The W2O Center for Social Commerce (CSC), a leading partnership between the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University (SU) and W2O – an analytics-oriented, insight-driven, healthcare marketing and communications firm, part of Real Chemistry, a global health innovation company – today released a comprehensive signature research study exploring SU students’ academic, extracurricular and social experiences during COVID-19.
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The report, titled “COVID-19 and the College Experience: The Impact of a Global Pandemic at Syracuse University,” assesses how students have coped with the public health crisis and provides considerations to enhance the college experience as the current pandemic continues and to prepare for potential future health pandemics.
“The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt in all corners of society. Our research has uncovered significant insights regarding the higher education experience that provide a roadmap for how universities and colleges can address the challenges students face and guide other universities on how to respond,” said Gary Grates, co-director of the W2O CSC and principal at Real Chemistry. “This study was a natural extension of the W2O Center for Social Commerce’s efforts to build on students’ coursework, providing skills and knowledge that allow a more seamless transition to the workforce. From a COVID standpoint, it is imperative that we keep a pulse on the effects it is having on student development.”
The research was conducted by the CSC’s Student Ambassadors, Francesca Sailer, Regan Talley and Karley Warden, who are currently seniors in the Newhouse School’s public relations program – in partnership with W2O experts. Research methods included an online survey, focus groups and in-depth interviews.
Key findings from the report include:
50% of students surveyed do not feel they are able to learn what they need to know to advance in their studies
85% of students surveyed agreed it has been challenging to feel engaged in extracurricular activities
65% of students surveyed did not agree that they have been able to get to know other members of their extracurricular organizations
Only 11% of students surveyed agreed they were able to meet new people on campus
“Over the past year, the global pandemic has totally up-ended the college experience and forced students, faculty and administrators to get creative, be resourceful and try new ways of teaching and learning,” said Beth Egan, co-director of the W2O CSC and associate professor of advertising at the Newhouse School. “The research we’ve conducted builds on what we’ve all learned as we’ve navigated the pandemic together and provides helpful recommendations to support students now and in the future.”
The report is available via the Newhouse website.
About The W2O Center for Social Commerce
The W2O Center for Social Commerce (CSC) was formed in 2012 by Jim (’87) and Audra (’89) Weiss as a partnership between the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and W2O – an analytics-oriented, insight-driven healthcare marketing and communications firm, part of Real Chemistry, a global health innovation company. The CSC is aimed at ensuring students are immersed and educated in a social and digital environment. The CSC develops programming on social commerce, social media, technology, analytics, digital experience and the influence they each play in our society, providing students with cutting-edge skills, thinking and insights to enable a seamless transition in the workforce.
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