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Amid pandemic, Maine College finds record enrollment from diverse learning options

June 21, 2021


Across the country, more than 60 colleges have closed or merged since 2016. The COVID-19 pandemic put further financial pressure on colleges and students alike. But one college in Unity, Maine is seeing record enrollment by offering students various learning options. New forms of alternative learning are just one of many outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic. Jeffrey Brown looks at what they could mean for the future of colleges. It’s part of our ongoing series, “Rethinking College.”

Five Facts

  • What is Unity College and where is it located?
  • Why is student Delana Kirwan upset?
  • Who is affected by Unity’s recent change?
  • When did Unity College start to prepare materials for remote learning?
  • How has the transition to online learning benefitted student Joshua Tait and professor Katera Moore?

Focus Questions

As students in the pandemic, reflect on your own learning experiences. What has been beneficial about remote learning, what has been hard about it? Do you imagine similar challenges and benefits for a college? 

Discuss with one or more classmates: do you think there is an argument to keep some degree of remote learning? How might this be possible for grade school students?

Media literacy: This piece is primarily conducted via interview, but some are in person and some are over zoom. Compare and contrast the advantages to each of them, did you think one was more effective than the other?

For More

  • For a timeline of the history of online education, check out this website.
  • For more on the effects of distance learning, check out these PBS NewsHour pieces: 

Media literacy education

What is media literacy?

Media literacy is the ability to access, evaluate and create all types of media, including news media.

All of NewsHour Classroom's resources contain lessons in media literacy, including questions like who produced the piece and what do you know about them?

Start by evaluating this video introducing NewsHour Classroom here.