UMass Amherst and UMass Ready is Profiled in Guide for Academic Contingency Plans for Campuses Nationwide
Jeff Hescock, executive director of Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management and co-director of the Public Health Promotion Center, and the UMass Ready academic continuity plan were featured in a recently released report and guide for academic institutions throughout the country produced by Every Learner Everywhere.
The 39-page guide, “Planning for Academic Continuity: A Guide for Academic Leaders,” represents results from an analysis of 100 academic continuity plans, also known as academic contingency plans, at U.S. colleges and universities. The results form the basis for recommended academic continuity plan best practices, tools, and templates academic leaders can use to maintain a plan that can be used in short and long-term circumstances for accessible digital learning during academic disruption due to unforeseen events.
Hescock’s interview, which can be found on page 35 of the report, highlights UMass Ready, the university’s continuity planning tool, which departments drew from during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide states that UMass Amherst has an “exemplar academic continuity plan.”
“The report clearly demonstrates UMass’s leadership in this area,” said Farshid Hajir, senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies.
The Every Learner Everywhere organization, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a network of partner organizations with expertise in evaluating, implementing, scaling and measuring the efficacy of education technologies, curriculum and course design strategies, teaching practices and support services that personalize instruction for students in blended and online learning environments. Its mission is to help institutions use new technology to innovate teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of improving learning outcomes for Black, Latino, Indigenous, poverty-affected and first-generation students.