Blog: The Educated Reporter

Higher Ed: Reporting on the College Student Experience

Our annual Higher Education Seminar took place in Dallas earlier this month — Southern Methodist University was our gracious host — and there have been some first-rate stories produced by EWA members who joined us for the event.

Among them: Jamaal Abdul-Alim, writing for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, reported on Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell’s keynote presentation. Mitchell focused on the forthcoming federal ratings system for colleges and universities. The intent is to help students and their families be smarter consumers when shopping for a postsecondary degree. But, as EWA’s own Mikhail Zinshteyn pointed out, the White House’s ratings plan has major issues.

The intent is to put out a preliminary blueprint and revise it based on public input, Mitchell told the EWA audience, adding that “I want to remind everyone that this is version 1.0.”

EWA’s Lori Crouch has a solid overview of one of the seminar session’s which focused on “the murky middle” – those are the students who aren’t flunking out but also aren’t scoring at the top of their class. What do we know about their performance, and what can institutions do to boost them up to the next level? 

And one of my favorite highlights of the event is always Scott Jaschik’s annual rundown of the Top 10 Education Stories You Should Be Covering on the higher ed beat. Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed, is always generous with his suggestions. If you take a look back at his prior recommendations (we have them handy for 2013 and 2012) and you’ll find his track record for picking winners is tough to beat. 

For more help with your higher education stories, check out our Topics pages. We’ve got everything from College Access and Admissions to Sexual Assault and Title IX.  And if you’re a reporter on deadline, don’t forget to take advantage of the one-on-one assistance of EWA’s Public Editor. (Yes, that’s me!) It’s confidential and free of charge.



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