Lumina 19-21

Overview

Education and the American Dream: Pathways From High School to College and Careers
Northwestern University • November 14-15, 2019

What will it take to make the U.S. education system a more powerful engine for economic mobility? What are the obstacles, especially for low-income families and students of color?

At this journalists-only seminar on Nov. 14-15 in Chicago, we will explore these and other questions, with a special focus on emerging efforts to create stronger pathways from high school to college and promising careers.

Here is a copy of the agenda.

Topics we expect to address include: 

What will it take to make the U.S. education system a more powerful engine for economic mobility? What are the obstacles, especially for low-income families and students of color?

At this journalists-only seminar on Nov. 14-15 in Chicago, we will explore these and other questions, with a special focus on emerging efforts to create stronger pathways from high school to college and promising careers.

Here is a copy of the agenda.

Topics we expect to address include: 

  • What do we really know about the impact of K-12 and higher education on economic mobility? What data can help inform local coverage of your schools and colleges?
  • Where are promising examples of schools replacing dead-end vocational tracks with high-quality career and technical education that leads to careers with a future?
  • Why does guidance counseling in schools often fall short, and what are promising ways to address the problem?
  • What’s the track record of Advanced Placement, dual enrollment, and dual credit programs in serving disadvantaged students, and what are the best ways to gauge the impact of local programs? 
  • What are some high schools learning as they pivot to measure the success of their graduates? And how are they seeking to help students on their postsecondary journeys?

Journalists will come away from this two-day 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, experts, and educators.

This event is open to EWA journalist members only. Information on registering for this event will be available soon. Eligible journalists may apply for scholarships to reimburse expenses for lodging and basic travel costs.

Apply for Journalist Scholarship

Register Now

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.

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.

Information

FAQs About the Fall 2019 EWA Reporting Fellowships

What is the EWA Reporting Fellowship?

The EWA Reporting Fellowship 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

Can a State Help More Residents Finish College?
With 75 percent of the state’s jobs requiring postsecondary credentials, Colorado looks to boost college and career training
(EWA Radio: Episode 213)

Like many states, Colorado has set an ambitious goal for boosting the number of citizens with advanced degrees and credentials, all with an eye toward filling high-need jobs in areas like health care and manufacturing. In a five-part series, EWA Reporting Fellow Stephanie Daniel of KUNC (Northern Colorado Community Radio) looks at how the Rocky Mountain state is trying to do that:

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.

Key Coverage

Special Series: Offender Learning
The Oklahoman

At a time when Oklahoma — and the nation — continues to deal with overcrowded prisons and high rates of reoffending, higher education programs behind bars offer one of the most successful models at rehabilitation.

Through a fellowship with the Education Writers Association, The Oklahoman traveled to England to learn more about the nation’s prison education program at a time when Oklahoma’s high incarceration rate has most facilities over capacity and officials with the state Department of Corrections claiming new prisons are needed to handle the continued growth.