Report Finds Shift to Remote Learning Hardest on BIPOC College Students

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Diverse students felt they did not have a seat at the table when pandemic related decisions were made and call on college leaders to include them. The 2021 report is a joint initiative between Every Learner Everywhere & GlobalMindED with support from The Equity Project LLC

Without exception, the shift from on campus learning to remote college instruction has most negatively impacted low-income, first generation, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students.

A new report based on data-driven surveys of 25 GlobalMindED Ambassadors representing a larger group of 102 students from 47 colleges in 22 states found that without exception, the shift from on campus learning to remote college instruction has most negatively impacted low-income, first generation, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students. Their voices are shared in the report, which concludes that college presidents, CEO’s and government leaders cannot solve problems for these students without including them at the table.

Student Leaders Speak 2021: Student Voices Informing Educational Strategies, conducted via surveys, interviews and informal feedback from mentors, illustrates a lack of national and collegiate preparedness to address the near-immediate shift from in-classroom to remote learning. Students reported a lack of access to an engaged faculty and essential technology while underscoring that their greatest support and strength has come from interaction and collaboration within their dedicated student community.

Highlights include:

  • Communities represented included BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), first generation, living with disabilities, white low-income, LGBTQ+, Veteran, Online, and ESL/Immigrant.
  • 100 percent acknowledged two or more barriers such as lack of internet access, lack of focused learning environment, no personal device, health concerns, unemployment, language barriers, learning from their beds/bedrooms and/or managing younger siblings.
  • 100 percent described absent or unavailable campus support systems beyond the instructor, equating the learning experience and cost of same as being grossly out of alignment.
  • 80 percent disapproved of the online learning experience, citing major inconsistency in faculty ability to educate using technological tools and practices. In essence, the virtual environment was not mirroring or upholding the most important elements of the in-person environment, as some faculty were not adequately trained in the COVID-caused emotional/social needs of students
  • 70 percent relied on peer support as compared to more formal support systems. Students were learning and growing by being together – something critical to note during times of both social and physical distancing.

The report calls on college administrators to implement the following action steps to ease the challenging demands of remote learning and smooth the transition from college to professional careers.

  • Colleges should do a better job of providing a platform for the voices of low-income and First-Gen students to be heard.
  • Faculty needs to gain a better grasp of digital tools, technologies and strategies.
  • Advisors should recruit student coaches and peers to help newer students from diverse communities.
  • Policy makers must improve access to transportation, housing, child care, financing, lower tuition/debt and career opportunities for First-Gen/diverse students.

Read the full report here:

About GlobalMindED
GlobalMindEd is an educational and research 501c3 committed to closing the equity gap through education, entrepreneurship, experiences, employment and economic mobility for first-generation-to-college and underrepresented students and job seekers. GlobalMindED improves access and equity from early childhood to late life employment through improved graduation rates and sustainable careers with promotion pathways. Learn more at

About Every Learner Everywhere:
About The Equity Project LLC:


Contact: Jon Pushkin, APR
Pushkin PR

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Jon Pushkin
Pushkin Public Relations
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