Lumina 19-21

Overview

A Reporter’s Guide to Adolescent Learning and Well-Being
Hotel Shattuck Plaza • Berkeley, CA
February 27–28, 2020

Recent scientific advances have changed our understanding of the powerful role the adolescent years play in setting life trajectories. This critical period, the bridge between childhood and becoming an adult, is frequently misunderstood.

“Although adolescence is often thought of as a time of turmoil and risk for young people, it is more accurately viewed as a developmental period rich with opportunity for youth to learn and grow,” declared a sweeping 2019 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Recent scientific advances have changed our understanding of the powerful role the adolescent years play in setting life trajectories. This critical period, the bridge between childhood and becoming an adult, is frequently misunderstood.

“Although adolescence is often thought of as a time of turmoil and risk for young people, it is more accurately viewed as a developmental period rich with opportunity for youth to learn and grow,” declared a sweeping 2019 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

What are the implications of this evolving mindset for the education, health and well-being of tweens, teens and emerging adults? How are new findings informing efforts to shape settings for adolescents that are racially and culturally inclusive and equitable? This two-day seminar will offer journalists a primer on the brain research and springboard to an exploration of these questions and others facing the education and health sectors.

Likely topics to address include:

  • How are schools responding to the physical and mental health needs of young people?
  • What’s going right — and wrong — in fostering school climates conducive to the needs of tweens and teens? How does social and emotional learning fit into this?
  • What does cognitive science say about the best ways to teach adolescents? How does this square with common practices in schools?
  • What does “authentic” engagement with youth look like?
  • How are schools adapting to address the well-being of LGBTQ students?
  • Are teenagers getting enough sleep? What are the educational and health impacts, and how are school systems responding?
  • Where can reporters turn for reliable and compelling data on youth behaviors, such as exercise, smoking and e-cigarettes, alcohol and drug use, and birth control?
  • How is heavy exposure to digital screens affecting the teenage brain? How are some educators tapping video games and other digital tools to foster student engagement, health, and learning?

Participants in this journalists-only seminar will come away from this event with a deeper understanding of the issues, practical story ideas, and knowledge of how to find and use valuable data sets to inform their reporting. They also will have the chance to network and build relationships with fellow journalists, as well as experts and educators speaking at the event.

Eligible journalists may apply for scholarships to cover registration and reimburse expenses for lodging and basic travel costs.

Registration for this event is now closed.

EWA Radio

EWA Radio: The Impact of the Coronavirus on Education
How the health crisis is impacting students, schools
(EWA Radio: Episode 232)

As the coronavirus pandemic expands in the U.S., education reporters are on the front lines of the news coverage, with nearly three-quarters of public schools either closed or planning to close in coming days, and many colleges and universities moving to online learning or ending the semester outright.

EWA Radio

When College Students Aren’t College-Ready
Thousands of students struggle at Chicago’s two-year colleges. Is an overhaul of developmental ed. programs enough to help?
(EWA Radio: Episode 231)

In Chicago, thousands of students are earning high school diplomas but showing up at the city’s two-year colleges unprepared for the next step in their academic journeys. In a new project, Kate McGee of WBEZ looked at efforts to buck that trend, including an innovative program developed not by outside experts but the system’s own faculty.  Along the way, she explored a number of questions: Do students benefit more from remedial classes that re-teach them material they were supposed to master in high school, or from being placed directly into college classes with additional support like tutoring

Key Coverage

States Want To End Developmental Education. Why Chicago Professors Are Fighting Back.

Late last summer, Luis decided to attend Wilbur Wright College, one of the seven two-year community colleges that make up the City Colleges of Chicago. He received financial aid to cover tuition and books. We’re not using Luis’ last name at his request to retain some privacy online.

Luis hopes to eventually get a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and said he’s motivated by the idea of earning enough that he doesn’t have to worry about money. His mom works 12-hour days to support their large family.

Information

FAQs About the Winter 2020 EWA Reporting Fellowships

What is an EWA Reporting Fellowship?

The EWA Reporting Fellowships program provides financial awards to education journalists to undertake special reporting and writing projects.

How many fellowships will be awarded?

EWA expects to award approximately six to eight fellowships in this round.

How much money comes with the fellowship?

EWA will provide awards of up to $8,000 apiece to winning proposals.

EWA Radio

Higher Education in 2020
Looming Supreme Court decision on DACA, new rules for college admissions, lead Associated Press’ reporter’s list
(EWA Radio: Episode 226)

While it’s a new calendar year, plenty of familiar issues are carrying over from 2019 on the higher education beat, says reporter Collin Binkley of The Associated Press. Many of the biggest headline-grabbers this year are likely to center on admissions – the process of deciding who gets into what college. To settle a federal anti-trust case, colleges recently scrapped old rules that limited what they could do to compete for applicants. Now, a potential admissions marketing free-for-all will create new winners and losers. The Trump Administration’s policies against immigration, and tensions with countries such as Iran can’t help but impact foreign students interested in studying in the U.S. And the growing trend by colleges to drop application requirements for ACT and SAT test scores could also mean big changes to college access.

EWA Radio

Teachers Fight for Student Loan Debt Relief
NPR investigation finds thousands of borrowers wrongly denied federal forgiveness
(EWA Radio: Episode 217)

Two federal programs intended to steer college students toward public service jobs like teaching in high-poverty schools instead became mired in missteps, as recipients found their grants wrongly converted into high-interest loans. Cory Turner of NPR’s education team spent 18 months looking at problems with the TEACH Grant program.

Seminar

73rd EWA National Seminar
Rosen Centre Hotel • Orlando
May 27-29, 2020

EWA’s National Seminar is the largest annual gathering of journalists on the education beat. This year’s event in Orlando will explore an array of timely topics of interest to journalists from across the country, with a thematic focus on with a thematic focus on the vital roles that education and journalism play in democratic societies.

EWA Radio

A Thousand Days of Secretary DeVos
As President Trump's education chief approaches third year in office, a look at her impact, influence, and why she’s expected to stay the course
(EWA Radio: Episode 223)

When Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the U.S. secretary of education in early 2017, few observers would have bet she would stick around for long. Today, DeVos is one of the longest-serving members of President Trump’s cabinet. Rebecca Klein of The Huffington Post talked with dozens of people about the controversial education secretary’s tenure so far, crafting an in-depth analysis of what motivates her decisions and keeps her on the job.

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?

Webinar

Using Tuition Tracker to Strengthen Your College Affordability Reporting

Using Tuition Tracker to Strengthen Your College Affordability Reporting

Rising college tuition continues to be one of the most important stories that education journalists cover. But fact-checking exactly what price a college charges can be surprisingly difficult. At many schools, for example, almost no students pay the “sticker price” posted on the website.

EWA Radio

Paul Tough on Why College Years ‘Matter Most’
New book offers deep dive into social mobility, inequality in higher education
(EWA Radio: Episode 218)

In his new book, “The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes Us or Breaks Us,” author Paul Tough looks at inequities in access to high-quality higher education, specifically, the opportunity to earn degrees that research says lead to high-paying jobs, social mobility, and according to some research, better health and a longer life.

EWA Radio

No Forgiveness: Teachers Struggle With Unfair Student Loan Debt
Two federal programs under scrutiny, as thousands of borrowers caught in administrative missteps
(EWA Radio: Episode 217)

Two federal programs that were supposed to steer college students to public service jobs like teaching in high-poverty schools instead became mired in missteps, as the recipients unexpectedly found their grants wrongly converted into high-interest loans. Cory Turner of NPR’s education team spent 18 months looking at problems with the TEACH Grant program, and his findings helped spur the U.S. Department of Education to reverse course.

Webinar

How Local Reporters Can Tap Federal Education Data

How Local Reporters Can Tap Federal Education Data

When writing about education issues in a particular state or community — whether preschool access, teacher vacancy rates, homework or guidance counselor ratios  — putting local data in a national context is often essential. But how can you find those facts and figures quickly and easily, especially on deadline? 

The National Center for Education Statistics Data Lab is a useful tool that will help you find nuggets of informative data in a speedy manner.

EWA Radio

The Higher Ed Stories You Need to Know About
Underground fraternities, student loan debt, free speech on campus are top issues for fall
(EWA Radio: Episode 215)

Where can you find reliable data on how your colleges and universities are handling sexual-assault allegations on campus? How do you develop better sources among the faculty senate leadership? And why is now the time to focus on Greek life on campus — and a growing number of students’ opposition to it?

Webinar

How the ‘Public Charge’ Ruling Could Affect Students in Your Coverage Area

How the ‘Public Charge’ Ruling Could Affect Students in Your Coverage Area

The Trump administration’s new plan to make it harder for immigrants receiving public benefits to receive green cards could have sweeping implications for students and schools. 

The Education Writers Association presented this webinar to help reporters with story ideas and provide resources for covering the educational impact of the recently announced ”public charge” rule.

Key Coverage

Students Have an Uphill Battle to Degrees, But Montana Educators Push for Success

At Helena College, a 26-year-old student raising her daughter alone schedules class around her job at a grocery store. Stephanie Heitman’s paychecks were going toward unpaid medical bills until her small college helped with a grant.

When Tristin Bullshoe landed at the University of Montana after growing up in Browning, he struggled to pursue his dream of being a doctor. He landed in a college lecture hall with 300 people after graduating high school with a class of 12, and the Blackfeet student faced culture shock.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Redrawing the Map for Student Success

When Baltimore City Public Schools placed current education data on a map of the city’s historic racial redlining, it was apparent that not much had changed, as district CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises tells the story. The segregated neighborhoods created in part by policies that barred predominantly black communities from federally subsidized mortgages were the same neighborhoods that today showed lower academic outcomes.

Santelises said those findings motivated her district to take a closer look at what kind of opportunities it provides students.