Tuesday, October 21, 2014

News Links | October 21, 2014


Opinion: Whatcom Community College plays critical role in nation’s cyber defense
FBI Director James Comey recently stated on the television program “60 Minutes” that it is impossible to estimate the economic impact of cyberattacks on the U.S. economy, but it is in the “billions.” Who are the perpetrators of these attacks? According to Comey, it is nation-state actors, terrorists, organized cyber syndicates, hacktivists, criminals and pedophiles. This interview, along with other reports of cyberattacks on businesses, exposes the vulnerabilities of our cyber world and the need for trained professionals to protect organizations of all kinds against cyber threats. Whatcom Community College has stepped up to the challenge. A National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense, WCC is a significant player in cybersecurity education and a critical partner in the development of the local tech workforce. In many ways, Whatcom is defining the field.
The Bellingham Herald, October 20, 2014

Bellingham college students outfit Whatcom County sheriff’s mine-resistant truck
Students at Bellingham Technical College were handed one of the more unusual, hands-on assignments so far this school year: Outfit the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office’s new 18-ton, mine-resistant truck. Welding students at the college spent last week bolting on seats and installing lights on a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle that came to the sheriff’s office earlier this year from a military base in Texas. Those extra seats could be for civilians evacuated from a school shooting, or from a natural disaster, said Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks.
The Bellingham Herald, October 20, 2014

Anthropology teacher turns his local environs into a classroom
Plants, animals and people. Class work and community service. Tom Murphy, an anthropology instructor at Edmonds Community College, brings them all together through teaching and volunteer projects. ... Murphy, 47, is the founder of EdCC’s LEAF School. The acronym stands for Learn-and-Serve Environmental Anthropology Field School, which started in 2006. Its students have worked on a Lynnwood park project with the Snohomish Tribe of Indians and on the restoration of Mukilteo’s Japanese Gulch, monitoring fish and animals.
Everett Herald, October 19, 2014

Happy ending for Storytelling Festival: ‘Maybe the best year ever’
The tales came to an end at Peninsula College on Sunday afternoon, and for organizers, it was a happy ending. “It’s been a really good year. Maybe the best year ever in terms of attendance,” said Christy Wright, president of Story People of Clallam County, which organized the 20th Forest Storytelling Festival that concluded Sunday afternoon. Attendance was about 1,500 — about 15 percent greater than that at last year’s event, Wright said.
Peninsula Daily News, October 19, 2014

Editorial: Community colleges' budget request is money well spent

If you set it next to the estimated $2 billion that the Legislature will have to find in savings and new revenue in order to fully fund K-12 education in the 2015 session as mandated by the state Supreme Court, it's almost amusingly modest. Except that it's a serious need. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges is requesting $182 million from the Legislature for its 2015-17 operating budget. The board's capital budget, which pays for maintenance and construction at community colleges, outlines a prioritized list of projects totaling $367 million. The first six items of the capital budget, totaling $102.5 million of that list, would pay for repairs and improvements statewide. A project to build a science, engineering and technology building at Edmonds Community College for $35 million is 17th on a list of 24 projects. You'll excuse officials at Everett and Edmonds community colleges if they're a little nervous about putting even a modest request before the next Legislature.
Everett Herald, October 17, 2014

Lakewood college student wins “Wheel of Fortune”
Ask Charles McDonald about his love for television game shows and he’ll say he’s watched them since he was a baby. Favorites include “The Price is Right,” “Jeopardy,” “Let’s Make a Deal” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” But right now “Wheel of Fortune” tops his list. It is the only show where he’s competed and won. On Tuesday, McDonald’s friends and family watched the 23-year-old walk away with $54,790 in cash and prizes including a trip to Hong Kong. “It’s a once in a lifetime chance,” the Lakewood resident said Thursday. A computer science student at Clover Park Technical College, McDonald is such a die-hard fan of the show, he even plays the video game.
The News Tribune, October 16, 2014

Centralia Approves Street Vacation Near Centralia College
The Centralia City Council on Tuesday approved three ordinances on second readings to close some alleys and part of two streets around Centralia College. A portion of Walnut Street, Ash Street, two alleys located in the KNOLL area and another alley southwest of the intersection of Centralia College Boulevard and Iron Street were selected.
Centralia Chronicle, October 16, 2014

Centralia College Instructor Captures National Photography Award
A new teacher at Centralia College is not only starting to leave his mark on his students, but has also left a mark on the art community, winning a national best contemporary photography award as well as earning his own solo exhibit at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Alexander Solomon, the college’s new darkroom photography, digital photography and computer graphics teacher, submitted his piece into the competition. The piece was later purchased by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art to be installed as a permanent part of its collection.
Centralia Chronicle, September 30, 2014


‘Reverse Transfer’ Project Aims to Ease the Way to Associate Degrees
A new project from the National Student Clearinghouse will aim to provide an automated way for students who transfer from two-year institutions to four-year institutions to receive associate degrees. The “reverse transfer” initiative, which is funded by the Lumina Foundation, will create a depository where the four-year college can send a student’s academic data, which can then be downloaded by the two-year college. A student who has acquired enough credits will receive an associate degree.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 21, 2014

Half a million jobs are coming to Washington, are we ready for them?
Thinking about taking a class to learn coding? Now might be a good time. Economists project that Washington will add about 500,000 more jobs by 2022 ­­­– reassuring news for a state that is one of the fastest growing population wise in the country. It makes sense that as population grows, so do jobs in response as people will need more services. But Washington’s tech economy is giving the entire state a boost. The fastest growing job in the past 10 years was software application developers, which jumped by a staggering 227 percent to more than 52,000 workers in 2014, according to the Employment Security Department.
The Seattle Times, October 20, 2014

Benchmark Survey Finds a Continued Rise in Giving to Colleges
Wall Street may have had a rough spell recently, but longer-term growth in the national economy and strong gains in the stock market drove fund-raising gains last year at universities and colleges across the country. Many higher-education institutions reported sizable increases in donations in 2013 as part of The Chronicle of Philanthropy's Philanthropy 400, a report that tallies the giving to 400 of the largest nonprofit groups in the United States. Over all, gifts rose 10.8 percent in 2013 to those listed on the survey.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 20, 2014

Highly educated, unemployed and tumbling down
In the upside-down, topsy-turvy world of jobs these days, even an advanced degree can't protect some Americans from tumbling down the economic ladder. The conventional wisdom that more education bears fruit in the labor market gets turned on its head when it comes to unemployment. For people with masters and even doctoral degrees, long-term unemployment is especially insidious. At best, these formerly high-earning professionals face the prospect of a years-long climb back to their former level of income and stature, while they delay retirement to rebuild their decimated nest eggs. Others won't be that lucky. Debt, foreclosure and evaporated savings push them out of the middle class, and some just keep falling.
KING 5, October 19, 2014

College Brings Opportunity, but Paying for It Offers Challenges, Fed Chair Says
Higher education is one of the “cornerstones” of economic opportunity, Janet L. Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve Board, said on Friday in an unusual and closely watchedspeech about growing inequality. But her remarks, given at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, did not cast higher education’s role in an entirely favorable light. The earnings premium of a college degree has grown, Ms. Yellen said in her prepared remarks, and the “net returns for a degree are high enough that college still offers a considerable economic opportunity to most people.” But college prices have risen much faster than family incomes, she added. College affordability and growing student debt present challenges, especially for the less-well-off. “I fear,” Ms. Yellen said, ”the large and growing burden of paying for it may make it harder for many young people to take advantage of the opportunity higher education offers.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 17, 2014

Underemployment Hits Recent Graduates the Hardest
Stories of college graduates working as baristas and taxi drivers have played into a narrative about how college-degree recipients are struggling to find work that uses their education. At the same time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the jobless rate for workers with at least a bachelor’s degree fell to 2.9 percent for the month of September. How can both be true? Many of those with jobs are considered “underemployed,” since they are in jobs that don’t require a college degree.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 17, 2014

As Ebola Fears Touch Campuses, Officials Respond With an ‘Excess of Caution’
Colleges across the country faced Ebola scares this week that sent at least one graduate student to the hospital, several employees into quarantine, and untold numbers of students into an unnecessary panic. The widespread fear that has gripped the nation since two health-care workers in Dallas contracted the Ebola virus from a Liberian man who died there on October 8 has campus officials performing a delicate dance. On the one hand, they want to take extra precautions when there is even a remote chance Ebola might find its way onto their campuses. On the other hand, they’re trying to avoid what a University of Wisconsin epidemiologist called "hysterical reactions that are not based on science."
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 17, 2014

Gender Gap in IT Security
Women who rise to the position of chief security information officer are already a rare sight in higher education, but over the next decade and a half, they may become an endangered species.
Inside Higher Ed, October 17, 2014

Study: Cadavers Better Teaching Tool Than Computers
A new study in Anatomical Sciences Education finds that cadavers are more effective than computer simulations in teaching anatomy.
Inside Higher Ed, October 17, 2014

Blackboard Announces New End-of-Life Date for Angel
Blackboard will stop supporting the learning management system Angel, which the company acquired in 2009, on Oct. 15, 2016, according to Pennsylvania State University. Blackboard had plans to drop support for Angel in October 2014, but chose in early 2012 to extend support indefinitely.
Inside Higher Ed, October 17, 2014


Student Loans and Political Ads
As Democrats look to keep control of the U.S. Senate and hold on to House seats, they are continuing to raise student loans as an issue in this fall's election. After several Democrats last month pushed student loan refinancing on the campaign trail, some Democratic candidates in both House and Senate races are now trying to put their Republican opponents on the defensive on higher education issues.
Inside Higher Ed, October 21, 2014

Public-College Leaders Rail Against Education Dept.’s ‘Regulatory Culture’
Ted Mitchell, under secretary of education, began his speech to a roomful of higher-education leaders on Monday with a conciliatory tone, stressing that the U.S. Department of Education shared a goal with them of serving the public good. After laying out some details of the department’s major policy proposals, Mr. Mitchell invited the audience to tell him how the federal government was impeding new and more-effective approaches in higher education. He got an earful from the attendees, mostly college presidents from members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which is holding its annual meeting here this week.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 20, 2014

A 'Partial Win' for Publishers
While academic publishers on Friday notched a rare win in the ongoing legal debate about digital access to copyrighted works, proponents of fair use said the opinion in Cambridge v. Patton recognizes that colleges and universities can legally create digital reserves of books in their collections. In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which covers Alabama, Georgia and Florida, rejected a broad ruling on how to determine fair use. The decision guarantees the case has a long and litigious road ahead of it by reversing the district court’s opinion and sending the case back for further deliberations. Rather than strike a decisive blow against fair use, the legal concept that places some limits on the rights of copyright holders, the appeals court instead issued a stern warning against quick-fix, one-size-fits-all solutions to legal disputes -- specifically, the idea that copying less than a chapter or 10 percent of a book automatically protects an institution from a lawsuit.
Inside Higher Ed, October 20, 2014

Final Changes to Clery Act
The U.S. Department of Education published the final rules to carry out changes to the Clery Act today, requiring colleges and universities to collect and disclose crime statistics about the number of reported crimes that were investigated and determined to be unfounded. Previously, those incidents were not required to be reported, so the rule requires the disclosure of statistics from the past three calendar years as well as those going forward.
Inside Higher Ed, October 20, 2014

Why Colleges Don’t Want to Be Judged by Their Graduation Rates
This fall, President Obama will release a college-rating system that is likely to include graduation rates as a key measure of institutional success. That worries colleges, which have long complained that the official government figures leave out many successful graduates. The federal rate counts only first-time, full-time students who graduate within a certain time frame. Look at the Education Department’s first Beginning Postsecondary Students longitudinal study, begun in 2003, and you’ll see several categories of students that the federal rate overlooks.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 17, 2014