COVID-19, Supporting Learners, and the Responses of our Nation’s Community Colleges

More than 1,200 US community colleges serve the educational needs of millions of students, advancing the full spectrum of human knowledge while also invigorating the cultural, social, and economic institutions in their communities. Today these institutions are at the forefront of the nation’s conversations about institutionalized racism, student support, and community engagement. Community colleges are also deeply involved in the fight against COVID-19, keeping their states and regions informed and often providing direct service to their communities.

How have community colleges responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and to recent events, including the murder of George Floyd and the uncertainty surrounding DACA? As community college presidents look toward resuming in-person classes in the fall, what have they learned from the COVID-19 crisis, how will their institutions evolve as a result, and what might that mean for the future of community colleges in our nation’s overall higher education landscape? How will community colleges adapt to the serious financial challenges likely to arise in states and the nation in the months ahead as a consequence of COVID-19? What are campus leaders doing in preparation for a stronger and higher-profile role in terms of advocacy and leadership in directly addressing institutionalized racism in this country?

On July 6, join the presidents of three of the nation’s leading community colleges—including Bill Pink (Grand Rapids Community College), Pam Eddinger (Bunker Hill Community College), Patrick Valdez (University of New Mexico–Taos), and moderator Marielena DeSanctis (Broward College)—as they discuss COVID-19 and issues of racial injustice.

Register here to join the town hall discussion.


This event is the third in a series hosted by the National Academies’ Board on Higher Education and Workforce and Issues in Science and Technology and sponsored by the Kresge Foundation. Please contact John Veras ([email protected]) for questions.