Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NEWS LINKS | Nov. 9, 2011

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




Editorial: Tackling the high cost of textbooks

The real prize is $41 million in annual savings if all faculty at the state's 34 community and technical colleges begin assigning open-source texts to their students. Credit state Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, for laying the groundwork with key legislation two years ago that invested $750,000 in state money — with a match from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — to develop the library. Faculty, designers and librarians set out to create high-quality learning materials.

The Seattle Times, November 7, 2011


Steve Jobs' Plans to Disrupt the Textbook Industry. How Disruptive Were They?

Some textbook publishers and e-reader apps are wising up to that model. You can purchase individual chapters via Inkling, for example. And instructors can remix textbooks via Flat World Knowledge, so that students only have to buy the chapters they actually need to read. If the launch last week of Washington state's Open Course Library is any indication, we'll probably see more and more initiatives that try to take advantage of existing OER materials so that instructors can provide affordable digital textbooks to students.
Inside Higher Ed, November 9, 2011


Washington State guarantees cheap and open courses & courseware for students

We've discussed a bunch of times how the lack of market forces in the textbook market has allowed publishers to jack up the prices massively. It's why various textbooks can cost around $200, and students can spend over $1000 a year just to get the textbooks they're required to buy for school. Aaron DeOliveira points us to an interesting story involving Washington State trying to end such practices by setting up an Open Course Library that will make course details and courseware much, much cheaper for students:

Techdirt, November 4, 2011


College professors host classes in Occupy Seattle

In the dead of night … Karen Strickland tried to teach Occupy Seattle protesters how to get their message across to politicians. Other lessons — including the history of labor movements, writing a "position statement" and the language of a Martin Luther King letter — were held as community college instructors from around the Emerald City gave free classes earlier this week in an attempt to bolster a protest that had been struggling to capture the attention of a city with a vibrant history of protests. … In Seattle, the teacher's union for the city's community colleges supports the protesters and quickly organized the lessons at Seattle Central Community College, where the local movement recently relocated.

CBS News, November 5, 2011


Clark College: In the Spotlight

Clark College is shining in a bright spotlight. The college earned a 2011 Spotlight Award from the Portland Metro Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) during its annual awards ceremony on Oct. 27. … Clark’s Communications and Marketing Department received three awards at the District 7 conference of the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR). Clark earned a gold medallion in the media success category for the 2011 State of the College address.
The Oregonian, OregonLive: My Vancouver, November 3, 2011


Rice Fergus Miller wins three awards

The Bremerton-based architectural and design firm of Rice Fergus Miller has won awards for three projects throughout the Puget Sound region it has been involved with.

The Sophia Bremer Child Development Center at Olympic College in Bremerton won the People’s Choice award from the International Interior Design Association’s North Pacific Chapter. The LEED Silver building, which includes seven dedicated childcare rooms, administrative offices, and a classroom is a teaching facility and childcare center that serves approximately 100 children. …  One client commented about the space, “I love this place! It’s magical inside and out.”

Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, November 4, 2011


Editorial: Area's pitch for Boeing plant will take the max
Boeing Co. has decided to name the updated version of its best-selling 737 the 737 MAX. … Consultant Accenture is preparing an in-depth analysis of Washington’s strengths and vulnerabilities in the competition for the MAX. Its report is due before the Legislature’s special session later this month. Woodard expects a plan of action for lawmakers, probably for next year’s regular legislative session. Spokane hardly figured in Accenture’s assessment until representatives came for a visit. They found an airport with a recently extended runway, and a new aircraft painting facility, with hundreds of acres of available land nearby easily accessed by railroad and Interstate 90. There are several aerospace suppliers on site or nearby, with a total of about 80 in a regional aerospace consortium. Spokane Community College and the Workforce Development Council are increasing education opportunities.

The Spokesman Review, November 6, 2011


WA gov. outlines plans for $2 billion budget deficit

Gov. Chris Gregoire brought the statewide conversation about Washington's $2 billion budget gap to Vancouver on Monday. …  ‘At Clark College in Vancouver, students are not looking forward to potential reductions in staff and course offerings. "I'm actually here because of budget cuts," said Clark College student Bo Bowden. "I used to have a really good job as a subcontractor, but when they changed how much money they were spending there, I lost my job with the state. Now I'm here trying to find a new profession."

KPTV Fox 12, November 7, 2011


Shoreline Community College Students Organize to Protest Budget Cuts
On Nov. 16, Shoreline CC's student government is sponsoring a “teach-in” where faculty and students can gather outside of normal class to talk about specific budget-related issues.

… “We will collaborate with other colleges to bring students to Olympia in a walkout day,” said Thaweesuk. … “We aim to persuade the legislators to dedicate funding for higher education. Simultaneously, college students from other districts can protest in their regions to raise statewide awareness.” In addition, the students are working with faculty to create advocacy workshops. The workshops would focus on areas such as how community colleges operate, learn more about the current economic situation, learn how the budget cut affects equity and develop and practice public speaking skills.

Shoreline Patch, November 4, 2011


'Overwhelming' demand for spots in engineering program at OC

Come spring, Port Orchard native Sarah Thon will graduate out of Olympic College and straight into the shipyard, where she will become a mechanical engineer pulling down a salary somewhere in the mid-50s. She is only 22, and part of the first group of 14 students coming out of Washington State University's mechanical-engineering baccalaureate program at OC.. …  We really do need to grow our own," said Judi Brown, OC dean for mathematics, engineering, science and health. The mechanical-engineer baccalaureate is even more in demand among students, who take two years of preparatory classes including math and science as part of the OC curriculum before jumping track for the final two years under the WSU curriculum to get a WSU degree.

Kitsap Sun, November 7, 2011


After serving Capitol Hill parents for decades, SCCC childcare center faces shutdown

Capitol Hill Seattle, November 5, 2011


All About Everett

The blue-collar Snohomish County city just 25 miles north of Seattle recently asked WSU to take over the University Center where graduates of its community college can go on to complete four-year degrees in a variety of disciplines, including engineering. Snohomish, Skagit, and Island counties have been underserved by the state’s four-year programs. by Hannelore Sudermann

WSU Magazine, Winter 2011


Water center expands at WWCC
A major expansion of a center exploring new ways to manage water resources got its official debut Friday. The $6.8 million project at the William A. Grant Water & Environment Center added laboratories, classrooms and offices to the facility located at Walla Walla Community College. … Nearly half of the project funding came from a $3 million grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Additional support came from Walla Walla County, the Port of Walla Walla, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Pacific Power Blue Sky Renewable Energy Program

East Oregonian, October 17, 2011


A lady named Wendy who creates awesome container designs

Wendy [Welch] has earned a huge reputation as one of the Northwest’s best container designers. Her work can be seen all over the Seattle metropolitan area and has been featured at local nurseries, the Northwest Flower and Garden Show and she is a fellow part time faculty member at Edmonds Community College where she teaches container design.

Seattle PI blog, November 8, 2011


Rocker Peter Frampton to come alive in Walla Walla

The artist who once played stadiums with seating capacity of 50,000 or more, will play at Walla Walla Community College Dietrich (Dome) Center, which has a seating capacity of 2,800.

East Oregonian, November 7, 2011





A Secret Rule

Among the many new program integrity rules the U.S. Education Department issued a little over a year ago was one that went relatively unnoticed at the time: a rule that defines the “last date of attendance” for students who withdraw from online programs more stringently than in the past, and differently than for students in a traditional classroom. ... But before the program integrity rules took effect in July 2011 -- and even before they were published publicly, in October 2010 -- the Education Department was already using the new definition of “last date of attendance,” which varied considerably from the previous version, to begin investigations and, in some cases, collect financial aid refunds for students who dropped out . ...How the government defines the “last date of attendance” is important because institutions are responsible for recouping federal financial aid from students who drop out early in the semester and returning the unused portion to the federal government.
Inside Higher Ed, November 4, 2011


Guest editorial: Rising college costs, debts, crushing best and brightest

America's middle class is being priced out of an opportunity to succeed. But smart kids know that their lifetime earning potential is significantly increased by obtaining a college degree. So they saddle themselves with debt to keep alive the hope that comes with an education. That hope is being crushed by bills that outpace post-graduation jobs, if the jobs even exist. … First came the homeownership bubble, which in some ways contributed to the original Tea Party anger. Now comes the student loan debt bubble. About two-thirds of graduates with a bachelor's degree have student loans, according to the College Board, with the average debt about $24,000. The promise was that you'd get a good job coming out of school, so you could handle that. But not if no one's hiring. Not if you're working at Starbucks.

Tri-City Herald, November 4, 2011


Confessions of a Community College Dean: Academic Advising:

Quick, what’s the most vexing aspect of academic advising at a community college?

Inside Higher Ed, November 9, 2011


Online Grows, Doubts Persist

 …  One new feature of this year’s survey was the inclusion of data on how academic leaders feel about open educational resources, or OER. Spearheaded years ago by organizations such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, and the University of California at Berkeley, among others, OER has expanded and matured, with investments from governments, such as Washington State; organizations, such as; and even commercial vendors, such as Blackboard, which recently took steps to make it easier for instructors to find and use open resources. The majority of academic leaders see OER as potentially valuable for their institutions: 56.6 percent agreed that “open educational resources will be of value for my campus,” with less than 5 percent disagreeing (the rest abstained from taking a definitive stance).

Inside Higher Ed, November 9, 2011



College students urged to vote

Washington college students now rack up more debt than ever before to pay tuition, while the state gives less and less money to higher education. And yet, the age group that includes most college students has the lowest voter turnout of all sectors of the population. If students are unhappy about state higher education budgets, they need to vote -- that was the message delivered Thursday by three speakers at Washington State University Tri-Cities.  The event titled "The Importance of Voting" featured Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland; Fran Forgette, a Kennewick lawyer who sits on WSU's board of regents; and Shirah Thietje, director of legislative affairs for the Richland campus' student government

Tri-City Herald, November 4, 2011


Home-care training initiative passes easily

The Olympian, November 9, 2011


McKenna: Cut number of state workers

Kitsap Sun, November 8, 2011



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