Strategic Partnerships for Pre-K-12 Journalism Education: Higher Education for a Higher Purpose

Strategic Partnerships for Pre-K-12 Journalism Education: Higher Education for a Higher Purpose

Darlene Kamine, Robert Stewart
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0280-8.ch002
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A deep and innovative partnership is being co-created between the Ohio University Scripps Schools of Journalism and its alumni in the Cincinnati area with the Community Learning Center Institute, and the teachers, partners, and students at the Oyler Community Learning Center. This chapter will provide insight and practical lessons for the engagement process and infrastructure that is necessary for the development and sustainability of genuine, lasting, and transformative university–school partnerships.
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A school in an urban Appalachian community in Cincinnati has partnered with the top-10 university journalism programs to offer an innovative pre-k-12 curriculum that includes critical thinking and writing skills needed by journalists and other communication professionals. The partnership integrates faculty and alumni from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism with Oyler’s volunteer journalism instructor and other Oyler faculty. The relationship began when Oyler high school students started attending the Scripps School’s High School Summer Journalism Workshop on scholarship. Oyler high school students have worked with Scripps’ students at The Post, the university’s independent student newspaper, to develop the Oyler Griffin website and social media strategy. The Scripps School and Oyler faculty continue to broaden collaboration to include Oyler’s pre-k and middle school students. The two programs are exploring a specific college credit plus program to help Oyler students start their journalism studies at Ohio University. Several Scripps alumni who work in the Cincinnati market also volunteer as tutors and journalism mentors at Oyler.

Another unique element of this partnership is Oyler’s community learning center infrastructure. Community agencies which are part of the Oyler hub of partners provide the connective tissue which makes the OU – Oyler partnership possible. From transportation and chaperones for the students attending OU during the summer when teachers are on break, to transportation, clothing, and all of the other details and logistics, the community learning center essential to the seamless connection between pre-k-12 and the university.

This partnership is a departure from decades of separation between pre-k-12 and higher education rooted in a century of differentiated education that expected only a small elite to go to college. Ohio University and Oyler are co-creating pre-k-16 education that is dedicated to the preparation of all students to be prepared for college, regardless of what life path they select.

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