Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies


Liberal Studies with a Minor in Human Development

First Advisor

Ondine Gage


This capstone paper examines the various factors influencing student engagement and academic performance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report addresses the following research questions: (1) "What might be the long-term effects of loss of engagement on children after the COVID-19 pandemic? (2) What are the primary factors that affect student engagement? In a review of the literature, this paper examines the research on natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, truancy, and summer vacations to project the impact on interrupted education. In order to fully consider the impact of the year-long Shelter-in-Place order on a local middle school, this qualitative study draws on interviews with the Principal, teachers, and parents. In sum, the data indicated that there is a loss of engagement in students’ academics due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In conclusion, the data show that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a decrease in student academic engagement. Teachers, on the other hand, can help students become engaged by being respectful and making them feel connected. In addition, results also showed that "unreliable" internet was a significant factor in engagement loss. Finally, the data revealed that student participation was another central theme that emerged; the data showed that participation decreases due to not having adult supervision and self-efficacy.