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EdNC’s Molly Osborne selected for Higher Education Media Fellowship

EdNC’s Director of Policy Molly Osborne is one of eight journalists selected for the WW Higher Education Media Fellowship. The program is sponsored by the ECMC Foundation and administered by the WW Foundation.

The fellowship “aims to increase the number of journalists equipped with tools and networks to provide more comprehensive coverage of postsecondary education, particularly career and technical education (CTE).”

Osborne says, “With the impact of COVID-19, career and technical education will be a critical part of North Carolina’s economic recovery. I’m excited to be joining an incredible group of journalists as we focus on the challenges and opportunities facing postsecondary education, particularly CTE. This moment will shape our future.”

Osborne first joined the EdNC team in the summer of 2016 while working on her master’s degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and later joined the team full time in 2017. She is also a former classroom teacher.

 This is the fellowship’s second cohort. Here is the rest of the cohort:

  • Kirk Carapezza, WGBH
  • Kavitha Cardoza, Freelance
  • Danielle Dreilinger, Freelance
  • Ron French, Bridge Magazine
  • Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge
  • Bianca Quilantan, Politico 
  • Eileen Traux, Freelance

Each fellow receives $10,000 — a $5,000 stipend and $5,000 to support a CTE reporting project. The fellows will also attend a virtual symposium this fall related to postsecondary CTE and professional development. Following that symposium, Osborne will work on a CTE reporting project to be published by EducationNC.

“As the nation continues to adjust to the new normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, a critical look at career and technical education has never been more important,” said WW President Rajiv Vinnakota in a press release. “With an economy in flux, we have to continue to examine and assess postsecondary opportunities we’re offering students so they can train for careers and flourish as active members of society. This Fellowship will bolster the already stellar work of these journalists and give them additional tools, resources, and connections to dig into CTE topics and issues.”

Since 2018, Osborne has spearheaded various aspects of EdNC’s postsecondary education coverage, including planning a blitz of all 58 North Carolina community colleges and researching issues such as residency determination and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on community colleges.

She was on the ground when the first students returned to community colleges campuses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

MC Belk Pilon, president and board chair of the John M Belk Endowment, says,

“We are excited Molly has been selected to be an ECMC Foundation Fellow and proud that her research and leadership on community colleges and postsecondary access will make a difference in North Carolina and nationally. We look forward to this deep dive on career and technical education from this cohort of leaders at this important moment in time.”

Osborne’s knowledge bridges K-12 and postsecondary, the classroom and public policy. Her commitment to our students and best practices in their experience of  the educational system shows up in her research and reporting — and the relationships she builds along the way. 

We are proud and thankful she is on our team.

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.

Analisa Sorrells

Analisa Sorrells is a Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and previously worked as chief of staff and associate director of policy for EducationNC.