Bridge journalist wins fellowship to deepen work on career tech education

Bridge Michigan senior writer Ron French is one of eight journalists nationally to receive a fellowship through a Princeton University-based foundation that will help Bridge provide deeper coverage of postsecondary education, particularly career and technical education. 

Each fellow receives a $10,000 award to help underwrite their reporting. They will attend virtual sessions and professional development this fall on topics related to career and technical education and then complete a reporting project on the subject for their respective publications.  

Ron French will participate in seminars and other professional development to deepen his reporting on post-secondary pathways for students. 

“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 Rajiv Vinnakota, president of the WW Foundation, formerly the Woodward Wilson National Fellowship Foundation at Princeton. “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 is the second class of journalists named to the Higher Education Media Fellowship. It is supported by the Los-Angeles-based ECMC Foundation, which works to improve post-high school outcomes for students from underserved communities.  

French, who writes primarily on education, has also recently taken on duties as project editor at Bridge. He helped found the nonprofit publication in 2011 after winning more than 40 national and state journalism awards at The Detroit News. 

As part of the fellowship, French will report on career and technical education at Michigan community colleges while continuing to cover K-12 and higher education for Bridge.

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