The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social work students.


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was a time of abrupt and widespread change for social work students in the United States. This work seeks to illuminate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on social work students’ experiences of stress, loss, and grief through quantitative, mixed methods, and qualitative methodological studies. The findings indicate students experienced elevated academic stress related to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple and varied losses. Students identify a sense of continual adjustment due to ongoing changes throughout the pandemic alongside pervasive loss. Programmatic support through adaptation of coursework, community-building activities in the classroom and through academic resources were noted as helpful to students in reducing stress during this time as well as providing support. This work has offers recommendations for classroom management, programmatic responses, and policies in higher education to support students in times of educational disruption.



Disaster. COVID-19 pandemic. Higher education. Students. Loss. Grief.