Remote Student Support During COVID-19: Perspectives of Chief Online Officers in Higher Education

Bettyjo Bouchey, Erin Gratz, Shelley Kurland


In order to understand the nature of online student support services during the COVID-19 pandemic, 31 chief online officers representing a range of colleges and universities were interviewed in late Spring 2020. Findings highlighted issues of access and equity in online student support services, the rapid expansion of student services due to the pandemic, and how strength in online programming enabled a more seamless pivot to emergency remote operations.  This study adds texture to the literature on the gaps between support services offered to face-to-face versus online students, and also provides a foundation for important questions regarding the future of online student support after COVID-19.  The study also begins a dialog into the long-term ramifications of siloing online organizational units at institutions of higher education.  


student support services, student retention services, student tutoring, student advising, Chief Online Officers, COVID-19, higher education, online learning

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