Higher education faces unprecedented uncertainty. Colleges and universities across the country are grappling with whether to reopen in the fall or keep instruction online. Students completing their education are graduating into a tumultuous job market, with a stalled economy and record jobless claims. Dreams of economic mobility have been deferred for millions of learners who were pursuing new careers and credentials. The COVID-19 crisis is exposing and exacerbating economic, educational and health inequities.
In periods of economic crisis like this one, higher education typically serves as both a backstop for displaced workers and an engine for economic recovery. But today’s crisis is exposing widening fault lines between educational institutions and the demands of an increasingly dynamic world of work.