Rutgers GSE CMSI

CMSI Supports New Study on the Impact of Long COVID and COVID-related Mental Health Challenges at MSIs


Brandy Jones | | 848-932-0788

New Brunswick, N.J., May 18, 2022—The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) has partnered with the College of Southern Nevada (CSN), a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), and the Higher Education Research Consultants (HERC) of Abarema LLC to study the impact of Long COVID and COVID-related mental health challenges at MSIs. 

Long COVID, or post-COVID conditions, refers to people who have been infected with the virus and are experiencing long-term effects from their infection that can last weeks, months, or even years. COVID-related mental health challenges refers to individuals who have not had COVID-19 but are experiencing fear, anxiety, and/or depression due to the impact of the pandemic. 

The Department of Education and Justice Department’s recently designated Long COVID and COVID-related mental health challenges as official disabilities that require accommodations at all levels of education, including postsecondary. There is a clear need for more research regarding the impact on the office that provides services for individuals with disabilities, which will be responsible for developing appropriate accommodations for this emerging population of students. 

“The unprecedented challenges brought about by COVID-19 have forced postsecondary institutions across the nation to evaluate every aspect of their educational process. It became evident that changes needed to be made on the way learning and teaching was conducted,”  noted Glennis Daniels-Bacchus, ADA & Higher Education Research and Strategy Consultant and one of the lead researchers on this project. “An area that is consistently overlooked are departments that provide or coordinate resources for individuals with disabilities. Institutions must include these departments in the strategic plans of the institution’s response to COVID-19. The information gathered in this survey and subsequent research will play a key role in measuring the impact of COVID-19 on colleges and universities across the nation, especially at MSIs.”

Additionally, while some studies are being conducted in higher education regarding COVID-19, little to no research has been conducted thus far related to Long COVID and COVID-related mental health challenges at MSIs. Given the limited research on or from MSIs, in general, it is evident that there is a need for research that is focused on MSIs and students with disabilities.

The research team aims to focus on MSIs and offices within MSIs that provide support to students with disabilities. The three-part research project is designed to assist MSIs in addressing the needs and concerns of their students with regard to COVID-19’s long term effects. The survey, available here for participation, is the first phase of the research project. 

“As we navigate this new reality, we have to consider designing services that will genuinely support the needs of the students who have been diagnosed with Long COVID and COVID-related mental health challenges as a disability concern,” said Daniel Alvarado, Director of Disability Resources Center and Counseling & Psychological Services at the College of Southern Nevada. “The research from this project will provide fundamental data for CSN to design its support for this emerging population of students with disabilities, and I’m confident it will prove invaluable data for all other MSIs working to support students with Long COVID and COVID-related mental health challenges.” 

CMSI will disseminate the survey via social media platforms and will sponsor a webinar with findings as they are identified. Consider taking or sharing the survey here. The survey closes on June 30, 2022.

About the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions 

The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity and Justice (Proctor Institute) at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. For further information about CMSI, please visit

Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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