Higher Education Media Fellowship

The Higher Education Media Fellowship at the Institute for Citizens & Scholars aims to increase the number of journalists with the tools and networks to provide richer and more comprehensive coverage of postsecondary education, particularly career and technical education. The Fellowship program is sponsored by the ECMC Foundation and administered by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. 

Application deadline: December 10, 2021

The Fellowship

  • Each ECMC Foundation Fellow in the Higher Education Fellowship program will be awarded $10,000—$5,000 as a stipend and $5,000 towards the reporting project.  
  • The six-month, non-residential program begins with an expense-paid post secondary career and technical education (CTE) symposium.  
  • Following the symposium, Fellows must complete a reporting project, such as a special report or series.  
  • Fellows will also attend a CTE Collaborative Convening hosted by the ECMC Foundation in the fall. 

Important Dates

Notification of Status 
Late-February, 2022

CTE Symposium
Spring 2022 Fellows will attend the Symposium in April 2022

Eligibility

The Fellowship is open to U.S. journalists who are education beat reporters or those whose work experience includes reporting on education and associated workforce development, social, or public policy issues. Potential Fellows will be early- and mid-career journalists interested in deepening and expanding their understanding of postsecondary education with a specific emphasis on CTE. Print, radio, TV, multimedia, and online editors and journalists from local and national publications and digital-only news platforms are eligible, as are freelancers who target mainstream/corporate and independent media outlets. 

CONTACT US

Higher Ed Media Fellows

Spring 2021 

  • Adam Bruns | Site Selection Magazine 
  • Stephanie Daniel | KUNC 
  • Derricke Dennis | ABC News New York 
  • Cassandra Etienne Freelance 
  • Tasmiha Khan | Freelance 
  • Kate McGee | Texas Tribune 
  • Elle Moxely (Honorary Fellow)| KCUR 
  • David Tobenkin | Freelance 
  • Alina Tugend | Freelance 
  • Charlotte West | Freelance 
  • Chandra Thomas Whitfield | Freelance 

Fall 2020 

  • Kirk Carapezza | GBH 
  • Kavitha Cardoza | Freelance 
  • Danielle Dreilinger | Freelance 
  • Ron French | Bridge Magazine 
  • Rebecca Koenig | EdSurge 
  • Molly Osborne | EdNC 
  • Bianca Quilantan | Politico 
  • Eileen Truax | Freelance 

 

Spring 2020 

  • Jenny Brundin | Colorado Public Radio 
  • Jason Gonzales | Chalkbeat Colorado 
  • Lori Higgins | Chalkbeat Detroit 
  • Jon Marcus |The Hechinger Report 
  • Patrick O’Donnell | The 74 Million 
  • Amy Scott | Marketplace 
  • Ashley A. Smith | EdSource 
  • Debbie Truong | WAMU 
  • Alia Wong | USA Today 
  • Mikhail Zinshteyn | CalMatters 

Frequently Asked Questions

The Higher Ed Media Fellowship provides financial awards, professional development, and training to pursue reporting projects, particularly those focused on the field of postsecondary career and technical education.

The Fellowship program is sponsored by the ECMC Foundation and administered by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars.

Citizens & Scholars will select 8-10 Fellows for each class. There will be two classes in 2020, two classes in 2021, and at least one class in 2022.

Each ECMCF Fellow in the Higher Ed Media Fellowship program will be awarded $10,000—$5,000 as a stipend and $5,000 towards a reporting project.

The $5K reporting project portion is to be used to cover the costs of your reporting project. Such expenses may include travel, data collection, registration fees for additional workshops/conferences, and/or contracting with other journalists or coaches. 

Fellow choose a topic related to postsecondary career and technical education for their reporting project. The project may be in whatever medium the Fellow works–prose, audio, video, photo–so long as the piece is published. Reporting projects should be a special report or series of articles, or a similar long-form project for other mediums.

The Fellowship period is approximately six months and can be completed at your home news organization. The program begins with an expense-paid CTE symposium hosted by the Citizens & Scholars. Following that event, Fellows will have six months to complete and publish their reporting project. 

Yes. Fellows will be expected to publish or air their project with their home news organization or an independent outlet. Applicants must include a letter of recommendation from an editor that includes a statement of support to participate in this project.

The Fellowship is open to U.S. journalists who are education beat reporters or those whose work experience includes reporting on education and/or associated workforce development, social, or public policy issues. Fellows may be staff or professional freelance journalists. Print, multimedia, radio, TV, and online editors and journalists from local and national publications and digital-only news platforms are eligible, as are freelancers who target mainstream/corporate and independent media outlets.

Ineligible applicants include employees of professional organizations, educational institutions, think tanks, alumni periodicals, advocates, or groups focused on research, advocacy or lobbying. 

Fellows are required to attend two events a year. The Fellowship will begin with the postsecondary CTE symposium hosted by the Citizens & Scholars. The symposium will run from a Friday evening until a Sunday afternoon. In the fall of the Fellowship year, Fellows will also attend a CTE Collaborative convening. This convening is hosted by the ECMC Foundation and will bring ECMCF Fellows from the  Higher Education Media Fellowship together with Fellows from other career and technical education fellowship programs funded by ECMC. Expenses for both these events will be covered by C&S. Fellows will also be required to provide brief, periodic progress updates about their project.

Fellows may focus on any topic related to the field of postsecondary career and technical education. Special reports or series may highlight the challenges or potential solutions students, schools, policy, programming, or stakeholders face. There is no approval process for reporting project topics.

Yes, Fellows will be selected for each class from the pool of applicants submitted. There will be one application period in 2020, two in 2021, and at least one in 2022.

A “working journalist” is a person whose principal vocation is journalism, and who is employed in one or more newspaper establishments–on a full-time, part-time basis or in relation (freelance)–as an editor, a leader writer, news editor, sub-editor, feature writer, copy-tester, reporter, correspondent, cartoonist, news photographer or proof-reader. It does not include persons employed for managerial or administrative roles.

Application Information

A complete Higher Education Media Fellowship application consists of these required components:

  • a submitted online application;
  • two (2) letters of recommendation; and
  • a supplemental items PDF including a résumé and full work samples.

Please note:

  • The deadline for ALL components of the application is December 10, 2021 11:59 p.m. ET. It is strongly recommended that all components be submitted at least one day prior to the application deadline, to ensure the documents have been received.
  • You will be able to login and return at any time to your account to edit your personal information, change your password, start and/or complete your application, and verify receipt of supplemental items.
  • If all components are not received by deadline, the application will be incomplete. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • • education beat reporters or those whose work experience includes reporting on education and associated workforce development, social, or public policy issues 
  • • interest in deepening and expanding their understanding of postsecondary education with a specific emphasis on career and technical education 
  • • staff or professional freelance journalist able to work independently while holding regular jobs or commitments 
  • • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency (if permanent resident, a copy of your Green Card must be included as part of your supplemental items PDF) 

 

If you have questions about your eligibility, please email CTEMedia@citizensandscholars.org. 

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars uses an online application portal which requires an account. There is no fee to apply. Once you’ve created an account, the online application includes basic personal and professional information, a statement of interest, an area to link to three work samples, and prompts to upload and request your supplemental items. If you bookmark the portal, you can log in any time to make changes. 

Statement of interest: In 500 words or less, please tell us your interest in pursuing this Fellowship opportunity and why you would be a good candidate. 

Three (3) work samples: Please provide links to and PDF copies (via the supplemental items PDF) of three work samples published within the past five years. These samples should be your best recent work. Links will be submitted as a part of the application, PDF versions will be included in the supplemental items packet that you will upload. 

Two (2) Letters of Recommendation: These letters (1-2 pages in length) should evaluate your reporting interests; assess the quality of your journalistic work; explain how the award will benefit your professional development; briefly discuss your reporting qualifications; and assess your commitment to quality coverage of issues facing American education. 

  • • At least one letter of recommendation should be from an editor or supervisor and include a statement of support for completing the requirements of this Fellowship. If freelance, the letter with statement of support for considering the reporting project must be written by an appropriate editor at an independent news outlet. 
  • • The other letter may come from anyone in the applicant’s professional network. It may not come from a family member. 
  • • You will be prompted to submit contact information for your recommenders through the portal. They will receive an email requesting they upload their letter. 
  • • Letters of recommendation must be written on professional letterhead, signed, and submitted through the online application. 

It is strongly recommended that you request letters of recommendation as early as possible, recommendation letters and supplemental items must be received PRIOR to submitting the application. Submit the application when complete, using the submit button at the left-hand side of the application. If you have missed any required fields, you will receive an error message.  Click on the item(s) listed within parentheses and you will be taken directly to the missed field.  Once all required fields have been completed, click on the submit button. 

A single PDF file will be uploaded as your supplemental items packet. Please name the file “LastnameFirstname_HEM_Supplemental” with no spaces. The supplemental items PDF packet will include, in this order: 

  1. Resumé: This is an important opportunity to showcase your excellence. There is no need to limit your résumé to one page, but we ask you make it no more than two pages. 
  2. Full work samples: Please include a full length version of the work samples you indicated in your application. Photo packages should include full caption information and be laid out in the PDF packet. Video, radio, or TV pieces can be included as a hyperlink to a public version. 

If you need help with the online application portal, email tech-help@citizensandscholars.org. 

Once you’ve completed your application, uploaded supplemental materials, and the system has received your requested letters of recommendation, you can submit your application. You can track receipt of your letters of recommendation in the “recommenders” section of your application. It is your responsibility to follow up with your recommenders to ensure that they have submitted their online recommendation by the deadline. 

  • • Admission deadline: December 10, 2021. 
  • • Link to online application. 
  • • For technical issues with the online application system, email tech-help@citizensandscholars.org. 

If you have any questions about your eligibility or application, email CTEMedia@citizensandscholars.org. Finalists will be notified by late-February. 

Important Program Dates

Deadline
December 10, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST

Notification of Status
Late-February 2022

CTE Symposium
April 2022 | Nashville, TN