First and foremost, I hope that you are well and safe. Please see this message I sent to partners about this time. Like all of you, we’re moving quickly to adjust to new realities, and as funders, are doing what we can for the most vulnerable—low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color—in this unprecedented situation.
Our foundation’s core postsecondary commitments—innovation, transformation, data/information, policy advocacy around issues like access and affordability and value—remain the same. At the same time, in this new landscape we are prioritizing four areas of work within those commitments:
- Holistic Student Support: Ensuring that federal and other emergency aid programs support those with the greatest need and deliver that support as efficiently and effectively as possible while drawing on learning in aid delivery and student advising.
- Quality Teaching and Learning: Drawing on years of investments and lessons in digital learning to support quality teaching and learning during the broad-scale pivot to remote instruction.
- Student Mobility: Supporting students to continue on their postsecondary pathways in the face of economic and geographic disruption and potential institutional closure.
- Institutional Viability: Building on our institutional transformation efforts to promote a post-COVID system that is more sustainable and equitable.
In the coming days, we will be sharing more information about the work within these areas.
As always, we appreciate all you are doing to preserve and expand opportunity and eliminate race and income as predictors of that opportunity. We will continue to stand with you in those efforts.
We have a new page on our website with key information on our COVID-19 response, partner updates, and links to field resources and official guidance. This will be updated regularly, so be sure to check back for updated postings.
The Frontier Set, a select group of diverse institutions, state systems, and organizations committed to closing access and success gaps through transforming how they operate, has launched an open-access repository of online resources. Categories include: academic advising (particularly virtual and tele-advising); information technology; institutional communications; event contingency planning; health and wellness; institutional finances; policy/legal issues; enrollment management; instruction (particularly remote instruction); holistic student supports/services; working remotely and more. You can also submit an online resource.
A new statement on COVID-19 priorities has been issued by the Solution Networks supported by the foundation. These networks are comprised of organizations that convene providers and experts to deliver high-quality technical assistance, content, and services to institutions on the topics of holistic advising, developmental education, and digital learning. The networks outlined documenting need, disseminating relevant resources, emphasizing equity, and long-term planning as top priorities at this time.