Date of this Version
INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP ABSTRACTS, Volume 12, Issue 4, June, 2020
COVID-19 thrust most higher education institutions into 100% online learning during the Spring of 2020 with a ready or not approach. Despite the many obstacles faculty and students faced, the end result was a valiant effort that afforded students the opportunity to continue to access education in the face of many uncertainties. With the initial rush to move coursework online behind them, academic administrators turned toward planning for the future. What should learning look like long term while working through COVID-19? How do we adequately support full and part-time faculty and staff? Should learning be kept online indefinitely? If there is a return to campus in the fall, what will it look like?
In addition to grappling with the serious issues outlined above, it is important for academic administrators to keep in mind that we are working within an emotionally traumatized space. “Trauma confronts schools with a serious dilemma: how to balance their primary mission of education with the reality that many students need help in dealing with traumatic stress to attend regularly and engage in the learning process.” — Ko et al. (2008, p. 398). COVID-19 complicates this premise further, since it is not only the students who are experiencing trauma, but indeed, the faculty, administration, and professional support staff. This is why it is critical to engage in professional development with faculty and staff that informs educational practice. This professional development can be as structured or informal as you choose. It should really reflect your campus culture.