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Teachers Face Heightened Stress During Pandemic, Surveys Say

By Casey Michie


The pandemic’s disruption of higher education has prompted a national trend of teachers and staff considering career changes or retirement, with new national and state surveys indicating alarming numbers of faculty considering leaving their posts.

A recent study released by the Chronicle of Higher Education, consisting of 1,122 online survey respondents, found that 55% of U.S. higher education faculty were considering an early retirement or career change since the onset of the pandemic. The findings point to decreased career satisfaction and a higher emotional toll over the last year as significant motivating factors.

A similar study conducted by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System found that in the second half of 2020, retirements among California teaching staff increased by 26% compared to previous years, the largest such increase since the Great Recession in 2010. The survey, which was completed by 3,202 teachers across the state, reported that 56% of those planning an early retirement cited the challenge of teaching during the pandemic as a contributing factor.

While data has yet to be released for City College, if current national and state trends are an indicator, at least a quarter of employed staff at City College have considered a career change or retirement. This data coupled with the added stress of recent pink slips adds to the grim picture City College staff and students have been, and will be, faced with during the Spring semester of 2021 and beyond.

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