Thursday, March 20, 2014

SBCTC NEWS LINKS | March 20, 2014

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




New rule helps nursing students get bachelor's degrees

Higher education leaders have reached an agreement making it easier for students who earn two-year nursing degrees to work on a bachelor's degree. Students who earn their associate of nursing degree at participating two-year colleges will be able to start their bachelor's level coursework as seniors rather than as juniors, a release said. Washington's community and technical colleges will have to comply with standards outlined in the agreement in order for their students to receive credit at the four-year universities. Many colleges, including Columbia Basin College, already have similar transfer agreements with universities, said Mary Hoerner, the college's nursing program director.

The News Tribune, March 19, 2014


State colleges reach deal on easing way for nurses' degrees

The state's two- and four-year college systems have come to an agreement that will help nurses complete their bachelor's degrees more efficiently. The agreement was needed because credits earned at community college often didn't transfer directly or consistently to all four-year colleges and universities. The agreement makes the path clearer and more straightforward, said Laura McDowell, spokeswoman for the State Board for Community & Technical Colleges.

The Seattle Times, March 19, 2014


Jaclyn Wilson Gig Harbor High senior an exceptional academic in math and sciences, plus a dedicated athlete and leader

Jaclyn Wilson graduating only will graduate at the top of her class with a near-perfect grade-point average, but, by June, she also will receive an associate of arts degree from Tacoma Community College. And that's not her only academic achievement. Wilson is getting ready to complete the entire college-level calculus and engineering physics series for the University of Washington's electrical engineering department prerequisites.

The Peninsula Gateway, March 19, 2014


Obamacare comes to LCC

Despite several childhood health problems and a recent stint in the emergency room, 28-year-old Glenn Meeks was indifferent about getting health coverage. "It wasn't something I thought about. Having not had insurance for (10 years), when you get sick you either deal with it or let it run its course," Meeks said Tuesday afternoon at Lower Columbia College's student center. Nevertheless, Meeks walked out of the student center with Medicaid coverage after getting help from Cowlitz Family Health Center health insurance guides. The LCC pre-veterinary student said he was getting lunch when Health Center workers suggested he get insured. He said he probably still wouldn't have health insurance if the Health Center wasn't at the school.

The Daily News, March 18, 2014


Clayton chef finds surprise success as buttercream sculptor

There's spectacular cakes, and then there's the art that Chef Rebecca Wortman creates with buttercream frosting and sugar pieces. Using the common cake topping, Wortman makes sculptures that have captured the eye of the confectionary world in just a few short months. "I wanted to do something different," said Wortman of her sculptures. "And it's turning out to be good." Wortman was a student in the professional baking program at Spokane Community College and was required to compete in the Washington State Sugar Artists Cake Show  as part of the course. Wanting to do something a little different, Wortman opted not to bake and decorate a cake, and at the suggestion of her instructor made her first buttercream sculpture.

KXLY, March 18, 2014




Ratings or Rankings?

Since the White House rolled out its plan to create a federal college ratings system last August, administration officials have repeatedly insisted that they are not interested in putting together a scheme that would rank institutions.

As recently as Friday, for instance, Education Secretary Arne Duncan admonished a White House reporter's suggestion that the administration is seeking to develop a system akin to the rankings compiled annually by U.S. News and World Report. "Very different from U.S. News," Duncan clarified. "This is not a ranking system; this is a rating system." The administration is proposing a system that rates institutions by giving them scores or grades on a set of indicators, officials have said, but it does not want to rank them numerically like a handful of publications do.

Inside Higher Ed, March 20, 2014

Transfer Degrees Catch on in California

California's community colleges and campuses in the California State University System both have made progress in encouraging the use of a two-year degree aimed at transfer, according to a new report from the Public Policy Institute of California. About half the state's community colleges now offer 10 or more versions of the transfer degree, the report found. And Cal State campuses have made "significant progress" in increasing the number of transfer degrees they accept in similar majors. Challenges remain, however. The report said capacity constraints at Cal State may limit the degrees' promise. It also found that the lack of participation by the University of California means that the transfer degrees are not as much of a "statewide" pathway as intended by the ambitious legislation that led to their creation. More work also needs to be done at two-year colleges, according to the report. Awareness among community colleges students about the degrees remains limited.

Inside Higher Ed, March 20, 2014

A tool works in improving access to higher ed

Washington state long has moved past a natural-resources economy to one dependent on knowledge, especially in high-tech fields. Even in agriculture — traditionally a low-skill, low-education, low-wage sector —employment requires an increasing mastery of technology in areas like food processing. The Washington Student Achievement Council estimates that by 2016, nearly three-fourths of available jobs will require some sort of postsecondary credential in a state where less than half the adult population meets that benchmark. Increasing the number of apprenticeships, college degrees and other credentials after high school is one of the top goals of the state.

Yakima Herald, March 19, 2014


Starting All Over Again

Students are much less likely to earn a four-year degree if they first enroll at a community college. A key reason, according to a newly released study, is lost credits in the transfer process. The research also dumps cold water on several other explanations for why many community college students fail to eventually complete bachelor's degrees, such as assumptions about lowered expectations, a vocational focus or inadequate academic rigor during their time at two-year colleges.

Inside Higher Ed , March 19, 2014


Affordability Tops Annual 'Hopes and Worries' Survey of Applicants

Concerns about paying for college reached an all-time high among respondents to a survey released by Princeton Review Inc. on Tuesday, but 100 percent of them said a college degree would be "worth it. In the 2014 "College Hopes and Worries Survey," 89 percent of respondents reported that financial aid would be "very necessary" to pay college expenses. Among those respondents, 65 percent said it would be "extremely necessary."

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2014




Obama to Promote Expanded Economic Opportunities for Women

President Obama is traveling to Florida on Thursday to talk with female college students about how to expand their economic potential. Mr. Obama will use an address at Valencia College in Orlando to emphasize his administration's efforts to give more women access to higher education and to promote equality in the workplace, a White House official said. He is also scheduled to meet with small group of students and workers before heading to Miami for two fund-raisers.

The New York Times, March 20, 2014


Get serious on school funding

The just-completed legislative session is best understood as a preview of coming distractions. Lawmakers teed up campaign themes — tax loopholes, standardized tests, minimum wage — that won't be improved by reduction to bumper-stickers or flyers. "When you're explaining, you're losing," political consultants say. Contemporary campaigns are not seminars. They're sound bites and caricature, often masterpieces of misdirection. That, in part, suggests that we may hear less than we should about the magnitude of the education funding challenge lawmakers will face next January.

Everett Herald, March 19, 2014


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