Richard J. Daley College – Mobilizing Holistic Support To Ensure Student Retention And Success In A Time Of Crisis


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the leadership team at Richard J. Daley College has adapted to meet the challenges of the moment and ensure Daley students have the support they need to succeed—both today and tomorrow.

The team was recently interviewed by the Partnership for College Completion about their efforts.

Below is an excerpt from the interview. Read the entire article here.

The COVID-19 pandemic continually underscores the disparate outcomes that affect lower-income, Black, Indigenous, and people of color. What specific supports have been offered to minoritized students at Daley College so they remain on track to earn their credentials?

Throughout the pandemic, Richard J. Daley College staff and faculty worked to ensure that students received the same quality instruction, effective assistance, and support services as they had prior to the pandemic. Students were affected by a variety of issues including job loss, lack of child care, illness and family illness, among other issues that impacted their ability to remain on track to earn their credentials. In addition, the move to online/remote classes was a challenge for those who had not taken (students) or taught (faculty) course in that modality previously. In light of these challenges that disproportionately affected lower-income and students of color, a variety of initiative were implemented to help support the student retention and success. 

One recently implemented initiative, the College launched is a Virtual Student Services (VSS) portal that offered student support services in a virtual, synchronous environment. Meeting through Zoom helped students remain connected to staff at the College and feel they had a way to reach out for immediate assistance. Through the VSS portal, College departments worked to ensure that all students continued to be afforded the same quality service in an online/remote format as it pertains to registration, advising, financial aid, and other student support services as they would typically have received an in-person setting. The college was able to reinstate in-person services for our students beginning in summer 2021; however, with the success of the VSS, we decided to continue to offer online/remote service options for our students, because the flexibility has been beneficial to students and it supports the Daley goals of accessibility and inclusion.