Cart 0 $0.00
IRE favicon

IRE on Campus

IRE on Campus provides a meeting place for journalism educators and students to share ideas, course materials and resources. Through collaboration, instructors are able to offer stronger guidance for their students and to further their own research and growth. With support from Lumina Foundation, Syracuse University and the Rick Gevers-Karen Burns Diversity Fund for College Journalists, IRE also is providing special training opportunities for educators and students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

NICAR Courses

Let IRE’s experienced trainers give you everything you need to offer your students a foundation in reporting with data using spreadsheets.

This spreadsheet module will give you all of the materials you need to give your students a hands-on introduction to data journalism. NICAR Courses isn’t a textbook but provides step-by-step teaching guides and real data to go along with the exercises. These datasets have been used by professional journalists and will give your students real-life examples of how to find stories in data.

Instructors should expect the materials to cover two to three weeks of class and include some of the best tips from IRE trainers on how to teach particular concepts and keep students moving forward at a steady pace. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’re happy to help you bring these valuable lessons to your classroom.

Pick the version that works best for your class: Excel for PC, Excel for Mac or Google Sheets.

What's Included:

  • Four exercises on spreadsheet basics, including functions and sorting
  • Three exercises on using rates and ratios
  • Three exercises on filtering and using PivotTables
  • A guide to importing data from text and PDFs
  • Step-by-step instructions and exercises for scraping data from websites using Google Sheets
  • A hands-on guide to cleaning data in Excel/Google Sheets
  • A cheat sheet of spreadsheet formulas
  • Teaching tips from IRE trainers
  • 15 data sets used in exercises throughout the course
  • Instructor version includes step-by-step instructions, teaching tips and exercise guides with instructions, questions and detailed answers.
  • Student version includes exercises (without answers); detailed guides to importing, scraping with Google Sheets and data cleaning; and a quick reference spreadsheet guide.

Want to learn more?

Instructors can download sample materials including the table of contents and portions of a teaching guide and exercise (student and instructor versions).

If you’d like to see more, email We can send you the entire course pack, minus the data, so you can figure out if NICAR Courses is right for your class.

Ready to register your class?

The first step is to fill out our enrollment form. Once you’ve submitted your information, a member of the IRE team will send you an instructor’s version of the course pack free of charge. Students will be able to purchase and immediately download the student version of the materials from the IRE Store. NICAR Courses costs $20 per student.

If you have questions about the enrollment process or need special accommodations, please contact Lauren Grandestaff at

Teaching Resources

Below is a list of class material we've collected. If you'd like to share your class resources (syllabi, reading lists, slide decks, etc.) email and we'll add your materials to the list. 

- Dana Chinn, USC Annenberg, Introduction to Investigative and Data Journalism
- Josh Hinkle, St. Edward's University, Broadcast Journalism 

Data Bootcamp for Educators

In these four-and-a-half day bootcamps, educators will receive hands-on training on spreadsheets with a focus on learning how to teach these tools in a college setting. 

Topics will include building data lessons into existing coursework, creating syllabi for data journalism courses and building hands-on teaching skills. Attendees will receive IRE’s training materials and data, which can be used in their classes.

The bootcamps will be taught by IRE’s experienced trainers and a college-level data journalism professor. The bootcamps are open to anyone teaching journalism at a college or university, regardless of academic title. No data journalism or data teaching experience is necessary. 

Learn more

Student Resources

As a student member of IRE you get the same member benefits as professionals! Here are a few additional resources to be aware of:

  • Keep your student membership rate after graduation: If you join IRE as a student and keep you membership current until graduation, you'll get to keep the student membership rate ($25/year) for up to three years after graduation. That's a savings of $45 a year!
  • Student pricing for IRE training: We offer lower prices for students attending our trainings. As long as you have a student membership, you'll get the student event rate. That makes training more affordable during and immediately after college.
  • Conference Mentorship Program: Attending one of our annual conferences (NICAR or IRE)? Watch for our free conference mentorship program announcement. Sign up to be matched with a mentor, and IRE will pair you with a journalist who can offer guidance on a project, your career and more.
  • Listservs: One of the best ways to get help and build your professional network is by joining an IRE email listserv. The NICAR-L listserv is geared toward data journalism. Get help with data problems you're facing, or just follow the conversations to learn more about data journalism.
  • Enter your work in the IRE Awards: Students enter our annual contest for free! Submit your best investigative or data-driven work for a chance to win prestigious recognition. All stories enter into the contest go into IRE's library of Contest Entries, allowing your work to inspire others for years to come.

Meet Your IRE Expert

Cody Winchester
Francisco Vara-Orta

Francisco Vara-Orta brings 17 years of newsroom experience to his role as IRE's first director of diversity and inclusion. Vara-Orta joined the IRE staff in February 2019 as a training director. While working as a trainer, he has conducted sessions on managing data and investigative reporting for journalists across the United States and internationally. He has worked for a variety of online and print publications, including Chalkbeat, Education Week, the San Antonio Express-News, Austin Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He earned a master’s degree in investigative/data journalism at the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

109 Lee Hills Hall, Missouri School of Journalism   |   221 S. Eighth St., Columbia, MO 65201   |   573-882-2042   |   |   Privacy Policy
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
My cart
Your cart is empty.

Looks like you haven't made a choice yet.