Higher Education Seminar Fall 2021

Overview

Higher Education Seminar Fall 2021
"This Critical Moment" was explored online Oct 18-22

The Education Writers Association held its 2021 Higher Education Seminar during the week of Oct. 18-22 as a series of interactive online gatherings on how journalists can cover today’s most pressing issues in education beyond high school. 

Centered on the theme of “This Critical Moment,” the event offered journalists high-quality, convenient training on issues, including the health challenges confronting campuses, the growing debate over how to teach about racism, and the causes and impact of declining enrollment. 

Attendees were invited to take part in sessions held each day during a window from approximately noon to 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. To reduce “Zoom fatigue,” participants were provided ample breaks. 

Journalists were able to meet and ask questions of policymakers, researchers and leaders. Participants were also offered data training and chances to meet in small groups with fellow journalists. The event featured the always popular "Top 10 Higher Education Story Ideas" presentation by Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik. 

While EWA originally planned to hold our fall Higher Education Seminar in person, concern for our members’ health and safety prompted us to reconsider amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the country. 

Attendance was free but limited to EWA Journalist, Student, and Supporting Community members. EWA membership is free for all professional and student journalists, so please join! 

The Education Writers Association held its 2021 Higher Education Seminar during the week of Oct. 18-22 as a series of interactive online gatherings on how journalists can cover today’s most pressing issues in education beyond high school. 

Centered on the theme of “This Critical Moment,” the event offered journalists high-quality, convenient training on issues, including the health challenges confronting campuses, the growing debate over how to teach about racism, and the causes and impact of declining enrollment. 

Attendees were invited to take part in sessions held each day during a window from approximately noon to 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. To reduce “Zoom fatigue,” participants were provided ample breaks. 

Journalists were able to meet and ask questions of policymakers, researchers and leaders. Participants were also offered data training and chances to meet in small groups with fellow journalists. The event featured the always popular “Top 10 Higher Education Story Ideas” presentation by Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik. 

While EWA originally planned to hold our fall Higher Education Seminar in person, concern for our members’ health and safety prompted us to reconsider amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the country. 

Attendance was free but limited to EWA Journalist, Student, and Supporting Community members. EWA membership is free for all professional and student journalists, so please join! 

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Blog: The Educated Reporter

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.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

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.

Multimedia

The Great Student Reallocation: Where Is Enrollment Rising And Why
EWA Higher Education Seminar, October 22, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of students dropped out of college during the pandemic. But some colleges have seen demand and enrollment rise. In this webinar held Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, researchers and educational leaders of colleges bucking the downward trend shared insights about why and what this means for the future of higher education.

The participants were:

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

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.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

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.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

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.           

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

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.” 

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Academic Freedom: The Basics

What is academic freedom?

Generally, it’s the concept that professors, in the pursuit of knowledge, should be free to take their inquiries wherever they deem necessary without fearing retaliation, and that the success and health of the academy rests on that freedom.

Announcement

Speakers Confirmed for 2021 Higher Education Seminar

The Education Writers Association’s online 2021 Higher Education Seminar will give attendees a chance to get on-the-record insight from top higher education leaders, practitioners and researchers. 

Attendees will be able to connect with colleagues who will offer story ideas, data tips for covering faculty diversity, strategies for covering campus police issues, advice on how and why to cover Historically Black Colleges and Universities and much more. 

Agenda

Agenda for EWA’s 2021 Higher Education Seminar
October 18-22, 2021

Higher education journalists face a torrent of news this fall, as the fallout from COVID-19 poses unprecedented academic, health, and enrollment challenges to colleges. Meanwhile, the country’s racial reckoning and intense political polarization are roiling campuses debating  decisions on campus police, faculty diversity, and the teaching of sensitive subjects.   

Seminar

Higher Education Seminar Fall 2021
"This Critical Moment" to be explored online Oct. 18-22.

The Education Writers Association is delighted to announce that we will hold our 2021 Higher Education Seminar during the week of Oct. 18-22 as a series of interactive online gatherings on how journalists can cover today’s most pressing issues in education beyond high school. 

Centered on the theme of “This Critical Moment,” the event will offer journalists high-quality, convenient training on issues, including the health challenges confronting campuses, the growing debate over how to teach about racism, and the causes and impact of declining enrollment.