Thursday, December 18, 2014

News Links | December 18, 2014


Bates Technical College a STEM Jobs-Approved College
Victory Media, a creator of educational and career resources aimed at connecting students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), announced this month that Bates Technical College has been included in their 2015 STEM Jobs SM Approved Colleges list. ... Bates offers programs across the STEM spectrum, making the college a leader in offering relevant STEM education through hands-on learning and increasing interest in STEM fields in our state.

South Sound Talk, Dec. 18, 2014

In Northwest, U.S.-Cuba thaw lauded as ‘amazing
’The only thing dampening Cuban-born Marisela Fleites-Lear’s celebratory mood Wednesday was the fact that her father, a cancer surgeon in Cuba, died a year too early to share it. ... “All my life I have been hoping to hear a U.S. president say exactly what Obama said today,” said Fleites-Lear, a Green River Community College professor of foreign languages and literature. President Obama’s announcement doesn’t end the U.S. embargo of Cuba, which would take congressional action.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 18, 2014

Spokane area students place in DECA competition
DECA students from area high schools recently competed in the Area 11 DECA competition on Dec. 8 at Spokane Falls Community College to qualify to attend the State Career and Development Conference in Bellevue in March.
The Spokesman-Review, Dec. 18, 2014

Briefs: New EvCC trustee appointed
New EvCC trustee appointed. Mike Deller has been appointed to Everett Community College's Board of Trustees. Deller, who graduated from EvCC in 1971, is a longtime supporter of the college. He's the second of three generations connected to EvCC. His father, Bill Deller, was the dean of students at the college and later established the EvCC Foundation.
The Everett Herald, Dec. 16, 2014


A call for big changes to meet a big challenge at community colleges
More than a decade of efforts to propel low-income and underserved students through community college have fallen short because states and colleges haven’t made systemwide commitments to strategies like streamlining degree requirements, accelerating remediation, and financially rewarding colleges for raising graduation and persistence rates, according to a report being released on Thursday by Jobs for the Future.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 18, 2014

Global-education groups hail restoration of relations with Cuba
Two global-education associations are applauding President Obama’s announcement on Wednesday that the United States will restore relations with Cuba, ending a diplomatic freeze that lasted more than half a century.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 18, 2014

5 things we know about college students in 2014
Everybody wants to know what college students are thinking, especially educators and marketers. What do they like? What are they like? The surveyors at Student Monitor, a market-research firm, are among those trying to peel back the layers on the minds that so many people invest so much in courting. The firm’s latest research, based on interviews with 1,200 full-time students at four-year institutions, confirms some stereotypes while defying others. I, for one, welcome our future overlords. Going into the new year, here are some things we (think we) know about today’s college students.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 17, 2014

Do ‘brain training’ games work? It depends on which scientists you ask
Just two months after a group of neuroscientists criticized commercially available brain games, a different group of scientists released an open letter on Wednesday saying the products do show promise. In October the Stanford Center on Longevity and nearly 70 scientists issued a statement objecting to claims that such games “offer consumers a scientifically grounded avenue to reduce or reverse cognitive decline.” In response, more than 120 scientists have now signed an open letter to the Stanford center rebutting some parts of its criticism and asserting that a “substantial and growing body of evidence shows that certain cognitive-training regimens can significantly improve cognitive function, including in ways that generalize to everyday life.” The letter includes a list of 132 studies that its signatories say “directly demonstrate that computerized cognitive training can improve cognition.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 17, 2014

46 groups raise concerns about sale of Corinthian campuses
Forty-six organizations signed a letter on Wednesday expressing reservations about the proposed sale of 56 Corinthian Colleges campuses to the nonprofit ECMC Group. Associations including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Institute for College Access and Success, and the Service Employees International Union all signed the letter, which demands that the new system of colleges — the largest nonprofit, career-college system in the country — meet five conditions.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 17, 2014


Inslee proposes capital-gains tax to help fund budget
Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a $39 billion, two-year budget plan Thursday that would raise taxes and other revenues by $1.5 billion, with more than half coming from a new capital-gains tax on the sale of stocks and bonds. The capital-gains proposal breaks a campaign pledge for Inslee, who vowed as a Democratic candidate in 2012 to veto new taxes, saying they were “the wrong direction” for the state. But as governor, faced with what his budget office estimates is a $2.35 billion budget shortfall, Inslee now argues what other Democrats have said for years — that raising taxes is necessary to meet the state’s legal and moral obligation to adequately fund schools, mental-health services and other needs.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 18, 2014

Sustaining SARA
Leaders of a national movement to ease the regulatory burden on colleges and universities that offer distance education say the effort has passed its tipping point after more than a third of the states have joined in less than a year.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 18, 2014

Senate approves top Ed Dept. lawyer, punts on pick for higher ed post
As it wrapped up its final hours in session this week, the U.S. Senate confirmed a new top lawyer at the Education Department while failing to approve a nominee for a key higher education post. Lawmakers late Tuesday night approved on a voice vote the nomination of James Cole Jr. as the department’s general counsel. Cole is currently the deputy general counsel at the Department of Transportation.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 18, 2014

First look at Obama’s college-ratings plan is expected on Friday
The U.S. Department of Education is expected to release on Friday the first look at a framework outlining President Obama’s controversial college-ratings plan, sources familiar with the matter told Inside Higher Ed. Mr. Obama publicly unveiled the plan during a speech last summer at the State University of New York at Buffalo, with an eye toward eventually tying financial aid to colleges’ performance. The department has twice pushed back plans to release a draft plan for the ratings system.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 17, 2014

Students need more help with college costs, state council says
A state council that’s responsible for charting the future of  Washington’s higher education system recommends a big increase in college financial aid programs. That was one of the recommendations the council recently made to Gov. Jay Inslee and the Legislature, saying more aid would help more Washington students get the training needed to fill jobs in the future.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 17, 2014

Education budget gets varied response from local officials
Local officials' reaction to the governor's education budget, which was unveiled this week, ranged from praising his proposal as ambitious to slamming it as insufficient. Gov. Jay Inslee's plan includes implementing full-day kindergarten statewide and reducing class sizes to 17 for kindergarten through third grade in the 2016-17 school year. The proposal also called for increasing cost-of-living adjustments for teachers and freezing tuition hikes at public higher education institutions. The plan doesn't, however, detail how additional teachers and new programs would be paid for. On Thursday, the governor is expected to released a detailed revenue package.
The Columbian, Dec. 16, 2014

Governor plans to pay education lawsuit obligation a year early, keep freeze on tuition
Gov. Jay Inslee has a plan for putting $2.3 billion more into preschool through college education and workforce training and for paying off the state Supreme Court’s education- funding mandate a year early. But he won’t say where he’s going to get the money until Thursday, when he releases his full budget proposal. On Monday, he announced his education policy initiatives at a town hall-style meeting in person in Bellevue and on video screens in Moses Lake, Spokane and Tacoma. ... In addition to budget plans related to the McCleary education lawsuit, the governor is proposing: Two more years without a college tuition increase; More money for college scholarships, including a big investment in Opportunity Scholarships for students interested in technology or health care fields; ... More than $14 million for job training, basic education and pre-apprenticeship work at community colleges.
The News Tribune, Dec. 15, 2014