Education News

Readers respond: Don’t forget higher education

Written by Mamie M. Arndt
Letters to the editor

Trying to vaccinate more than millions of Oregonians is a daunting task. K-12 teachers have been rightly prioritized. Higher education faculty and staff should be prioritized in the next phase. By June, we will have been teaching remotely for more than a year. Our students are doing their best. Yet, they’re also learning less and losing an important part of their education. They’re missing out on hands-on learning. Worse, they’re not forming crucial relationships with other students or with faculty. Those relationships are often the key to success for first generation students, students of color, and returning students. Too many college students are finding out that they cannot learn well online with spotty internet connections, the stress of juggling jobs and family or of learning in isolation from other humans. Too many of our students are giving up and dropping out. Oregon needs a well-educated workforce. Our most vulnerable students need in-person instruction. Vaccinating college and university personnel so we can resume in-person teaching in September must be a priority.

Lynn Santelmann, Portland

Santelmann is an associate professor of applied linguistics at Portland State University.

About the author

Mamie M. Arndt