Equitable Transitions During Pandemic Disruptions

A State Policymaker’s Guide to Equitable Transitions in the COVID-19 Era

This Policy Guide provides a comprehensive overview of the equity issues amplified in the cross-section of high school-to-college transitions and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as concrete ideas for policy action to address immediate and arising high-priority concerns. It is organized into six thematic areas: admissions and enrollment, academic readiness, access to financial resources, experiential learning, new learning environments and non-academic supports. 

Authored by the Education Strategy Group, this brief outlines some of the challenges presented to students — particularly those who are historically underserved — who are transitioning from high school to college this fall. It shares the ways in which “near peer” advisors, or recent high school graduates, can help ease the transition and steer students toward success.

Authored by Jobs for the Future, this brief defines the types of experiences on a work-based learning continuum and the challenges for maintaining quality in these programs. It also identifies five policy considerations for fostering high-quality work-based learning, based on a set of principles created through experience in the field.

Authored by the Charles A. Dana Center, this brief captures some of the challenges for students’ math education trajectories, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and it highlights three ways states can strengthen math pathways to improve student access and success.

Authored by KnowledgeWorks, this brief identifies opportunities for states to maximize this year’s virtual or hybrid environments to tailor learning and instruction for students. It draws on seven core elements for personalized, competency-based learning.

Authored by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, this brief defines dual enrollment and common barriers to entry for historically underserved student populations. It identifies three opportunities for policies to expand access and make it more equitable.

Authored by the National College Attainment Network, this brief identifies three actions states can consider to ease and encourage the transition between high school and college for this year’s graduating class, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This brief draws on four principles of redesigning state financial aid to better support the Classes of 2020 and 2021 as they seek to enter college or university during the pandemic. 

Authored by The Hunt Institute, this brief identifies barriers to completion of the FAFSA, particularly for students who are historically underserved. Drawing from policies and programs in Louisiana and Tennessee, this brief shares examples of ways states can support completion.