No matter your background or current profession, at this point in time you have likely moved to a more remote environment with fewer face-to-face interactions with others. This has impacted almost every age group and population, but has had particular implications for college-aged students living with chronic illnesses.
“As we prepare for the many scenarios that include the resumption of in-person education, special priority needs to be considered for students who experience chronic disease that may feel compelled to make the difficult decision between their education and their health.”
-David Arnold, AVP for Health, Safety, and Well-being Initiatives
Attention to chronic disease management matters now more than ever with the heightened risk for people with immunocompromised systems. As incoming college students begin to understand the landscape for campuses in the fall, questions, concerns, and uncertainties are presenting themselves across this demographic.
The College Diabetes Network (CDN) is a non-profit organization whose mission is singularly focused on providing young adults with T1D the peer connections they value, and expert resources they need to successfully manage the challenging transition to young adulthood at college and beyond. Over the past 10 years, CDN has supported young adults through various programs and resources, including over 160 campus-based Chapters. Despite access to peer connectivity and these resources, students still have trouble negotiating accommodations, finding coordinated support across campus departments, and working with staff to better understand their illness
Over 20% of college students live with a chronic illness, like type one diabetes. CDN is working with organizations, like NASPA, to ensure campus administration knows how to best prepare for students living with chronic illnesses as they head back to campus this fall. The goal being that all students are comfortable, confident, and prepared for the upcoming semester.
For some campuses, the decision to return to school or facilitate a remote learning environment remains in question. Regardless of what your campus might be planning for the fall, CDN and NASPA want to ensure that you feel equipped and prepared to handle a variety of scenarios.
As part of CDN’s REACH™, an initiative to bridge campus leadership and reducing student risk, CDN has created a FREE resource guides specifically for professionals working at Disability Services, Health, and Counseling centers. Each of these booklets addresses both the physical and mental health challenges students living with diabetes face, ensuring campus professionals fully understand how to best work with these young adults. CDN also has resources for caregivers and students, including information relevant for a virtual or in-person learning environment.
For students preparing for the new semester, CDN has compiled 10 things students living with diabetes can do to be ready for Fall 2020. These tips can be useful in an online learning environment, as well as on campus. Many are centered around a preparedness approach and planning ahead. As you start to work with students getting ready for the fall semester, please share these critical resources with them.
If your students need more information, please have them visit The CDN Resource Hub.