenges and Opportunities.” She has a Ph.D. in education from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Kerry A. Brenner - (Staff Officer)

Events


Event Type :  
Workshop

Description :   

Institutional leadership teams continue to face many challenges during the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic and the decisions they make alter undergraduate and graduate student learning experiences. Leaders were and are required to integrate new information, make predictions, and decide courses of action quickly and at times, with incomplete guidance and data. As leaders move forward with planning, they need to determine who they can and should consult for input as they consider their choices and analyze the potential short- and long-term impacts on students, faculty, staff, and their institutions.  This workshop session will highlight voices from leaders of a breadth of institutional types as they discuss the process they undertook to make decisions for the spring 2020 and fall 2020 terms and their thoughts and planning for the spring 2021 term. Panelists will be asked to explain how undergraduate and graduate student voices and equity issues were considered in the decision-making process for their institutions and what data would be useful to have available or more directly considered. They will be asked to reflect on recent experiences and to consider how the higher education community might use this moment in time as an opportunity for sustainable innovation that could enhance STEM learning experiences and trajectories of undergraduate and graduate students now and the future. Discussions will also consider what research data and information can be compiled to inform the future planning of institutions and how leaders can ensure that attention is paid to addressing any challenges that disproportionately impact students due to their gender, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, nationality, learning challenges, disabilities, and/or caregiving responsibilities.



Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Kerry Brenner
Contact Email:  kbrenner@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Agenda
-
Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Workshop

Description :   

Colleges and universities are seeking and implementing strategies to assist their STEM student communities to succeed and prepare for transitions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the initial transition to college, transitions from 2-year to 4-year institutions, transitions to graduate education, and transitions to the workforce. This session will explore examples of support infrastructures and strategies provided by colleges and universities before and during the pandemic and consider the importance of providing structure and flexibility to students. Many institutions have been exploring innovative ways to maintain continuity of services by moving them online during this crisis and have discovered new approaches that will remain important beyond the pandemic. Panel discussions will consider how institutions can maintain student engagement and involvement and discuss ideas for building community in departments, disciplines, courses, and co-curricular and extra-curricular activities as well as the importance of academic advising, tutoring, mentoring, counseling/mental health care, and ensuring that students are not lacking appropriate technology, food, housing, or other supports necessary for their general wellness. This session will explore how institutional goals and expectations for undergraduate and graduate student experiences might be permanently altered by the current challenges and changes for the students. It will also discuss how student engagement experiences can be comprehensive and more inclusive for all students regardless of their gender, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, nationality, learning challenges, disabilities, and/or caregiving responsibilities. 


Registration for Online Attendance :   
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/122742142051

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Kerry Brenner
Contact Email:  kbrenner@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Agenda
-
Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Workshop

Description :   

The changes to higher education and to society as a result of the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 impacted the ability of many undergraduate and graduate students to continue their research and learning. This workshop session will share examples, from both student and faculty perspectives, of innovative ways institutions, departments, and programs moved research—including course-based undergraduate research, laboratories, internships, practicums—online, attempted to mitigate interruptions to plans, and worked to consider (and address) the variety of issues that might prevent access by all students. The session will consider challenges to graduate students who had to alter research plans in ways that impacted their degree progression and to undergraduates enrolled in laboratory or practicum courses required for their degrees. The importance of mentoring and promising practices for supporting students as they attempt to continue their studies in STEM will be discussed, including how research experiences can be made more inclusive for all students regardless of their gender, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, nationality, learning challenges, disabilities, and/or caregiving responsibilities. 



Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Kerry Brenner
Contact Email:  kbrenner@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Agenda
-
Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
Workshop

Description :   

The rapid transition to online learning that occurred in higher education in spring of 2020 presented many challenges. This workshop session will explore the impact of the institutional pivots themselves on undergraduate and graduate students and the continued reliance on online learning today. Using panel discussions and with input from the audience, this session will explore how institutions, faculty, and staff can assist students in continuing their studies in STEM; the extent to which student voices are considered in decision-making; and the differential effects on students from different races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The session will provide an opportunity to share strategies and lessons learned from a breadth of institutional types and for a range of student populations (from community college to graduate students). Panelists and audience members will explore ways to provide high-quality online learning experiences and consider impacts on academic progression—such as ability to complete gateway courses, to transfer from 2-year to 4-year institutions, to apply to graduate and professional schools, and to advance in graduate degree programs and careers in STEM.  



Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Kerry Brenner
Contact Email:  kbrenner@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  -

Agenda
-
Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
No

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Publications

Publications

No data present.