#COVIDEquityChat: Coming Together to Help Students Move Forward

Earlier this month, the Center, ACAC, and Mawi Learning partnered with seven equity- and college-access-focused organizations for a #COVIDEquityChat chat on Twitter that centered around resources, supports, and addressing the needs of underserved populations through the ongoing pandemic.

Twitter chat participants said that it was important for organizations, school administrators and staff, and caring adults to continue student outreach efforts to help connect students to the resources they need. Students need action now more than ever, as the Center for First Generation Success called out in their tweet.

And, as Common App pointed out in their tweet, school counselors are more important, and working harder, than ever before, especially for students from underserved populations.

One challenge for students, especially those who are facing the digital divide of either connectivity, reliable devices, or both, is online learning. Our chat participants had great suggestions for ways to offer offline learning options:

-get creative with low-tech learning options;

-provide packets and worksheets;

-offer 1:1 student/teacher phone calls to check in;

-create more flexibility for assignment completion;

-adjust graduation requirements; and

-provide 1:1 help via texting.

With the potential loss of momentum around the college-going process over the spring into summer, colleges and universities will likely see an increase in summer melt – the phenomenon of prospective college students’ motivation to attend college “melting” away between the end of high school and beginning of college. Participants agreed that it’s critical to ensure that students stay motivated to keep moving forward in the process.

When asked what organizations are doing to support and celebrate first-generation college-going students during the pandemic, chat participants had great ideas to encourage outreach of support, from mailing postcards with messages of “congratulations,” to phone calls and motivational social media posts.

As the chat ended, participants focused on ways to ensure that our students, particularly those from underserved populations, aren’t lost to higher education opportunities because of the pandemic, making sure that they are supported both physically and emotionally.

And, as America’s Promise pointed out in their tweet, we need to support young people who are getting creative in supporting their communities.

We’re exceedingly grateful for our partners in this chat, because of the incredible insights and knowledge they brought to the conversation:

American College Application Campaign


American Consortium for Equity in Education (ACE-ED)

American Indian College Fund

Better Make Room/Reach Higher

Center for First-Gen Student Success

Common App

Mawi Learning


Check out our Twitter moment for the chat highlights.