Monday, June 25, 2012

NEWS LINKS | June 25, 2012

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




For those without high-school diplomas, federal student aid comes to an end

They're part of the 1 percent, but not the kind with a private jet and country-club membership. They're the relatively small population of students who don't have a high-school diploma but are relying on federal aid to attend college. For them, life might be getting more challenging. That's because starting July 1, students without a diploma or GED will no longer be eligible to receive federal student aid. Over the past two decades such students, who are disproportionately minorities and from low-income families, have been able to receive federal aid for college, without a high-school diploma or its equivalent, by demonstrating their "ability to benefit" from higher education.

… A measure moving through Congress now could restore eligibility for students in some career-oriented programs, but in a time of tight budgets, its prospects are unclear. … In Washington State, ability-to-benefit students make up more than 50 percent of those in the state's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training program, which integrates basic and remedial classes with a college-level curriculum and has been widely praised as an innovative community-college model. The end of ability-to-benefit will cut 15,000 to 20,000 students from the program over a five-year period, estimates Charles Earl, who is retiring next month as executive director of Washington State's community- and technical-college system. "A GED is important, but in the adult-education arena it's also important that it's married with postsecondary-level job skills," he said. "When we put them together, we've found students learn more, they complete the programs in much higher percentages, and they get to work more quickly."

…The proposal in Congress would partially restore ability-to-benefit eligibility, but only for students enrolling in "career-pathway programs" that are aligned with the needs of the regional economy and have been developed in collaboration with industry. Such programs are already common at community colleges. Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington State Democrat, attached the measure as an amendment to the Senate's education budget, which passed out of the Appropriations Committee this month.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 25, 2012

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SVC’s new aerospace composite class will begin in July
A new composite manufacturing course at Skagit Valley College’s Marine Technology Center is still accepting students for its first class on July 9, hoping to fill local and national demand for skilled workers.  The class is the result of a $334,000 grant SVC received last fall, a portion of $20 million in federal funds designed to help Washington community colleges provide cutting-edge educations for those looking to enter the state’s growing aerospace industry...
Skagit Valley Herald, June 21, 2012


Rare Book From Centralia College Sells for $110,500

A 200-year-old book found in the Centralia College library sold for $110,500 at Christie’s auction house in New York City today. The amount the college will net from the auction is uncertain at this time. The “Pomona Britannica” is an annotated compilation of etchings of fruits that were grown primarily in England’s Royal Gardens at Hampton Court. It contains 90 pages that depict fruit still in rich colors. This edition still has Centralia College library tags on it. A similar book, without library tags, sold at auction for nearly double what the Centralia College book sold for, according to a release.  “This is simply amazing,” Centralia College president Dr. Jim Walton said in a prepared statement. “A book that we were going to give away will now fund a program that will provide a great benefit to our students. All because it wouldn’t fit in the box.” …  Proceeds from the book’s sale will endow the Mary Chenoweth Student Loan Fund, accessible to students who need to borrow money to purchase textbooks. The loan fund was named in honor of the book’s donor.
Centralia Chronicle, June 22, 2012


Kendall College & CAFE Announce 2012 Green Award Recipient

Kendall College and the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) presented the 2012 CAFÉ/Kendall College Green Award to Seattle Culinary Academy, a division of Seattle Central Community College, … at the CAFÉ Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas. … “Seattle Culinary Academy was one of the first culinary schools in the nation to offer formal coursework in sustainability, highlighting the value of local and seasonal sourcing,” said [Christopher Koetke, vice president of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and the Laureate International Universities Center of Excellence in Culinary Arts.] “The program is exceptional because it integrates health and environmental sustainability throughout the educational experience.”, June 25, 2012


Teacher at Seattle last-chance school sees himself reflected in students

Frank Whiten doesn't think the students of Seattle's Interagency Academy are bad kids. Despite all he's seen in a dozen years teaching at King County's juvenile-justice center — the fights, the truancies, the lack of focus — Whiten believes the teens are products of their environment and in need of support. Of course, Whiten is biased: He used to be one of them. While the 36-year-old did not attend Interagency himself, his childhood reads like that of many of his students, from growing up without an involved father to getting kicked out of high school.

… Then he started working at a Kmart in Renton and taking classes at Seattle Central Community College. Interagency staffer Cindy Ortega found him there and invited him to work 20 hours a week teaching life skills to kids in juvenile detention. Whiten started the job as he finished up at Seattle Central. It was difficult work. "Early on, it was tough," Whiten said, remembering how students swore at him and wouldn't follow his instructions. "I used to say, 'Why am I doing this? Why am I at this school?' " But he stuck with it, eventually taking advantage of a school-district program enabling instructional assistants to become fully certified teachers

The Seattle Times, June 25, 2012


Gov. Gregoire wields a rivet gun, flies a 787, during aerospace day

Gov. Chris Gregoire received high praise Wednesday … from her classroom partner, Michael Bourgeois, who is training to become an aerospace assembly mechanic at Renton Technical College. Bourgeois says he never expected to be drilling holes with the governor of the state. But, on Wednesday Gregoire wanted to see the production of an airplane from start to finish, beginning with an aerospace classroom at RTC, followed by a visit to the 737 production plant in Renton and finally time in a flight simulator. … Gregoire was intense, listening closely to directions from [instructor Howard] Blinder and following Bourgeois' lead. She drilled a pilot hole. … RTC President Steve Hanson took tool in hand, too, to get a feel for the job. Gregoire took a few minutes to visit with the students. Blinder told Gregoire that the skills the students are learning at RTC put them at the front of the line for a job interview. Job placement continues to increase, he told her.

Renton Reporter, June 20, 2012


Longtime friends discover passion for metal works

After Mike Rathke and Paul DesJardien realized that there were a couple of blue-collar workers inside them that were dying to get out, a business was born.  … DesJardien, 44, is a former graphic designer, attorney and state worker. Rathke, 45, has worked for equipment rental businesses, the City of Lacey and the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Rathke explored an interest in welding, taking classes at The Evergreen State College and South Puget Sound Community College.

The Olympian, June 24, 2012





Gainful Employment Rule-Making Process Wasn't Open Enough

The Department of Education says it had good reason to keep some meetings about the regulations secret. But an audit conducted by the department doesn't buy that logic.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 25, 2012

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Alternative to Placement Tests at Community Colleges

Inside Higher Ed, June 25, 2012


Opinion: Washington state's broken model for higher-education funding

Public higher education is an essential ingredient of a functioning democracy and a healthy economy, write two members of the University of Washington Board of Regents, Kristianne Blake and Craig W. Cole, but the current financial model for its funding is broken and not sustainable.

Seattle Times, June 25, 2012


3 Out of 4 Americans Call Higher Education a Right

The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 25, 2012


Ex-Offenders Prepare for Work, and Life, at Community Colleges

The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 25, 2012

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Wage Boost for Minority STEM Graduates Differs by Race

Black STEM graduates earn less than Latinos and Asians who studied the same fields, researchers find

The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 25, 2012

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Day Two of NCPR: Looking for Hope

… Many of us had noticed that the persistent theme on Thursday was “here’s a study that shows that (pick your intervention) doesn’t work.”
… Mike Weiss of the MDRC profiled the ASAP program at CUNY, which basically uses a boatload of grant money to treat part-time working students as if they were full-time, middle-class students. (It requires them to be full-time, and it provides free tuition, books, and subway passes.) The program is still young, but the results are promising. Most of us, though, shrugged at what seemed like yet another demonstration of “given infinite funding, you could do a lot.” Well, yes, we could. That would be lovely.
…The rest of the opening panel focused more clearly on constraints. Janet Quint … coined my new favorite title -- “Scaling Up is Hard to Do” -- and shared the challenges of taking a program that succeeds on a small scale and growing it to a larger scale.
… Intriguingly, offline private conversations throughout the conference kept coming back to the same theme: what good is all this research if we’re too constrained to use it? The constraints are both internal and external, both economic and political, some intentional and some just random, but they’re powerful. Any intervention that relies on an unsustainable influx of funding, for example, is not a serious answer.
Inside Higher Ed, June 25, 2012



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