Higher Ed

New Student Expectations: What College Students Expect After COVID-19

Parchment Staff  •  Aug 12, 2021  •  Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic flipped the traditional day-to-day agenda for most of us, but students felt a major impact. In fact, according to a new Student Voice study by Inside Higher Ed, 47% of 2,000 surveyed college students rated the value of their education this past year as fair or poor. Another 52% said they learned less during the “COVID school year” than in previous years, and 23% of freshmen reported feeling very unprepared for their first college semester.  


The need for change isn’t new

In recent years, the higher education sector has been confronted by various hurdles challenging the status quo. From the drop in admissions to rising tuition costs, we have the opportunity to address the student experience head-on. 

The results of the Student Voice survey shouldn’t be ignored; student expectations need to be taken into consideration, especially as we navigate the difficulties the pandemic has provided. Brandon Busteed, Chief Partnership Officer and Global Head of Learn-Work Innovation at Kaplan, shared his thoughts on this subject in an Inside Higher Ed blog:

“With students fresh off a not-so-satisfying year with new experiences and modalities from which to evaluate their education, it is plausible their ratings could drop further as opposed to improve. This is no time to take the foot off the pedal of improving pedagogy and the overall quality of the educational experience for students. In fact, this coming academic year may be the most important year in higher ed history to deliver on value.”


Looking forward

We’ve gained some important insights regarding the way we work. We all know there are benefits to synchronous and asynchronous teaching – but what does the learner prefer? The results are in – while most students are anxious to get back to a majority of in-person classes, many aren’t ready to give up the convenience a virtual world has provided. 

With so many differing opinions, it’s going to be tough meeting everyone’s individual needs. Almost half of the students surveyed want the ability to switch between an in-person and virtual world. They’re looking for a sort of hybrid approach that gives the ability to be in-person, alongside the freedom to work remotely when it best suits their needs. Curious what conveniences we’re referring to? 

Here are a few:  

  • Lectures made available online for later review
  • The ability to privately speak directly with the professor during class (via chat)
  • Virtual access to live events
  • Online access to support resources
  • The option to attend class in person or online


How Parchment can help
There’s no doubt that higher education institutions are facing many demands as students are welcomed back to in-person learning. We know creating a valuable education, environment, and experience is a top-of-mind priority but even so, your plates are already so full. With such an important responsibility on your hands, we want to help. 

Our Credential Profile, for example, makes it easier for students to manage all their lifelong achievements in one place, accessible from any device whenever they need it. One learner account means one unified experience – while other candidates are digging around for all the necessary components to a job application, your students have already applied for the position. In a world where fast matters and gets your foot in the door, give your students a leg up! 

It’s time to hand over the time-consuming tasks so that you can focus your efforts where they matter most. Parchment can take care of transcripts, diplomas, certificates, and more! Use us for your digital and print and mail needs – we don’t mind! Furthermore, students love the ability to send and receive digital credentials. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at some of these student success stories – shared directly from the students themselves.  

Now that we’re here, we’ve learned some important lessons – one in particular – we can deal with unexpected change and learn from it (Think: Who Moved My Cheese?). The classroom isn’t defined within the confines of four walls and it probably never will be again, but that’s okay. Let Parchment help – so that you can focus on what really matters. 

Our combined focus on reliability, support, and services is designed to keep schools moving, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands and can concentrate on what matters most.


Visit our Higher Education services page today or contact us directly to find the solution that works for you.

There’s always more to learn.

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