We’re launching a new project to support local reporting across the country. And, our reporter explored the end of a college-access scholarship program in Pittsburgh.

The Dispatch
Sign up for the newsletter

A newsletter about role of higher education in society — plus Open Campus developments.

Do you have an idea for a higher education story but lack the bandwidth or expertise to make it happen? We’ve created a new way for local newsrooms around the country to work with Open Campus.

We’re seeking pitches for ambitious, one-time stories on a range of higher education topics that center local communities.

We’ll provide newsrooms up to $10,000 per selected story to help cover reporting costs. Plus, reporters whose stories we green-light will get:

  • Our higher-ed expertise
  • Editing support
  • Data assistance
  • Additional reporting help, if necessary

The goal of these collaborations is to foster stronger coverage of local higher ed — after all, most Americans go to college within 50 miles of their hometown. More information is available here — and, here are answers to a few key questions:

What types of stories are you interested in? We aren’t being too prescriptive at this stage in the process. Your story should be about higher education, and focused in a specific state or city. Topics we’re interested include (but aren’t limited to) economic development, issues facing rural colleges and students, and education in prisons.

Should newsrooms or reporters apply? We’re open to both. Our goal is to do great stories and build long-term relationships with newsrooms. That means our priority is partnering with news organizations. Individual reporters are also welcome to pitch projects as well, with support from their newsroom.

Have questions? Email us at info@opencampusmedia.org.

Support our work going into 2024

behind-closed-doors effort to overhaul financial aid in Mississippi. The plight of underpaid graduate student employees in Pittsburgh. Faculty members fleeing Florida. The use of tablets in prisons. A push at Louisiana HBCUs to increase the number of Black male teachers.

These are just a few examples of the stories we’ve told in the last year. They’re stories that really matter to communities, and that wouldn’t exist without us.

If this type of reporting matters to you, please support it. Now through Dec. 31, donations to Open Campus will be doubled up to $20,000.

Donate Today

Elsewhere on Open Campus

Wade Lipscomb, a recipient of The Pittsburgh Promise and owner of Triple 3 Construction. (Photo by Stephanie Strasburg/PublicSource)

From Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Promise, a last-dollar scholarship for students from Pittsburgh Public Schools, is winding downEmma Folts at our partner PublicSource talked to scholarship recipients about how it made college possible for them — such as Wade Lipscomb, who said it was a “big part in really getting me to think about college being an option, and then also helping me pay for it.”

From California: Adam Echelman at our partner CalMatters dove into the 50% law, which requires community colleges to spend at least half of their general fund each year on classroom instructors. Faculty say the law ensures that colleges focus on teaching, but college administrators say it’s outdated.

“Our mission has changed drastically,” said West Hills Community College District Chancellor Kristin Clark. “Just sending them into a classroom isn’t enough these days.”

Adjunct Columbia College faculty picket at the South Loop school Monday morning. (Photo: Lisa Philip / WBEZ)

From Chicago: Nearly 600 adjunct professors at Columbia College Chicago went on strike this week, after administrators proposed cutting hundreds of course sections.

From Cleveland: A group of Black students at Case Western Reserve University, a majority white institution, are encouraging each other to show up authentically.

From El Paso: Meet the El Paso Community College recruiter who logs 27,000 miles every year.

From Tampa Bay: Ray Rodrigues,the head of Florida’s university system, directed schools to disband campus chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, a group he alleged is aligned in support of terrorists.

Keep in touch

Interested in reaching readers who care about higher education in communities across the country? Get in touch or request our media kit.

Please share. Forward this newsletter to colleagues, family, and friends who might be interested. They can sign up for their own copy here.

Run a newsroom and want to improve your coverage of higher ed? Let’s talk.

Got a story tip or a question? Please send it along.