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Special Education Programming

The documentary series APM Reports is releasing three new programs this month.  Each delves into different areas of education.

1. Fading Beacon: Why America Is Losing International Students  - August 6th at 7pm and August 8th at 6pm on 103.3, Waco Public Radio - KWBU.

This hour explores a sea change in the number of foreign students attending U.S. colleges, which have typically attracted more than a million international students a year. Higher education is one of America’s top service exports, generating $42 billion in revenue — money those institutions need, given the drop in public funding. After the Great Recession, a rapid rise in full-pay international students, especially from China and India, helped make up for the loss of public support. But the money spigot is closing. The pandemic, visa restrictions, rising tuition, and a perception of safety issues in America have driven new international student enrollment down by a jaw-dropping 72 percent. Tuition dollars aren’t the only loss. In the past, international exchanges served as a form of diplomacy, forging ties to other countries. In this hour, we team up with Karin Fischer of the Chronicle of Higher Education to trace America’s rise as a global beacon for higher education and examine what’s lost as that changes.  

2. Who Wants to be a Teacher?  Friday August 13th at 7pm and Sunday August 15th at 6pm on 103.3, Waco Public Radio - KWBU

Schools around the country are struggling to find enough teachers. Many quit after a short time on the job, creating a constant struggle to replace them. Each year, there are close to 300,000 first-year teachers in the nation’s classrooms. At the same time, enrollment in teacher training programs at colleges and universities is plummeting, and schools are looking to other sources to fill teaching positions. In Nevada, a desperate need for teachers this year led to allowing people with just a high school diploma to fill in as substitutes. Oklahoma recently changed its law to allow people with a bachelor’s degree — in anything — to teach indefinitely on emergency teaching certificates. Schools in Texas are increasingly turning to for-profit teacher training programs. We’ll look at the implications of these changes, both for the children and for the teaching force.

3.  Under Pressure: The college mental health crisis.  Friday, August 20th at 7pm and Sunday, August 23 at 6pm on 103.3, Waco Pubic Radio - KWBU

Even before the pandemic, campus counseling services were reporting a marked uptick in the number of students with anxiety, clinical depression, and other serious psychiatric problems. A 2019 survey found that 66 percent of college students felt overwhelming anxiety during the last year. Almost half felt so depressed that it was difficult to function. Some 13 percent seriously considered suicide. Students and parents are pressing colleges to provide more support and accommodations for students with mental health challenges. College administrators are feeling pressure to do more to retain students whose mental health issues might otherwise lead them to drop out — and to ensure that students don’t harm themselves or others. This collaboration between APM Reports and the Call to Mind project asks: What is a college’s responsibility for helping students navigate mental health challenges, and how well are colleges rising to the task?