Friday, July 20, 2012

NEWS LINKS | July 20, 2012

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




Editorial: Smoking ban rightfully includes private vehicles

The Everett Community College Board of Trustees on Tuesday night approved a campus ban on the use of tobacco products. The policy, which starts September 1, includes prohibiting tobacco "usage in any vehicle parked on College property." In other words, students can't go out to their cars to smoke. That may seem excessive, but Pat Sisneros, Everett vice president of college services, says that without the vehicle restriction, the parking lots would become the de facto designated smoking areas and a total tobacco ban would be too difficult to enforce. … Everett becomes the fourth community college in the state to adopt a tobacco ban. At Clark College in Vancouver, tobacco use is "is not permitted within the perimeter of any Clark College property." Lower Columbia College in Longview and South Puget Sound Community College ban tobacco use except in private vehicles.

The Seattle Times, July 20, 2012





Gentle liberal arts pushback blooming in state

A well-rounded member of society requires more than just classes in math and science. That's according to the provost [Michael Zimmerman] at The Evergreen State College, a biologist by training who is convening a group of academics this week to talk about giving a gentle pushback against the current focus on science and math education. … The nation's public discourse about politics and ideas has deteriorated and Americans are losing their ability to think critically and have a civilized and factual debate about controversial topics because they are being educated too narrowly, Zimmerman said. "There's so much more to living than just building the next great airplane," Zimmerman said. "That's a great thing, but it's not the only great thing."

The Herald, July 19, 2012


America's democracy and economic strength is grounded in learning to read / Helping students learn to read and ensuring affordable access to higher education share the same pathway to strengthening America's economic future.

The challenge laid out by [Undersecretary of Education Martha] Kanter is twofold. For starters, how to retrain and essentially retool 93 million low-skilled adults to move, in her words, from the assembly line to the robotics plant. For young Americans, Kanter sees the need to make them better consumers of education. They need to make better choices about money and college selection. One of her goals is to provide information on costs, loans and the value of education.

…  Kanter and others on the UW panel emphasized the elements of success are crystal clear: keeping college affordable, focusing on access and completion, paring down the need for and expense of remedial courses, and aligning community-college classes and transfer requirements. Many Americans with postsecondary education are suspended between degree requirements. An article in a spring 2012 publication of the Office of Community College Research & Leadership explores ways to rethink degree completion.

The Seattle Times, July 20, 2012


Study: Private student loans parallel subprime

Risky lending caused private student loan debt to balloon in the past decade, leaving many Americans struggling to pay off loans that they can't afford, a government study says.

The Seattle Times, July 20, 2012





Jay Inslee: Community colleges great places to train future work force

He wants Yakima Valley Community College students to be on call. But the Democratic gubernatorial candidate is not talking about putting out fires or dealing with natural disasters. In a speech to supporters on the college’s campus Thursday, Inslee said those students need the education and training necessary to fill jobs when new industries grow or come to the state. "YVCC can become a conduit for a vastly expanded aerospace industry in Washington," Inslee said.

Inslee also said community colleges need help in offering Bachelor of Arts degrees in applied fields such as nursing. … His Republican opponent, Rob McKenna, also supports an emphasis on funding for community colleges to increase access to degrees and certificates in aerospace, health care and information technology.

Inslee said community colleges are the most efficient systems for educating and lifting people into the middle class. Preserving and expanding systems that allow workers to educate themselves locally and not have it conflict with their schedules is key to improving their quality of life, Inslee said.

Yakima Herald, July 20, 2012




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