Review of the year 2021: Higher education


The pandemic-induced drop in enrollment continued at many colleges and universities into 2021. But that wasn’t the only headline from higher education institutions in Northeast Ohio this year.

Take a look at some of the notable stories Crain’s Cleveland Business has covered on the beat below.

  • Ashland University is nestled between Cleveland and Columbus, but the private Christian University is now a giant in the educational landscape of American prisons. This increase was accompanied by a strong dose of criticism.
  • The fall 2020 semester marked the start of a sharp drop in enrollment here in northeast Ohio and across the country. In an attempt to try to prevent this from happening again, local colleges have introduced a host of incentives and offers to help attract students to campus for the fall semester of 2021.
  • Colleges and universities have received millions from the state to help support student mental health amid the pandemic. Many have used the funding to bolster staff or resources to help students cope with higher levels of burnout and other trauma spurred by the pandemic.
  • From hosting immunization clinics to mask policies, college administrators had a lot to do as they juggled the often shifting directions related to the pandemic. Here’s how a resource person at Akron University handled things.
  • COVID-19 has shaped the milestones for the current crop of sophomores at the university. Their final year of high school was marked by a switch to online learning, followed by an anything but typical first year of college. For many, especially those featured at the College of Wooster in this August article, it made second year look a lot like first year. “Now that so many things are opening up again, I finally know what I missed,” Kim Nguyen, a 19-year-old Wooster sophomore from Columbus, told Crain’s.
  • Cuyahoga Community College President Alex Johnson has announced his intention to retire in October. While Johnson said in a statement it was a difficult decision to make, he believes “now is the time to let the new leaders take the reins and build on what we have accomplished.” Its last day will be June 30, 2022, and the college plans to launch a nationwide search to find its replacement.
  • The impact of the pandemic on enrollment continued into the fall semester of 2021. An analysis of the 26 higher education institutions in Crain’s full digital list of colleges and universities found a decrease of about 3 , 8% of combined full-time equivalent undergraduate and graduate enrollment since the same period in 2020. Only a few non-profit higher education institutions have seen an increase. .

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