Tuesday, February 19, 2013

NEWS LINKS | Feb. 19, 2013

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




CBC hopes to interest next generation of nuclear technicians

Columbia Basin College is working to engage the next generation of nuclear technology workers. Right now at the CBC HUB, the school's Nuclear Technology Program and Nuclear Society are hosting an exhibit for students to learn about the nuclear industry. Program directors say it's a chance for the community to see the local influence of nuclear technology, and the future opportunities the field holds.

KNDU TV (NBC), February 11, 2013



New database tracks Columbia Basin College students after they leave the school

Three of four students who earn an associate degree at Columbia Basin College and transfer to a four-year institution get bachelor's degrees within five years. That's among the findings in a new database that's providing a clearer glimpse into how some students are faring once they've left the Pasco-based community college. CBC President Rich Cummins and others said it was hard in the past to get good information on the former students once they left their school.

Tri-City Herald, February 16, 2013



Thumbs up: Worthy of applause

… we welcome the possibility of 130 apartments and a restaurant being built in the 1200 block of Vandercook Way. Developer Don Cardon, who was formerly executive director of the Longview Housing Authority, says he’s reached agreements with two owners of the property in question though not with two others. If the deal goes through, the apartments will help Lower Columbia College attract international students, more people might attend theater events and a block of downtown will look a lot nicer.

Longview Daily News, February 16, 2013


North county sites seek Clark College's orbit

"… if Clark College were to offer us a suitable price that would allow us to diffuse the debt, we certainly would want the option to entertain the offer," [said Mark McCauley, Clark County's general services director His statement illustrates Clark College's upper hand in the search for property in the area, under the influence of a profound buyers' market, according to local real estate experts. College officials seem keenly aware of their favorable situation.  "If none of these sites work out, the college would begin (to) re-explore other opportunities," Williamson said. Nevertheless, college officials don't appear to be dragging their heels and hope to launch negotiations soon to secure a location, he said. College President Bob Knight and his staff are responsible for making a site recommendation to the college's Board of Trustees, which will decide what property to purchase. The college's fundraising arm, the Clark College Foundation, will conduct the land negotiations and act as the purchaser. Williamson said the foundation has "engaged an attorney" who specializes in real estate negotiations.

The Columbian, February 17, 2013


Aligning higher education outcomes with job availability

There are in fact many colleges around the country that are aligning what they provide to existing jobs. Notable among them are community colleges like Walla Walla Community College in Washington State … Working to train students for jobs in the petrochemical industry, wind energy and nursing, graduates from each of these colleges earn wages that far exceed the wages of other workers in the area. This strong alignment between education and available jobs helped land each of these colleges on the list of Top Ten Finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
Huffington Post, February 18, 2013


Cambridge architectural mesh defines space at Everett Community College

The Everett Community College’s award-winning Student Fitness Center in Everett, WA which achieved LEED Gold Certification for its modern, eco- and user-friendly design, uses a Cambridge Architectural mesh system as space sculpting wall panels used to define the weight rooms.  … “The design team had a great deal of interest in promoting a sense of connection between activities and spaces, including being able to hear goings-on throughout the building…”
Seattle Post Intelligencer, February 19, 2013


High-skills training in Yakima helping to fill a need

Now [Kevin Towner is] being trained in advanced machinist skills through his employer, GE Aviation of Yakima. Like many manufacturing companies across the nation, GE — which has plants worldwide — is experiencing a shortage of skilled machinists and is using an apprentice program to meet demand. … Two forces are driving the demand for machinists — the return of manufacturing from overseas to the United States and the large number of retiring machinists, he said. That, coupled with a lack of interest in the field, means the number of workers learning to be machinists will be much smaller than the number of jobs available each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. … To get them trained, his company has partnered with Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC), a state aerospace initiative offering training in various aviation manufacturing fields, including machining, across the state. …  Six GE workers are currently enrolled in the program that is being taught at Yakima Valley Community College.

Yakima Herald, February 19, 2013





New development could help colleges improve student retention

A project that aims to identify common factors for why college students transfer, drop out, or fail to complete courses has released full definitions for the more than 60 data fields collected from its 16 institutional partners—a move that could help other schools improve student retention. For the first time in the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework project’s history, it has publicly released full data definitions for the institutional, transcript, and student-level data in the PAR database.

eCampus News, February 12, 2013



Scorecard for Colleges Needs Work, Experts Say

But some of the data in the new scorecard is a few years old, and most of it has been available from other sources, notably the federal government’s own College Navigator site. Further, the information is presented as averages and medians that might have little relevance to individual families. The scorecard does connect to each institution’s net price calculator, which allows individualized cost estimates, but it does not provide side-by-side comparisons of multiple schools, as other government sites do. … The scorecard is “not a game-changer as much as the administration would like to believe,” said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, a major association of colleges and universities.

The New York Times, February 14, 2013



'College Scorecard' flawed; Mixed results locally for new college comparison tool touted by Obama

The system is designed to show parents and students where they can get the most bang for their “educational buck,” according to the president.  The data used in the Department of Education’s “College Scorecard” sometimes paints a misleading picture when it comes to community colleges, a [Lorain County Community College] spokeswoman said.

The Morning Journal [Ohio], February 15, 2013



Group seeks to develop a more useful gauge of campus safety
Experts convened by survivors of the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech hope to devise a measure that provides a more accurate picture than Clery Act statistics.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 18, 2013


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The trouble with online college

… Lacking confidence as well as competence, these students need engagement with their teachers to feel comfortable and to succeed. What they often get online is estrangement from the instructor who rarely can get to know them directly. Colleges need to improve online courses before they deploy them widely. Moreover, schools with high numbers of students needing remedial education should consider requiring at least some students to demonstrate success in traditional classes before allowing them to take online courses. Interestingly, the center found that students in hybrid classes — those that blended online instruction with a face-to-face component — performed as well academically as those in traditional classes. But hybrid courses are rare, and teaching professors how to manage them is costly and time-consuming.

The New York Times, February 19, 2013



The forgotten disciplines / Confessions of a community college dean

STEM initiatives are all the rage in academia these days.  They’re popular with policymakers, who see them as a form of high-end workforce development; they’re popular with parents, who see them as high-end job placement; and they’re somewhat popular with students.  At the community college level, developmental math has long been -- and continues to be -- a major challenge for graduation rates; it continues, rightly, to receive substantial attention.

Inside Higher Ed, February 19, 2013



Redefining College-Ready

Long Beach City College and South Texas College work with local high schools to prevent students from falling into the quagmire of remedial courses, and placement tests aren't the answer.

Inside Higher Ed, February 19, 2013






Democrats and Republicans team up in House to scrap differential tuition

Publicola, February 15, 2013



BLOG: State Senate considers legislation to increase international student tuition

The Seattle Times, February 15, 2013



Texas coalition wants more high-school focus on training for advanced jobs

Business leaders who back the legislative efforts say that workers with the skills their companies need are in short supply. They lay the blame in part on a high-school curriculum in which they say career training takes a back seat to college preparation.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 17, 2013



Editorial: Expand college aid to children of immigrants

Young people who were brought illegally to the U.S. through no fault of their own and who aspire to college ought to be able to access State Need Grants.  The Legislature should broaden access to higher education for Washington students brought illegally to the United States as children through no fault of their own. It is an investment in our economic future.  Ensuring these students have access to state financial aid, such as the State Need Grant and the College Bound program, is the intent of Senate Bill 5655 and House Bill 1817.

The Seattle Times, February 18, 2013



Bill would revise graduation requirements / Stonier says a career focus could reduce school dropout rates

High school graduation requirements have caught the eye of state Rep. Monica Stonier, who is working on a bill to replace some traditional course requirements with classes specific to a student's career of choice. The Vancouver Democrat's bill would replace the requirement that high school students take nearly six elective credits with a requirement that they take six "career concentration" credits. Those career-focused credits would need to relate to a specific career, trade program or post-secondary education the student plans to embark upon after graduation. Stonier said her proposal could reduce dropout rates by helping students who are not university-bound see the value in staying in school to prepare for a specific job after graduation.

The Columbian, February 18, 2013




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