VIGO Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce presented the State of Higher Education and how COVID-19.
According to Josh Garrison, associate commissioner for legislation and program implementation for Indiana, the goal is for 60 percent of Hoosiers to have some sort of education beyond high school. Indiana sits at 48.5 percent ranking 35th in the nation.
COVID-19 has affected many universities across the state and the spike in cases doesn’t help. The Indiana department of health announced Friday that 5,708 new Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
“We started the semester at the highest point. We we’re at about a 3.4 percent of everyone either isolating or quarantining,” Deborah Curtis, president of Indiana State University. “Then it started to go down. Then in the last two weeks much like Vigo County in the area we’ve started to climb back up again.”
Garrison says the state also has to do a better job of helping low-income and rural students. There is a significant divide of trust in higher education for rural areas versus urban and suburban areas.
Universities have had to draw up plans to make learning accessible during the pandemic.
Indiana State University has made provisions to learning this semester, but some students could not deal with this new way of learning and unpredictably of COVID-19.
“One-third totally online although we’re usually about a quarter of that anyway. One-third is what we call hybrid which is a combination given the faculty members decisions about pedagogy and how to do that,” explained Curtis. “Some in the class some outside or flip classroom type of activities and then one one-third totally face to face.”
Commissioner Garrison says Indiana must do a better job in helping adult learners and encourage them to go back to school if they dropped out.