The COVID-19 pandemic led to an abrupt shift from in-person to virtual instruction in Spring 2020. Using a difference-in-differences framework that leverages within-course variation on whether students started their Spring 2020 courses in person or online, we estimate the impact of this shift on the academic performance of Virginia’s community college students. We find that the shift to virtual instruction resulted in a 6.7 percentage point decrease in course completion, driven by increases in both course withdrawal and failure. Faculty experience teaching a course online did not mitigate the negative effects of moving to virtual instruction.

Warburg advises one of his students outside Garrett Hall

UVA unveiled a new style of classroom teaching Sept. 8. See how three professors, including Batten's Gerald Warburg, are navigating the experience.

Students in Garrett Hall

For many in the University community, Tuesday, Sept. 8 was a pivotal date. Since the University’s announcement on Aug. 4 that in-person classes would begin in some capacity on that day, students, faculty and staff alike have been waiting with bated breath to begin a semester of classes unlike any in recent memory. With one week of in-person class now complete, students, including third-year Batten student Sydney Cherry, reflect on their first time in a classroom in six months.

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Six Batten students completed public service-focused internships supported by the Frederic S. Bocock Fellowship this summer. Through the generosity of Fred and Mary Buford Hitz, the Bocock Fellowship was created to advance the careers of Batten students in public service, specifically through governmental internship opportunities.

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“Making sure students know there is a team of people who can and want to help is fundamental to success. Connecting student services, academic advising, and career services creates an equitable support structure,” says Steve Hiss, director of career services and alumni engagement at UVA Batten. 

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In the United States, youth mental illness is on the rise. Young people are increasingly likely to be diagnosed with a mental health condition and even to die by suicide. COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation, turning it into “a pandemic of its own,” Batten lecturer Brooke Lehmann told an online audience during the latest edition of Batten Expert Chats. 

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Almost a year ago, a group of 19 high school juniors visited the University of Virginia as part of Hoos First Look, a student-run program that gives first-generation and low-income students an all-expenses-paid orientation visit.

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Educator, scholar, and analyst Brendan Boler will join the faculty at the Batten School for the 2020-21 academic year. As an assistant professor of public policy, Boler will teach core and elective leadership courses in both the BA and MPP curricula.

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Many institutions of higher education are looking to become more inclusive. But what’s the most effective way to do that—at the University of Virginia and elsewhere? Dana Laurens and Michael Dannenberg weigh in. 

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Today, the Batten School announced the nine student recipients of the Bocock and Hitz Public Service Fellowship for 2020-21. Through the generosity of Mary Buford and Fred Hitz, the fellowship was established in 2012 to support exceptional students in MPP program who are dedicated to creating positive change in their public service careers.