COVID-19 is causing cancellations to the American university experience, and may only be the beginning of what is to come.
As the University has canceled face-to-face instruction and moved online it has taken away professional experience from students. In hopes of providing instructional continuity, the nontraditional situation has had consequences.
Many students at Illinois State are losing experience in their field, missing out on valuable learning experiences that would come in handy when entering the professional world.
While they understand the rationale behind the decisions as coronavirus continues to spread across the country, the sudden changes have left many students grappling with an overwhelming sense of loss.
For college junior nursing majors Scarlett Holze and Katie Remmes, online instruction has made it harder for them to complete their hours for clinicals, as they now lack access to on-campus resources.
“I don’t really know where we go from here, I know my professors are trying to figure out realistic expectations for us so I can be caught up and prepared for my senior year,”said Holze. “I’m hoping to get more news on how we are going to be proactive and maintain a steady course in the next couple weeks.”
“It’s hard not knowing what to do with myself since I went from being crazy busy to now being stuck at home, but I know it's for the best it's just stressful because I feel like I am losing out on important skills,” said Remmes. “Along with my fellow classmates I think I’ll be doing a lot of catch up.”
As schools stay on shut down long term, one of the greatest challenges for teachers, officials and school administrators would come down to ensuring all students have equal education opportunities and are prepared for whatever their future may hold.
DJ Angelaccio hadn't planned on the virus interrupting his semester. As a history education major, he began student-teaching last semester but now future classroom hours are cancelled. All of his classes have now moved online.
Angelaccio had really been looking forward to a hands-on learning experience.
"I’m worried about being able to connect with students," he said. "Student-teaching was always reassuring for me because I got to interact with the students, I don’t want to lose my abilities but being gone for so long I feel like my progress is going to decline.”