Tuesday, March 25, 2014

SBCTC NEWS LINKS | March 25, 2014

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




Veteran college CEOs offer advice on partnering with trustees

Community college presidents who want to establish an excellent relationship with their boards of trustees should communicate with them frequently, put trustees in the spotlight and create a climate of trust. That's some of the key advice from seasoned CEOs to new presidents. … Lonnie Howard started attending board strategic planning sessions even before he officially took on the role as president of Clover Park Technical College in Washington. That gave him a chance to outline his vision for the college and learn about board members' institutional priorities. Howard worked with the board to pare down a lengthy strategic plan to three simple objectives: increase student success and access, be more responsive to the local community and employers, and become more entrepreneurial.

Community College Daily, March 24, 2014



University center partners uneasy over WSU administration

With Washington State University poised to settle permanently in Everett this summer, two other universities want assurances their programs don't face future eviction from the community. WSU is on course to replace Everett Community College as operator of the University Center of North Puget Sound, a consortium of public and private colleges offering degree programs to hundreds of students on the EvCC campus and online. Western Washington University and the University of Washington are part of the consortium. They are concerned that their share of enrollment slots are in jeopardy once WSU, also a center member, takes over management duties on July 1.

Everett Herald, March 24, 2014



CBC seeing more students struggle in math

Math professors and tutors at Columbia Basin College in Pasco are seeing an increasing number of students lacking math skills, they said. Higher-level math courses are being replaced by more sections of low-level and remedial math classes. Instructors and tutors are seeing students struggle with basic arithmetic such as fractions.

Tri City Herald, March 23, 2014



Team all lined up to create Nirvana mural

Special panels for the Nirvana mural have arrived, the artistic team is assembled, and work will start soon, Sylvia Dickerson of Our Aberdeen said recently. The panels will be painted and then joined to form a 5-foot-by-50-foot mural that will adorn a building downtown. The civic group commissioned the mural, which will be painted by artist Erik Sandgren and a team of Grays Harbor artists who will return to help out. Four artists are on the team: Anthony James Cotham of Buffalo, N.Y., David Wall of Olympia, Jason Sobottka of DuPont, and Dominic Senibaldi of Indianapolis. "Each of the four has a different skill set to bring to the project," Sandgren said. "We are throwing a lot of artistic firepower at this project." All have lived on the Harbor. All, except Wall, are graduates of Grays Harbor College, where Sandgren is a professor of fine arts. Sandgren hired Wall to help with a previous work, the Port of Grays Harbor Centennial Mural project.

The News Tribune, March 23, 2014



Green River building a future with new complex

Green River Community College's industrial technology buildings are slightly deficient after 50 years. From cramped auto mechanic bays to exposed wiring to classrooms with a single window, the existing facility has been in drastic need of renovations. Instead of renovating the aged building, college leaders have chosen to demolish it and build an entirely new complex dedicated to practical trade skills.

Kent Reporter, March 21, 2014



Editorial: Textbook prices another barrier to higher education

THE skyrocketing price of textbooks is one reason more college students are finding higher education increasingly unaffordable. "Open" texts — free or low-cost online alternatives to the printed renditions — are a promising potential solution. Students seem to love 'em. But there need to be more open textbooks, and they should be as good, or better, than the materials they replace. Only then will more professors embrace them and start ordering them for their classes. Washington has been a leader in exploring technology's potential to bring textbook costs down. Over the past four years, with funding from the Legislature and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the State Board for Community & Technical Colleges has identified or helped create inexpensive online textbooks and other materials for 81 popular courses. The savings to students: at least $5.5 million. Tacoma Community College students have saved another $643,000 since September 2011 through a pilot project that helps professors find online textbook substitutes. The results suggest a federal investment in making textbooks more affordable would be money well spent.

The Seattle Times, March 21, 2014



Two-year colleges trending away from 'community' name

Community. It's a word with positive connotations. We hear it, we think of a place where people live together, or of a group's shared interests. It's a good thing. Yet some colleges have decided to rid their names of that word. Does "community college" carry a stigma? Or is something else going on? It is something else, a way to more aptly describe a school's offerings. Colleges in our region that recently dropped community from their names all grant a specific type of bachelor's degree, a bachelor of applied science. For students who have two-year technical degrees, a bachelor of applied science degree is a fairly new offering from schools that have traditionally been two-year colleges. They are unlike bachelor's degrees granted by universities on the Everett Community College and Edmonds Community College campuses.

Everett Herald, March 21, 2014



Still time to sign up for basic right

For years as a student at Everett Community College, I was without health insurance. I personally know many who shared that much too common status. I remember not scheduling doctors' appointments because I couldn't afford it even at the community clinics. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a step toward progress in our country and a movement toward an understanding that health care and medicine is a basic human right, not a privilege for those who can afford it.

Everett Herald, March 21, 2014



Exotic Metals Forming Co. opening plant in Airway Heights

An aerospace company that manufactures parts for the aviation industry announced Thursday that it will bring a 150,000-square-foot plant to Airway Heights employing up to 150 people once it begins operation about a year from now. … Also, a state work training grant of $100,000 is available to the company as it gears up. Again, GSI is handling the money, which can be used for company on-site training or training through Spokane Community College, said Robin Toth, GSI's vice president for business development.

The Spokesman Review, March 21, 2014



Newtech center will host newest COPS shop

COPS celebrated the opening of a new shop at Newtech Skill Center in Hillyard on Tuesday. Newtech's is the only COPS shop operated out of a school. … Through a partnership with Spokane Community College, the Newtech criminal justice course lets students earn college credits.

The Spokesman-Review, March 20, 2014





Understanding the quirks in state's college completion rate

Washington's public four-year colleges have long bragged that their completion rates — that is, the percentage of students who finish their degrees and graduate — are among the best in the nation. And according to a federal postsecondary analysis of data, they are. But a new study by the respected National Student Clearinghouse, which verifies college degrees to employers and also collects tremendous amounts of data on college completion, appears to show that Washington's six-year graduation rate for four-year public colleges is not, in fact, the nation's best — that it's worse than the national average. How can that be? It's a quirk in the way colleges are classified. In 2007, a few of Washington's community colleges started offering applied baccalaureate degrees, or four-year degrees. Currently, 11 of the state's 34 community and technical colleges do so, and more of these degrees are likely to be approved in the future. Some of these colleges have also dropped the word "community" from their names.

The Seattle Times, March 24, 2014



Lifting students over barriers to higher education

My son is on track to earning his college degree in a couple of months, and my wife and I can exhale. He will have earned one of the keys to success in America. More families should be able to share our pride and pleasure, but as getting a college education becomes more essential — as an economic tool, and more important as a way to improve one's station in life — it gets more expensive and less accessible. By 2018, 60 percent of job openings will require a college education, according to a 2010 Georgetown University study. The country needs people qualified to fill those jobs, and young people, especially those who aspire to a financially secure future, will need college preparation.

The Seattle Times, March 23, 2014





State must find more money for higher education

The board members of the Independent Colleges of Washington applaud the recent action by the Legislature to embrace the higher education attainment goals proposed by the Washington State Student Achievement Council. These goals are a foundational and much-needed commitment to improving college graduation rates in our state. A recent study from Georgetown University predicts that by 2020 our state's economy will produce approximately 1.2 million job openings, and 40 percent of those will be new jobs. This is good news, but the study warns that nearly 70 percent of these job openings will require at least some post-secondary education. This is an alarming statistic and a compelling call for action. We must first better prepare students from our K-12 system to attend and graduate from college. Currently only 19 percent of Washington's ninth-graders will receive an associate degree or higher. This deficit is unacceptable.

The Olympian, March 25, 2014



Hillary on Higher Ed

Hillary Rodham Clinton, a likely presidential candidate in 2016, outlined here Monday a vision for higher education globally and in the United States that would focus more on the disadvantaged and those who need postsecondary training, but not necessarily a four-year degree. Clinton, the former secretary of state, senator and first lady, spoke at the Globalization of Higher Education conference organized by Academic Partnerships, which recently unveiled a "Specializations" initiative in which academic programs from American colleges will be translated and offered online in countries worldwide where English is not the primary language.

Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2014



No state cuts ahead, but Legislature again fails to fund education

The Washington state legislature wrapped up its session in Olympia last week, and while we received some additional support, lawmakers are far away from meeting the Supreme Court's mandate to fully fund K-12 education. There are many uncertainties and funding challenges ahead for Bellingham Public Schools and schools around the county and state. The majority of our funding for schools comes from the state, while our local levies make up approximately 30 percent of our budget. We also receive some limited funding from the federal government and have an active Bellingham Public School Foundation.

Bellingham Herald, March 23, 2014



In Our View: Funding K-12 Education

As the Legislature's short 2014 session drew to a close recently, news from the heartland served as a reminder that lawmakers' work is not yet finished for this year. By April 30, as instructed by the state Supreme Court, legislators must devise an adequate, specific year-by-year plan for funding K-12 education. As the court has written in a finger-wag to lawmakers: "We have no wish to be forced into entering specific funding directives to the state, or, as some state high courts have done, holding the Legislature in contempt of court. But, it is incumbent upon the state to demonstrate … concrete action."

The Columbian, March 23, 2014



Mixed results for education as Legislators go home

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.

Bothell Reporter, March 23, 2014



Sen. Patty Murray backs campus anti-harassment bill

Colleges and universities would be required to adopt anti-harassment policies and recognize cyberbullying as a threat to students under a new law Washington Sen. Patty Murray said she will introduce next week. During a Thursday visit to Spokane, Murray said she will co-sponsor the Tyler Clementi Education Anti-Harassment Act, which would mandate universities or colleges that receive federal money to have policies defining bullying or harassment and prohibiting that behavior.

The Spokesman Review, March 21, 2014



As 2014 legislative season ends, education funding remains key

The short 60-day legislative session that concluded last week in Olympia was remarkable for a number of reasons. For one thing, we adjourned on time. As our state grows more complex and our population continues to increase - with corresponding demands for a range of government services - it becomes more and more challenging to neatly wrap up a full year's worth of the people's business in two months, or even in the 105 days allotted for odd-numbered years.

While progress was made in several areas, my general impression is that this was a session lacking in significant legislation. As I've said many times, much of my focus as a lawmaker is on what I have code-named The Three E's: education, the economy, and the environment. And while good things happened on all of those fronts, I regret that we were not able to do more.

The Bellingham Herald, March 20, 2014



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