Thursday, March 27, 2014

SBCTC NEWS LINKS | March 27, 2014

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




North Seattle College names new president

Warren Brown, an administrator with 17 years of experience in the state’s community college system, has been named the next president of North Seattle College. He will start his new job in July. Brown was selected after a national search. He is executive vice president for instruction and student services at Seattle Central College, a position he has held since 2010, and an adjunct faculty member for Seattle University, where he works in the doctoral program in educational leadership. He has also worked as dean for student learning at Cascadia Community College and associate dean for academic support at Whatcom Community College.

The Seattle Times, March 26, 2014


Columbia Basin College students named Academic All Stars

Like many Columbia Basin College students, Amjad al-Sharkarji and Shwe Zin have high expectations for their future. The 19-year-old Amjad wants to become an electrical engineer and is looking at attending Washington State University Tri-Cities or a university in Seattle. Shwe, 18, is a Southridge High School senior in the Running Start program and plans to become a pediatrician. Both have been selected as the college's All-USA Academic All Stars for the 2013-14 school year. They'll head to South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia today to be honored at a banquet. Each will receive a $2,500 scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society that organizes the contest.

Tri City Herald, March 26, 2014


Followup: South Seattle CC aerospace team in Vegas to compete

Back in January, we shared the story of South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor)Aviation Maintenance Technology students who had formed an all-woman team determined to go to a national competition in Las Vegas. After school and community support put some wind beneath their wings, they worked hard to practice, and this week it’s showtime – they’re in Las Vegas at the Aerospace Maintenance Competition. We’re waiting to hear how they did in their events these past two days, but just the act of getting there was a celebration-worthy success.

West Seattle Blog, March 26, 2014


SPSCC nursing program ready for applicants

After years of chronic problems, South Puget Sound Community College’s registered nursing program is showing signs of recovery. In fact, the program will begin accepting applications on Tuesday for next school year. “We’ll just be moving the program into the 21st century,” said Laurie Choate, the Olympia-based college’s newly hired associate dean of nursing. Last summer, after losing national accreditation — which is not a requirement for a nursing program in the state, but is essentially a stamp of approval that makes graduates more employable — SPSCC refunded application fees and opted not to admit new students for the program for the 2013-14 school year.

The Olympian, March 26, 2014


Employers, administrators tout business-education link

Roughly 60 percent of job applicants at SEH America Inc. are not qualified for the job for which they’re applying, said Ben Bagherpour, vice president of operations for the silicon wafer manufacturer. He said that can be remedied by forging partnerships between Clark County’s employers, community leaders and educational institutions. … The other panelists were Mel Netzhammer, chancellor at Washington State University Vancouver; Kevin Witte, associate vice president of corporate and continuing education at Clark College; Steven Webb, superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools; and John Deeder, superintendent of Evergreen Public Schools. Employees need a combination of technical skills, hard skills and what Bagherpour called soft skills, which include showing up to work on time, managing their time and collaborating with a team. Though a significant number of SEH America employees have two-year technical degrees from community colleges, the majority of the company’s employees are high school graduates with no college education. “There’s a gap,” Bagherpour said. “We need to create more internships in high school for students to learn.”

The Columbian, March 25, 2014


Tony Villafaña presented a Transforming Lives Award

Big Bend Community College recognized Tony Villafaña this month with a Transforming Lives Award. The BBCC Board of Trustees recognized 11 Transforming Lives nominees last fall and hosted them for a dinner and recognition attended by 90 people on March 6. Villafaña’s family attended the dinner, hearing from the highest officials of the college that Villafaña has great potential and has made many accomplishments.

iFIBER One News, March 25, 2014


Poulsbo is emerging as a four-year college town

Stern, president of the Puget Sound Regional Council Economic Development District Board and a longtime advocate of building high-tech and education opportunities in Poulsbo, said the offering of four-year degrees at [Olympic College] Poulsbo is the beginning of the fulfillment of a vision of Poulsbo as a college town.

North Kitsap Herald, March 20, 2014




$1 trillion student loan debt widens US wealth gap

Every month that Gregory Zbylut pays $1,300 toward his law school loans is another month of not qualifying for a decent mortgage. Every payment toward their student loans is $900 Dr. Nida Degesys and her husband aren't putting in their retirement savings account. They believe they'll eventually climb from debt and begin using their earnings to build assets rather than fill holes. But, like the roughly 37 million others in the U.S. saddled with $1 trillion in student debt, they may never catch up with wealthy peers who began life after college free from the burden. The disparity, experts say, is contributing to the widening of the gap between rich and everyone else in the country.

The Seattle Times, March 27, 2014


What College Offers the Best Return on Investment? The Answer Is Still Elusive

Harvey Mudd College, a small, STEM-focused, liberal-arts institution in Southern California, is the college with the highest “return on investment,” as determined by PayScale’s annual “College ROI Report,” released on Tuesday. Just like last year. And just like last year, that ranking isn’t as meaningful as you might think.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 27, 2014


'Degrees of Inequality'

American higher education policy has drifted off-course, and what we have now are the diminishing returns, according to a new book by a Cornell University professor of government, Suzanne Mettler. Mettler, who has written in the past about how relatively hidden tax policies are helping to subsidize corporate America, took a look at the landscape of higher education. She found Congress and others have failed to maintain the college-going effort they began as far back as the 18th century. Her book, Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream (Basic Books), points out some meat-and-potatoes higher ed policies, such as the Pell Grant, were strangely not built to grow. The Pell Grant doesn't come with an automatic cost of living adjustment. The book is particularly critical of for-profit college companies – there are chapters titled “‘Unscrupulous Profiteers’” and “How Money Talks.”

Inside Higher Ed, March 27, 2014


Predicting Success

Many colleges are flirting with how to use predictive analytics to boost their graduation rates. But big data is often just a flashy way to spend money on reports aimed at administrators, argue the leaders of Civitas Learning. They say data science works best when converted to practical tools that faculty members, advisers and students themselves can use. And the company, which is a relatively new player in education technology, so far has signed up more than 25 institutions -- including statewide systems and national chains of campuses -- to give its products a whirl.

Inside Higher Ed, March 27, 2014


Football Players Win Union, for Now

In what could be a landmark case, a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday backed a bid by football players at Northwestern University to unionize. "I find that all grant-in-aid scholarship players for the Employer's football team who have not exhausted their playing eligibility are 'employees' under" the National Labor Relations Act, Peter Sung Ohr, director of the board's Chicago regional office, wrote in his ruling. Ohr said walk-on players -- those without scholarships -- do not qualify as employees.

Insider Higher Ed, March 26, 2014


Fight on State Authorization

The Education Department’s first draft of new regulations for online programs operating across state lines is concerning some state regulators, who say the proposal is going to impose substantial burdens on their offices. The department is looking to reinstate a requirement -- which a federal judge struck down in 2012 for procedural reasons -- that providers of online education obtain approval from state regulators in each and every state in which they enroll students.

Inside Higher Ed, March 26, 2014


Washington aerospace hiring to flatten, except for skilled positions

While aerospace employment in Washington will only creep up about 1 percent annually in the next five years, the demand for skilled aerospace workers remains hot. That’s a key conclusion a report released Monday in Olympia, by the Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board.

Puget Sound Business Journal, March 25, 2014


Legislators’ $25M boost for STEM scholarships may be magnet

A public-private scholarship program that aims to make it less expensive for college students to study for high-tech careers got a $25 million boost this year from the state Legislature. That down payment on scholarships will also make it easier for leaders of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program to get private businesses to contribute to it.

The Seattle Times, March 25, 2014


Feds File Suit Against For-Profit College Chain

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sued a large, for-profit college chain alleging that it pushed students into high-cost private student loans knowing they would likely end in default. ITT Educational Services Inc. projected a default rate of 64 percent on the loans it provided, some of which had interest rates as high as 16 percent, the bureau said. The Carmel, Ind.-based company has about 150 institutions in nearly 40 states, operating as ITT Tech, Daniel Webster College and other entities. Tuition at the chain’s colleges can go as high as $88,000 for a bachelor’s degree and $44,000 for an associate degree, according to the bureau. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Indiana, is the bureau’s first action against a for-profit college. It seeks restitution for victims, an injunction against the company and a civil fine.

Community College Week, March 17, 2014




Guest: It’s time for voters to get serious about school funding

On Jan. 9, in its latest order related to the McCleary decision, our state Supreme Court required the Legislature to submit a plan on April 30 indicating how it will fully fund our schools by 2018. Many legislators responded that the court overstepped its bounds by issuing that order. This impasse between two governmental branches has the makings of a constitutional crisis. Given the lack of significant progress in the recently completed legislative session, it is likely that the court will become even more adamant in its subsequent orders. The resolution of this conflict will likely require new revenue. With the power Washington’s citizens have through the referendum and initiative process, they could ultimately decide whether the state provides that revenue. Given that fact, it is critical that voters become informed about this issue.

The Seattle Times, March 24, 2014


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