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On Thursday, May 21, Axios CEO & Co-founder Jim VandeHei and Axios Cities Correspondent Kim Hart hosted a conversation on the challenges and opportunities of remote learning with the President of the American Council on Education, Ted Mitchell, and Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) Ted Mitchell focused on how colleges and universities are adapting to the digital landscape and the impact these changes are having on enrollment this coming year.

  • On institutions expanding the types of students they cater to: "A majority of college students today are not 18-22-year-olds. Colleges need to cater more to the lifelong learner, the adult learner. And certainly in this economy, individuals who need to train and resell for the next generation of jobs."
  • On making digital learning as high-impact as possible: "What is going to be important is for colleges and universities now to make the turn to providing extraordinary value through the online experience. Coming up in the fall, students and families will expect more than just a Zoom class online. And that's up to all of us to provide that value."

Rep. Jahana Hayes stressed the importance of Congress investing more in public education and supporting teachers.

  • "Congress has to make an investment in public education. We cannot keep having these 'band-aid' fixes...We asked 3.5 million teachers all over the country within days to shift to virtual learning...We must support them on the other side of this to make sure that they are better prepared moving forward and that they feel supported and not abandoned by their leaders and their legislators."

In a View from the Top segment, Jim VandeHei was joined by Cengage CEO Michael Hansen to discuss the rapid adjustment to virtual education.

  • "It is not a question of technology...The real Achilles heel is the training that is required of the faculty to teach in an online environment...There are a large number of faculty that have never done this before and they need to be trained pretty much overnight."

Thank you Cengage for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Aug 28, 2020 - Health

Community colleges struggle with hands-on classes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Programs at community colleges and technical schools that require hands-on learning — like welding or auto repair — have a unique challenge as they try to stay open while keeping students safe.

Why it matters: One-third of higher education students enrolled last spring were from a community college. And their student bodies are often higher-risk than traditional colleges', with more students who work, come from communities hit hard by the virus, or are older.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Hours-long reading of 628-page COVID relief bill delays Senate debate

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) forced Senate clerks to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, which took nearly 11 hours and lasted until 2:04 a.m. on Friday. The Senate is set to return at 9 a.m. to debate the bill before considering amendments, which could drag into the weekend.

3 hours ago - Health

Cuomo advisers reportedly altered July COVID-19 nursing homes report

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Seth Wenig/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's advisers successfully pushed state health officials to exclude certain data on the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths from a July report, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

Why it matters: The changes resulted in a "significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population," the WSJ wrote.