Hello everyone,The relationship between applicants, advisors, and admissions recruiters has never been more critical in light of the current COVID-19 crisis. We know it is hard to operate in a fog where we really have no certainty of when we will return to a sense of normalcy in higher education and in whatever we do.I've been in the process of compiling questions that you and your advisees may be asking each other over the next few weeks, hoping that they may guide you with immediate communications and online programming. I offer this draft for any subsequent editing and insight from everyone on the forum to be distributed to the membership. It is my intention that as a forum of ideas we find the strength to be proactive.WHAT HAPPENS THIS SUMMER?Many of our advisees have been looking forward to summer opportunities like SHPEP or undergraduate research internships. Many students appear to be banking on getting clinical experience in the summer months when not taking classes. COVID-19 now presents an existential threat that many of our advisees are feeling, particularly those who are trying to compile hours of experience before applying this summer.Sample questions:
1) Suspended experiences: I was planning on doing some shadowing during my spring/summer break but those plans have been cancelled. How is this going to affect my potential application? Should I apply this year or wait until next cycle if I only have a small amount of experience? Will admissions committees understand if I can't get the experience I projected because of COVID-19?2) LOR: How will I get my letters of recommendation sent to the professional schools? How will this affect the timing of my committee letter delivery?3) Test administration: What do I do if Pearson cancels my test day appointment? How can I reschedule my test?4) Test prep: If a company relies on in-person classes on a college campus, will a class go on as scheduled? Will the class sizes be limited?5) In-person options: the lab sections for my prerequisite classes just got cancelled... how can I get this experience if admissions committees expect having lab coursework?6) Second-look and orientation weekends: Since a lot of schools are prohibited from large gathering events, how will I get the information I need to decide on the schools where I wish to attend in the fall? Will schools begin as scheduled? If I don't complete my prerequisites before starting school, will my contingent offer be rescinded?I'm hopeful many of you will have additional questions to add.I'll also add a useful presentation resource for asynchronous presentations, since many of you are probably preparing your "how to apply" presentations. If they are not already online, there are a few programs I suggest: many of us use Prezi, and I have also found Microsoft Sway and Google presentations to be useful as well. Many people are using recorded Facebook live streaming and Zoom to also have group advising, even teaching opportunities and community building (Michael Symon's pantry cooking sessions beginning today, dance lessons online). Your students and student clubs may even be proactive about making such plans.Finally, it is so important to express support for your advisees in all your media communications. We're all trying to navigate the stormy waters together, but we have each other to keep our course and stay strong. Do this as often as you feel comfortable.Best wishes to everyone and to the students you support during this time!