Wednesday, October 1, 2014

News Links | September 30, 2014


Community colleges win grants totaling $12.5 million
Nine Washington community colleges have been awarded nearly $12.5 million in federal grants to provide training programs for adults. The competitive grants are part of a $450 million award announced Monday under a program called the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative. It’s the fourth and final round of the competition, which has provided nearly $2 billion over four years to fund programs at 1,060 colleges. One of the grants, for nearly $10 million, is going to a consortium of colleges including Centralia, Everett, Shoreline, South Seattle, Green River and Walla Walla community colleges, and Bates and Renton technical colleges. ... The other grant, for nearly $2.5 million, was awarded to Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood to develop a pathway into advanced manufacturing and industrial technology careers. It’s expected to reach long-term unemployed workers and veterans.
The Seattle Times, September 29, 2014

$10 Million Grant Awarded to Centers of Excellence
The federal government has awarded Centralia College’s Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy along with two other Centers of Excellence and eight community colleges nearly $10 million to give students the skills they need for careers currently in demand. ... The program is expected to reach almost 2,000 adults through the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy at Centralia College, the Construction Center of Excellence at Renton Technical College and the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing at Everett Community College. ... According to data provided on Murray's website, Centralia College received the largest amount of the share of grant money, with $1.8 million. The remaining money was distributed to the consortium that includes Bates, Everett, Shoreline, South Seattle, Renton, Green River and Walla Walla.
The Centralia Chronicle, September 29, 2014

Clover Park Technical College receives $2.5 million grant
Today U.S. Department of Labor announced that Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood will receive a competitive grant of $2,499,973 for its Connecting Competencies to Employers (C2E) program. The grant devotes resources to create a core mechatronics technician path designed for advanced manufacturing and industrial technology careers. This path allows students to pursue positions in high demand with companies in the South Sound area.
The Suburban Times, September 29, 2014
SPSCC launches new community orchestra
About 50 teenagers, senior citizens and generations in between gathered Thursday evening for South Puget Sound Community College’s new community orchestra program. It’s an effort led by Chip Schooler who taught music at Olympia High School for 20 years, and at Timberline High School in Lacey for about six years before that.

The Olympian, September 28, 2014

EvCC named ‘leader’ college
Everett Community College has been named one of the top two-year schools in the country by a nonprofit organization that develops education reform programs. Achieving the Dream, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, is an organization of more than 200 community or technical colleges in 35 states, including 19 in Washington.
Everett Herald, September 28, 2014

Edmonds Community College presents fall lecture series
Three speakers — Kip Fulbeck, Jane Wong, and Parfait BassalĂ© — have been announced for the fall segment of Edmonds Community College’s Brown Bag Lecture series, sponsored by the college’s Center for Student Engagement and Leadership.
My Edmonds News, September 28, 2014

Bellevue College completes $200K roadwork project to avoid Metro bus cuts
Metro Transit wanted to cut the route's loop through Bellevue College, which serves about 900 students and staffers each day. Bellevue College went to Metro Transit asking what could be done to save that loop. "We asked them whether they could make some operational changes to the roadways that the buses use to make them somewhat faster and somewhat more reliable," said Victor Obeso, Metro Transit's Manager of Service Development. Patrick Green, Bellevue College's sustainability coordinator said they came up with a package of road improvements that would make the loop through campus more efficient., September 26, 2014

Green River's new look taking shape
Construction continues on Green River Community College's two coming additions – the Student Life Center and the Trades Complex across the Auburn campus. According to Sam Ball, director of capital projects at the college, construction has been "typical," without many delays.
Auburn Reporter, September 25, 2014


What You Need to Know About Companies That Run Online Programs for Colleges
"Publish or perish" is an old saw that, like so many things in higher education, has been updated to reflect modern wisdom. The revised version of the phrase offers advice not to professors but to colleges: "Partner or perish." The growth of online higher education, the breakdown of competitive borders, and the decline of public support for colleges have caused traditional institutions—even sturdy ones—to reflect on their strategies for survival. In the soil of this anxiety, online "enablers" have taken root.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2014

Aspen's Toolkit for Hiring Community College Leaders
The Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program this week unveiled a toolkit designed to help community college trustees, search committees and search firms to hire "exceptional" leaders.
Inside Higher Ed, September 30, 2014

The Power of the Personal
Daphanie Johnson is one of two former students a U.S. Senate committee cited in a July staff report that made a case against for-profit colleges for taking advantage of military veterans. Yet Johnson first heard about the Senate investigation when journalists began calling her, after the report was released.
Inside Higher Ed, September 29, 2014

Study Examines How Employers Judge Degrees
A study released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that the type of college one attends can have an impact on employment odds.
Inside Higher Ed, September 29, 2014

Higher Ed Inflation Doubles
The inflation rate calculated specifically for higher education institutions was 3 percent for the fiscal year that ended for most colleges this summer. That's nearly double inflation rate of the previous year, according to a new report by the Commonfund Institute.
Inside Higher Ed, September 26, 2014

Q&A: The Mis-Education Of African-American Girls
African-American girls start out not having those foundational courses that lead to college- and career-readiness and competitiveness in a global environment. They start out with these disparities that disadvantage them upon entering college, if they are able to do that. Because, again, the lack of course offerings makes it harder to get into that stage of college and university. And, for those who do not go on to college, it's even harder to compete in a global economy with a high school diploma and lack of exposure to those rigorous course offerings.
KUOW, September 25, 2014


For Bill on Disabled Access to Online Teaching Materials, the Devil’s in the Details
As smart classrooms become the norm on more campuses and online courses proliferate, some observers worry that the digital revolution will leave students with disabilities behind. But a bill under consideration in the U.S. Congress, the Technology, Equality, and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act (HR 3505), would deal with that concern by creating accessibility guidelines for electronic materials used or assigned by college professors and administrators.
The Chronicle of Higher Education. September 30, 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.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2014

Group Sues Mass. Attorney General Over New Rules on For-Profit Colleges
A group that represents for-profit colleges in Massachusetts has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the state’s attorney general of imposing unlawful and unduly burdensome regulations on the colleges, the Boston Herald reports.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 29, 2014

Corinthian Facing Another Federal Investigation
Corinthian Colleges said Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether the company defrauded the federal government. The investigation, under the False Claims Act, concerns “allegations related to student attendance and grade record manipulation, graduate job placement rate inflation and non-Title IV funding source misrepresentations,” the company told investors.
Inside Higher Ed, September 29, 2014


As parents send their kids off to college this fall, many are enjoying something that hasn't happened in more than 30 years: the first two-year state college-tuition freeze in Washington since 1981. As chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I believe that keeping tuition costs down is the single greatest legislative action we can do to create more career and job opportunities for young people. However, the work we've done over the past two-years is now in jeopardy.
Everett Herald, September 27, 2014

An Insufficient Census
The federal government’s long-awaited data on the students enrolled in distance education courses nationwide provide a dubious baseline, a new study suggests, as confusing instructions, inflexible design and a lack of coordination have led colleges and universities to under- or overreport thousands of students. The study, conducted by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technology and the higher education consultantPhil Hill, raises serious questions about the integrity of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or IPEDS, the higher education data collection program operated by the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics.
Inside Higher Ed, September 26, 2014

'Dream Act' Makes Undocumented Students Eligible For Already-Strained Aid Program
Fall classes began at many of Washington's public universities Wednesday, beginning the first term undocumented immigrant students can receive state-backed financial aid under a new state law. But while more than 2,000 students applied to receive state need grants under provisions of the newly-enacted Washington "Dream Act," state higher education officials say it's possible as many as 700 of these undocumented students won't receive an aid award at all — even if they're eligible.
KPLU, September 25, 2014

As Default Rates Drop, So Does Confidence in How the Education Dept. Counts Them
The official federal student-loan default rate fell a percentage point this year, with the largest dip occurring in the for-profit sector, data released on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education show. But the talk among advocates, reporters, and policy wonks on Wednesday was less about the drop than about the Education Department’s last-minute tweak of its own numbers. That "adjustment," which spared some colleges whose high rates would have cost them their ability to award federal aid, has reanimated the debate over default rates, long derided as a poor measure of institutional quality.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 25, 2014