Tuesday, December 2, 2014

News Links | December 2, 2014


Guests: Think holistically about education
Authors: Bette Hyde, director of the state Department of Early Learning; Gene Sharratt, executive director of the Washington Student Achievement Council; and Marty Brown, executive director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. As the Legislature prepares to tackle school funding in the wake of the McCleary decision on the state’s basic education obligations, advocates for different education segments have made their pitches in the court of public opinion. Since we have administrative responsibility for some of those segments, you may be tempted to think that this is just one more attempt to grab a piece of the funding pie. But you’d be wrong. Too often our debate over education funding works on the squeaky-wheel principle. Whoever yells loudest, longest or last is rewarded with funding. But that’s how the game is played when education is sliced up into bite-sized pieces. Our tendency to segment education is a false paradigm that was originally meant to establish administrative responsibilities. It has the unintended consequence of encouraging well-intentioned people to embrace these arbitrary silos and substitute them for reality. Much of the debate over education funding, and the subsequent advocacy for different portions of the education community, misses the fundamental point. The truth is this: Education is a lifelong journey that begins at birth and doesn’t end until we draw our last breath.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 1, 2014

BTC president Patricia McKeown to retire
Bellingham Technical College President Patricia McKeown will retire in June of 2015. McKeown, 63, has worked at the college for more than 30 years and took over as president in fall of 2010. She filled in for a temporary position in 1984 and eventually moved on to become a curriculum specialist and program coordinator at the college. She became president following 10 years as vice president of instruction.
Bellingham Herald, Dec. 1, 2014

CNAs, health aides in high demand in Yakima Valley
In nursing homes and assisted living facilities, employees responsible for day-to-day caregiving — moving residents into wheelchairs, helping with showers, keeping tabs on general health — go largely unnoticed in the broader health care arena. But certified nursing assistants and home care aides are critical to safe, quality care, facility directors say. ... Nursing assistants must complete a minimum of 85 hours of training, 35 in class and 50 clinical, Dunn said. Several facilities in the area offer training, including Willow Springs Care, Summitview Manor Living Care and Emerald Care in Wapato. Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima Valley Technical Skills Center and OIC also offer courses. Training programs run about $600 to $900, which is usually reimbursed by the student’s first employer after certification.
Yakima Herald, Dec. 1, 2014

CBC students heading to NASA center in Alabama
With plans to become a mechanical engineer and a veterinarian, two Columbia Basin College students had no intention of going into space. But that didn’t stop them from participating in a program to develop potential missions to Mars, which earned them invitations to work with NASA engineers this month. Lesly Ibarra and Crystal Poorman are two of 40 community college students selected nationally to participate in the final portion of the National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
Tri-City Herald, Nov. 30, 2014

I-1351 vs. 2-year colleges — and much else
Initiative 1351, which passed narrowly this month, was a smart bomb aimed squarely at Washington’s higher education and social welfare systems. ... Consider the potential impact of I-1351 on the state’s two-year college system. Since the Great Recession, Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges have lost 23 percent of their funding, which was never abundant in the first place. ... Like all other non-1351 programs, the community and technical colleges are likely to go hungry. Yet college labs and vocational training are hardly less important than high schools well stocked with vice-principals. Graduates of those high schools have to go somewhere once they get their diplomas; those who don’t move on to higher education are statistically far more likely to wind up unemployed,  dependent on public assistance and entangled in crime. Pierce County is particularly dependent on its two-year schools: Tacoma Community College, Pierce College, Clover Park Technical College and Bates Technical College.
The News Tribune, Nov. 29, 2014

FedEx donates 3 retired Boeing 727s to Washington colleges, fire department
FedEx has donated three Boeing 727s to institutions in Washington state, as part of the package delivery company's plan to donate its once-large fleet of the three-engine aircraft to organizations around the world. ... The Washington state recipients of the three aircraft are two colleges — Everett Community College and Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake — as well as the Spokane International Airport Fire Department.
Puget Sound Business Journal, Nov. 26, 2014

Clark College earns approval for dental hygiene degree
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) has approved Clark College’s proposal to add the college’s first baccalaureate degree. Starting in the fall of 2015 the college will offer a Bachelor of Applied Science in dental hygiene. The B.A.S. in dental hygiene will benefit both students and the community, according to Dr. Tim Cook, vice president of instruction at Clark College.  He explained that this program opens up additional job opportunities to students, while adding very few additional courses to their degree plan.
The Reflector, Nov. 26, 2014

Steve Vincent is Lower Columbia College's benefactor of the year
At the Thanksgiving table of the community, a toast has been raised. Steve Vincent has done the giving, so Lower Columbia College is saying thanks by naming him the LCC Foundation’s Benefactor of the Year.
Longview Daily News, Nov. 26, 2014

Clark College legislative breakfast: spending priorities among big issues
Clark College officials met with legislators and legislators-elect at the second annual Clark College Legislative Breakfast on Monday morning at the campus. ... Clark College participants included members of the board of trustees, student government representatives, deans and the head of the faculty union, said Chato Hazelbaker, Clark College spokesman. Speaking on behalf of Clark College were President Bob Knight; Rekah Strong, chair of the board of trustees; and student Bryce Rupp on behalf of the Associated Students of Clark College. Participants spent about 30 minutes with legislators talking about their legislative priorities, Hazelbaker said.
The Columbian, Nov. 25, 2014

Peninsula College to offer 2-year online criminal justice degree
Peninsula College will offer a two-year criminal justice degree online beginning in the winter quarter. The program is designed specifically for working men and women, parents and others who are unable to take classes at set times during the day or evening, said Phyllis van Holland, college spokeswoman.
Peninsula Daily News, Nov. 25, 2014

Commentary: Making Spokane pop
I found Jerry Schmidt over by the Clock Tower, setting up lights in the near-freezing rain for his latest effort, the Winter Glow Spectacular. ... The homegrown events have the best staying power. Bloomsday, Hoopfest, Pig Out — all of them are powered by local pride. Schmidt even recruited local students at Spokane Community College and Spokane Valley Tech to weld displays.
The Inlander, Nov. 25, 2014

EdCC honored as a champion of sustainability
Edmonds Community College was recognized as a Champion of Sustainability at the Seattle Seahawks game on Nov. 23 for demonstrating a commitment to sustainability by the Seattle Seahawks and McKinstry, a Seattle-based consulting, construction, energy and facility services company. Kevin McKay, EdCC’s vice president of Finance and Operations, accepts an award on behalf of the college for being a Champion of Sustainability during the Seattle Seahawks game on Nov. 23. Pictured are: Silvia Barajas, Tacoma Community College; Jason Francois, North Seattle College; Ray White, Bellevue College; Kevin McKay, Edmonds Community College; Orestes ‘Monty’ Monterecy, North Seattle College; Mark Jonson, McKinstry.
Edmonds Beacon, Nov. 25, 2014

One of Mobile Turkey Unit’s longest helpers moving on
When this year’s Mobile Turkey Unit volunteers complete their goal of delivering about 500 Thanksgiving dinners on south and central Whidbey, it will also likely be the last time for one of its longest-serving volunteers: James Canby. Canby was only 7 years old when he and his father joined Mobile Turkey Unit founder Tom Arhontas and a handful of other volunteers to cook and deliver 65 meals that first Thanksgiving 16 years ago. ... Canby, a graduate of South Whidbey High School and now a second-year student in Skagit Valley College’s Culinary Arts Program, is taking time off from school to assist Mobile Turkey Unit head chef Al Jones in cooking 26 turkeys in the kitchen at St. Hubert Church in Langley.
South Whidbey Record, Nov. 21, 2014


Fierce job market for Chinese students returning from overseas
A recent report from China’s Ministry of Education describes the increasingly fierce job market faced by students returning from overseas, Shanghai Daily reported. The newspaper quoted the deputy director of the Chinese service center for scholarly exchange, Che Weimin, as saying that the income gap between students who earned their bachelor’s degrees abroad and their peers who stayed in China is narrowing.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 2, 2014

Report says four-year degrees are a 'myth'
A new policy report from Complete College America pushes for a return to "on-time" graduation. The nonprofit group said commonly used graduation rates of 150 percent of on-time program length (six years for bachelor's degrees and three for associates) are "unacceptable, especially when we consider that students and their families are trying desperately to control the skyrocketing costs of higher education."
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 2, 2014

In a move toward open access, ‘Nature’ allows widespread article sharing
Nature, one of the world’s most-cited scientific publications, took a step toward open access on Tuesday by granting its subscribers and journalists wide authority to let outside readers view its articles at no cost. Under the new policy, subscribers to 49 journals published by the Nature Publishing Group and collected on Nature’s website can create and share links to full-text versions of all of that content. About 100 media outlets also can include free links in news reports that reference articles in the group’s journals.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 2, 2014

A flexible future
Some of the country’s most rigorous research universities have a new obsession: flexibility. As the institutions contemplate a more modular future, experiments with blended learning may provide an early glimpse at their plans. Through strategic visions and partnerships, institutions such as Duke and Harvard Universities and the Georgia and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology are laying the groundwork for curriculums that will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face instruction, blended courses and distance education. A common goal is to offer students “flexibility”
 a word several administrators used to summarize their institutions’ aspirations.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 2, 2014

Access to child care declines across higher education
A report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows a decline in child-care services across higher education, and particularly at community colleges. The percentage of two-year colleges that offer on-campus child-care services fell from 53 percent in 2004 to 46 percent in 2013.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 1, 2014

Students’ long paths to completion carry major financial consequences
Bloated curricula, remediation roadblocks, and students’ meandering path through college are contributing to a completion crisis that is costing students and their parents billions of extra dollars a year, according to a report released on Monday by Complete College America.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 1, 2014

Teaching international students
As U.S. campuses have dramatically increased their international student populations in recent years, more and more faculty members are encountering a different demographic of student than they are used to
 — or at least they’re encountering that demographic more frequently.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 1, 2014

'Faculty fathers'
There’s a reason that most of the faculty work-life balance literature focuses on being a mother in academe: It’s hard. And Margaret W. Sallee, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, isn’t trying to diminish that truth with her new book, Faculty Fathers: Toward a New Ideal In the Research University, out now from State University of New York Press. Instead, she’s trying to add other, key and increasingly balance-seeking voices to the conversation
 — those of faculty dads.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 1, 2014

Gov. Inslee joins business and education leaders to help shape the future of STEM education in Washington
Gov. Jay Inslee will join more than 320 business and education leaders at the third annual Washington STEM Summit on Dec. 2 at Microsoft Corp. to discuss how communities across Washington state can drive the improvement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for all students. ... Gov. Inslee will join leaders from companies including Microsoft, The Boeing Company and McKinstry and from K-12 and higher education to discuss topics such as creating a STEM pipeline from early learning through college in Washington state and how to address the computer science skills talent-gap.
Bothell Reporter, Nov. 28, 2014

Why North Dakota is increasing, not cutting, higher education
When the great recession hit in 2008, most state legislators, including those in Washington, made up for a shortfall in revenue by cutting funding to higher education. That’s why college tuition skyrocketed over the past few years, often by double-digit amounts, at public colleges and universities across the country. But two states — North Dakota and Alaska — have taken advantage of rapidly-improving economies in their states to put money back into higher education.
The Seattle Times, Nov. 25, 2014

Can digital ‘badges’ and ‘nanodegrees’ protect job seekers from a first-round knockout?
Hiring managers look at each résumé for an average of six seconds, according to a 2012 study by The Ladders, a job-hunting website. In those six seconds, the recruiter looks at the applicant’s name, information about current and previous jobs, and education. Then a quick yes or no, and it’s on to the next one. The study, which enjoyed another round of publicity last month, after Business Insider made a video about its findings, raised the question about how much candidates’ education — that is, what they learned, rather than where they went — matters when it comes to making it past the early rounds of vetting.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 25, 2014


U.S. will explore new loan servicing models, official says
The U.S. Department of Education plans to explore new approaches to how it services federal student loans.  Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell, addressing a Federal Student Aid conference in Atlanta, suggested that the government may move away from its current system
 — or at least elements of it — of contracting with four companies to manage payments for the bulk of its federal student loan portfolio.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 2, 2014

Opinion: Funding K-12 education will require multiple solutions
We face unprecedented challenges. Years of all-cuts budgets have left basic education in our state in dire condition. So much so that the State Supreme Court ruled that we must begin undoing that damage – and fast. Dollar figures are all over the map for exactly what the state must come up with to satisfy what our state’s constitution describes as “our paramount duty.” But all estimates are in the billions. Finding billions of dollars to fund education will be no small task, and it will require responsible solutions that won’t cripple other essential state services.
The Bellingham Herald, Nov. 30, 2014

New rules would judge teacher-prep programs on job placements and student learning
Teacher colleges aren’t feeling very thankful for new rules that could make some of their students ineligible for Teach Grants. The proposed rules, which the Education Department announced two days before Thanksgiving, would require states to evaluate teacher-training programs based, in part, on how many of their graduates get and keep jobs and how much their graduates’ future students learn. Only programs deemed effective by their states would be eligible to award Teach Grants, which provide students with up to $4,000 a year.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 26, 2014