Thursday, March 14, 2013

NEWS LINKS | March 14, 2013 Pi π Day

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




Centralia College instructor to welcome Afghani man: professor will help U.S. Translator escape war-torn region

Centralia College criminal justice professor Gregory Gilbertson first met Samim Taheri in November 2008 while working as a NATO liaison to the Afghan National Police Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Taheri was assigned as Gilbertson’s translator to help communicate with the Afghan police academy staff so Gilbertson could evaluate the curriculum and make recommendations to NATO about ways to improve the police training. …  Gilbertson began writing letters to the special immigration visa chief of mission at the United States Embassy in Kabul indicating his willingness to have Taheri live with him during his transition to America. Nine months passed with no response.  When nothing happened for nine months, Gilbertson then contacted U.S. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, over Thanksgiving last year. “He was contacted in January that because of Jaime Herrera Beutler’s inquiry his visa is approved,” Gilbertson said.

“We would spend the vast majority of the day

The Centralia Chronicle, March 12, 2013


Tuition assistance cuts will hit military students

Active-military troops who are taking courses through Washington colleges and universities learned recently that they may lose a tuition assistance benefit that helps pay for college. The cut is part of the federal budget sequester. One of the Washington colleges likely to be most affected is Pierce College, which serves thousands of active-military students, both in person and online. In addition to its two campuses, the college also teaches classes at three locations at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and teaches many more military students online, even those stationed in other states and countries. John McMahon, executive director of the Pierce College Military Program, said it’s still unclear how many students will be affected by the cuts and what they will do if they lose the money.

The Seattle Times, March 14, 2013


Edmonds Community College tests new mobile app for veterans

Edmonds Community College has signed an agreement with Edmonds-based Operation Military Family to be a test site for a new, free veterans information and resources website and mobile app called VAPP. “This is the beginning of a great new partnership,” said Edmonds Community College President Jean Hernandez. “We look forward to helping Operation Military Family with this valued service that lets veterans make informed decisions about the many educational opportunities we offer, and which will encourage many more military students to consider Edmonds CC.”

My Edmonds News, March 14, 2013


YVCC receives $600,000 in grants to fund energy efficiency projects

Yakima Valley Community College has been awarded more than $600,000 to go toward energy efficiency projects on campus. The college was awarded $503,000 from the state Department of Commerce’s Energy Efficiency Grants program, which provides funding to local governments and educational institutions looking to lower energy costs for its facilities.

YVCC will use the state grant to install new lighting, and heating and air-conditioning controls and systems at six buildings on campus.  The college also received $97,476 from the Pacific Power Blue Sky renewable energy program. The funding will be used to install a 30-kilowatt solar array and monitoring system on the college’s Glenn Anthon Arts and Science building. The college will also incorporate an educational and outreach component for the project. … The state grants were among four dozen projects statewide selected totaling $18 million, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The grants, announced Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee, will help pay for reducing energy costs at 12 colleges or universities and 37 local governments. The governor estimates the grants will generate more than 500 new construction-related jobs.

Yakima Herald, March 14, 2013


Solar, Wind Projects in Walla Walla, Yakima Receive Funding

Thanks to the help of Pacific Power, Yakima Valley Community College is going "green." [Teresa Holland, the Vice President for Administrative Services] said one of YVCC's primary goals is to reduce their carbon footprint and make the college more cost-effective. … Solar and wind projects at community colleges in Yakima and Walla Walla are one step closer to building a renewable energy future after receiving funding from Pacific Power's Blue Sky. Blue Sky is donating up to $119,476 in 2013 to the projects at Walla Walla Community College and Yakima Valley Community College.  The projects include two wind-turbines for Walla Walla Community College's Renewable Energy Park. The wind turbines will be used to educate the community about distributed wind and provide hands-on training to students in the college's Energy Systems Training program, which prepares students to work in the region's growing wind energy sector. The project also includes the installation of a 30-kilowatt solar array and monitoring system at Yakima Valley Community College's Glen Anthon Arts & Science building. Teachers say they plan to incorporate this renewable energy project into their curriculum.

KNDU TV, March 14, 2013


Clark College culinary arts program takes a food-serving hiatus

Clark College's culinary program will stop serving food for two years, beginning spring quarter …  The two-year hiatus in the culinary arts program's food service allows time for a thorough review of the program, [Genevieve Howard, the college's dean of Workforce, Career & Technical Education] said. During the closure, a 12-member task force of college officials and faculty will draft a proposal to restructure the program's curriculum and update the kitchen equipment. "The program is not going away," she said. "That is not the purpose of the task force."

The Columbian, March 14, 2013


'Liberate 250K' – Tacoma Community College's OER Project

Tacoma Community College set the goal of saving students $250,000 over two years through the adoption of “Open Educational Resources” (OER) – free learning resources that can be substituted for expensive textbooks. Just two quarters into the project, TCC is more than halfway to that goal, having saved students $128,000. … eLearning Director Andy Duckworth said that the goal of the project is to create a clearinghouse of materials instructors can choose from so that they don’t have to be dependent on the textbook for each course.
The Suburban Times, March 13, 2013





California Bill Seeks Campus Credit for Online Study [MOOCs]

The New York Times, March 13, 2013


California Shifts the Ground Under Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 13, 2013


Opinion: Cultural attitudes set low-performing American students behind the curve

Bonney &Lake Sumner Courier-Herald, March 14, 2013


On Pi Day, finding strength in numbers

CNN, March 14, 2013


Reimagining Financial Aid

Examining the results of the Gates Foundation's efforts to change the conversation around federal financial aid.

Inside Higher Ed, March 14, 2013


Danger of Secondhand Laptop Browsing by Students

Inside Higher Ed, March 14, 2013





Should in-demand college degrees cost more to earn?

A bill to quash differential tuition, HB 1043, passed overwhelmingly in the state House, and awaits action in the Senate.

KPLU NPR, March 13, 2013


House Passes DREAM Act

Fredy Zarate Gutierrez, a former Green River Community College student, has temporarily put his aspirations of continuing higher education on hold due to financial constraints.

Although the rising cost of higher education has affected students nationwide, it is especially burdensome for noncitizen students like 23-year-old Gutierrez, who are currently ineligible for state-funded financial aid. … Gutierrez, who immigrated to Kent, Wash., from Mexico when he was nine or ten years old, would directly benefit from state financial aid. Although undocumented students qualify for in-state tuition in Washington state, as a full-time employee at Cash and Carry, Gutierrez is unable to further his education. He hopes to enroll at Seattle Central Community College in the near future.

Seattle Weekly, March 14, 2013


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