Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SBCTC NEWS LINKS | March 18, 2014

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




Health providers target young adults for Affordable Care Act

The open enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act is March 31. Local groups were trying to sign up young adults on Monday, some of the people the program was lacking. Students on campus at Spokane Community College made up one of the target groups health care providers wanted to sign up. 

KREM, March 17, 2014



Washington food program includes college training

The welding shop in Skagit Valley College's Reeves Hall is a far cry from the prison cell Kevin Riley spent about five years in until his January 2012 release. "It was more of a personal goal," Riley said of going back to school. "I think I had a chip on my shoulder and just wanted to prove that, at 43, I could do this. I wanted to be a good example for my daughter." Now, Riley is on the cusp of getting his associate's degree in welding technology, with other certifications to boot. He has a 3.99 grade point average and was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Kitsap Sun, March 17, 2014


The promise of a $10,000 bachelor's degree

Is it possible to create a bachelor's degree that would cost students only $10,000? A few years ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Gov. Rick Scott called on colleges to create a $10,000 bachelor's degree. Critics argued that it was tantamount to the "Walmartization" of higher education. But those two states now offer a limited number of low-cost online degrees. Earlier this month, Jean Floten — former president of Bellevue College and currently chancellor of Western Governors University-Washington — took part in a panel discussion on the merits of the low-cost degree at the South by Southwest education conference, or SXSWedu, the companion to the annual music, film and interactive conference in Austin, Texas.

The Seattle Times, March 17, 2014



Here's some news to use for small business owners

By Pat Sisneros, Everett Community College. I've noticed a few trends in the small business world that are worth sharing. From social media to the local economy and leadership in your office, here are some news stories you may have missed.

Everett Herald, March 17, 2014



Bates students named to All-Washington Academic Team

Bates Technical College students Elke Schwartz and Renee Sweet have been selected as members of the All-Washington Academic Team for their academic achievement and community service. Along with other top scholars from the state's 34 technical and community colleges, the two will be honored and presented with a medallion at a reception in Olympia on Thursday, March 27.

The Suburban Times, March 17, 2014



3 Seattle colleges dropping 'community' from names

Seattle's three community colleges are losing the "community." The district's board voted unanimously to change the names to Seattle Central College, South Seattle College and North Seattle College. The change was approved Thursday by the board of the Seattle Community Colleges District, which will now be known as Seattle Colleges.

KOMO News, March 16, 2014



CBC jazz choir takes one of the top honors at festival

Columbia Basin College's jazz choir took one of the top honors at a recent jazz festival in Edmonds. Ten members of FreeForm received the Outstanding Musicianship Award at the Frank DeMiero Jazz Festival, the most of any other participating choir, a news release said. The winning members are Terrence Allmon, Taylor Clarke, Carson Goody, Talitha McCall, Alex Pickard, Chase Rabideau, Brian Rebar, Nick Trowbridge, Brian Swearingen and Megan Vogel. The whole FreeForm choir will perform this weekend in Seattle at the Northwest Conference of the American Choral Directors Association. The group is one of three jazz choirs invited to perform at the event.

The News Tribune, March 16, 2014



Front and Center: John Whitmer, SFCC astronomy instructor

Some visitors who attend John Whitmer's popular Friday night stargazing sessions expect insights based on the position of celestial bodies, as in "when the moon is in the Seventh House." But the director of Spokane Falls Community College's planetarium is an astronomer, not an astrologer. He's more interested in the age of planets than the Age of Aquarius. Whitmer has taught at SFCC since 1998, and spearheaded the effort to include a planetarium in the college's new science building, completed in 2011.

The Spokesman-Review, March 16, 2014



Nextcast: Janis Machala on the changing dynamics of education

As a one-time English PhD student, Janis Machala didn't always know her career would lead her down a business path. But now she helps other people pursue their passions and get the education they need to achieve their dreams, as the Executive Dean of Continuing Education at Bellevue College.

GeekWire, March 15, 2014



Great sandwich find: House-brined corned beef from local student chefs

Corned beef is one of those dishes that pops up on menus just before March 17, only to be forgotten shortly after, except in the form of a Reuben sandwich. … While looking into recommendations from readers for where to find a great Reuben (see list of reader suggestions below), I found something worth noting: House-made corned beef. Not that pre-brined, pre-packaged stuff that you can find at your local supermarket, but the kind brined from scratch.

I found it at an unexpected place: the Rainier Room, a student-run restaurant at Clover Park Technical College. The Rainier Room is an extension of the school's culinary arts training program.

The News Tribune, March 14, 2014



March 31 deadline looms to sign up for health coverage

Click on the TV and you're likely to see two actors rapping. One is dressed in a green satin jacket, the other in a white outfit that might politely be called eclectic. It may take more than one viewing to get the full message. They aren't just two guys chatting with a couple several decades beyond the typical rapper demographic. The couple's story involves being denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. … The split between those who do and those who don't sign up sometimes occurs within the same family. Jennifer Delia, a 29-year-old Edmonds Community College student, and Jason Kylmala, her 27-year-old brother who lives in King County, are an example.

The Everett Herald, March 14, 2014



Sen. Patty Murray pushes for VA home money

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Wednesday pressed administration officials for answers about care for veterans, including how funding will be achieved for the planned Washington State Veterans Home at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center. … As proposed, the Walla Walla facility would add 93 permanent jobs, a training partnership with Walla Walla Community College and serve 10 counties, including Benton and Franklin, with a combined population of more than 50,000 veterans.

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, March 13, 2014



KBTC Public Television's Northwest Now wins Telly Awards

KBTC Public Television, a service of Bates Technical College, recently announced it has won two bronze Telly Awards for public affairs program Northwest Now. Winning in the Informational category, "I-522" examines last year's food-labeling initiative, which would have required food containing genetically-engineered ingredients to be labeled as such. In the episode, producer and host Tom Layson travels with videographer Michael Peters to Sumner and Carnation to interview two food producers on opposite sides of the issue. Layson also interviews representatives for and against Initiative 522 in studio.

The Suburban Times, March 13, 2014





States looking at $0 community college tuition

Nothing sparks consumer demand like the word "free," and politicians in some states have proposed the idea of providing that incentive to get young people to attend community college. Amid worries that U.S. youth are losing a global skills race, supporters of a no-tuition policy see expanding access to community college as way to boost educational attainment so the emerging workforces in their states look good to employers. Of course, such plans aren't free for taxpayers, and legislators in Oregon and Tennessee are deciding whether free tuition regardless of family income is the best use of public money. A Mississippi bill passed the state House, but then failed in the Senate. The debate comes in a midterm election year in which income inequality and the burdens of student debt are likely going to be significant issues.

The Olympian, March 17, 2014



Promise of free college offers hope to poor students

The College Bound Scholarship – a promise of higher education for low-income middle-schoolers – is smart in theory. It's turning out to be a smart in the real world as well. The program is based on the fact that students from poor families start to take their destinies in their own hands in the seventh and eighth grades.

The News Tribune, March 17, 2014



Gainful Employment's Partial Unveiling

This morning the Obama Administration plans to release its eagerly awaited "gainful employment" standards for vocational programs at for-profit institutions and community colleges. The overall structure of the proposed regulations looks the same as a draft version the U.S. Department of Education released in December, according to an embargoed news release the White House circulated on Thursday evening. But many details about the complex metrics were not available before the scheduled 7 a.m. release of the rule's language. About 8,000 academic programs would be required to comply with the standards, federal officials told reporters in a conference call Thursday. Those programs enroll one million students.

Inside Higher Ed, March 14, 2014



5 Things to Know About the Proposed Gainful-Employment Rule

Why is the Department of Education proposing a new gainful-employment rule? Most of the original proposed rule was thrown out by a federal district court in June 2012, after the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the main trade group of the for-profit-college industry, challenged it in a lawsuit. A judge appointed by President Obama agreed that the department had the right to issue the regulation but said the department had been "arbitrary and capricious" in setting the thresholds for one of the three key criteria it would use to determine whether a program would lose eligibility for federal student aid.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 14, 2014



3 Things High School Students Should Know About College

As the stakes rise regarding the necessity of a high school diploma for lifelong success, so do the standards to earn one. High school graduates today must know more than the generations that came before them, both in academic and real-world applications. College, which was once considered an option for some students, is now viewed as a necessity. All of the lesson planning from Kindergarten forward funnels student information into the end goal of high school and college graduation.

Education Week, March 14, 2014



Your voices: How Seattle students and teachers save money on textbooks

We received several responses to our earlier prompt asking readers how they save money on textbooks. The question stemmed from a story by higher education reporter Katherine Long about local college students who are pressing their professors to cut costs by using open-source online course materials. Both students and teachers volunteered to share their strategies.

The Seattle Times, March 13, 2014



Demographics improve odds of getting into UW this year

For all of those high-school seniors waiting for a fat envelope to arrive from the college of their choice, give Mom and Dad a hug: Due to either good planning or sheer luck, they gave birth to you at the bottom of a demographic trough. The number of high-school graduates in the state this year — indeed, across the nation — is the lowest in four years. In Washington, about 5,000 fewer are expected to get a diploma than in 2010, according to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which tracks demographic trends nationwide. This year, nearly 69 percent of in-state freshman applicants to the University of Washington will get an acceptance letter in the mail this month. Letters will be sent March 15-31. That's a slightly higher percentage than in 2013 and 2012, when between 63 and 65 percent of in-state applicants were admitted.

The Seattle Times, March 12, 2014





In Our View: 'Do-Little' Legislature

Apparently taking its cue from a gridlocked Congress in Washington, D.C., the state Legislature of 2014 could best be described as a "do-little" gathering. Of course, when the Congress or the Legislature actually do something, that normally means money out of taxpayers' pockets, so a lack of activity in Olympia could be viewed as a positive development for the state. But there are many pressing issues facing Washington that did not receive adequate attention during the session that concluded late Thursday night, and there are several examples of legislators turning out the lights on topics that will require illumination in the near future. First and foremost is the subject of K-12 education. After adding $1 billion in funding last year as part of the 2013-15 biennial budget, lawmakers tacked on $58 million as part of a supplemental budget. In January, Gov. Jay Inslee had asked for $200 million in K-12 spending to be approved this year. In the long run, falling short on K-12 funding isn't a matter of remaining fiscally responsible; it is a matter of delaying the inevitable. The state Supreme Court's 2012 McCleary decision calls for adequate funding of public education by 2018, and the court is certain to chastise lawmakers for their glacial progress on the issue.

The Columbian, March 16, 2014



Legislature ends on time with basic education funding unresolved

House Bill 2797 and Senate Bill 6483 have a lot in common. Both increased funding for K-3 classroom construction, both had bipartisan sponsorship and both failed to reach the governor's desk. In McCleary v. Washington, the state Supreme Court ruled the state was not sufficiently funding basic education. Earlier this year, the court ordered legislators to quicken the pace of funding to meet McCleary obligations—including K-3 class size reductions. According to the National Education Association, Washington state is fourth worst in the nation for classroom sizes.

Bainbridge Review, March 15, 2014



Legislative session ends without tackling some major issues

As legislative sessions go, this was largely a forgettable one. State lawmakers finished their two-month session Thursday night by passing an operating budget that slightly increased state spending and then heading home without dealing with a plethora of other major issues. The discarded bills included compromise measures to incorporate state test scores in teacher evaluations, address oil-transportation safety, increase involuntary commitments for mental-health treatment and reconcile the medical-marijuana system with the new recreational-pot industry, to say nothing of more partisan proposals.

The Seattle Times, March 13, 2014



Why Lawmakers Need to Invest in STEM Education

Washington's many technology employers are hungry for qualified workers, from the folks who install and maintain the systems that keep buildings running in downtown Spokane, to nuclear physicists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, to agricultural workers in Yakima Valley, to software engineers at Microsoft's campus in Redmond. The entrepreneurial spirit and drive to innovate that built those employers and thousands of others in Washington produce hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs that support families around our state. But although we rank first in the nation for creating jobs that require science, technology, engineering and math skills, we're not doing a good job of preparing and inspiring the next generation to compete for them. Those good-paying jobs often require a strong high school education, a technical certificate or a wide range of postsecondary degrees. That forces our companies to recruit from elsewhere and leaves our own kids on the outside looking in.

Crosscut, March 13, 2014



Veteran in-state tuition bill clears Legislature, heads to Inslee

Lawmakers waited until the last minute to award veterans in-state tuition at Washington colleges and universities, but ultimately the popular legislation made it through the Legislature before it adjourned Thursday. Senate Bill 5318 will automatically provide current and past members of the military with in-state tuition at Washington schools. Typically, a person has to live in Washington state for a year to meet residency requirements for in-state tuition. The state House approved the legislation unanimously Thursday. It now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee to be signed into law.

Bellingham Herald, March 13, 2014



Compiled by the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges |1300 Quince St SE | PO Box 42495 | Olympia, WA 98504 | eclips@sbctc.edu


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