Thursday, December 4, 2014

News Links | December 4, 2014


7 Washington colleges at White House summit
Representatives of seven Washington colleges and universities are in Washington, D.C., this week to participate in a White House summit on college access. Participants include Bellevue College, Olympic College in Bremerton, Renton Technical College, Saint Martins University in Lacey, Seattle Colleges, Walla Walla Community College and Washington State University.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 4, 2014

More than 100 colleges made pledges at the First White House summit. Here’s how 6 fared
Some college leaders have dismissed the White House’s Summit on College Opportunity — the second installment of which takes place on Thursday — as a dog-and-pony show focused more on drawing attention than on stoking action. But all of the more than 100 institutions that scored invitations to the first summit, held in January, had to pledge to do something to expand college access for needy students. ... Now, as the White House prepares to release its own progress report, we checked in with six institutions to see how their pledges were faring. ... Tacoma Community College committed to "a project to end homelessness," pledging to team up with the Tacoma Housing Authority to create a housing-voucher program for low-income students. The college also said it would continue working with "feeder" high schools to study gaps in local high-school courses and to determine how to avoid remedial courses for students making the transition to college.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 4, 2014

American police work focus of Vietnam officers’ visit to Mount Vernon
As he explained various elements of his uniform, Mount Vernon Police Chief Jerry Dodd tapped on his chest to indicate the bulletproof vest he wears beneath his clothing. The dull thud drew the attention of Dodd’s guests, a 20-member delegation of high-ranking officials from Vietnam’s national police force that toured the Mount Vernon Police Department on Wednesday. ... The Vietnamese police officials arrived here Monday to begin a 12-day program of training classes and seminars at Skagit Valley College and tour offices of law enforcement agencies around the region.
Skagit Valley Herald, Dec. 4, 2014

College to set up "knowledge center" at old middle school
Big Bend Community College will soon be hanging its shingle out at the former Grand Coulee Dam Middle School annex building. It will be the beginning of a Community Knowledge Center, where students and local residents can take advantage of a range of activities still to be developed.
The Grand Coulee Star, Dec. 3, 2014

CPTC: CIT students present quarter projects
Clover Park Technical College Computer Information Technology students presented their Fall Quarter projects on Dec. 1. Organized by Instructor Joseph Ortiz, the presentations take place at the end of each quarter to give students the opportunity to speak publicly about their work. The event is also a chance for industry partners to see what CPTC students are creating.
The Suburban Times, Dec. 3, 2014

Letter: Wash. state colleges well aware of value of 'stacking' certificates
By Marty Brown, executive director, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Today, Washington state's community and technical colleges offer the very solution the study's author recommends: short-term certificates that "stack" on top of each other, like building blocks, to form longer certificates or degrees. Each level of skills serves as a foundation for the next level. With short-term certificates, current professionals stay on top of changes and innovations within their fields, while job-seekers learn beginning skill sets that lead to further education. And many certificates, such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining, lead immediately to good wages. Short-term certificates are an important first step; colleges are making sure they're not the last.
Education Week, Dec. 2, 2014

CPTC: Composites graduate shares success story
Albina Moore feels like her life is starting anew. With two college degrees from her home country of Russia and after a career as an international airline flight attendant, Moore desired a career in the aerospace industry. Clover Park Technical College’s Advanced Composites Program prepared Moore for the career she wished for. When she graduated Winter Quarter 2014, she was already working as a composite technician at Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company.
The Suburban Times, Dec. 2, 2014


Smartphones in the classroom: beneficial or distracting?
More than half of college students (56 percent) want to use their smartphones for educational purposes while in class, but about half of professors (46 percent) say it would be a distraction, according to a survey on smartphone use conducted by Cengage Learning.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 4, 2014

Recommended resting
Napping students — exhausted by long nights of studying for exams or writing term papers — are common in campus libraries. But at Wake Forest University's Z. Smith Reynolds Library, sleeping students can now be found resting in comfortable recliners, instead of snoring into open textbooks. Last month, the library unveiled a technology-free relaxation area called the "ZieSta Room."
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 4, 2014

'Dirty money?'
That’s how Jane McEldowney Jensen, associate professor of education and Ph.D. cohort director at the University of Kentucky, summed up the tone of the papers presented Wednesday during a session called “Higher Education’s Walk of Shame: Dirty Money, Dirty Morals and Loss of Intimacy” at the American Anthropological Association’s annual conference. Indeed, the picture painted was grim. Papers had such preliminary titles as “Selling an Unknown Future: Risk, Debt and Failure” and "The University as a ‘House of Cards,’ ” and speakers used words such as “unsustainable” and “precarity.” They criticized administrators and policy-makers as out-of-touch conspirators in the problem of mounting student debt load, which now tops $1 trillion, and expressed conflicted opinions about the value of higher education as it is perceived by many today.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 4, 2014

Report: Just 9 of 100 kids born in Washington will get a STEM job here
A new report from Washington STEM estimates that just nine out of every 100 children born in this state will end up employed in a science- or technology-related field here. That figure is far too low, it says, to fill the 50,000 STEM jobs expected to go unfilled in Washington by 2017.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 2, 2014


Editorial: Education funding needs to be for more than K-12
More money will flow into Washington’s kindergarten through high-school programs in the next two years, but state lawmakers must ensure that doesn’t come at a cost to early and higher education. The state’s education system should foster student success from ages 3 to 23, but unlike K-12, funding for pre-K and higher education arguably are not protected by the state Constitution.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 4, 2014

House panel plans to scrutinize U.S. universities' ties with China
Until now, the impact of China on American universities has largely been a subject of discussion for college campuses, not the halls of Congress. No longer. A U.S. House subcommittee will hold a hearing on Thursday about whether American colleges’ Chinese connections could compromise academic freedom in this country. Scholars from both the United States and China will testify.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 3, 2014

State-related community colleges
State spending on higher education has improved since the depths of the recession. But competition for public funds is intense in most states, where K-12, Medicaid and pensions are the primary budget drivers.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 3, 2014

Initiative 1351 brings uncertainty to underfunded public schools
Now that the class size Initiative 1351 has been passed by voters, school administrators and government officials are scrambling to figure out how to implement it.
Northwest Public Radio, Dec. 1, 2014