As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend the college experience for students and educators, more than half of faculty are experiencing dramatically more stress and symptoms of workplace burnout, according to new research.
The Course Hero study of more than 570 full- and part-time faculty at two- and four-year colleges and universities examined how the pandemic has affected faculty views toward the academic work environment and job satisfaction.
“The pandemic has had far-reaching implications on the day-to-day work of faculty, as well as on their long-term career trajectories, professional aspirations, and views on the future of higher education,” said Tara Graham, Vice President of Educator Community and Partnerships at Course Hero. “Student success is tightly linked to the mental and emotional health and professional success of instructors. This research signals an urgency to expand the types of support offered to both students and faculty during this extraordinary time in education.”
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Three out of four faculty reported significant stress as a result of challenges transitioning to new modes of teaching—the largest single source of stress for educators by a wide margin.
Nearly two-thirds said that challenges meeting the emotional and mental health needs of students caused significant stress. While stress was high at the onset of the pandemic, the research found that faculty anxiety appears to be increasing, with more faculty reporting peak stress now than at the beginning of the pandemic.