Tuesday, December 16, 2014

News Links | December 16, 2014


Bellingham neighborhood’s sign shows how residents work together
A new sign inspired by the history of the Birchwood neighborhood is the latest effort by residents to improve their section of the city. Russell Jones, a welding instructor at Bellingham Technical College, designed and built the sign, and helped install it on the corner of Northwest and Birchwood avenues on Dec. 7.
Bellingham Herald, Dec. 15, 2014

Super kid Diana Cortes is full of good cheer
Diana Cortes, 18, is a senior at Granite Falls High School who connects with her hometown through cheerleading. She is the oldest of four children and spends a lot of her time with family. She is in Running Start at Everett Community College and hopes to become a dental hygienist.
Everett Herald, Dec. 15, 2014

SPSCC student filmmakers: forging new ground with first public screening
The excitement in the room was palpable. As I sat down to interview several students in the Introduction to Film Production class at South Puget Sound Community College, they were clearly enthusiastic about their upcoming film screening. And the students have a lot to be proud of. Over the course of a quarter, they have learned the fundamentals of filmmaking, from operating equipment to editing to marketing their work.
Thurston Talk, Dec. 15, 2014

New education coalition supports cradle-through-college state investments
Leaders from early learning, K-12 and higher education as well as numerous youth and family services organizations have banded together to form a coalition supporting a cradle-through-college state investment strategy. ... Currently, over 40 organizations and institutions have signed on to support the Coalition’s principles. The Seattle College system, Bellevue College, Green River Community College, numerous South King County K-12 school districts, Graduate Tacoma!, Child Care Resources, the Puget Sound Coalition for College and Career Readiness and the University of Washington are a few of the supporters.
The Highline Times, Dec. 15, 2014

GED students dig deep to give
Each family that receives gifts for their children at the Christmas Bureau has a story. So do the donors who give generously to ensure every Spokane-area child has something nice to open on Christmas morning. Funded by donations from the community, the Christmas Bureau distributes books, toys and food vouchers to about 9,000 needy families. The charity is a Spokane tradition for 69 years and still needs to raise more than $338,000 to pay for the gifts being given this season. The GED students in the adult education division of Spokane Community College are doing their part to help.
The Spokesman-Review, Dec. 14, 2014

New website simplifies open educational resources
The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) today announced its launch of OPEN Attribution Builder. The application helps Open Educational Resources (OER) users properly cite their sources, making the OER more user-friendly. The goal behind OER is to make high quality materials easily available to students and instructors at a much lower cost than that of published textbooks and other classroom materials.
Maple Valley Reporter, Dec. 13, 2014

Clark College cooks up changes to culinary facilities
Clark College is moving forward with plans to renovate its outdated culinary and baking facilities. By the end of the month, college officials plan to request bids for architectural and engineering services. Early next year, they will begin gathering and reviewing proposals. Sometime in March, the college will select a firm to move ahead with the renovations. ... To get inspiration for the renovation, [Genevieve] Howard visited the culinary programs at Bellingham Technical College, Renton Technical College and South Seattle College. ... At its Dec. 3 meeting, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges approved the use of the college's reserves for the remodel.
The Columbian, Dec. 13, 2014

Cascadia students raise their PawZ on Bothell’s Main Street
Bothell residents may have noticed chalk drawings decorating the sidewalks of Main Street in downtown Bothell recently. Paw prints, bears and slogans - all in a rainbow of colors - proclaiming how proud Cascadia College students are of their college. The work was part of a campaign created by students enrolled in a Public Relations and Marketing internship at Cascadia that is designed to give students relevant experience in the field.
Bothell Reporter, Dec. 13, 2014

EdCC team retrieves delicate data damaged in Oso slide
Property recovered from the Oso mudslide this spring included victims’ personal technology such as flash drives, laptops, camera memory cards and tablets. Many of those items were crushed, covered in mud or soaked with water. A group of Edmonds Community College students volunteered hundreds of hours to recover more than 100,000 digital files, including documents and photos, from the devices.
Everett Herald, Dec. 12, 2014

CBC, Prosser, West Richland receive $1.3 million in state energy awards
Columbia Basin College and the cities of West Richland and Prosser will receive almost $1.3 million from the state to install solar panels and overhaul street lighting in their communities. State commerce officials announced the awards Friday. More than 20 local governments and agencies along with several higher education institutions received about $8.6 million for projects. CBC will install a 100-kilowatt solar array on its business building on the Pasco campus, generating power that will help offset a chunk of the college’s energy needs.
Tri-City Herald, Dec. 12, 2014

New dean of student success at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
As the new Dean of Student Success at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, Tami Jacobs is looking forward to taking on an important leadership role at the college. She previously served as the director of student health and community standards at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., and also brings with her extensive experience in academic, career and personal counseling, student conduct, disability services and Title 9.
The Suburban Times, Dec. 12, 2014

CPTC: Cosmetology student gives back
When Ashley Lewis first toured Clover Park Technical College, the aspiring cosmetologist knew it was the place for her. “Having both a degree and a cosmetology license, you can’t pass that up,” she said. Lewis enrolled in the Cosmetology Program last year and recently ended an 8-year career in business management.
The Suburban Times, Dec. 12, 2014

Cost-saving tips for college bound seniors
It's not necessarily which college anymore, but if college for many high school seniors. Thursday night, Kennewick hosted a FAFSA night helping parents and students navigate the murky waters of paying for college. “College costs money, it isn't cheap," said Ben Beus, Financial Director for Columbia Basin College. That was the opening and closing statement at the FAFSA meeting Thursday night, and it's the determining factor for many families: costs.
KEPR TV, Dec. 11, 2014

Fantasy Lights shines brighter than ever in its 20th year
The Pierce County Parks and Recreation worker came up with Fantasy Lights, which over the years has grown into more than 300 displays and a nearly uncountable number of lights. ... Students from Bates Technical College, Clover Park Technical College, Rogers High School and Puyallup High School have contributed displays throughout the years.
The News Tribune, Dec. 11, 2014

Peninsula College honors students get free laptops
Peninsula College's first group of students in its new honors program received laptops in a special ceremony this month. The six students were honored Dec. 3. The Peninsula College Foundation board presented them with the free laptops. The honors program emphasizes self-assessment, critical thinking skills and an integrated approach to knowledge, along with capstone project work. It allows students to explore an area of interest.
Peninsula Daily News, Dec. 10, 2014

Providence Centralia honors three at Centralia Square event
The Providence Centralia Hospital medical staff, along with the Community and Foundation boards, met Dec. 4 to honor a member of the community, a physician and a member of the hospital staff. ... Community Excellence Award: Joanne Schwartz ... Schwartz is currently a member of the Providence Centralia Hospital Community Board, the Centralia College Board of Trustees, the board of directors of the Chehalis Foundation and the board of directors of the Twin Cities Sertoma service club.
Centralia Chronicle, Dec. 9, 2014


Colleges are cutting back on credit-card deals, report says
Colleges have continued to embark on fewer agreements with credit-card companies, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s annual report on the agreements, released on Monday. They have instead opted to participate in the marketing of products that are subject to less scrutiny, like debit cards and prepaid cards, the report states. The report is the fifth to be issued since passage of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, which requires colleges to report the terms of their credit-card agreements to the bureau.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 15, 2014

Responding to offensive posts on Yik Yak, professors stage social-media takeover
At the end of a semester plagued by offensive social-media posts, professors at Colgate University on Friday started a campaign to bring some positivity to digital communications on the campus. Using the smartphone application Yik Yak, which allows people to submit anonymous comments visible to other nearby users, professors posted positive messages to students, wishing them luck on their exams, praising their work, and infusing an uplifting tone into the digital discourse. Unlike most users, the professors signed their names to their posts.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 15, 2014

In our view: STEM key to state's future
Changes in the economic structure of the country have created a need for changes in the educational structure, as well. Not long ago, manufacturing jobs provided a foundation for a strong middle class. A high school graduate could reasonably expect to enter the workforce and secure a job that often would provide security throughout their working years and into retirement. It's no secret that dynamic has changed as manufacturing opportunities have diminished over the past several decades. And as the nation transitions into a high-tech, global economy, the emphasis for establishing a strong middle class has turned to STEM fields, with jobs and a need for workers being found in professions related to science, technology, engineering, and math.
The Columbian, Dec. 14, 2014

CFPB blasts 'debt relief' services
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Thursday that it was taking legal action against two companies offering to help students take advantage of federal loan benefits that officials said amounted to a “scam.” The bureau said the companies engaged in predatory practices by overpromising the help they could provide borrowers and illegally charging borrowers upfront fees to help them apply for federal loan benefits that are free.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 12, 2014

Room to experiment
Ball State University is using active learning, multimedia-enabled classrooms and swivel chairs to put a new spin on its faculty development efforts. The university earlier this decade renovated its Teachers College building, creating two classrooms it calls Interactive Learning Spaces. The rooms are part of a larger faculty development program intended to promote active learning techniques and cut down on lecturing. As the program has expanded, the university is researching whether teaching at-risk students -- those withdrawing from or earning a D or F in a basic math course -- in the classrooms could improve academic outcomes and, eventually, graduation rates.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 12, 2014

Keeping our jobs and students
In Wednesday's editorial we outlined the findings of a report by the Boston Consulting Group that found that while Washington is producing a healthy number of jobs in technology fields, very few residents born in the state, only 9 in 100, are filling those positions. The report, “Opportunity For All: Investing in Washington State's STEM Education Pipeline,” calls for investment by the state and others in early learning, K-12 education, the transition to college, post-secondary education and career coaching. One crucial component in that investment is the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program, which seeks to encourage and support students who choose to study in fields related to science, technology, engineering, math and health care.
Everett Herald, Dec. 11, 2014


Protecting whom?
The U.S. Department of Education is seeking to help block the release of records about how the University of Montana punished a student accused of sexual assault, citing student privacy laws -- at a time when the Obama administration is pressuring colleges to become more transparent about the issue.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 16, 2014

Spending bill holds scant, if any, increases for education and research
The U.S. Senate gave final passage on Saturday to an overdue spending bill for the 2015 fiscal year that provides modest increases for research, while holding education spending mostly flat. The compromise bill, which averts a government shutdown, finances most of the federal government through September 30. The Department of Homeland Security, which provides some research money to universities, was funded on a shorter-term basis.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 15, 2014

Gov. Inslee to unveil state budget plans this week
Gov. Jay Inslee says he will unveil his budget ideas this week, starting with dollars for education. The Washington Supreme Court has given the Legislature one more session to figure out how it's going to put more money into K-12 schools. Lawmakers have been ordered by the court to pay the full cost of basic education.
MyNorthwest.com, Dec. 14, 2014

Editorial: Bridging the state budget chasm, and reaching across the aisle
State of Washington expects to haul in about $2.8 billion more in tax revenues over the next two years than in the past two years. That 8.6 percent increase is expected to plump available revenue for the 2015-2017 budget to about $37 billion. Yet, the Legislature convenes in three weeks facing daunting new demands for spending, and a practical deficit of between $1.8 billion and $4.4 billion, depending on whose numbers are used. ... The costs of budget cuts by previous Legislatures are coming due. Hundreds of millions of dollars of state funding have been slashed from higher education, and tens of millions from the mental-health safety net. Both merit more support this year, and should be off the table as targets for more cuts.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 13, 2014

Audit finds Education Dept. lacks plan to fight student-loan defaults
The Education Department “does not have a comprehensive plan or strategy to prevent student-loan defaults,” an audit conducted by the department’s Office of Inspector General has concluded. A report on the audit’s findings, released on Friday, argues that the department’s lack of a coherent strategy renders it ill equipped to find effective measures against default, identify risks that cause loan delinquency, and work effectively with companies that service student loans on the department’s behalf.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 12, 2014

Accreditation panel issues Higher Ed Act suggestions
The federal panel tasked with advising the U.S. Department of Education on accreditation issues on Thursday released a draft set of recommendations for changing accreditation during reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity has been working on an updated set of recommendations since earlier this year. The panel previously made a series of recommendations in 2011 and 2012, but the Education Department has asked members of the committee to update those documents.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 12, 2014

National advisory panel on accreditation considers major reforms
In 2012 a federal panel that advises the education secretary on accreditation released a modest set of proposals to be considered in Congress’s reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. More than two years later, that same panel is discussing amending those recommendations with a set of far-reaching proposals that would change both the accreditation process and the role of the panel itself. Among the recommendations being considered are eliminating the regional boundaries that define the nation's six major accrediting bodies and granting more authority to the panel to oversee accreditors and to develop policy.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 12, 2014

Colleges offer to freeze tuition, but only if they get more state funding
Washington’s public four-year colleges and universities would agree to freeze tuition for another two years if the state Legislature increases college funding by 16 percent, the presidents of those institutions said Thursday. That 16 percent, which would total $198 million, would also allow the schools to expand their enrollment and increase the number of students who earn degrees in high-demand fields, according to the statement from the Council of Presidents, made up of the presidents of Washington’s six four-year schools.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 11, 2014