HERI will be co-hosting its first-ever event geared to higher ed reporters with the Education Writers Association tomorrow (11/4). It seems like we are always at conferences—presenting or merely attending—but it’s rare that we host events on campus (with the exception of our HERI summer institutes (http://heri.ucla.edu/SummerInstitute.php) and even more rare to have an audience of primarily higher education reporters.
It’s no surprise that as HERI’s communications manager, I am especially looking forward to this particular event. But I also have a personal connection to it. It wasn’t that long ago that I attended this conference as a journalist, and there’s a part of me that is nostalgic for the world of beat reporting, tight deadlines and the frenetic energy of working in a newsroom.
Having the reporting background has helped me better understand how CIRP data can be valuable to the media. In helping to prepare for my colleague’s session on “How to Ace the CIRP Freshman Survey” it became clear why CIRP data is in such demand, and that’s because it’s so relevant. CIRP data has an application for all kinds of stories–from those that deal with everyday, mundane happenings to those that cover life-changing events.
For example, we often see CIRP data making its way into stories about the state of the economy, particularly in regard to tuition increases, parental unemployment, dim job prospects for graduating seniors, etc. But we also see CIRP data playing an important role in helping to understand the effects of major current events. The death of Osama Bin Laden, for example,prompted several press inquiries about students in a pre 9/11 world and how their views and values changed as a result of this event.
It boils down to this–our data offers a window into the student perspective, and people really care what students think. For more information on the EWA conference, visit: