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2006 October 20 - 12:00 am

Writer's Guidelines

Around the Nation | Dateline Washington | Point of View | Technology Today | Around Campus | Faculty Lounge | Professional Notes | Technical Specifications | Submissions

First and foremost, if you’re not familiar with CCW, please take a look at the print version or online before submitting. That’s the best way to figure out whether it’s likely we would run a story, brief, etc. on whatever it is you’re contemplating sending us. We never run verbatim any unsolicited story-length pieces we get from non-reporters. If we use them for anything, we end up having to strip the information out of the longer piece, which wastes your time and efforts.

There are two primary ways of getting your college’s name into the paper far more visibly than you would in a brief “Grants & Gifts” or “Professional Notes” announcement (although we value these too):

  1. Persuade your college’s president, a provost, a dean, a professor or anyone on campus with a thought-out, genuinely opinionated opinion about an interesting issue to write an opinion piece. Keep in mind that CCW is a nationally distributed publication, so make sure the issue would be as interesting and relevant to someone on the other side of the continent as it would be on your campus.
  2. PHOTOS, PHOTOS, PHOTOS! We like photos. Especially photos depicting unusual things. Especially photos in either .jpg or .tif format depicting unusual things. They break up text and draw the reader's attention. A photo resolution of 300 DPI is ideal, and larger is better.

Submission Topics

What has the best chance of getting into each section of the paper:

“Around the Nation” (main news section):
All news stories come from our own reporters or, in the case of breaking news, from the Associated Press newswire. But we do assign some stories based on leads or tips that we get, and some of those come from e-mails from P.R. people. These can be tips for hard news, features or out-of-the-ordinary things.

“Dateline Washington” (federal policy/news section):
You’re pretty much out of luck here, unless a very prominent national politician comes to visit your campus (if he or she does, see No. 2 above: PHOTOS PHOTOS PHOTOS!)

“Point of View” (op-ed section):
Here’s your opportunity to get almost half a page of attention for your college, with its name and even a photo in a prominent place. All you have to do is persuade somebody at the college (preferably the president or an especially articulate professor, but anybody with an opinion who can write is welcome) to write 1,000 to 1,200 words on something of importance to the community college world. The topic could be teaching/learning, faculty diversity, business/college partnerships, the role of boards of trustees, funding, remediation, articulation, faculty training, student population changes, image control, curricula, etc. For examples, see our current offerings under “Point of View” on our Web site or in the physical paper (usually page 4).

“Technology Today” (technology section):
As with the news section above, we never run verbatim any unsolicited story-length pieces we get from non-reporters. Also as above, however, tips and tidbits are welcome for our Bits & Bytes section, and as always, unusual is always best.

Online and distance education companies take note: Because our primary audience is administrative and academic, our coverage does not focus on the business aspect of online distance education (e.g, “online distance education company X merges with online distance education company Y”). We also don’t run stories about hardware or software in and of itself (we let our independently contracted technology columnist, Reid Goldsborough, who doesn’t work in-house, handle that.)

“Around Campus” (student-oriented section):
The main story on this page is always about an unusual phenomenon literally on campus grounds or, more often, about a student. If he’s a world-class horseshoe thrower or is 7 years old or runs a marathon to get to school each day, or if she turned down a full ride at Harvard to attend your community college, or is also a tribal elder or holds a Guinness record, we’d like to hear about it. We also love to get little factlets about students — these nuggets, which come primarily through your hard work and industry in sending press releases, go into briefs that fit nicely into small spaces on the page. Unfortunately, we don’t have room to run stories about students getting scholarships or making the honor roll in this section.

A special note on the Grants & Gifts section on this page:
We thank you for as many of these as you can send. Every two weeks, we take as many Grants & Gifts notices as we can fit into the paper and publish them. They must include four key ingredients:

  1. Who/what is giving the grant or gift
  2. Which college is receiving it
  3. How much the grant or gift is worth, if it is not cash
  4. Whether (and what for) the grant or gift is earmarked. To ensure the fastest turn-around time possible, send these by e-mail. Otherwise they may sit forlornly in a file, waiting for long stretches for someone to type them.

“Faculty Lounge” (faculty-oriented section):
The main story on this page is always about an unusual faculty member, or a faculty member with an interesting past, or an interesting second career, or an interesting something else.

A special note on the Honors and Awards section on this page:
We thank you for as many of these as you can send. As above, you’re much better off e-mailing these items. Owing again to the finitude of space in the paper, we can regrettably list only faculty (rather than staff or trustees or administrators) who have been given an award. Neither do we list in this section awards given to colleges collectively. The following information must be included in order for us to run the award:

  1. Who/what is giving the award
  2. What professor is receiving it (please mention whether or not the professor holds a doctorate so we can note that fact)
  3. What the award is called, if it has a name
  4. What the award is for (excellent teaching, mentoring, etc.)

“Professional Notes” (our veritable “Who’s Who”-in-the-upper-echelons-of-two-year-academia section):
Again, we thank you for as many of these as you can e-mail. It’s nice to include a head-shot photograph (.jpg or .tif format, please) with the announcement, particularly if the person to be listed is a president or chancellor. It is also absolutely necessary to note whether the person holds an earned doctorate and to list where each of the person’s degrees was obtained. In this section, the person being listed must be taking one of the following jobs:

  • Chancellor
  • Vice Chancellor
  • President
  • Vice President
  • Provost
  • Vice Provost
  • Dean
  • Associate Dean
  • Assistant Dean

We only run appointments that occur when someone moves within a college or from one college to another, not appointments of a president, dean, etc. to a commission or other body.

We do not run trustee appointments or elections. Nor do we run appointments to foundation or other ancillary positions.

Submission Guidelines

Finally, and most importantly, with regard to all submissions:

  • All article submissions should be sent to The Publisher. .
  • Attach text submissions as Microsoft Word document files (.doc) whenever possible.
  • Photos should be formatted as either .jpg or .tif images whenever possible.
  • We recommend that you send photos with a resolution of 300 DPI or greater. This will ensure better newsprint quality.
  • Briefly describe your submission in the “Subject” line of the e-mail.
  • It is strongly recommended that you do not start your subject with the words “PRESS RELEASE” as we get about three hundred of those a month.

In regards to all of the above, please be patient with regard to our responses to your press releases, etc. The urgency of our biweekly deadlines sometimes means we regrettably have to put off getting back to you until the issue is finished.

We do not guarantee the publication of submissions. In addition, all submissions may be edited for length and clarity. Writers will be notified prior to publication of their articles.

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