tv Hearing on Returning to College During COVID-19 Pandemic CSPAN July 21, 2021 4:39am-6:08am EDT
the senate health education labor pensions committee will still come to order. today were holding a hearing on supporting the needs of students in higher education during covid-19 and tightly returning to campus. ranking member vern and i will have an opening statement and then we will introduce witnesses. after they give testimony centers will each have five mitts for a round of questions. while we remain unable to have a hearing fully open to the public the meeting for in-person attendance, live video is unavailable on our website if you are native commendations including closed captions you can reach up to the committee or the office of congressional accessibility services. this pandemic offended higher education in so many different ways, colleges and universities have had to close campuses and services, rapidly transition to online education and implement critical public health measures all while facing budget shortfalls.
overall spring enrollment fell to 16.9 million from 17 and a half million marking one year decline of over 600,000 students. meanwhile the pandemic is disrupted student classrooms and housing security, challenge their mental health, upended the economy and grade more uncertainty per students were already struggling to paper tuition, food, rent, other basic needs for the pandemic of shyness are much college student hanging on by a thread per the facts students were food and housing insecure before the pandemic truly concerns me. now these needs have truly deepened. the pandemic is shown the power of the supporting communities. as colleges look to safely reopen this folder many lessons we can call on from institutions were thoughtfully and safely reopen. it must contain a breach colleges or take into account the needs of students, faculty , staff and vulnerable
populations as they bring back more people to campus. colleges must continue to address students academic health including mental health and basic needs. the federally funded provided to colleges was a powerful important step forward. university of washington of my home state told my office the amount of emergency aid requests they are receiving is 20 times higher than what it was during the pandemic. a study from the universe of north carolina about first-year students reported significant higher levels of depression and anxiety in the wake of the pandemic. what's more, two and five students report experiencing food insecurity, almost have to report experiencing housing insecurity and one in six report experiencing homelessness. we know this pain is not been felt equally. his been hardest other minority serving institutions
been hardest in students of color, feelings with no income, students with disabilities, lb gt cute students, veterans and first-generation college students twice important congress take action and have more work to do we have been able to make student loan forgiveness, tax rate and provide more than $76 billion in higher education emergency relief fund including nearly $40 billion we pass as part of the american rescue plan. i have heard from so many people back in my state what a lifeline those funds have been for schools and students. they've been able to support vaccination efforts, secure personal protective equipment, purchase cleaning supplies, update technology for remote
learning uncover lost revenue. perhaps most importantly they've been able to provide desperately needed direct financial support as they grapple with the fallout of this pandemic. because of the pandemic a student at western washington university is living in a tent with her children. now she's receiving emergency aid because of that american rescue plan. an international student seattle college could not go home due to the pandemic could not pay for rent or food. those funds are now helping them make ends meet. student at edmonds college was considering skipping spring quarter so she could afford to cremate and bury her father. emergency financial aid meant to keep her class. this is just a few impact the funding is having on students. committee colleges provide emergency funds in nearly 1400 students, clarke college 2500 students, washington state university nearly 10,000 university of washington has
awarded eight over 20000 students were for the countless stories of heritage university, and other schools and those are just the ones in my state. and millions more from across the country but what this aid is meant to students. how to help some afford tuition and books and food and housing in childcare and technology remote learning. whatever it was they needed to continue their education. and i'm pleased we have a student with us today, anthony harris from ohio to share his own story. anthony, thank you so much for being here. i hope we all take an important lesson about the difference it makes when somebody gets a helping hand during tough times. students like anthony and students like those whose stories i just shared noisy future. the schools they attend is foundational. their success is critical to the success of our country and
our community. if we truly would help students succeed we have to do more than simply return to normal because even before this pandemic normal price that was far too expensive it out of reach for too many students. norma left to many students hungry and homeless and hanging by a thread. left him with historic amount of student loan debt empty promises from predatory for-profit colleges. norma was systemic racial and economic inequity in higher education and epidemic of sexual assault, harassment and bullying on campus. this pandemic is taught us anything it is we have to do better than normal. as white work with colleges on both sides of the aisle to make sure the legislation be passed last year restore pell grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals, soon to been defrauded have drug related offenses. we work to provide elite relief for starkly but
colleges and universities and better supports working students, working families, students were paid low income and student parent. still pushing to do more for them working to reverse the trump administration harmful title ix rule which meant so much harder for students report an incident of sexual assault or harassment and much easier for a school to sweep it under the rug. yesterday introduced legislation to double the maximum amount of pell grant and further expand pell eligibility. domain democratic eligibility to make community college tuition free. back in my state the seattle promise program showing how supporting students with tuition free community college can strengthen communities which is by the city is using copan relief funds to expand this program and help cover various needs they understand how this is how we help seattle return from this pandemic stronger and fair. i have a lot to do to achieve
a higher education in a safe environment free from debts. as we continue that work i look for to hearing from our witnesses today about what the pandemic can teach us about how we can get this done. i'm working with my colleagues to make it happen. i'll turn over to ranking member for his opening remarks for its direct thank you me welcome our witnesses here today. i also like to highlight, thank you for being here. you are the only one providing testimony today that had their testimony and on-time birds birds of your professors are listening, i hope you will get extra credit. [laughter] for the time of your testimony beautiful reopening of higher education system this fall is important. but i'm very disappointed we are not focusing on reopening k-12 schools for every student first.
during the pandemic many higher education institutions reopen all by 2020 or converted to online education and hybrid models with relative ease. we know distance learning in higher education works better because we've seen it around the country for years. i'm not really sure this is the right focus at this time. congress gave $76 billion directly to higher education for three laws passed in the pandemic. that's plenty of money. as of the first week of june $53 billion allocated to institutions remains unspent. that is 70% of the money still sitting, it's too go out the door. this makes me question is such institutions truly needed all this money. former harvard president noted almost two decades ago and i quote universities share one characteristic with compulsive
gamblers and xl royalty. there is never enough money to satisfy their desires unquote. with all of this free money i'm really concerned about the lack of accountability that brings a higher education for your graduation rate for four-year degree is just 52% of corn to the national center for education statistics. we kid ourselves and decided to talk about the six-year graduation rate instead. that is just 62% completion rate. though he liked to moms, dads, potential grads a better expectation for completion and the lower those expectation so 62% is somehow comforting but where i am from 62% is a d. i guess the d stands for diploma. yet tuitions keep rising. patient fees and for your private schools jumped 44% over the past decade.
55% that for your public schools. in some, graduation rates are terrible. tuitions up in debt is soaring. democrats refused 2ingage in serious conversation about steps to change this trend. instead they want to talk about how to throw more money at the same problem. as if new government programs will somehow solve the problems the last 30 government programs created. make college free, canceled debt, may be good talking back home in north carolina we have already made community college very affordable. and at west virginia in arizona they have made comedic college tuition less than the average pell grants. not sure these so-called solutions make sense and i don't think we should reward states like california and massachusetts with their skyhigh tuition give them skyhigh taxpayer money. on top of that colleges and
universities becoming more and more isolated with regular assaults on free speech and returning to segregated programming such as very specific graduation ceremonies and awoke counseling sessions. plus institutions are harming society with near communist style indoctrination any idea that offends you must be began from the classroom. or at least any idea that offends if you are a liberal i should say. then there is the threat from china. too many institutions of higher education rely on students from china to pay full tuition for their books for the same institutions do not understand the efforts by china's government's distiller intellectual property and subvert our research base. that business model needs chains and universities need to take the threat to china much more seriously. some are still toying with student debt forgiveness schemes that are breathtaking
and has zero regard for the deep moral hazard that we are creating for bars, institutions, and taxpayers. the biting of ministration still is not released a plan for returning to loan repayments this october despite the fact that each year of the loan pause cost taxpayers more than the average budget of pell grants. all adults who have the chance to get back send it back to work. there is no reason to extend the nonpayment at this point. i agree there should be discussion about helping people who do not earn enough to make full payment. as a bipartisan solution called the repay act. her writing to get to work if only someone from the white house to pick up the phone and call. you should have my number but if you do not, bird.senate.gov will give you my telephone number. but back to the elephant in the room.
why aren't we having a discussion on k-12 reopening? are we concerned with the teachers union will say if we demand schools fully reopen this fall? last republicans were blocked in our efforts to demand school reopening. will we be blocked again when the union said they don't go back to school this fall? science tells us children are much more likely to experience severe illnesses as a result of covid-19 brady science tells us teachers can be thought safely vaccinate thanks to operation work speed we have safe and vaccines approved in record time. every adult in this country including every teacher has had plenty of time to get vaccinated at this point. science tells us children over 12 can be vaccinated can be approved for younger children as well until then we know the steps to take to keep everyone
safe or in person learning. there's no excuse for them to not open this fall. we'll hear about the very troubling mental health consequences of college students have not had more opportunity to get back to the classroom than america's schoolchildren black economic disadvantage english learning students were fully in person learning. in less than a third of all black, hispanic and asian eighth-graders were fully in person learning pre-emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts were up 22% in the summer of
2020.39% state shows schools can open safely it is on the adults, the unions, school boards, superintendents that make decisions and keep them close but most of our countries private school stayed open i strongly encourage every member of this committee to read a powerful op-ed in the ark times springs teaching in the charter school in washington d.c. she speaks powerfully about the harm done to school closures to children per she speaks about the power of education bird ball the other
time to read on and reflect on as well >> thank you, senator burr we agree open or k-12 schools is an incredibly important issue i intend to work with you to have a reopening on k-12 students as we get closer to the fall, when schools are actually going to be back in session. look for to working with that paper sing a lot more students back in school including my daughters which i'm delighted about. we all share that goal. but that will not introduce today's witnesses yolanda copeland morgan is the vice provost of enrollment management at the university of california los angeles. she oversees the offices of a graduate of undergraduate admissions, financial aid and scholarships, strategic partnerships and community engagements. in the early academic outreach program, welcome thank you for
joining us today. with that in their turn over to my colleague senator cassidy who will introduce. >> thinking that interprets my pleasure to introduce amanda considers my friend the sixth president of louisiana's university and historically black college and university in new orleans. he is a leader he's been a leader throughout the pandemic, pioneering the way to reopening schools and universities safely, providing students the opportunity to learn and away best suited to needs and circumstances. under his leadership they continue to be a top school in the nation producing african-american physicians. he has increased xavier's freshman aroma by 21%. improved retention rates by 3%. he's an accomplished biochemist of coveting vaccine trials and has been an advocate for vaccination of all in my state.
from the start of the pandemic he worked for local health agencies and hospitals to host mobile testing centers and set up a fully operational covid-19 testing lab to serve local communities and serve xavier. before joining he was a provost at savannah state university, as a dean of the university finds the philadelphia proved faculty and department chair to learn and it clarke atlanta university and adjunct professor at the tooling tomorrow schools of medicine priest also conducted cancer research at mit. over these past humans reopening xavier has been impressive. with his background he understands the science behind the virus and the pandemic. because of this he made the decision to allow students to be educated in person.
on the individual level that only the wrist just social three opening bird by the way if i may but about the social aspect restarting baseball xavier which is not been there for years. that gives a sense of normalcy they had a great season with 27 -- 11 meant to the black college world season championship universities like xavier shows the path forward now to reopen colleges safely will giving students the education environment they deserve. we appreciate you joining us today as well. all introduce anthony harrison charting her status testimony and on time. we appreciate that. he's a senior pursuing a
bachelor's or in five arts. he is a resident assistant on campus and a member of the black student alliance, mr. herzig and thank you for joining us to share your personal experience. i do speak about some the challenges students have been facing during this pandemic. we are very glad to have you with us today prince >> finally set correctly? are there? the first woman to become president miami-dade college a position she is held since november of 2020. before that she was executive vice president and provost of tallahassee community college in both of those position she played a key role in seeing students through this pandemic. look forward to your testimony we may begin your opening statement. >> thank you chair murray and members of the committee
invited me to it appear before you today by appreciate the opportunity to provide testimony on the impact of the congressional group proved emergency relief fund bird this funds unable to continue their education just when their dreams of a college degree seem shattered by covid-19. also proved to be a powerful investment or covering growth of our county. my testimony was gross why the end of covid-19 does not mean the end need for financially does not end. there were not a you return to normal crew students in community colleges heard the needs may change but will not diminish, in fact the opposite is true. help meet these needs university of california system has not increased tuition for the last eight years. also 2019/20 the state of
california awarded state grants for the uc system and need based grants compared to the 400 million in federal pell grants. despite these efforts funding from the state and the uc system along with generous philanthropy it is not sufficient to meet needs for food, adequate housing, healthcare, affordable transportation and other emergency needs. federal financial aid will continue to be critical in providing a college education to students toward the future engines of the country economic growth. march 21 covid 19 cases began to rise dramatically in los angeles, ucla right students, especially from low income rural and underserved communities had a difficulty setting remotely without
computers, internet surface or other technology. students from low and middle income families try to find work to help their families pay the bills and keep food on the table. anyone who watched television with cars waiting to get boxes of food for their families know how widespread food insecurity is. allowing university flexibility in the federal work study program. we created new job that students do remotely. we give students their federal work-study payments and grants if they're unable to find work. thank you for this flexibility. authorized by congress were indeed a lifeline. april 2022 march 2021, 18 million were awarded 22095
students pandemic related expenses. i provided need-based rent to all students with a focus on pell grants and income family. his daily awarded an additional 6000 be awarded through out the summer. the process of awarding the american rescue plan exceeding 46 million is already underway. the post pandemic covid future for higher education institutions. the funds allow students to continue their education, graduate on time and work toward their dream of a college degree. funds have an even greater lasting impact, they are in investment in the country's economic recovery and growth.
research shows as workers, educational attainment rises fund employment rates decreased an earnings increase. and promise earnings increase tax revenues also increase. importantly, college grads provide governments with a disproportionate share of tax revenue. when ucla we are eagerly looking to the future. when ucla opens in september 2 new entering classes all ride on campus at the same time. the class of fall 2020 and the class of fall 21. the become a part of ucla's 43000 student body. with your ongoing support, you silly graduation rate will continue to be higher than most colleges and universities across the nation. truly proud of our recent graduates upheld our record of a four-year graduation rate 84-point to percent. after this terrible year the future finally looks bright
again for our nation students. they need and deserve our support. thank you. >> thank you very much. chairman patty murray, ranking member burke, member of the committee thank you for the opportunity to testify today. the president of xavier's university president might it's a historically black university. that's a catholic institution for the ultimate purpose is to contribute the promotion. i having it assume roles of leadership and service in the global society for this preparation takes place in diverse learning environments include research universities. our nasa tests on the committee today about how it has implored utilize federal funds, relief funds passed by congress in the novel coronavirus. i'll speak, institution and
remain for my comets plus 100 other hbcus in this country. i began discussing the covid 19 virus with my leadership team in late january 2020. after my team began that possibly this would reach our shores but very tight fit 2020 red mardi gras in new orleans, where the iconic celebrations. on april 2 there were seven or 45 cases of coveting a new orleans parish. population three under 91000 roughly. i began to note the date would later prove to us that the health disparities we've always known i ravish the african communities have been decimated and now being revealed to us. were african-americans especially these people the identity of the city of new orleans.
there bearing the larger burden of disease. on campus i create a task force with the following options that they consider for the spring 2020 semester bread one option is to continue fixing constructions of the good. the other is taking to campus and sending people home. our admits ration also decide to offer instructed remotely for the 2020 spring semester continue into december. the fall semester returned to mixed modalities in person on campus with special public health considerations. the majority of instruction took place in person. we have hybrid instruction for students to allow them some choices as to the preferred mode of instruction. for academic support the student physical and emotional needs or students present on campus and those who remained at home.
the facilities be game single occupancy. 44% of her students normally live on campus about 1390 students. xavier nonetheless exported to not have layoffs. however we did maintain a hiring freeze we just released recently. xavier will be fully populated involved 21. when students, faculty and staff resume any forms of instruction and directions are common to us before the pandemic. nonetheless love modified public health policies on campus we can speak to those in another point. be remiss if i did outthink congress, including members of this committee for passing last year's congressional hr 748 coronavirus security act. also hr-1 33 for their probations act of 20 and hr 2019 by this congress the
american cover react. because of the cares act there but total $37 million in direct allocations for section 180-0481 in sections 82 of the bill. noting our students during tough economic times that prevent unique challenges most significant of color many of economic activities faith of our students have changed in comparison to november 2019 because of family situations. with that being said additional allocations of 1.054 billion, 1.72.92 billion black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities. also minority serving institutions. in addition i do think congress for targeted debt relief to an institution to the capitol finance program of 2020. the consultant approved appropriations act. many benefited, benefited and
a marginal way because the leak was predicated on funding already obligated on the signing of the bill. i'm also grateful of funding to the population directly that is help with the our students are black americans who are disproportionally affected by the pandemic. of the majority are affected so as university like ourselves and many. lastly i would like to read to the committee, fred permanent relief for the capitol finance program which are not eligible the december 2020 action. two, doubling is important for coming from low income families and backgrounds.
which includes parties those of the jobs in its infrastructure, family plans and the president's budget especially the $9 million line item. i went to thank you, thank you very much. >> thank you. we will turn to mr. harris. >> good morning. >> good morning chair murray, ranking member burton members of the committee. it is an honor to be testifying in front of you today but i am a senior and also a proud member i'll be sitting before you today as a college student. to begin i would like offer the opportunity to speak on behalf of higher education students from all over the country have benefit from federal funding and have also been impacted in many ways by this devastating pandemic. it also like to think i speak
on behalf of students who could benefit from federal funding but for whatever reason do not have access to the necessary means in order to reap that benefit. like many stones across the country event on orthodox college experience say the least. it began by being accepted into high-tech academy in ohio that offers high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses on the community because she had a head start in the collegiate endeavors. it was through here that i gained that only college credit but the imperative knowledge about higher education i would use for the rest of my college career. i was also motivated by peers and introduced into leadership programs that encourage students and prepare them for college readiness. without that in mind though, the harsh reality of individual individual cannot go to college if they can't afford it read that's were college given to play for me with this unique organization fights personalized scholarship opportunities and
a welcome additional support services designed to aid students in the transition to higher education. through college now i was offered assistance in filling out the free application for federal student aid. an application form i knew nothing about. after learning about the support being given access to support i needed, i discovered as eligible to receive pilgrim fencing that offers students just like me thousands of dollars towards their education. this federal funding was life-changing. but once aspirations are attending college became more attainable for students were in a financial disadvantage the funding in particular made it available for me to it transfer universities. they offed me a peace of mind to both my families and myself because we knew this of funding follow me to it whatever university i went too. it was in part because of this funding is able to transfer to baltimore thieves and financial comfort. these program and finally became more imperative when
the news of the covid 19 pandemic became public during spring break of all time. students had left campus to go home or asked to stay for the trajectory of our semester changed dramatically. professors and instructors were given one week, just one week to redesign their entire syllabi to meet the needs of distance learning. for this change was hard for faculty and staff it was also very difficult for students as well. i had no access to a personal computer or a laptop. it was college now the pull together resources and provided students like me with the computers they needed to get to this new distance learning process resident assistant i was asked to keep in contact with all my residents from home. it was then that i realized how this pandemic it affected all of them. found that many students struggled with a wide variety of problems. some students did not have access to computers like myself. others had no access to the internet at all. others felt they had a safe place to study get work done or call home i also interact
with some students who lived off-campus and out of the country who are stuck on campus and could not make it home to see their families. things seemed very bleak until student got word of the cares act fighting there being offered for this funding was very no need and use for a wide variety of things would personally i use the fighting to get books and for internet access but other campuswide uses include transportation, food, tuition and savings. avonex disbursement of cares act funding was released students or find creative ways to continue attending schools at all costs. on sue's return to campus in the fall though, things are still not back to normal. walls had adopted a newer and complex learning platform. students were being annexed to both online and in person based on classroom size of the professor's discretion. i applaud the way it handled the snow wave education.
all students were given coitus before returning to campus and masks for the entire semester and furthermore the university conducted randomized testing and chosen students at random to be for the crime vice and also offered vaccine paid all of these measures turned out to work because we were able to remain on campus for the entire academic year without a surplus number of positive numbers on campus. the thing if i most important now is the act is a federal funding continue to go up to organizations that are helping students and continue took up to students and universities alike as the world continues to evolve. i believe the world of higher education will benefit from a doubling of the pell grant and continued support of covid relief fund. thank you all for your time and attention. and it has been an absolute honor, thank you. >> thank you very much mr. harris for a loop personal perspective today, thank you.
>> good morning. good morning madam chair, ranking member of the house education labor and pensions committee. different vitamin here today to testify regarding cares funding for committee colleges. my name is madeleine i'm president college. i must say that since the first day i arrived on campus, my priority has been to ensure not only the physical safety mercury and also the physical safety of our organization. i must say on behalf of the over 1100 committee colleges across america i know we serve as the economic and workforce and for community. collect and as democracies college is the nation's most diverse institution of higher education with a student body representing 167 nations and
one of the largest if not the largest community college and university across the country serving 120,000 students. very few institutions have had a greater impact raises a serve we do here too million of our students alumni who probably touched every household in our community. offering more than 300 sustained pathways through the cutting edge of technology and innovation with hundreds of strategic partnerships that include global companies and right here are local workforce. in miami-dade county 85% of our businesses employ less than 50 employees. we serve as a conduit for workforce training. since the beginning of the pandemic my aim has remained
open for brief two week. our faculty and staff want to work on redesigning courses we can put up in virtual platforms for students. we did that in return, we have remained open. we provide support for students whether it's in person or virtually, academic advising academically in person. by last summer all of our courses are being taught in multiple platforms. not only in person, but also hybrid, and this past january we launched nbc live learning interactively in a virtual environment. so students in this format can interact with each other and interact with their faculty. the coronavirus aid and relief economic securities, the first round of cares was march 20,
2020 provided $14 billion directly to higher education institutions to support the cost of shifting classes online. and for emergency financial aid plans for food, housing, technology and any other component related to the students attendance. and for emergency costs that arise due to the virus. with additional funding announced earlier this year, miami-dade college has received $150 million in the first round which went to students. we provided aid to thousands of students, not only in scholarships but also in emergency grant funding, housing insecurity dollars as well as opportunities for retraining. portland role nbc play an important role in the greater miami area in terms of recovery from the pandemic by not only offering many free
and low-cost courses and programs in emerging industry and helping those who have been displaced, reachable and get back into the workforce. but also as a federal vaccination sites. to date we administered over three under 50000 vaccines, leading the southeast united states. miami-dade college took a proactive approach to prepare and respond to the pandemic in early january. the college had a robust emergency management program that supports the continuity of operation. quite frankly today we've seen our enrollment bounce back our centered missions to the workforce programs we know our community needs and art workforce partners need as well. just what our research shows many of our students are food insecure, and the dollars of
help support our students. we've also aligned the dollars to ensure we provided ppe, the right security and safety measures for all and have returned everyone back to work and offering in person, online and virtual forces. thank you for this time, for allowing me to it shape the where miami-dade college has supported our community, our students. we are colleges are working together so that we secure a promise towards the future that helps students funding path to prosperity to the power of education by aligning our programs to those areas that are workforce partners need. in support as well. thank you. >> thank you to all of our witnesses today for important testimony. will now begin a round of five-minute questions but i again ask our colleagues to keep track of the clock and
keep within those five minutes but we do about spaghetti at 5:30. miss copeland morgan i would assert the approved students have faced unprecedented challenges over the past year as you know, your and have actually from the pandemic and the economic recession for the lot of her students experiencing significant financial harm. according to hope's understudy release this march, 60% of college students did not have it's called basic need security during the pandemic includes lack of access technology and transportation, resources or personal hygiene childcare and other related needs. that study also showed these challenges are more severe for black students. in fact the gap between black students and their peers in basic needs insecurity was 16 percentage points.
they've long known to be true. additionally on may 2021 survey released by the national association of student financial aid administrators shows students continue to make increase request for professional judgment. professional judgment as financial aid administrators to make changes during unusual circumstances can you share how ucla used its federal funding basic needs were addressed? [inaudible] >> thank you for the question but first of all i should mention that as a public institution, our responsibility in our mission is to make sure we are serving all students across the state of california. that means we have a disproportionate number of students who are first-generation college students on our graduating and
rates that are not seat enough across our country. the first appeals we got was all about technology. we said students were safer at home and you can study from home. but that was not true for so many of our students. we spent a lot of money paying for computers and internet service giving other technologies graduate students who are at the end of their graduate work, his studies require they be in laboratories and conduct complicated scientific research. until we reached out broadly across her graduates and undergraduate professional students to ensure they had what they needed. food insecurity is a stated is a huge problem in our nation, and our cities and certainly in the city of los angeles. these students were struggling prior to covid-19.
and the funds that we received my colleagues who oversee financial aid all got together and got the funds out quickly. that would credit other problems should they drop out and stay out. so again i just want to emphasize how important these funds are. and if it might take a moment to share a few, and the 70s i was most first-generation college students pray got into this because of federal work-study job for three years. i know the plight our students face and the investment and investing in them in the future. >> thank you very much. mr. harris thank you again for your testimony.
throughout this pandemic a recent found first-year students reported significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety in the wake of the pandemic. black students were more likely to report concerns related to isolation. you served as a resident assistant. he spent a lot of first-year student speaking speak to us about some of the new experienced eye to return now to campus? >> yes thank you for the question. they found themselves at a disadvantage because they were dissed attached from the people they are typically able to interact with. their fellow peers, and because we went to interact with one another can't speak to the advisors in teachers more actively in person. i think that affected them in
a very negative way. i had to work the lot of students over the past year who had suicidal because they felt distant attached from that university and from their peers. so i think that we can benefit from more access to one another and the resources are provided on campus they can overcome these challenges on campus thank you plates directly giving much for that response i appreciate it. senator burr. >> thank you madam chairman. mr. harris when you graduate? >> i should have graduated this past spring. because of the distant attachment i spoke about a moment ago i was postponed and now have to graduate this spring. >> what is your major? >> [inaudible] >> let me tell you're going to be successful at whatever you choose to do i can tell it,
keep it up. >> thank you. as i understand it, xavier will require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated before you return this fall. what led you to implement this requirement? put on your mic if you will. >> what we have learned, many things of the pandemic. we really optimize it we are able to do remotely from we have to be fully remote. we also learned the benefits with the faculty and their peers that needs to be in the laboratories and in person is very important for students. we have an opportunity with the vaccines that we now know vaccine protect individuals who are vaccinated. that we can return -- mcnealy and maximize our campus we can returns in person activity.
they go onto doctoral programs in physical sciences has been doing that for decades. to do that have to be in laboratories you have to practice a big scientist the same with historian practices in the conservatory. so being in person is important for the success of our students. that will allow us to do that. were asking all students be vaccinated and all employees be vaccinated. were also led for the exception the law requires. i have to make sure whatever medical reasons by the vaccine for this small percentage of people who will not be immune. protection means we do not expose them to others. therefore with special conditions for those who cannot be vaccinated on campus. >> you are an immunologist by practicing. >> my experience trading and research. >> you are university
president. tells how you explain this policy to your faculty comments your students to the parents? >> we have had conversations. many people have had questions and we have to respond to the questions. in the early days and one of the clinical trials. how could you give the example of encouraging people to be clinical trials. we explained to them why it was important that some people, .1% the population, has to be the trials of others can benefit. so therefore old men like me have to roll their sleeves. we explained that. >> what advice would you give other colleges and universities as they plan for the fall and face with the decisions you have been faced with and made. but would be your advice to them? >> tell the truth of benny's
answer people's questions but let them know what we are facing. one of the simple facts is that in washington state is a clear example. washington state published the data for that death rakes and allows make simple calculation and is quite simple. it allows you to see basically the risk is about 17 -- 20 times higher than for vaccinated people. anything will begin to see with new variance at the delta variant coming much more transmissible. they will suffer a great toll. so we have to tell people the truth that we are here it is protective for the other peace we have xavier we were founded with a mission to serve not only the nation but each other. so the conversation is that we do not want to be a risk to each other.
in other words you're doing this to not endanger your neighbor. that mentality reverses a notion that surely wasn't it for me? >> it has shocked me to it this pandemic and the transition higher ed has gone through. that it seems the faculty members that fault free pandemic online education as a new avenue are the ones today that only want to teach online. what a transformation we have gone through. but i commend you and the other institutions that have looked at the challenge in front of us and designed a structure to go forward. and i think it truly is because your focus on your customer which is the student out there. and the value of what they get from xavier or any other school. i think all of our witnesses, thank you madam chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you this is a very important hearing.
you asked a question of our wonderful student about mental health. i want to direct it to the educators as well for the department of education and the updated guidance about the higher education relief and they issued on may 11 clarified this funding can be as for additional mental health support systems for college students read like to hear you talk about how you are grappling with providing appropriate mental health services to deal with the isolation, financial pressures kids are facing for the word about their own healthy health of the parents and people they care about, if you get each address that that would be great, thank you bates >> thank you for your question senator. as you all know, mental health has been a growing concern in higher education for the last 20 years. we are seeing more and more of our students coming to us needing services. that said, with the pandemic
if we are honest, everyone has suffered during this pandemic. so our institution use a portion of the caird's funds to put money into mental health services for our students. we encourage students to reach out even in a normal year when they are suffering anxiety or feeling isolated because we know students cannot focus if they're dealing with those issues. these funds again to all students we have the resources to serve you are mental health folks across the system made telephone appointments for students can have easy access to the services and not have to come on campus of course.
we would not have been able to do that. financially and so these funds are making a huge difference for the thing i really appreciate about students reaching out and getting these services as they become advocates for others to do that. because when one student steps out and says i am having difficulty managing home and work. i'm having difficulty as a parenting student. a former foster youth that make up a large portion of our students in the system. they did not have anyone to go to, to help them understand and navigate the challenges of covid-19. so we used those funds not only for mental health services for our parenting student and those from rural communities who i think have from our experience the greatest impact on them
because of the lack of technologies. >> thank you. >> i have to agree with my calling that mental health needs have increased and covered even before covered we had been dealing with increasing need. we were establishing already we establish we call risk committee to begin to see not only students would come when needs arise, but to be able to have many eyes on campus to see when a need comes in from student behavior he's creating flags for that student needs to discuss and those can bring in and make sure we are proactive in meeting them. we clearly increased upon telehealth services. contracting and expanding our capacity to these outside providers available so we can provide students that are much more diverse and much wider. i consist much as we have
learned between the pandemic some of this will keep to make accessible. there is a training in the student affairs side of the campus but also given the fundamental tools to faculty to get information to the right people. those resources are clearly needed. i think we also have issues with academic support many of the anxiety of being a student may not be clinically considered but also have the academic support staff to give students the wherewithal this can pass this academic need which was created a burden is important as well. spent my time has expired but possibly what if my colleagues might ask similar question question asked for but we will let her have a minute to respond though. >> thank you madam chair.
>> thank you, senator that's a wonderful question. we augmented mental health counseling services by adding more mental health specialist on the ground to help the students, faculty and staff paid the second thing we did was partnered with our county so we could ensure 24/7. the third is be added telehealth services to students could get to a counselor both virtually and in person. and then lastly we added an early alert system or faculty members are the first to really see the change in pattern or withdraw be able to talk to mental health counselors in early alert so we can provide those interventions great thank you for the questions and the opportunity to answer. >> thank you. >> thank you all.
again, mr. harris, a echo with burr said, good job and what a great story. i just want to say that. i think that mr. harris also said is that some of his peers, because of the pandemic are faking mental health challenges. i would argue that one way to treat this is to re-create the community that's not created over resume but rather is created by people sitting next to each other going to baseball games and otherwise participating in life. zoom atomize this, schools bring people together. now doctor, are you all requiring immunization for your students and faculty as is ucla and a gold rush at xavier? >> no, sir. >> first, why not? and then i have a follow-up. so first why not? >> so we want to make sure we
provide access to vaccinations but we do not put any barriers to individuals being able to come back to college, to retool and get the skills needed. >> may ask you let me ask you, i've limited time i'm sorry to interrupt. i gather look that if you are vaccinated you have greater freedom. and if not perhaps you're going to be required to wear a mask, he did not say that but imply there's going to be something. will your school knowing people are coming back, reconnect community, improves educational experience while those who are vaccinated have extra freedom as opposed to those who are not? >> that's what we've implemented right now pejoratively back sitting on campus you do not have to wear face covering. if you are not fully vaccinated you continue to her face covering on campus today. >> you've also been very successful through 50000 people vaccinated to your
programs. it appears you have a fair amount of those who would be thought of as vaccine skeptics think anybody less than 25, particularly men since they think of themselves as invulnerable. how are you so successful in implementing this vaccine program? >> i think with the support on the federal site that came out with the state emergency management. because miami-dade college is so trusted in the community, i believe we have that type of success because of trump we garnered we probably impacted every household in miami-dade county. and we continued pop up vaccine sites on every campus as well. >> i'm hearing something similar to what doctor barrette said.
you have trusted built communication be also a long track record of being involved in the community. until the trust is already there. mr. harris i am a doctor, i'm very sensitive to personal health information bring you complete the fifth of you want. they have you been vaccinated? [laughter] >> i've first like to say i do not take offense to the invulnerability comments. >> what about your peers? are your peers opened immunization or not? >> many of my peers are open >> many as an elastic word. he student saying? did you give me a% you would say 10% or 90%? >> i was a 80%. i defined those below a certain age tend to be a little bit less concerned about getting immunizations. >> i like to say, hearing from
your peers and being almost pure pressured by your peers is one thing. meet being a member of the community they want to get at the vaccine they see me get a vaccine. into because people who are young want to live their lives believe it or not. the percentage of people want to get the vaccine. requirement ucla are placing actually is not coercive but it is a kind of signal that you can live life more freely if you're completely immunized? >> it is an encouragement it would encourage people to get vaccinated. >> it's one thing to speak about the kind of small schools, but ucla is huge but i cannot imagine how many students ucla has. if you all have put into the mandatory vaccine policy, how is that being received by the tens of thousands of people who attend?
>> some will say senator it's being received well. there are a couple of things. one is we try to be honest, open and transparent to all of our constituents. with great partners in the community. the university of california system has the benefit of a world class health system. we have called upon those professionals in our health area to help us get the right messages out to our students. to communicate with parents, and i should say we have a history of requiring students to be and be nice against certain period >> that is an important point. you cannot roll in higher education without being immunized against hepatitis b and other things right question mike that's a paradigm we've already adopted. >> exactly printer student body, or student leaders have endorsed this. they are part of everything we do including the distribution of our fun part >> to ask my thing? typically hepatitis b is included in what's called
vaccine immunization system pizza someone is vaccinated at birth they enroll in college and they can log on at the school and i'll get you been vaccine for hepatitis b you are vaccinated pretty well putting in the information regarding students images asian history into your california vaccine immunization system? >> we are indeed. we spent about three -- four years educating students on this requirement, gave students an opportunity to self comply with those. and then made it mandatory the year after that. and it is a culture. students want to be safe they went to hang out with their peers for they want to have the freedoms that come with that. and parents as well. we found that a very thoughtful communication plan across the university of california system that has over 200,000 students that is along with that campaign and their peers students have been
quite willing to get vaccinated. who choose not to be vaccinated >> the chairs about the should be from going over. thank you madam chair >> thank you chair murray and thank you firm holding this important hearing to discuss how covid has impacted higher education and students. how the $40 billion provided in the american rescue plan a sub colleges to reopen safely. i want to thank each and every one of the witnesses for being here today. as the president of miami-dade college those are hispanic speaking institutions the higher have totaled $77 billion but less than they one heard a 3 billion cost
incurred by colleges during the pandemic. i understand almost went entirely to student aid. boots that covered all the costs incurred by your hispanic serving institution campuses? put the aide out to students and help students be able to come back, stay in college, finish their degree >> the question i asked did they recover packages cover all the costs from the your hispanic conferences? >> coupon to student aid pits direct i think there are three buckets of the federal aid
dollars intended to help them with emergency funds. the second aspect of it is the institutional aid in which miami-dade college used much of that institutional aid to help students, to support students and other aspects of it utilizing it for technology infrastructure and utilizing it for placement and utilizing it for ppe and the safety protocol. >> i did exceed the money received for the federal government? >> right now what we have done that would be operating at a deficit. in the collagen are persistent is not to operate in a deficit. we in turn not only had a freeze in positions at the college, but also taken many
steps to reduce our budget and our cost to balance our budget. >> see you have had to make decisions to reduce services because of the increased costs. that way you can meet your mandate of not operating in a deficit? >> yes, sir. >> would you agree they need more fighting to counter the effects of the pandemic and the years of chronic underfunding? >> absolutely. when you think about miami-dade college, when you think about this in miami-dade county the percentage of students that hold a postsecondary credential which we know is a path to prosperity to compete for the life-sustaining job. we have seen among our hispanic community especially in areas in miami-dade county with more rules in the heart of urban downtown.
victor currently five or 69 serving nationwide, they continue to face financial burdens and these burdens have been exasperated by covid-19. while they're experiencing a decline in enrollment revenues are working hard to ring the student safely back to campus in the aftermath of the pandemic. for example northern new mexico college and hsi in my state had to transform its approach to student service offering hygiene broadband assistance over the past year. how can federal government to ensure they are adequately and safely serving the 5.4 million undergraduate and graduate students who are returning to their campuses? >> senator that is an excellent question. i think it's a multipronged approach in terms of looking at financial support expanding pell grant, i think looking at
short-term pell is also an important aspect. some of our students want to come back and level off if you will a retool of credential or staff set up against baby associates they may have. strengthening seamless transfer pathways is another important access. 80% demonstrates 80% of latinos across the country enroll an open access institutions like our community colleges. and required to transfer to a university to finish that baccalaureate degree. anyway we can strengthen those pathways is very important for us to accelerate student success outcomes among hispanic students across the country. also looking at aligning pathways to work and making sure our promised programs
also have an element of alighting our degree program to those workforce into the jobs that are there. this just a couple of areas where policies would help enhance and accelerate student outcomes and success. >> mr. harris have a question for you. apologies i could not get to it. i will file into the record i want to thank you for lifting up your voice here. especially with your leadership with the black student alliance as well pray thank you for being here today look forward to hearing back from you. i'm going to yield back. >> senator. >> yes. thank you madam chair. ranking member. i want to thank all of you for being here. i always find these panels so illuminating. we have seen in this pandemic a number of innovative breakthroughs and technology to try to track the covid-19
outbreaks, the variance, the vaccination rates in the western slope area of colorado, the university entered into a very successful partnership with the institute at mit and harvard a development app called scout to track symptoms and possible outbreaks on campuses as they are happening in real-time. i thought i would ask you and maybe is this type of partnership between a research institution and of university system something you guys have considered on your campuses? how are you going to go about monitoring any possible flareups when you reopen this fall? >> we have had a number of collaborations of research institutions not only an art center for health disparities in our city and region. what i would say is the kiwi
have had on campus is to have surveillance attesting routinely, monthly anywhere from six -- 10% of our campus population for student faculty members to see with the infection on campus was. one of the larger funding on those machines that have several institutions in our region on a region as well several hundred one of the decision points we would have the returning to remote instruction run the race with
single occupancy dormitories were not sending them home. do not send them home to affect their communities. they would remain until the surge had passed. we are tracking to make sure were not becoming a danger not only to our community in new orleans but into the community as well. surveillance testing was very important. but the state and with the organizations as well paid >> okay got it. was that similar? >> senator that is a great question. we in partnership with the international university i felt they were much better leverage those partnerships. i do think one of the things we did was really at covid testing on our campuses. that really does help in terms of the doctor just said, monitoring the positivity rate
alongside with the county. so work closely with the county and with our sister institutions. because our college is a commuter campus averages 26. our students are working while they study. not living on campus we have to really rely on the partnership with the positivity rate and work in concert with them. >> are right i appreciate that. i actually do not think i have to ask because you already are a major research institution. as i guess all of you are in your own ways. i do think the scout application that came out, it does help follow who they talk to and allows real-time. it does come out the symptoms that turn out to be covid positive you can track very quickly there the impact. and i think really tamp down a flareup. real quickly, in terms of
serving at risk students another thing colorado university tried with some great success to keep students on campus. this is a school with the majority of kids who were all low income and any missed campus experience will be an impediment. so again, your institutions have so many of these students as well. how have you prioritize the campus experience while still making sure you ensure their safety? certainly it's more the federal level we could be doing or what could we be doing to make sure we are not letting kids fall to the crooks. >> i was the campus experience is crucial is a great value to our students. it's what brings them back. making sure everyone was a masking an important way of making sure transmission is
not occurring for the benefit of working with each other and our faculty. it's important to do that. but keeping the campus safe so that it safer from where they came from is important. we want to make sure we were not creating the problem. once we have compliance with masking and with vaccination were able to carry on campus. as i mentioned the prevalence never exceeded 1.6%. we kept by nottingham to transmit the virus on campus. >> yes president? >> thank you, senator. download the guidelines in terms of the physical distancing them asks as temperature checks and other preventive measures so that we can maybe if someone is coming on and has a temperature does not come into our learning support lab. but we did do once we implemented those preventative
measures, we have ever remained open all of our learning support, or student centers, we launched an early college summer program where our high school students just graduated this past week on monday, we will be offering where they can begin college early, on campus takes six credits for their associates of arts program. and so again, alongside with the preventative measures, the cdc guidelines, the master requirements, we have continued to bring our students on campus and provide this in person support services that we know are critical to the majority of our students at miami-dade college for their families to attend college. >> thank you so much i appreciate all of your work. as to harass good luck to you a question for you ms. copeland morgan thank you so much for your services will yield back plates back thank you so much for your final comment? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
once again i want to say thank you to all the witnesses have come before us today. i'll be remiss if i did not say i think as we plow to the summer every institution is going to be faced with this decision of the how do we go into the fall and what are going to be the requirements should we do what xavier has done, require vaccination student, faculty staff. let me just note at this time that all three buckets that we talk about, they are already vaccinated. if they entered it education system in kindergarten they are required to be vaccinated. they cannot enter without diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, meeks, bubs, rebello. with the fear of pertussis, mumps, rubella, hepatitis b and hip chickenpox.
those things to come back or in fact the population of students. it is not unreasonable for us to consider whether we require in higher education, if we have a modification for that but don't look at this and say this isn't something we should consider. we've already done that as a nation and we do it today and the requirements are greater and what we are fine but the vaccination of covid thank you. >> that will in the hearing today with your testimony was a thoughtful discussion i appreciate everybody's input those who wish to ask additional questions for the record human ten business days we hearing record will remain open if you wish to submit additional material we will