DELAYS AND ROADBLOCKS
Tammy starts the semester knowing her original plan to graduate at the end of 2020 with a degree in education isn’t possible, her program having eliminated its summer-fall student teaching.
Tammy receiving a social justice award for her work with the housing at her university
THEN COVID-19 HIT.
FORCED TO FIND A NEW HOME
Covid-19 not only moves Tammy’s coursework online, but takes away her room and board. Tammy relies on her job as an on-campus RA and social justice advocate to survive. Tammy received just one week’s notice that she’d have to leave the dorms where she lived.
Tammy decorating her dorm for Halloween
FACED WITH DIFFICULT DECISIONS
Tammy’s never paid rent before. She doesn’t know if she can find an apartment she can afford in just a week. She could try to go back to her family, over 400 miles away, but her brother has since started living in her old room. Tammy worries whether her family’s home will have enough space for her to successfully finish her online semester.
“MY OTHER OPTION WAS TO MOVE IN WITH THE PERSON THAT I WAS DATING. MY MOM WAS JUST KIND OF LIKE,'I THINK YOU SHOULD DO IT.' MY PARENTS NORMALLY WOULDN'T ENCOURAGE ME TO MOVE IN WITH SOMEONE WHO I'VE ONLY BEEN DATING BECAUSE I'M SO YOUNG, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE NO OTHER OPTION.”
FEW OTHER OPTIONS
Tammy moves in with her partner, who lives in low-income housing, requiring Tammy to submit six months of bank statements with transaction history, the worth of her vehicle, and more, to prove that, together, Tammy and her partner would still qualify for the apartment.
Tammy and her partner
TAMMY IS NOT AN OUTLIER
SEE THE DATA
Seeing a last chance to see her family before the start of a challenging semester, Tammy drives over 400 miles to visit them.
After arriving at her family’s home, Tammy’s car shows signs of trouble. Her dad promises to help her, but he gets sick, showing symptoms consistent with Covid-19. Tammy finds herself unsure if which is the greatest risk, driving back home with car trouble or potential exposure to Covid-19.
In the midst of her present situation, Tammy has been working on her honors thesis, which focuses on teacher turnover, but finds it difficult to focus. Tammy's student teaching starts in two days. She still hasn't been informed if she'll need to be physically present in class or whether she can teach remotely. Tammy doesn't know how well an online student teaching experience will prepare her for the classroom.
“THE NUMBER ONE REASON THOSE TEACHERS QUIT IS BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT ADEQUATELY PREPARED.”
TO BE CONTINUED
PROTECTING VULNERABLE STUDENTS
For students like Tammy, who depend on university campuses, the pandemic threatens not only their education, but their livelihood, home, and community. Institutions have the opportunity to implement student-centric and equitable solutions to protect vulnerable students.