How Has COVID-19 Changed How You Help Students?

Covid-19 has helped me assist students in a different and unique way. It has helped me realize that although there are many students who prefer in-person assistance, there are a few who like to be assisted virtually as well. Whether it’s because they do not want to leave their own home, or because they are too shy to go in person, virtual assistance has allowed students to get help from the comfort of their own home. Not only can they sit on their couch and receive assistance, but they are also able to schedule an appointment without having to drive and wait in our waiting area for their turn.

Zoom has been my preferred method of communication during this time, especially with the capability of being able to share screens and remote access. The ability to share screens has made it easy for me to see what the student sees and be able to walk them through the process of financial aid applications, college applications, ACES tutorials, scholarship resources, and more. Being able to see the student’s screen has made it easier to understand their questions and explain the answers to them. Zoom also has the ability to gain remote access to their screen. This means I am able to control the student’s screen (with their permission) as if it were my own screen. This tool is extremely helpful when a student is not quite understanding what I am explaining or trying to get them to do. It is almost as if I am right there next to them and helps the students, who prefer that in-person assistance, to feel better about the advising session. Virtual advising has also helped the way students communicate with me in the sense of sounding more confident. Many times, students do not seem very talkative or do not open up the same in person, but over zoom or the phone, they are able to better communicate and sound more confident within themselves.

Building rapport sometimes seems easier virtually since students are able to be themselves and feel more comfortable being advised from home. Covid-19 has changed the way I am able to help students because it has given me a different perspective. I am now able to assist them in a way I never thought possible before. When this first started, I was a bit scared as to how it would all work and I myself was not very familiar with zoom or google voice. Overall, I truly believe this has helped open my eyes to all the different ways there are to assist students and the different tools there are to help. There are even several students I have helped who had never used zoom before Covid-19 and are now experts just like I am. Virtual assistance has helped assist students through Covid-19 and overall has made me a more confident advisor.


Kimberly Mendez, College Access and Success Advisor, Cafécollege