There is no doubt that this is an extraordinarily challenging time for us all. There are so many unanswered questions, and our hearts are with you and the communities we serve during this time. As we navigate the COVID-19 response, College Possible is committed to supporting our staff and students. I wanted to provide a few updates on what we are doing to provide continuity of service to students and communities.
- Effective March 16, 2020, all of our sites and national headquarters are working from home or other remote locations. Moving forward, we will continue to monitor this situation closely and make decisions based on the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and local government on when to reopen our sites. We will update our website and social media channels with important information, so please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
- Students need us right now. School closures will impact our student population at a disproportionate rate. Low-income high school students are disconnected from one—or perhaps multiple—meals they would ordinarily receive at school. The college admissions process has been thrown into uncertainty. ACT and SAT testing is delayed until June. With nearly 1,000 colleges and universities closing and transitioning to distance learning, students will lose housing, access to campus dining services, and in some cases, access to health care and a source of income through employment.
- We are taking action to support students during uncertain times. Through all of this, we are actively planning and implementing new ways to keep them connected and make students aware of resources available to them. We are working with partners and following guidance from health officials to curate resources and make them available to our students. To prioritize the health and well-being of our staff and students, we are working closely with site and program leaders to ensure manageable expectations around working with students as we continue to monitor school and community closures.
- We will continue to offer virtual coaching to support our students. Our mission is laser focused on supporting and engaging students for more than 20 years, we will leverage that expertise to continue to support students through approved online and virtual resources. These virtual tools will allow us to stay in touch with our student base in real time with updates and resources. Amid adjustments in their daily routines that our sites and our families need to make due to COVID-19, the ways our students engage with the program will also change. We have already circulated resources to our sites to provide guidance around virtual coaching best practices and technology tools that can be leveraged as we move to remote work. In response to the evolving needs of our coaches and students in this environment, we will continue to collaborate with our sites and provide additional guidance.
- We are committed to providing emergency relief to students and AmeriCorps members in communities we serve. Through generous support from one of our funders, we offer a micro-grant program to college students. We are exploring how we might expand that program to provide funds to COVID-19 related student and AmeriCorps emergencies. We welcome financial assistance from other individuals and organizations who would like to help meet the needs of our impacted students.
As always, we look forward to your feedback and staying in close communication with students. As the nation and our communities confront this crisis, we want to thank our AmeriCorps members and staff and our community partners for rallying around us to ensure that we can protect and support the most vulnerable students in their time of need.
Founder and CEO of College Possible
President of College Possible
What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Workplace, School and Home Guidance
AmeriCorps Teleservice: A Best Practices Guide