Tuesday, January 10, 2012

NEWS LINKS | Jan. 10, 2012

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




Higher-ed woes tied to state 'leadership vacuum'

A new report by national education experts says Washington politicians have abdicated their leadership role in higher education, leaving the state with a disjointed system that doesn't produce enough bachelor's degrees and forces employers to go out of state to find skilled workers. … Other state education experts said the Penn researchers did a good job of analyzing the state's higher-education woes, but didn't pay enough attention to how devastating deep budget cutbacks have been. The researchers mistakenly believe "a fundamental fiscal problem can be solved by rearranging governance deck chairs," said Bill Lyne, an English professor at Western Washington University and president of the United Faculty of Washington State.  …  Earl Hale, a member of the Higher Education Coordinating Board and former head of the Board of Community and Technical Colleges, said the state needs to tie together its budget and higher-education policy issues, and view them as a whole. "… The state should look at policies that help students start their degrees at community colleges without penalizing four-year schools for accepting transfers, he said.

The Seattle Times, January 10, 2012



Report Criticizes Higher Ed Policy Making in Washington State

Inside Higher Ed, January 10, 2012



Susan Palmer appointed as a Renton Technical College trustee

Gov. Chris Gregoire has appointed Renton-resident Susan Palmer of Renton to the Renton Technical College Board of Trustees. Palmer is known to many for her work for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District Lodge 751 in Seattle.

Renton Reporter, January 10, 2012



GETTING TO WORK: SVC’s Veterans Club looks to help vets
During the first meeting of winter quarter for Skagit Valley College’s new Veterans Club, members and supporters were gathered to get to work. Skagit Valley College President Gary Tollefson summed up what the new club was about, urging club members to be advocates for the veteran student population to ensure its needs are met. “Make sure you advocate for your cause,” he said. As one of its first charitable activities, the club is arranging for veterans to get help signing up for their veteran ID cards, which allow them to get the various medical and other benefits afforded to former military...
Skagit Valley Herald, January 10, 2012


Nonprofit asks CBC to give all state high school grads access to aid

Ricardo Sanchez, director of the Latino/a Educational Achievement Project (LEAP), told the Columbia Basin College board of trustees Monday that undocumented students, without enough money to pay tuition, are blocked from applying for state-funded financial aid for higher education.

Tri-City Herald, January 10, 2012


Despite own obstacles, Sahaya helps others
… while stylists Amy and Monica of Illusions Hair Design in West Seattle, cut her hair for Locks of Love, Sahaya shared details of her life journey. Born in India and left at an orphanage run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, Sahaya believes her birth family just couldn’t handle the expense of her disability. …  At age 22, Sahaya Corkern is deceptively small. But, even born with spina bifida, she doesn’t see herself as confined to a wheelchair. “I do almost everything for myself,” she says. Now pursuing her GED, she is in her second year at Highline Community College. “I started late because I was recently in the hospital for almost a year,” she says. “I used that time to try to find my birth family.”

The Highline Times, January 9, 2012



Schools, health and social services focus on state budget work

Higher education has taken a beating in recent sessions, too, and for that, Yakima Valley Community College president Linda Kaminski said she's not holding out much hope. …  Like many in both higher education and K-12, Kaminski says she doesn't know where further cuts will come from.

Yakima Herald, January 9, 2012



Aspen Competition Drives Innovative Ideas for Community Colleges

Deborah A. Santiago, vice president for policy and research at Excelencia in Education, a group that seeks to help Latino students succeed, says she had an "aha! moment" while judging finalists:  She realized the large volume of short-term technical certificates community colleges award. Higher-education policy tends to focus on associate and bachelor's degrees, she says, but credentials deserve more attention. "There are a lot of people earning these credentials," she says, "and they are not being counted as completers." … Valencia, which receives $600,000, shares the $1-million prize with four runners-up: West Kentucky; Walla Walla, in Washington state; Lake Area Technical Institute, in South Dakota; and Miami Dade College.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 1, 2012


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Rationing and Rationality / Confessions of a Community College Dean

Since their funding is entirely disconnected from their enrollments – astonishing, but true – the only way the colleges can make do on shrinking state allocations is to turn people away. While most campuses have resorted to the easy and time honored “first come, first served” method of allocating seats, a couple campuses have started consciously rationing seats, giving priority to entering students and/or students identified as likeliest to graduate.  …  A close variation would look at the profit and loss generated by each program, and treat losses as costs. Pick the programs that cost the institution the most – that is, the ones that lose the most money – and eliminate those.
Inside Higher Ed, January 10, 2012



Nuancing of Access and Success

Because the nation is rightly fixed on improving degree completion rates, the discussion about America’s higher education agenda is at risk of becoming so pedestrian that terms like access and success lose their meaning.  … Students, in chronicling their success in college rarely mention a student support office. They are more likely to reference the human

elements of support services. Missing this aspect of student support services might be likened to building the most advanced hospital and then staffing it with medical professionals who offer great patient services but poor patient care. For many low-income and minority students who are the first in their families to attend college, success is often marked by encountering faculty and staff who see and care about their personhood, believe in their potential, and provide them an opportunity to develop it. I wonder if this is what people mean by improving student success?
Inside Higher Ed, January 9, 2012



Unemployment Varies by College Major, Study Finds

The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 4, 2012



Community Colleges Struggle to Train Workers With Limited Funds

High unemployment and state budget cuts have made it harder for two-year colleges to offer work-force training, according to a new report. … community colleges are being pushed to offer "quick" job training without academic credit. That limits colleges' ability to invest in more expensive long-term programs, the report says, in fields like allied health, engineering, and information technology—the very fields that need more workers and tend to offer better pay. Forty-two members indicated that their states need more funds to expand programs in those areas. … The report ends with a warning. "Even as community colleges have long been known for persisting despite budget cuts and enrollment increases," the authors say, "we are left wondering whether the sector has neared its limits."

The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 21, 2011



Estimates Show End to Surge in Community-College Enrollment

But that doesn't necessarily mean the economy has improved or students are in better financial circumstances, the report says. While the number of full-time students fell, those attending part time went up. Over all, the proportion of community-college students receiving Pell Grants rose by 17 percent, to more than 2 million, between the first quarters of 2010 and 2011 …

The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011




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Sherry Nelson | communications and outreach associate

Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges
1300 Quince St SE · PO Box 42495 · Olympia WA 98504-2495
slnelson@sbctc.edu | p (360) 704-4308 | f (360) 704-4415  | c (206) 369-6509

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