The Miami Herald’s Michael Vasquez has been honored with a National Headliner Award for his year-long investigation of Florida’s for-profit colleges, Higher-Ed Hustle.
The annual Headliner Awards, now in its 82nd year, attract entries from around the country, and were founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City. Higher-Ed Hustle received the first-place award for best “news series” in a daily newspaper with circulation over 100,000.
The Herald series, published in April of 2015, led to the closure of Miami’s most politically-connected for-profit college, Dade Medical College. Dade Medical owner Ernesto Perez was subsequently arrested for making illegal campaign contributions. In recent weeks, Florida lawmakers also took action — passing a law to close a loophole that had allowed Dade Medical and other schools to offer unaccredited physical therapy assistant degree programs.
The new law is awaiting Gov. Rick Scott’s signature.
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Higher-Ed Hustle is also a finalist for two national awards from the Education Writers Association, with winners to be announced next month. EWA judges wrote “this is the type of investigative reporting that journalism so desperately needs to keep alive.”