Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Overview

Higher Education Beat

A blog about issues affecting postsecondary education.

A blog about issues affecting postsecondary education.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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. 

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

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.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

‘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.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

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. 

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

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?

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

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. 

Blog: The Educated Reporter

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?

Tip Sheet

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.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Word on the Beat: Adversity Score
What reporters need to know about the College Board's experimental "Environmental Context Dashboard"

The question of which students should win admission to selective colleges is so heated that it has sparked state legislation, discrimination lawsuits and a celebrity-studded bribery scandal. So news that the College Board had been providing admissions officers data on the kind of “adversity” to which applicants had been exposed couldn’t help but stir controversy.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

College Board Explains ‘Environmental Context Dashboard’
In this on-the-record interview, David Coleman objects to the term "adversity score."

In the midst of legal and political battles over preferences given to different kinds of college applicants, news broke that the College Board has been experimenting with providing college admissions officers with what some have called an “adversity score” for each applicant to, potentially, give admissions boosts to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Tip Sheet

EWA Tip Sheet: Covering Innovations to the B.A.

Driven by changing student demographics and demands from employers, colleges are experimenting with new, more flexible and affordable bachelors’ degrees, a panel of higher education leaders and experts told journalists at the Education Writers Association’s 2019 National Seminar.

Colleges are trying boot camps, competency-based education, credit for prior learning, and other strategies to lower costs, speed up and improve the value of bachelors’ degrees.