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Student And Teacher Reflect On A Year Of The Pandemic

Mar 18, 2021
Janelle Olisea and Greg Burge stand six feet apart in a classroom.
Janelle Olisea

The pandemic has caused historic disruption to education, and many students are struggling. KUNR Youth Media alum Janelle Olisea is a senior at the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology in Reno. She sits down with her English teacher Mr. Greg Burge. They open up to each other about how they’ve been working to push through some of the challenges and reflect on a few rewarding moments along the way.

 

Most students enrolled half-time or more in college typically aren't eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), sometimes known as food stamps. But temporary changes to the federal program are allowing some low-income students to take advantage during the pandemic.

All throughout high school, Brian Williams planned to go to college. But as the pandemic eroded the final moments of his senior year, the Stafford, Texas, student began to second-guess that plan.

"I'm terrible at online school," Williams says. He was barely interested in logging on for his final weeks of high school; being online for his first semester at Houston Community College felt unbearable.

"I know what works best for me, and doing stuff on the computer doesn't really stimulate me in the same way an actual class would."


This time of year usually means the start of college football. Not this year. Without game days and big crowds of tailgaters, college towns across the Mountain West and beyond look different - and sound a lot different, too.

Starting Monday, Advanced Placement exams, which test high schoolers' knowledge of college material, will take an unusual form. The high-anxiety, college credit tests normally last three hours and are taken in person. But this year, in response to disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, the College Board, which administers AP exams, shortened the tests to 45 minutes and moved them online.

Idaho State University has accepted more students for next year than it did for this year, but that doesn't mean it'll have more students enrolling.


More Out-Of-State Students Joining The Pack

Nov 4, 2015
Alexa Ard

This fall, the University of Nevada, Reno saw a 17 percent increase in out-of-state enrollment. Steve Maples is the Director of Undergraduate Admissions for the school. He spoke with our public radio partner KNPR in Las Vegas, saying he hopes this trend continues.

“The first thing we want to grow is talented students," says Maples. "We want to grow in diversity of students, and we want to grow in geography.”

Besides attracting out-of-state students, Maples also wants to keep them here, something he says is getting easier.