High School Seniors' Perspectives During COVID-19

by Rachel Bishop | April 20, 2020
High School Seniors' Perspectives During COVID-19

High School Seniors' Perspectives During COVID-19

High school seniors’ perspectives during COVID-19
Click the image to view the webinar.

Recently, Signal Vine hosted a panel to discuss high school seniors' perspectives during COVID-19. The panel, which was moderated by Dr. Jayne Caflin Fonash, Ed.D, President of NACAC, consisted of current high school seniors from across the country. They discussed their thoughts and perspectives through this uncertain time. The webinar can be viewed here.

Below, we've included some of the major takeaways from the webinar.

1. Students are emotionally impacted by COVID-19 - but they are understanding and appreciative of the preventative measures happening.

Of course, students are saddened by the disruptions to their senior year. However, they fully understand the cancellations, move to online learning, etc. They note that they appreciate the precautions and are most concerned with the safety of themselves and those around them.

2. Students appreciate the efforts their teachers and school administrators are making given the circumstances.

While they’re disappointed they aren’t in the physical classroom, they are thankful that school staff have worked hard to make the transition to online learning as easy as possible. They realize that they may be learning how to use new technologies along with their teachers. It isn’t an ideal situation, but they are grateful for their teachers and the efforts they’re making to make the experience as good as it can be.

3. Extracurriculars are still important to students - and they’re participating in them as much as possible.

Students involved in sports are trying to stay as active as possible while practicing social distancing. They’re finding that they now have more time to sharpen their skills. For some, it’s been a challenge to stay motivated and push themselves when their activities are based on their future college experiences. Everything feels up in the air, so it’s harder for some students to push themselves to do better to meet a goal that may look different in the fall.

4. Overall, students are remaining positive and looking ahead to the future.

Students are mindful that these disruptions are only temporary. They are looking ahead to the future and are hopeful that things will get back to normal soon. They are even embracing the extra time they have with their families during this time.

5. Students appreciate relevant outreach from their institutions.

Overall, students report receiving regular and frequent communication from the institutions they’ve committed to attend. Institutions are communicating about the fall semester, and they're providing resources to help students stay connected during this time. Virtual sessions are also a popular offering. Students note that they appreciate personal outreach from institutional staff.

Advice for college administrators who work with seniors

Each student’s situation is unique, so college and university staff should work with students to take their unique situations into account when planning for the future. Provide students with consistent messaging regarding next steps. Students are understanding of the fact that much is up in the air right now. In return, they expect that same level of understanding from college administrators.

Advice for college administrators who work with juniors

Juniors will likely miss the opportunity to test and retest for college entrance exams. Further, juniors may have a harder time committing to a college or university because they can’t visit as many campuses. Colleges and universities should be aware of this particular challenge for juniors. Juniors need reassurance that their desired colleges/universities will work with them to help them attend.

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