Tuesday, October 7, 2014

News Links | October 7, 2014


Washington colleges to let students skip placement exams if standardized test scores are good
This year's high school juniors will have to worry about one less test when they start college, if they do well enough on new standardized tests in the spring. Washington's public four-year universities and community colleges have agreed to place students who score a 3 or higher on the Smarter Balanced Assessment into college-level math and English courses. That means they won't have to take placement tests as other new college students have had to do every fall before starting classes. ... "This is a way of emphasizing that math needs to be taken," said Columbia Basin College President Rich Cummins. ... The agreement from the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges and Council of Presidents means high school and college-level expectations will be aligned, said Kennewick Superintendent Dave Bond.
Tri-City Herald, October 6, 2014

Common Core tests now a ticket out of college remedial classes

A new agreement among the state’s public colleges will raise the value of a couple of Washington’s high-school exams. The new math and reading exams, which are called Smarter Balanced and will be given to all Washington 11th-graders this spring, will factor not just into whether students graduate, but whether they need to take remedial classes in college.
The Seattle Times, October 7, 2014

SFCC dedicates new Early Learning Center
In Stephanie Zappone’s preschool class, students stay busy. They are making pretend food with Play-Doh. Some are playing drums and other instruments. One is painting, some are building tall structures with blocks and others are working on their writing. During class time they learn about pedestrian safety and classroom rules. “We change the environment every couple of weeks,” Zappone said. It’s a typical morning, but the building is new. The Early Learning Center opened to students Sept. 22 on the campus of Spokane Falls Community College, and it will be dedicated today.
The Spokesman-Review, October 6, 2014

Four years of school, OJT culminates with apprentice graduation
One hundred eighty-nine men and woman graduated from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility's four-year apprentice program Friday night at Bremerton High School's performing arts center. During the program, apprentices attended classes at Olympic College while receiving on-the-job training at the shipyard.
Kitsap Sun, October 6, 2014

Bates Technical College lands $1.2 million federal grant
The White House, U.S. Dept. of Labor and U.S. Dept. of Education announced last Monday that Bates Technical College will receive a $1.2 million grant. The grant will help strengthen employer engagement with the college and expand capacity in high-demand programs. The federal money will help grow diesel mechanic training, electrical construction, and pre-apprenticeship training through the support of WorkForce Central’s Trade Occupations Opportunity Learning (TOOL) Center, a pre-apprenticeship building and construction trades program.
The Suburban Times, October 6, 2014

CPTC: Getting to know our ASG President
Katie Stock prides herself in two things: her handshakes and her hugs. “I want people to know I think they’re important,” she said. The second week of Fall Quarter at Clover Park Technical College was a busy one for Stock, who is settling in as Associated Student Government president, taking classes in the Architectural Engineering Design Program and also interning part-time with a mechanical engineering firm. When all is said and done, Stock is putting in about 60-hour work weeks.
Clover Park Technical College, October 6, 2014

Editorial: Thumbs up to LCC's new Health and Science Building
Lower Columbia College’s new Health and Science Building has received rave reviews from students and instructors, who like the state-of-the-art classrooms and student amenities, including a third-floor outdoor study deck. We’ll add that we feel it’s the most attractive new building in the Kelso-Longview area from an architectural point of view (leaving out comparisons with such historical edifices as R.A. Long High School).
Longview Daily News, October 5, 2014

CPTC: Cosmetology students surprised with scholarships
Misty Winesberry and Mila Golovenko thought Oct. 1 was just a normal day at Clover Park Technical College. The Cosmetology Program students were ushered into a classroom for what they were told was an impromptu hair-color lesson. Winesberry and Golovenko were both surprised when Matrix representatives entered the classroom with balloons, roses and checks made out to each student for $1,000 for the Matrix Imagine All You Can Be Scholarship.
The Suburban Times, October 4, 2014

More demand seen for manufacturing jobs in Whatcom County
With manufacturing on the upswing locally, Whatcom County companies spent part of Friday, Oct. 3 showing high school students what they have to offer in terms of careers. ... The increased demand for manufacturing workers is something Bellingham Technical College has noticed and is addressing, said Lin Nelson, director of the Northwest Business and Industry Training Institute at the school. BTC and the Port of Bellingham organized the event, which included about 80 high school students visiting TriVan, Oxbo International, SMC Gear and Wood Stone Corp.
The Bellingham Herald, October 3, 2014

EvCC shows off new Advanced Manufacturing center
A giant orange robotic arm swung in the air. Students worked on a virtual welding machine. A composite drone sat on display in a classroom. Everett Community College on Wednesday showed off its new Advanced Manufacturing Training & Education Center, a $3.75 million building to instruct a new generation of workers in all areas of manufacturing. The center will allow students to study making any item from concept to design to production.
Everett Herald, October 2, 2014

College students train as Chelan firefighters

Strict state and federal regulations are making it "harder and harder" to get qualified volunteer firefighters, says the chief of Chelan County Fire District 1. To improve that situation, Mike Burnett and fire district officials have organized a two-year college program locally that trains volunteers to work for the district, while helping them find career jobs. "The days of the farmer, orchardist, business owner coming down and helping the community with a fire, then going back to work are pretty much gone," Burnett said. This fall marks the second year of the college program. During students' first year, they take regular classes at Wenatchee Valley College, then, in their second year, they transfer to Spokane Community College and enroll in its fire-science program.
Houston Chron, October 1, 2014

Watch SCC culinary arts instructor Sunday on Food Network
The third time might be a charm for chef Bob Lombardi. The Spokane Community College culinary arts instructor won’t reveal just how far he makes it on the fourth season of Food Network’s “Halloween Wars” – only that he’s in the season premiere and it promises to be sweet … and stressful.
The Spokesman-Review, October 1, 2014

INCA After Dark chef’s sessions more like a party
Chef Laurie Faloon doesn’t stay behind the counter. During her evening cooking classes at Spokane Community College, she plays music, serves adult beverages and bops around the kitchen floor, personalizing instruction. The atmosphere is festive, more like a party than a class. And that might be what makes her sessions so sought-after.
The Spokesman-Review, October 1, 2014

CPTC Awarded $2.5 Million Federal Grant for Mechatronics Program
The U.S. Department of Labor announced Clover Park Technical College will receive nearly $2.5 million in the latest round of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative. The job-driven award of $2,499,973.00 will go toward CPTC’s Mechatronics Technician Program (launched Fall Quarter 2014) to develop a core pathway into advanced manufacturing and industrial technology careers that can branch off into specialized areas that align with current and future industry demand. The purpose is to create specialized certificates to fill projected employment gaps in high-demand careers. Target recipients include long-term unemployed, incumbent workers and military veterans.
Exit133.com, October 1, 2014

Clark College fundraising goal 'smashed'

Five years ago in the thick of the Great Recession, Clark College launched its first major private fundraising campaign as higher education dollars continued to wither away across the state. Now, the campaign — titled Ensuring a Bright Future: Campaign for Clark College — has come to an end. And Lisa Gibert, the president and CEO of the Clark College Foundation, announced Tuesday afternoon that the fundraiser far surpassed everyone's expectations.
The Columbian, September 30, 2014

Columbia Basin College, WSU Tri-Cities, DOE call grant program a success
Melissa Slater has already received one promotion at work after completing a new two-year degree offered at Columbia Basin College with the help of a Department of Energy grant. But the Pasco woman set her career goals higher and continues to work full-time days while she pursues a full load of college classes at night to earn CBC's new four-year degree in project management. That degree also is offered with money from the DOE grant. DOE has provided CBC and Washington State University Tri-Cities $3.9 million in four years to develop projects to increase interest in and educate students for Hanford and other jobs, including in project management, nuclear engineering and radiation safety.
Tri-City Herald, September 30, 2014


Flat SAT Scores
SAT results for the Class of 2014 show mixed – and very slight – changes from last year. The average score in critical reading increased one point, while average scores in math and writing fell by one point. Scores have been either flat or slowly declining for the past several years, dropping 11 points in reading and seven points in math in the past decade. (The writing exam wasn’t introduced until nine years ago, in 2006, but scores have fallen in that category, too.) Meanwhile, gaps in the performance of students from different socioeconomic and ethnic groups show no signs of closing.
Inside Higher Ed, October 7, 2014

Repeat Non-Completers
Only one third of non-first-time students -- adult learners who re-enroll in college after at least a year away from higher education -- earn a degree after six to eight years, according to a study released today.
Inside Higher Ed, October 7, 2014

College kids now: socially liberal gamers stressing about bucks
Millennials get a lot of grief — “self-involved” and “entitled” are among the adjectives frequently used — so it’s interesting to see how they view the rest of the world. Since 1966, pollsters at UCLA have been recording the attitudes of incoming college freshmen across the country on a variety of topics, and last year’s crop revealed themselves to be more fiscally focused and socially liberal than their predecessors. Nearly half of the 166,000 students surveyed said financial aid offers were “very important” in deciding where to enroll, the highest rate ever reported in The American Freshman. They also favor providing broader access to college, with fewer supporting the notion that undocumented immigrants should be denied admission.
The Seattle Times, October 6, 2014

Standards for a Diversity Leader
Assistant provost for diversity. Assistant to the president for institutional diversity and equity. Vice president for inclusion and multicultural engagement. Whatever institutions choose to call them, chief diversity officers are one of the fastest-growing administrative positions. Charged with promoting diversity among faculty and staff in a less compliance-based manner than their equal opportunity counterparts, many of these officers are the first to hold such positions at their colleges and universities -- or are the first to hold such positions as they have been elevated in the college hierarchy. So while lots of chief diversity officers are highly qualified, the pioneering nature of their work has made for some inconsistency in their backgrounds and how they do the job. But it’s something the profession is working to address, including through forthcoming standards about what makes an effective chief diversity officer.
Inside Higher Ed, October 6, 2014

Confusion on Competency
A federal audit has renewed confusion about whether the U.S. Department of Education will support bids by colleges to try an emerging form of competency-based education. During the last 18 months the department has approved three institutions’ so-called "direct assessment" degree programs, which do not rely on the credit-hour standard and allow students to work at their own pace. The approach is backed by the White House, members of Congress from both political parties and department officials. But a few of the handful of applications for direct-assessment programs languished in the federal bureaucracy for months.
Inside Higher Ed, October 3, 2014

Ranking and Networking
LinkedIn has officially joined the jam-packed college rankings party. And with 313 million users, the job networking site has a big data sample both for creating the rankings and for marketing them. The new ranking system tracks the success of college graduates in eight broad career paths, adding weight for jobs deemed “desirable.” It lists the top 25 institutions in each career category.
Inside Higher Ed, October 2, 2014

Moody's: Misleading Student Demand Creates Uncertainty
A new report from Moody's Investors Service describes how the phenomenon of high school students applying to significantly more colleges and universities is causing difficulties for institutions.
Inside Higher Ed, October 2, 2014

To Help Community Colleges’ Students, Help Their Presidents
The Association of American Colleges and Universities has announced a new project aimed at improving community-college students’ success by better training the colleges’ leaders. The effort, financed with a $290,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation, will include the creation of an online hub to share best practices at community colleges nationwide, among other things.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 1, 2014

At Tech Trade Show, a Push to Give Colleges Better ‘Digital Intelligence’
More than 7,000 college officials gathered here this week for what is probably the largest higher-education-technology trade show in the United States, the annual meeting of Educause. Walking the trade floor, where some 270 companies mounted colorful booths, serves as a reminder of how much of college life today happens in the digital realm, and how much colleges are betting on technology to help alleviate the many challenges they face. The biggest emerging trend this year is data analytics.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 1, 2014

Stable Priorities, Unstable Times
As the higher education IT community meets at the annual Educause conference in search the next big thing, a survey shows IT officials still place training and support for faculty, staff and students at the top of their priority lists.
Inside Higher Ed, October 1, 2014

Conventional wisdom says that while there are many barriers for women pursuing advanced degrees, the “pipeline” to the sciences, technology, engineering and math is particularly leaky. But a new paper from the American Institutes for Research suggests that that overrepresentation of men Ph.D.s compared to women isn't a worse problem in STEM than in non-STEM fields, when preparation and interest are taken into account.
Inside Higher Ed, October 1, 2014
Inquiry Examines Colleges' Crime Reporting
An investigation jointly conducted by The Columbus Dispatchand the Student Press Law Center, published today in the Ohio newspaper, examines the accuracy and the flaws in federal campus crime reports.
Inside Higher Ed, October 1, 2014


FAFSA Transparency
A national association of high school counselors and college admissions officers wants the federal government to stop providing student information to colleges that some institutions are using to disadvantage students who apply for admission and financial aid. The National Association for College Admission Counseling is concerned about how some college admissions offices are using information that students provide to the federal government, which, unbeknownst to students, is passed on to all the colleges they are interested in.
Inside Higher Ed, October 6, 2014

Audit Faults Reviews of Competency-Based Programs’ Eligibility for Student Aid
The Education Department has fallen short in evaluating risks when it reviews applications from competency-based learning programs to receive federal student aid, the department’s Office of Inspector General charged in an audit report released this week. Competency-based learning programs, which are also known as "direct assessment" programs, award credit based on the mastery of specific skills or sets of material rather than hours spent in the classroom.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 2014

College Affordability, Upfront

The Pell Grant program, once a powerful tool for promoting low-income access in higher education, has lost its luster. That’s the conclusion of a new report -- "Beyond Pell: A Next-Generation Design for Federal Financial Aid" -- that was published Thursday by the Education Trust, New America Foundation, and Young Invincibles. It argues that the federal government needs to be bolder in how it gets low-income students to enroll in postsecondary education, given the Pell Grant’s declining purchasing power and tuition hikes at public universities.
Inside Higher Ed, October 3, 2014

Oversight of Loan Guarantors Is Lacking, Audit Says
The U.S. Department of Education is not properly overseeing the entities it pays to administer and insure federally guaranteed student loans, according to an audit released this week by the agency's inspector general.
Inside Higher Ed, October 2, 2014

U.S. Audit Faults Education Dept. on Direct Assessment
Degree programs that award students credit by assessing their skills – rather than making them pass courses – have been touted by the Obama administration, members of Congress and many in higher education as a promising new innovation. But the U.S. Department of Education’s Inspector General this week threw some cold water on the enthusiasm for that model, known as direct assessment, criticizing how officials have allowed the first handful of programs of that type to become eligible for federal funding. The agency’s independent watchdog said in an audit that the department has not done enough to make sure that the direct assessment programs meet federal requirements before approving them.
Inside Higher Ed, October 2, 2014

4 Years and $2-Billion in Community-College Training Grants, State by State
The White House on Monday unveiled the winners of the fourth and final round of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants. This year $450-million went to nearly 270 community colleges that volunteered to work with 400 employers to train displaced workers for high-skill, high-wage occupations. All told, nearly $2-billion in job-training grants have been awarded under the program, which was created as part of the 2009 economic-stimulus legislation.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 29, 2014