Tuesday, March 11, 2014

SBCTC NEWS LINKS | March 11, 2014

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




It's sad to crush SPSCC's Viper, but don't attempt a rescue

BOO: CRUSHING $250,000. This is a double-boo. First, to Chrysler for ordering South Puget Sound Community College to destroy the $250,000 Dodge Viper SRT it donated to the school for automotive vocational training. The company forced the crushing of 92 similar cars at other schools due to a pair of lawsuits when the non-street-legal hot rods "got loose." Surely Chrysler's legal department could have written new contracts absolving the corporation from liability if the cars were illegally driven on streets. Second, to those spreading rumors — or seriously contemplating the act — that someone might attempt to steal SPSCC's Viper as an act of protest against corporate America, or maybe to rescue an endangered species of the car-with-snake-name genre. It's a bad idea, for any reason.

The Olympian, March 10, 2014



New C.O.P.S. Shop to open at NEWTECH Skill Center

A new C.O.P.S. Shop opening at NEWTECH Skill Center will provide criminal justice students a practical way to practice what they learn in class. The Criminal Justice course already covers such things as traffic law, criminal law and crime scene investigation. Having a C.O.P.S. Shop at the school will function like an on-site internship. Students are trained to take fingerprints from prowled vehicles, and do crime prevention presentations for neighborhood groups. They will be part of Neighborhood Observation Patrol (N.O.P.) through Spokane C.O.P.S., and learn how to take field notes about suspicious activity to pass on to police officers. … Yates is excited about the opportunities the NEWTECH C.O.P.S. Shop will bring his students. Thanks to a partnership with Spokane Community College, the NEWTECH Criminal Justice course has been recently retooled to more closely resemble a college course, allowing students to earn college credits while in high school.

KXLY, March 10, 2014



Salary philosophy discussed by BBCC board
Faculty salaries, and making sure existing faculty salaries keep pace, was the subject of an extensive discussion at Board of Trustees' last meeting for Big Bend Community College. Salaries came up as part of the discussion of a policy setting a philosophy for all employee salaries, first presented to the board at its January meeting. The policy sets the goal of using the statewide community college system, and comparison with community colleges nationally, as one factor in setting salaries for all employees.

Columbia Basin Herald, March 10, 2014



Students press profs to open minds to cheaper textbooks

Now, some Washington students are trying to gain some control over spiraling prices by asking professors to seek out less-expensive alternatives. Last week, the UW Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution encouraging professors to consider using open textbooks — free or low-cost online versions — and other less-expensive materials. At Tacoma Community College, students voted to use student funds for a pilot project that helps professors find online resources to substitute for textbooks. … The State Board of Community and Technical College (SBCTC) has also developed its own Open Course Library, a project that assembled all curriculum materials online for the 81 most popular courses offered at Washington's community and technical colleges.

The Seattle Times, March 9, 2014



Clark College student paper wins national award

Clark College's print and online student newspaper, "The Independent," earned two national awards at the Associated Collegiate Press 30th annual National College Journalism Convention, Feb. 27 through March 2 in San Diego. The newspaper won third place in a Best of Show competition among more than 30 community colleges that publish weekly newspapers.

The Columbian, March 8, 2014



Green River flight students take off with pilot degree program

When David Watson's or Michael Peterson's stomachs start to growl during their classes at Green River Community College, they include Bainbridge Island, Yakima, even Portland, Ore., among the possible locales for a lunch break. Something, the men say, within "a reasonable distance."

The Kent Reporter, March 7, 2014



Western brings business bachelor's program to Olympic College

Western Washington University will bring a four-year bachelor's program to Kitsap County. Olympic College in Poulsbo, Wash. will feature a business management and administration degree next fall. The program is offered through the Extended Education Department at Western.

The Western Front, March 6, 2014



WCC building gets LEED Silver certification

Whatcom Community College's new auxiliary services building has earned LEED Silver certification for its sustainable design elements. The building, which opened in spring 2013, is home to the campus facilities department and the copy, print and mail center.
The Bellingham Herald, March 6, 2014



LCC tightens ties with Japan, China

Lower Columbia College's may soon have a sister college in Japan and is close to an agreement to educate up to 30 students from China a year. The twin developments, announced Thursday by LCC President Chris Bailey, are part of the college's effort to expand its international program, bolster its enrollment and finances and expose students to global culture and ideas.

The Daily News, March 6, 2014



Public-private partnership gives the jobless new skill, prospects

Naomi Ruden has a degree in sculpture from the University of Washington. She's been unemployed since being laid off as office manager for University Baptist Church in Seattle five months ago. Daniel McKee studied printmaking and photography at Western Washington University. He has not earned a full-time paycheck since losing his job as a manager and custom framer at Aaron Brothers in Issaquah in July. Now Ruden and McKee are training for a blue-collar dream — jobs as ship welders they hope would offer a secure living and annual pay of $40,000 or more. The two Seattle residents are among 19 students enrolled in a maritime welding class for dislocated workers. The program was created jointly last year by Vigor Shipyards and South Seattle Community College.

The Seattle Times, March 6, 2014





Why President Obama's Rankings Are a Good Place to Start

Part of my job involves traveling around the country talking to people who work at colleges. Lately, everyone has been asking, with a mix of puzzlement and exasperation, the same question: "Why on earth is the Obama administration trying to create a federal college-ranking system?" The answer, I tell them, is not really about rankings, politics, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, or President Obama per se. Rather, the rankings idea is the latest manifestation of a long-term change in the underlying relationship between the academy and the state.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 10, 2014



Thoughts on 'What Excellent Community Colleges Do'

Plato suggested that to know the good is to do the good, which is why I'm not a Platonist. Knowing something and doing it are very different propositions. That's why I could finish a very good book about ways that community colleges can be more successful at what they do, nodding along contentedly as I read, and still come away feeling like something was missing. Joshua Wyner directs the Aspen Institute, which offers awards to community colleges for excellence in degree completion, equity, student learning, and labor market success.  He has a new book out, What Excellent Community Colleges Do, offering an overview of what he has learned in that role. It's brief, accessible, and very much worth reading, once you get used to the genre. It's sort of a cross between a foundation report and a scholarly analysis; it has a clear point of view, and it gets some digs in, but it's intended mostly to provoke change. I frequently found myself wanting more detail, but that's not really the purpose of the book.

Inside Higher Ed, March 10, 2014



Mixed Views of Higher Ed

Americans with a college education are more likely than others to report a good or very good standard of living, according to a new poll of American adults. But while that's consistent with the views of college educators about one of the benefits of attending their institutions, other responses may raise concerns for college leaders, especially at private institutions. The survey of 1,006 adults nationally was conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute. The poll found that college-educated respondents were more likely (75.5 percent) than non-college educated respondents (63.6 percent) to report a good or very good financial standard of living. But only 55.9 percent of those who attended college credited their time there with their economic success -- a majority but not an overwhelming one.

Inside Higher Ed, March 10, 2014



Washington state, with highest minimum wage, beats US average for job growth

When Washington state residents voted in 1998 to raise the state's minimum wage and link it to the cost of living, opponents warned the measure would be a job-killer. The prediction hasn't been borne out. In the 15 years that followed, the state's minimum wage climbed to $9.32-- the highest in the country. Meanwhile job growth continued at an average 0.8 percent annual pace, 0.3 percentage point above the national rate. Payrolls at Washington's restaurants and bars, portrayed as particularly vulnerable to higher wage costs, expanded by 21 percent. Poverty has trailed the U.S. level for at least seven years.

The Columbian, March 8, 2014



UW researcher studying whether A.P. helps students succeed

While some University of Washington professors are experimenting with how to add depth to Advanced Placement courses, as described in a Seattle Times story on Sunday, one of their colleagues is doing research into whether A.P. classes — however they are taught — help students once they get to college.

The Seattle Times, March 7, 2014



Two Sides Of The Same Coin: The Employment Crisis And The Education Crisis

It's a well-publicized reality that job growth is not consistent with the increase in the number of college graduates, and the unemployment crisis is a major concern for many countries. And yet, employers and business leaders are beginning to insist that their demand for talent is not being met by the current supply. A survey by the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College finds that more than 60 percent of employers say applicants lack crucial "communication and interpersonal skills." According to Martha White's "The Real Reason College Grads Can't Get Hired," a large percentage of managers also say today's applicants can't think critically and creatively, solve problems, or write well. You heard it right. Despite the fact that employers are in a position to have their pick of the crop, they still can't find what they're looking for – a fact which begs the question: Are we dealing with an employment crisis? Or an education crisis?

Forbes, March 4, 2014





Editorial: Welcome efforts to connect veterans to jobs

With the military anticipating serious downsizing in coming years, organizations like Rally Point 6 have their work cut out for them. Tens of thousands of veterans will be hunting for jobs and support services, and the new Lakewood nonprofit is uniquely poised to help them. With close ties to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the organization founded by retired Army helicopter pilot Anne Sprute has a mission: Don't leave anyone behind. Do what it takes to help each veteran succeed in the post-military world.

The News Tribune, March 10, 2014



State lawmakers extend deadline on 2 key bills dealing with veteran tuition, homelessness

Two bills that state lawmakers have identified as priorities weren't subject to Friday's cutoff deadline for non-budgetary legislation, leaders of both chambers agreed. Leaders in the House and Senate issued a letter saying they will take additional time to work on a bill to provide veterans with in-state tuition. Legislative leaders also said they would continue to work on legislation to extend a $40 real-estate document recording fee that funds programs for the homeless.

The Olympian, March 8, 2014



Bill to award school credit for military training clears House

With hours left before cutoff Friday, the state House voted unanimously to pass a bill to award college academic credit to veterans for previous military training. The measure, introduced by Sen. Steve O'Ban, R-Tacoma, will require colleges and universities to adopt policies for awarding credit for prior military training and make those policies known to any current and former members of the military.

Skagit Valley Herald, March 8, 2014



Progressive Push on Debt

A coalition of progressive groups on Thursday formally began a new campaign aimed at curbing rising student debt and reducing the price of college. The group of think tanks, student organizations, consumer advocates, and unions is targeting the country's "increasingly dysfunctional system of higher education," said Anne Johnson, executive director of Generation Progress, the youth division of the Center for American Progress, which is an organizer of the campaign.

Inside Higher Ed, March 7, 2014



Inslee thinks McCleary agreement may not happen until after session

Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday it looks less likely that factions in the House and Senate can agree on a unified plan for funding K-12 schools before adjourning their 60-day session next Thursday. The Senate and House have both passed supplemental that need reconciling before lawmakers go home after Thursday, March 13. But on a larger question of what the Legislature will tell the Supreme Court about its plan to fully fund basic education by 2017-18, lawmakers are far from agreement. As we reported Sunday, majority Democrats in the House and minority Democrats in the Senate each have introduced bills to nail down the state funding commitment in law, while some Senate Majority Coalition Caucus members say there may be more than one plan submitted to the court before it's April 30 deadline.

The Olympian, March 6, 2014



State lawmakers squabble over which party dropped veteran tuition bill

State lawmakers in Olympia all agree that veterans should automatically get in-state tuition at Washington colleges and universities. What they can't seem to agree on is who should get credit for the policy — a dispute that could prevent the legislation from passing this year. The state House and state Senate each unanimously approved bills to let veterans and active duty military members receive in-state tuition without living in Washington for a year to establish residency. Neither of the bills passed the opposing chamber, however. Instead, both got bottled up in committees, missing key deadlines to advance.

The Olympian, March 6, 2014



Obama's Budget Proposes Incentives for Student Success

The maximum Pell Grant would increase by $100, and states and colleges would get billions of dollars in incentive grants under President Obama's 2015 budget proposal, released on Tuesday. The spending plan seeks $7-billion over 10 years to reward colleges that do a good job of graduating Pell Grant recipients and $4-billion over four years to encourage states to maintain their higher-education spending and adopt performance-based funding models. The plan asks Congress to provide $6-billion for job-training programs at community colleges and requests $75-million in competitive grants to "reduce costs and improve outcomes" at minority-serving institutions. It also seeks $100-million more for the president's "First in the World" innovation competition, which Congress seeded with $75-million this year.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 5, 2014                                                                                                                        



Hansen bills to enhance college opportunity moves forward in Senate

Colleges would  be connected more directly with high-achieving, low-income high schoolers to boost their admission rates under a bill by Rep. Drew Hansen that won approval from a state Senate committee late last week. It was the third Hansen higher-education measure to make that grade in the past week.

Bainbridge Review, March 5, 2014



States Eye Plans to Lower Cost Barriers to College

Persistent worries about the cost of higher education are prompting state leaders to propose a new stream of plans to increase college affordability and expand access for their students.

Education Week, March 4, 2014



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