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Education Now

Transition from High School to College for the Pandemic Generation

With the disruption of the last two years, what should counselors, educators, and parents be considering when preparing students for college?

The pandemic has created disruptions across the education sector — including the all-important pathway from high school to college. For many students in the graduating cohorts of 2020, 2021, and 2022, the transition from high school to college has become less clear. Connections between students and their teachers and school counselors may have frayed; traditional markers of achievement may have been impossible, and student aspirations may have changed. Join us as we ask: What is the transition support that this generation needs? With all the disruption — and with counseling shortages, pressure to “catch up,” and/or a lack of direction (or a willingness to explore alternatives to college) — what should counselors, educators, and parents be considering, and what should college officials be prepared to do?


  • Liya Escalera, Vice Provost for Academic Support Services and Undergraduate Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Richard Gordon, IV, High School Principal, Philadelphia Public Schools; NASSP 2021 National Principal of The Year
  • Mandy Savitz-Romer, Nancy Pforzheimer Aronson Senior Lecturer in Human Development and Education

Host: Francesca Purcell, Senior Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Key takeaways and prompts for action:

  • College counseling today has to start with trying to understand where young people are — and making sure their basic needs are met.​
  • The mental health crisis is the health crisis our youth are facing. Young people may not be prioritizing college planning at this moment.​
  • As we look forward from this crisis, recognize that one size does not fit all. Strive to individualize.​
  • The pandemic has spotlighted a system that was already failing, in many instances. We have to make bold choices to double down on what we know works, for the students who need it most.​


Education Now

A webinar and newsletter series to shape new approaches to challenges in education

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