Tuesday, March 5, 2013

NEWS LINKS | March 5, 2013

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




English requirement in immigration reform will test underfunded ESL system

Those familiar with the issue say the woefully underfunded adult ESL system would face challenges that could stretch it to its breaking point. They include the influx of millions of new students, a severe lack of clarity around funding, and the need for more flexible learning situations, as many immigrants—who often work several jobs—will find it difficult to attend classes.

The current ESL system is "cobbled together with toothpicks and Band-Aids,” said Paul Musselman, the president of Carnegie Speech, a virtual learning company that makes language software.  … This fall, another online ESL pilot program [Integrated Digital English Acceleration or I-DEA] funded with $3.5 million by the Gates Foundation will begin in 10 community colleges, also in Washington. The colleges, partnering with Livemocha, will create an interactive curriculum including video and text chatting with native English speakers as a way to improve conversational skills. Each student will be given a laptop or tablet, but this time they'll be assisted by trained ESL teachers and tech coaches in classrooms.  The colleges hope the program will eventually be cheaper than traditional ESL classes, despite the costs of computers. They also hope the digital approach will be more effective than their previous textbook-based ESL classes, which have had a dismal track record of moving students to higher levels of English. “We don’t believe it is more expensive to put technology in the hands of students than it is to put really not very exciting books in the hands of students,” Kathy Cooper, a policy associate at the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, said.

Yahoo News, February 26, 2013



Trucker prepares drivers for road

The American Trucking Association reported in November 2012 a need of close to 25,000 drivers. That demand is projected to spike to nearly 240,000 drivers by 2022. Stricter oversight at the federal and state level has helped make road safety and driver well-being a priority. But the regulations are also keeping potential drivers from earning their CDLs, or if they are in the field, from staying in. Harvey trains students locally through the Commercial Truck Driving program at Walla Walla Community College. An industry expert with years of experience on the road and in the classroom, Harvey offers first-hand knowledge of riding rigs, and the most up-to-date lessons on federal and state regulations.  …  “It’s a living-wage job with a short amount of training,” Harvey said. “You can’t get that with a lot of professions.”

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, March 3, 2013



Needing more room to teach, college turns Capitol Hill performance spaces into classrooms

Balagan Theatre has been running shows and productions out of Erickson Theatre, Seattle Central Community College’s resident performance space on Harvard Avenue since 2011. That is all going to change -- an announcement from the theatre reports the troupe could be looking for a new home as the school is devoting more of its Capitol Hill building spaces to instruction.

Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, March 3, 2013



Eastgate Elementary Students Welcome New Citizens

Eastgate Elementary School welcomed 22 new citizens in a naturalization ceremony held at the school on Wednesday. Mayor Conrad Lee, who also is a naturalized citizen, joined the school in welcoming the new citizens. … Those certificates mean everything to new citizens like Carlos Gimenez, who moved to Bellevue from Chile when he was 17. He graduated from Interlake High School in 2001, obtained his Associate’s Degree from Bellevue College, earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Washington and now owns his own construction business. “To me, personally, it’s an immigrant dream, by coming here, working hard to obtain your freedom,” Gimenez says. “It’s kind of like being born again.”
Bellevue Patch, March 3, 2013



Clover Park Technical College's health sciences facility named top project

Clover Park Technical College's Health Sciences Facility was recognized as one of the Top 10 economic development projects at the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board's annual meeting at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center on Friday. … This is the College¹s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certified Project. In order to meet the LEED standards, the College included features such as a patio/roof garden, herbal garden, landscaping using native plants, energy efficient lighting, HVAC, and plumbing features. The program laboratory learning spaces will reflect current industry standards.

Lakewood-JBLM Patch, March 4, 2013



Legislature eyeing measure to allow underage wine students to taste product

Javier Clara grew up near a vineyard, which later sparked his interest in studying wine.  So it was an easy decision for him to enroll in the winery technology program at Yakima Valley Community College’s Grandview campus. … Clara also will spend an extra year in school — the program usually takes two years to complete — so he would be 21 when he takes advanced winemaking classes where tasting is a more essential part of the curriculum. Clara and other underage students interested in pursuing careers in the wine industry may benefit from a bill that would allow those under age 21 (but older than 18) to taste small amounts of alcohol as part of a wine, beer or culinary program. The bill has passed out of committee and is proceeding to the Senate floor. … “We virtually need every student graduating from these programs,” said Marty Clubb, owner and managing winemaker of L’Ecole No. 41 in Walla Walla and president of the Washington Wine Institute, an organization that serves as a legislative voice for wineries statewide.  Trent Ball, chairman of YVCC’s agriculture department, believes if students are forced to wait until they turn 21 before they can take many of the classes in the college’s winery and vineyard technology programs, some may opt for different career paths.  “We’re competing for the best students,” he said. “If we want to have the best students in a discipline like the wine industry ... we’ve got to get them in early and get them excited.”

Yakima Herald-Republic, March 4, 2013



Federal spending cuts: 'Am I going to be that student left out?'

Yakima Valley Community College is one of many local agencies bracing for the fallout from automatic federal spending cuts. Tutoring, counseling and assistance with textbooks; freshman Steven Mora gets that helping hand from the federal TRIO program. … Mora is one of nearly 200 who get that help from the program that targets disadvantaged students. Students, who might be disabled, have low-incomes or are the first in their family to go to college. "These are the students that are really likely to succeed because of the TRIO grant," said Yakima Valley Community College President Linda Kaminski.  Now, some of that is in doubt. Kaminski anticipates a 5-percent cut in TRIO money.  YVCC's federal work study program, upward bound high school outreach program and the federal Perkins grant could all take hits. At least $71,000 dollars might be lost.

KIMA TV CBS, March 4, 2013



WA Schools, from 'K' through College, Face the Sequester

By this fall, it will be harder to find financial aid to enroll in one of Washington's community and technical colleges. Federal funding for some types of grants is going away as part of the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester.  Nick Lutes, operating budget director with the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, said it looks like the cuts will affect mostly small, but targeted, programs for certain types of students - such as English-language learners and workers training for new careers. … South Puget Sound Community College is one of many WA schools where students face a loss of funding

Public News Service, March 4, 2013



Empty Bowls Raises More Than $5000 for Local Food Banks

In its second year, the Empty Bowls fundraising and awareness event at Enumclaw High School on Friday raised an impressive $5,100 to support local food banks.  … Participants were invited to take part in a simple meal and to take home as a souvenir a one-of-a-kind bowl created by a local artist – including Ed Brannan and Paul Metivier, Green River Community College pottery instructors, and their students -- to serve as a reminder of continued hunger issues around the world.

Enumclaw Patch, March 5, 2013






College Boards Use Personality Tests to Probe Minds of Would-Be Presidents

Is the candidate a grouse or a softy? Diplomat or daredevil? Extrovert or wallflower? Such questions may be difficult to answer through interviews and reference checks.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 1, 2013


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As Colleges Evolve, So Must Their Presidents

Academe is in a period of profound change, and a new generation of leaders will have to change with it.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 4, 2013



The Next Big Thing in Enrollment Management

Will social media bring big changes to recruitment? That depends on whether admissions offices embrace the new tools, writes an enrollment manager in a guest post.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 4, 2013



Fixing Financial Aid

For 40 years, federal money has sustained higher education while enabling its worst tendencies. That's about to change.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 4, 2013



The Employment Mismatch: A College Degree Sorts Job Applicants, but Employers Wish It Meant More

Students go to college partly to land good jobs. But are graduates ready for them? The Chronicle and Marketplace surveyed employers to ask if colleges meet their needs. … "Once upon a time, 'trainee' used to be a common job title," says Philip D. Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. "Now companies expect everyone, recent graduates included, to be ready to go on Day One. "The mantle of preparing the work force," he says, "has been passed to higher ed." Whether colleges want to accept that responsibility is another matter. While some institutions tout their career centers, internship offerings, and academic programs designed with industry input, others argue that workplace skills ought to be taught on the job. Higher education is meant to educate broadly, not train narrowly, they say: It's business that's asking too much.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 4, 2013



Rise of Customized Learning

Western Governors U. and others continue to expand competency-based education amid excitement (and confusion) about President Obama's praise of the approach

Inside Higher Ed, March 5, 2013



Change From Within

Higher education's most powerful association throws its weight behind "disruptions" to the industry. Can the establishment help lead the revolution?

Inside Higher Ed, March 5, 2013






Editorial: Lift state ban on higher-education funding for prison inmates

Postsecondary education in prison is a way to reduce the chance of prisoners relapsing into criminal behavior. The state Legislature should not block funding for these programs. … About 60 percent of the 17,371 state inmates are serving sentences of 10 years or fewer. Many are enrolled in skills-building efforts. Nearly 3,000 are enrolled in Basic Education and vocational programs. An additional 360 are enrolled in the associate-degree programs at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, the Washington State Penitentiary and the Academic Degree Programs through Walla Walla Community College.

The Seattle Times, March 4, 2013




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