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December 18, 2020

New report shows institutional response of postsecondary institutions during COVID-19

Today, the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) released its third COVID-19 After-Action Report, which focuses on the initial institutional response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As colleges and universities quickly transitioned to online courses, three major problems presented themselves: digital and economic divides among college students, financial uncertainty for both schools and students, and expected decreases in fall enrollment.   

MDHEWD suggests several strategies in the report for how colleges and universities can use the lessons learned during the pandemic to help solve the financial and technological challenges that exist within student populations. 

“This report takes a nationwide approach to analyzing COVID-19’s impact on higher education,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education. “Students and institutions had to persevere through very real hardships this year. While many socioeconomic inequities were heightened by this pandemic, studying these issues will help pave the way for widespread improvements in higher education moving forward.”

Today’s After-Action Report is the third report published by MDHEWD since the onset of the pandemic. The first report covered the online rapid response of Missouri’s postsecondary institutions. The second took a broad look at how Missouri’s institutions adapted to provide wraparound services such as food, housing, health care, career planning, disability and other support services – all vital pieces to student success.

Subsequent reports will be released in the coming months focused on other facets of challenges faced by higher education institutions during COVID-19. You can download all of the After-Action Reports at https://dhewd.mo.gov/covid-19.php.

About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.