COVID-19 IMPACT ON OUR STUDENTS
Graduating seniors are facing a reality no one was prepared for: no graduation stage to walk across, no college or career day to explore next steps and little to no face time with the teachers and counselors who normally help students plan their futures.
- One in six graduating seniors “indicated that they either definitely or most likely will change their plans to attend a four-year institution as a full-time student” with the majority planning to either take a gap year or enroll part-time.
- Two in three students were also concerned “that they may not be able to attend their first-choice institution,” planning instead to attend a “less expensive, closer to home, and more familiar” option.
Career Kit summer pilot
Due to the in-person nature of our Career Test Drive® Fair, BridgeYear postponed all fairs since March. During this time we produced a pilot launch of Career Test Drive® Kits: a socially-distant, hands-on experience allowing youth to “try on” careers from anywhere, including their homes.
As we progress into the 2020-2021 school year, BridgeYear is ready to meet youth’s needs head-on to ensure all students graduate high school with pathways to economic stabilty and independence.
This summer, BridgeYear launched the first round of Career Kits to youth accross the Houston area. Out of our 49 recipients:
continued advising support
In April, BridgeYear Advising witnessed COVID-19’s impact on high schoolers first-hand when 32.6% of our survey respondents reported changing career interests. Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO in March, BridgeYear Advising has been in close contact with community college and vocational training partners to keep students up to date on the fast-changing postsecondary landscape.
Our Advising program has been more important than ever to help students navigate confusing applications, changing job markets and financial barriers while connecting them to tangible opportunities they can pursue immediately after high school.
Due to COVID-19, students sought Advising for help with two big issues this summer:
Choosing Their Postsecondary Pathway
Low-income students faced, and are still facing, particularly impactful barriers to their postsecondary future. Many are choosing not to pursue further training and education because they didn’t like virtual learning in high school. This, coupled with in-person programs being canceled, creates severely limited postsecondary options. Then with the added layer of finaincial instability – due to parents who lost their jobs and youth having to work full-time to support their family – many students are not able to afford training, making it inexpliciably harder for them to find and pursue a viable postsecondary pathway.
Securing Their Postsecondary Pathway
This summer, students faced challenges enrolling in community college and training programs. Many enrollment offices weren’t open or understaffed, causing great frustration and discouragment among students who couldn’t get their problems resolved. Many students were also confused with the enrollment process due to so many COVID-19 adjustments and didn’t have clear communication surrounding basic requirements like TSI testing and meningitus vaccines.