The following organizations, resources, and reports offer useful information and sources for reporting on the issues affecting adult students.
Colleges have seen the need to educate adult learners for over a century.
In the U.S., the mass effort of providing post-secondary education to adults started with the land grant public college movement in 1862, and was accelerated by the rise of community colleges in the early 20th Century.
- Financial aid: Many states and colleges have rules (such as age limits, early application deadlines or minimum credit requirements) that reduce the amount of grants available to adults. Are your community’s or college’s rules friendly to adults? Check them by asking financial aid departments at local schools what their age-related policies are.
Following are some of the terms that come up in reporting on adult students.
Andragogy- (as distinct from pedagogy) a theory of adult education, first popularized in the United States by the academic Malcolm Knowles, that calls for recognizing the different motivations older students bring to learning, and reflecting that in teaching that is problem-centered, relevant, and cognizant of their experience.
Top 10 Most-Read EWA Blogs of 2021
Journalist members wrote practical resources to help their fellow reporters all year long.
Supporting our talented journalist members is one of the best parts of my job here at the Education Writers Association.
Many of them have written insightful, well-researched and, yes, educational blog posts over the course of the year. And several took time from full-time reporting jobs to write these resources – all with the purpose of helping their fellow journalists do their jobs.
These New Education Books Make Perfect Gifts. (Trust Us.)
What we’re giving the education reporters (and education enthusiasts) on our list this year
Shopping for the education writer in your life this holiday season? Any reporter can tell you which is the best seat in the school board meeting room: It’s the one near the only working wall outlet. While this popular version of a portable battery pack will set you back about $50, it’s reliable, durable, and speedy. (No, EWA does not do paid product endorsements. I actually use this.) It also has the benefit of being cable free if your gift recipient uses a compatible smartphone.
What makes a college “good”?
Providing stellar educations and career opportunities to a select few? Or creating lots of opportunities for all kinds of people, and helping disadvantaged students get into careers that can sustain families?
Reporters who want answers can use a new free data tool that helps identify whether colleges are opening the doors of socioeconomic mobility and promoting equity in education.
How to Cover the Fight Against COVID-19 on Campus
Tips and story ideas for reporters covering mask and vaccine minefields on campus
Universities are a “microcosm” of society, so the same fraught debates happening in society over mask and vaccine mandates are happening on college campuses, too, according to Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick.
Frederick shared this insight during a virtual panel at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 Higher Education Seminar on Oct. 19. Moderated by Francie Diep with The Chronicle of Higher Education, three university officials discussed the legal, political and health care forces at work in the fight against COVID-19 on campus.
5 Tips for Reporting on Student Loan Debt After the Pandemic Pause
Get advice and ideas to localize stories that go beyond covering federal student loans.
The planned early 2022 restart of federal student loan payments will renew the nation’s attention to the approximately 42 million Americans who owe an estimated $1.6 trillion in education debt.
Reporters can find fresh angles and new information to help borrowers by pursuing accountability stories, and by paying particular attention to debt repayment, forgiveness and collections of overdue balances, three veteran reporters said at the Education Writers Association’s 2021 Higher Education Seminar.
How to Put the HBCU Story in Context
Journalists share strategies for reporting on the chronic underfunding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
If the disparity in underfunding Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) could be told through two schools, consider Texas Southern University (TSU) and the University of Houston (UH). Both started around the same time with similar missions, serving populations with similar economic backgrounds. The colleges were even located across the street from each other.
Navigating Politicized Arguments Over Academic Freedom? Lessons for Reporters
Journalists offer tips on tackling challenges to academic freedom while weighing facts and misinformation
Topics like “viewpoint diversity” and “critical race theory” have become controversial touchstones in higher education, primarily stemming from a September 2020 Trump administration executive order banning “divisive concepts” in diversity training.
The Top Higher Education Stories Reporters Should Cover in 2022
The pandemic’s effects will continue to shape future coverage, policies and institutions.
From COVID-19 relief funding to massive endowments, money – which institutions have it, which don’t and how it is spent – will be key themes in higher education stories over the next year.
That’s the prediction Inside Higher Ed Editor Scott Jaschik gave during his session on “The Top 10 Higher Education Stories You’ll Be Covering This Year” at the Education Writers Association’s Higher Education Seminar in October.
Reporting on Biden’s Higher Education Policies in a Divisive Era
Tips for covering state and federal policies, enrollment declines, campus challenges and more
University leaders hope to take advantage of a potentially historic influx of federal funding, re-engage students who left during the pandemic and stave off longer-term enrollment drops.
They face these challenges amid bitter fights over mask and vaccine mandates, and political polarization over affirmative action, freedom of speech and allegations of “cancel culture.”
How is the Housing Crisis Affecting College Students and Faculty? 5 Things to Consider.
Resources to help reporters cover housing and education issues during the pandemic
The pandemic’s impact on housing – driving rental prices up dramatically, and threatening millions of Americans with eviction – have had a surprising and under-covered impact on higher education.
Covering Critical Race Theory: Resources and Tips to Debunk Misinformation
How reporters can arm themselves with knowledge to prevent the spread of intentional and unintentional incorrect information.
This story was updated on Sept. 23, 2021.
After a more than 40-year-old graduate-level, academic research framework became the center of a national culture war that began last year, misinformation and disinformation infiltrated the public sphere, and internet searches increased.
In 2019, Nexis listed a total of 635 news articles mentioning “critical race theory.” Today, the phrase is cited in more than 5,000 pieces a month. And the vast majority of those stories focus on how history and race are taught in schools.
How are hands-on job training programs being affected by the coronavirus pandemic?
What kind of virtual job training works?
Students and teachers described what is, and isn’t, helping students get practical job skills during a December 12 session at the Education Writers Association’s “Pathways to Good Jobs: Higher Ed’s Changing Role in Social Mobility” seminar.
The participants were:
What are the links between segregation among and within educational institutions and in the job market? Are “certificates” turning into second-class educational credentials?
Journalists learned about data on segregation at college campuses as well as efforts to break down racial barriers during a December 11 session at the Education Writers Association’s “Pathways to Good Jobs: Higher Ed’s Changing Role in Upward Mobility” seminar.