Blog: Higher Ed Beat
Changing Demographics Mean Better College Odds for ‘Slugs’
A baby bust is forcing newsworthy changes to college admissions.
America’s declining birth rate has sweeping implications for the U.S. economy and society – especially its education system. Already, a decline in the number of 18-year-olds is forcing many colleges to take actions that journalists should cover, such as: changing recruiting practices, cutting costs, and, in some cases, going out of business, according to a panel of college officials, researchers and journalists speaking at a recent Education Writers Association seminar.
Where to Find College Hate Crime Data
Five organizations publish numbers and information on hate crimes.
Reporters looking for data and background on college campus hate crimes have limited and less-than-ideal options, says Dan Bauman, a data reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Three Rules for Covering Campus Hate Incidents
Get the legalities right, put the data in context, and do followup.
Hate crimes on university campuses have spiked since 2015. The U.S. Department of Education reported a 25 percent jump in 2016. A recent FBI report said the bureau’s count of hate crime reports at schools or colleges jumped 36 percent in 2017.
Some of the nation’s most influential education policymakers and legislators will address more than 30 journalists at a Jan. 28-29 Education Writers Association seminar examining the impact of the 2018 elections on higher education.
Newer, Fresher Ways to Cover Student Mental Health Emerge
Colleges experiment with low-cost screening and counseling.
The alarming rise in college students seeking mental health services at campus counseling centers has garnered plenty of headlines in the last few years.
But there’s a fresher, more hopeful story emerging at many campuses, said mental health experts convened at the Education Writers Association’s 2018 Higher Education Seminar in Las Vegas. Some colleges are trying to meet the new needs creatively and affordably using programs like online tools, peer-led discussion groups or dorm-based healthy living workshops.
Declining Demand for Liberal Arts Has Surprising Causes and Repercussions
Shifting humanities landscape should raise questions for education journalists
Educating Americans in the liberal arts – teaching them to write, understand history, and philosophize – was traditionally a main purpose of college.
But today’s students are shunning that tradition. The number of undergraduates earning bachelor’s degrees in some of the mainstay liberal arts subjects – English, history and philosophy – fell by at least 15 percent between 2008 and 2016, even though the total number of bachelors rose 31 percent during that time, one recent study found.
Small colleges struggling because of declining enrollment and tuition revenues face stark choices: If they can’t rebound, financial realities may force them to shut down.
Surveys indicate that the costs of college are now bigger worries for most applicants and families than the traditional anxieties about getting in.
It’s not just because of the shockingly high prices, such as the private colleges sporting sticker prices (tuition, room, board, books and miscellaneous expenses) north of $70,000 a year. Families are obsessed with costs in part because of the surprising complexity and opacity of college prices.
Careful Coverage of Campus Sexual Assaults Can Spark Reforms
Experts offer four strategies for reporting on Title IX complaints.
Reporters are spending more and more time covering allegations of sexual assault on college campuses. A Nexis search finds more than 3,000 articles in U.S. newspapers in the last year using the terms “sexual assault,” “alleged” and “campus.”
Video Tutorial: How to Find and Use Free College Data
A 10-minute walk-through of the IPEDS database
Journalists reporting on U.S. colleges can access reams of free, public and newsworthy data through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or IPEDS.
Beyond Protests: Better Ways to Cover Race Issues on Campus
Racial conflicts at colleges need deeper and more patient coverage.
Protests over statues honoring Confederate soldiers; shouting matches at presentations by white nationalist speakers; student drives to strip buildings of names honoring racist officials.
Such dramatic campus racial conflicts and controversies justifiably attract attention from reporters and the public, according to a pair of veteran education journalists, a researcher, and a college administrator who spoke on a panel at the Education Writers Association’s 2018 National Seminar.
Adult College Students: The Undercovered 6.6 Million
35% of the college population are veterans, working parents and perpetual students like James Franco.
Adult learners, or college students aged 25 and older, are typically referred to as “nontraditional students,” in contrast to their younger, “traditional” student peers.
But that’s an oversimplification of “tradition.” Adult students have long been an important part of the college student body – whether it was the World War II veterans who flooded campuses thanks to the GI Bill, or seemingly perennial students like James Franco.