Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NEWS LINKS | Nov. 1, 2011

SBCTC NEWS LINKS | Articles about – and of interest to – Washington state community and technical colleges




Low-cost textbooks for college students make debut

The state community-college board is creating low-cost textbooks and course materials and distributing them online for free in a new program that rolled out Monday.

Michael Kenyon's students at Green River Community College used to pay nearly $200 for a new pre-calculus textbook. But this quarter, they'll pay only $20 for a book — or use it online for free. Kenyon, a math instructor, is one of the early adopters of the state's new Open Course Library, an effort pioneered by the state Board of Community and Technical Colleges to create low-cost textbooks and other course materials for students in Washington — and the world. Kenyon's pre-calculus textbook was written by community-college faculty members David Lippman and Melonie Rasmussen, who teach at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, in Lakewood. … Tom Caswell, project lead for the Open Course Library, hopes less expensive textbooks, or free online copies, will lead to better course-completion rates. … Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, sponsored the legislation that set aside $750,000 in state money for development of the Open Course Library, and he plans to introduce a similar measure in next year's legislative session to develop open-course books for K-12 classes, which would save school districts money.

The Seattle Times, November 1, 2011



The State and OER

Advocates for open educational resources, or OER, have had mixed success in getting the federal government to invest public money in open course materials. …  But while OER advocates have gotten inconsistent backing in Washington, D.C., they were able to claim a small but potentially significant victory on Monday in Washington State. The community and technical college system there celebrated the first major landmark in a state-funded push for open courses that it expects will save students hundreds per year in textbook costs, and that OER proponents hope could provide an example of how public investment in open materials is not charitable, but strategic. ... State Representative Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat and one of the library’s biggest legislative champions, suggested that lowering the cost of textbooks could create savings for the state in its financial aid programs.

Inside Higher Ed, November 1, 2011



More Open Course Library news:

·         News coverage of the October 31, 2011 Open Course Library Launch


·         Listen to telephone press conference


·         Visit the Open Course Library


·         The Student PIRGs conducted an informal study to evaluate the Open Course Library's impact on textbook costs. Read the report:  Affordable Textbooks For Washington's Students: A Cost Analysis of the Open Course Library





Big Bend declares financial emergency

The resolution is the first step of a process that would allow the college to consider layoffs during the current biennium. It directs Big Bend President Bill Bonaudi to monitor future budget cuts to the college that would require layoffs to maintain the core functions of the college.  Since 2009, Big Bend has lost $3.7 million in state funding and lost 27 positions, including eight full-time instructors. Class offerings have been reduced and fall enrollment fell 9.6 percent. College officials must cut another $800,000 from the 2012 budget, representing cuts of 40 percent from 2009 operating levels

Columbia Basin Herald, October 25, 2011



Educators say 'demoralizing' cuts would have lasting impacts

Suspending the Work Study Program keeps higher education out of reach for some of the students who need it most, says Yakima Valley Community College president Linda Kaminski. Add in the proposed 15 percent cut in state support to higher education, and the school would be forced to offer even fewer classes, she said.

Yakima Herald, October 27, 2011



Tri-City education officials fear potential cuts to their budgets
Tri-City school and college officials bristled at potential cuts to their budgets that Gov. Chris Gregoire suggested Thursday. The governor unveiled a list of reductions for legislators to consider during the upcoming special session, which begins Nov. 28. Lawmakers are trying to close a projected $2 billion budget gap. …The proposal painted an equally dire picture for higher education. The proposed 15 percent cut to all colleges in the state would translate to about $3 million less for Columbia Basin College, said President Rich Cummins.
Tri-City Herald, October 28, 2011


More cuts proposed; CBC could lose money
To fill a $2 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Chris Gregoire is proposing many new state cuts, including trimming another 15% from higher education. NBC Right Now met with the head of Columbia Basin College to find out what the cuts would mean for students and staff. Rich Cummins says they would mean programs like work study, that allow students to work at the college while still hitting the books with help from the state, could be suspended. Also, it could mean $166-million will be cut from higher ed. CBC officials say with this budget, over three million could be cut from Columbia Basin College alone.
KNDU, October 27, 2011


College teachers focus lessons on Occupy Seattle

Beginning Sunday evening, instructors at Seattle Community College campuses are teaching classes in support of Occupy Seattle

Seattle Times, October 31, 2011



TCC's Stokes Honored As Distinguished Lyon College Alumnus
Dr. Tim Stokes, Tacoma Community College Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, will be honored this weekend as a Distinguished Alumnus of Lyon College.

Stokes graduated from Lyon, a small liberal arts college located 90 miles northeast of Little Rock, Arkansas in 1992.

University Place Patch, October 20, 2011



Boeing Partnering With Local Schools

Yakima Valley Technical Skills Center, Yakima Valley Community College and Perry Tech are partnering with Boeing helping students prepare for a possible future building airplane parts.

KAPP TV, October 18, 2011



National grants sustain STEM studies

Guest commentary by Dick Van Hollebeke and Jean Hernandez, Edmonds Community College.  Edmonds Community College has made $6 million in cuts in the past four years and we're looking at having to cut our budget yet again. But here's some good news. We're not cutting back on opportunities for students -- particularly in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies.  EdCC has received a total of 18 National Science Foundation grants -- and our three latest grants of more than $1.5 million over five years mean more support services and scholarships for students in STEM fields. …  We've been aggressive about going after these resources because workers educated in STEM fields are critical for the nation's economy. … many of these grants specifically leverage resources to support low-income and first-generation college students.

The Herald, October 22, 2011



Lisa Chin named to Bellevue College board

Lisa Chin of Bellevue has been appointed to the Bellevue College Board of Trustees by Gov. Chris Gregoire. Her five-year term of office continues through September, 2016. Chin is the founding Executive Director of Year Up Puget Sound, a one-year job training and internship program for young adults.

Bellevue Reporter, October 25, 2011



Bellevue College construction in Issaquah could start next year

Bellevue College could start construction on a campus in the Issaquah Highlands as early as next year, college and city officials announced, as the project gains momentum despite budget cuts and a dismal forecast from Olympia. The college purchased about 20 acres last year in a complicated transfer of development rights designed to preserve Tiger Mountain forestland from construction and open additional highlands land to builders …

Issaquah Press, October 25, 2011



WGU Washington announces advisory board

State-endorsed online university WGU Washington, has selected 12 leaders in business, healthcare, education, and philanthropy to serve on its Advisory Board. The Board will provide counsel to WGU Washington Chancellor Jean Floten on Washington state-specific needs and trends to help shape the direction and continued success of the university and its four colleges.  The newly appointed WGU Washington Advisory Board members include: … Dr. Carver Clark Gayton, Consultant in education and workforce development;  Dr. Rich Cummins, President and CEO, Columbia Basin College; Dr. Gary Livingston, Former Chancellor, Community Colleges of Spokane

PR Newswire, October 26, 2011



Ocean Academy moves to Waterfront Center

The Port of Everett joined with Everett Community College to site its Ocean Research College Academy program in the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Center.  ORCA, EvCC’s early college program for high school juniors and seniors, provides students with field experience in marine science. 

The Snohomish County Business Journal, October 27, 2011






For families on edge, getting by is getting harder [Self-Sufficiency Calculator]

Kim Nieves, a freelance translator and student at Bellevue College, is a whiz at budgeting, her son brags. But she says every time she saves up a few dollars, she ends up spending it on an emergency like car repairs. … East King County, where Nieves lives to be close to college and job opportunities, has the highest self-sufficiency standard in the state, requiring $65,690 for a family with one parent, one preschooler and one school-age child,  … The same size family living in southwest Washington's Wahkiakum County, which has the lowest self-sufficiency standard in the state, saw its expenses increase by 13 percent during the past two years, to $32,997. According to the self-sufficiency standard, only adults living alone can afford to get by on minimum wage, and only in some counties. The center also offers a calculator that looks at the issue in reverse and is designed to help people figure out if they will be able to survive on the hourly wage they have been offered at a prospective job.

Seattle PI, October 31, 2011



President Obama announces new plan for student loan payments
College students who are in debt and strapped for cash may have an easier time meeting their financial obligations thanks to a new plan from President Obama.  …Columbia Basin College student, David McCormick, has more than $3,000 in student loan bills with more on the way. "I am taking out another $3,000 for this year" said McCormick. The Richland resident is going back to school for a career change - and like everyone else, more classes mean more money.

KVEW TV, October 26, 2011



In the shadow of student debt

It seems that one way we have dealt with higher education's economic challenges is by largely shrugging the cost of educating the next generation onto that generation. That's not only a partial repudiation of a traditional obligation, but there is reason to think, looking at that generation's challenge of paying off its loans while educating its own children, that it can only work once.

The Oregonian, October 30, 2011



Editorial: State must prepare aerospace workers of the future

Washington state needs 21,000 new aerospace workers in the next decade. Sen. Maria Cantwell is getting the industry, workforce-training programs and educational institutions engaged. … This is not about out-innovating the world, but matching the right skills with future jobs. Many of the best jobs of the future will require skills in science, technology, engineering and math education. … This is not about out-innovating the world, but matching the right skills with future jobs. Many of the best jobs of the future will require skills in science, technology, engineering and math education.

Seattle Times, November 1, 2011



Through STEM, make opportunities for Washington's own children and businesses

Washington state is a center of new innovation jobs and major importer of people with college degrees to take jobs. Guest columnists Rosemary McAuliffe and Ed Lazowska urge Washington students, parents, policy and elected leaders to wake up to the opportunity.

Why this gap? It is not only a consequence of the vibrancy of our technology sector. Washington awards a very small number of technology degrees relative to our employment in these fields. We rank among the bottom producers on a per-capita basis.

There are pipeline issues. We have one of the leakiest high-school-to-college pipelines in the country. Of those students who do move directly from high school to college, too many are unprepared for college-level STEM work.

Again, why? The "preparation gap" begins with our earliest learners. Quality early learning is a prerequisite for student success, but more than one-third of eligible kids in Washington are not served by early-learning programs.

In addition to being a pipeline issue, it is also a higher-education capacity issue. At the University of Washington, half of the students who successfully complete the prerequisites for an engineering major must be turned away because of lack of capacity. Three-fourths of the students who successfully complete the prerequisites for the computer science and computer engineering majors must be turned away.

The Seattle Times, October 29, 2011



More Students Migrate Away From Home / Public universities expand recruitment efforts in quest for out-of-state money

While conceding that out-of-state tuition at Arizona State would be higher than in-state tuition at any California university, Mr. Baertsch said students would get all of the classes they needed to graduate in four years, a not-so-subtle dig at the perpetual shortage of course offerings at the state universities.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 30, 2011






Gregoire outlines grim choices for budget cuts

The single largest cut is a $166 million hit to higher education — a 15 percent drop in state funding for public colleges and universities. … The governor noted the cuts unveiled Thursday are just recommendations, and that she'll talk to the communities and groups that would be affected before releasing a full budget proposal after the Nov. 17 revenue forecast.

Seattle Times, October 28, 2011



Gregoire budget starts with $2 billion in cuts, but will tax increase follow?
Facing another crippling budget deficit, Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday outlined $2 billion in reductions in state spending she says will cut painfully "through the muscle and into the bone" of public services. ... Her proposals would slash funds for higher education, make classes larger in public schools and ax dozens of health care and human service offerings. 

The Herald, October 28, 2011



Affordable child care helps parents keep their jobs

Schmudget, The Washington State Budget & Policy Center Blog, October 24, 2011





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