Blog: Higher Ed Beat
How to Help First-Generation Students Persist Through College
Experts say assisting students takes a 'larger cultural shift'
When Pete Gooden went to college, he had an all-too-common experience.
“As a first-generation student, I was just coasting through college, and I was just trying to navigate on my own without support,” he said.
Eventually, he dropped out. After earning his degree at age 30, Gooden began working for KIPP Through College Chicago, where he’s now the director—amazed to find a program that offered the help he once needed.
By scrutinizing enrollment data, external financial pressures, operating revenue and expenses, and tuition discounting, reporters can start spotting red flags in the finances of public and private colleges they cover.
Participants who contributed to this advice:
Three Takeaways From Chicago’s Largest Charter School Network
At Noble campuses, it's 'college prep from the moment you walk in the door'
From the exterior, Muchin College Prep doesn’t look much like a high school. It’s located in an unremarkable office building in downtown Chicago, where an elevator carries visitors to the seventh-floor campus. There, the walls are festooned with college banners, classrooms are bustling with discussions and group work, and football helmets rest on top of a long row of lockers.
A leading student debt researcher, the CEO of the nation’s biggest income share agreement company, and a veteran education reporter discuss the biggest concerns, misconceptions and stories to pursue when it comes to the country’s student loan debt crisis.
How Schools Are Responding to the ‘Collapse’ of the High School Economy
Schools help students prepare intentional postsecondary plans
Getting a good-paying job with just a high school diploma is nearly impossible today. In response, schools across the country are increasingly reassessing what it means to not only graduate students, but prepare them for a more competitive career field.
Those were two key takeaways from the opening session of a recent Education Writers Association seminar in Chicago.
The Guidance Gap: How to Rethink School Counseling
Experts discuss how to effectively steer a student to, through life after high school
One of Joyce Brown’s former students was getting ready to board a bus to college for the first time when he changed his mind.
“His mom said, ‘Don’t go if you don’t want to,’” Brown recalled. So the student, who grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes housing project on Chicago’s South Side, didn’t go.
But Brown — who spent 40 years working as a school counselor in Chicago Public Schools — knew this student would thrive in a college setting because of the relationship she’d built with him. So she drove him to college herself.
‘How I Did the Story’ on Forces Reshaping Higher Ed
Reporters share their tips for stories with wide audience appeal
Want to tell an important story about a challenge specific to higher education while making sure it appeals to a broader audience?
Do your research, collaborate with others in your newsroom, and find someone who best illustrates the story for your readers, three top reporters say.
How Technology Is Reshaping the Modern College Classroom
The good and bad of online classes, AI in grading and accessibility
Technological innovation, which has upended everything from the way we order lunch to how we find a life partner, is also revolutionizing education. Optical character recognition devices, artificial intelligence grading programs and powerful computers are profoundly remaking what goes on inside traditional college classrooms. In addition, about a third of college students are taking at least one course online.
Many Political Battles Over Higher Education Boil Down to Money
Partisans dispute how, how much, or even whether, taxpayers should support colleges
The political fault lines of higher education extend far beyond headline-grabbing student protests and furor over controversial speakers.
In fact, that sound and fury often distracts from a more practical political issue facing higher education today: How should Americans pay for college? Should students themselves bear the full costs of their education or should taxpayers help keep costs low? And if so, how should the burden be apportioned between state and federal taxes?
Colleges Struggle to Adapt to Changing Demographics
More diverse student body poses challenges in admissions, teaching and counseling
Quick: Picture a “typical” college student. Are you envisioning a young person wearing a college sweatshirt, living in a dorm and attending school full time?
Try again: Full-time students who live on campus account for less than 15 percent of all undergraduates, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
At a recent Education Writers Association seminar, three experts on student demographics suggested that investigations into changes to the makeup of the nation’s undergraduate student body can spark fresh and impactful stories.
Soft Skills Training Teaches Electricians to Fix Fuses, Not Blow Them
Community colleges award budding trades workers badges in empathy
Sure, a plumber should be able to stop a leak or fix a toilet. Those job skills are essential, and easily measured.
But what about the rest of the equation — the people skills customers also want? How does an employer really know if an applicant has what it takes? Can’t there be a test or something?
EWA Tip Sheet: Covering College Certificates and Microcredentials
Here are resources for understanding non-degree higher education alternatives.
Students and workers looking to quickly advance their careers are beginning to seek shorter and cheaper alternatives to traditional college degrees. And colleges, worried about a decline in the number of “traditional” freshmen, are creating alternative programs to attract new tuition-payers.