Tuesday, January 20, 2015

News Links | January 20, 2015


Behind bars, college is back in session in some Washington prisons
Privately funded college classes are starting to creep back into state prisons after being absent for nearly two decades. Supporters say they reduce the recidivism rate and can save money on re-incarceration. ... Twelve professors from the University of Puget Sound, the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University, Tacoma Community College and Harvard Extension School receive a stipend of $1,200 per semester to pay for transportation to and from the prison. ... [Reid] Helford, the Walla Walla Community College adjunct who teaches both GED and college-level classes at the state penitentiary, said many inmates in his courses undergo a transformation.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 19, 2015

UW, WSU consider partnerships on Seattle's eastside
The University of Washington and Washington State University are considering expansion on Seattle's eastside through partnerships with other colleges, The Seattle Times reported. Washington State University is exploring a partnership with Bellevue College, which already offers four-year, career-oriented degrees. Bellevue trustees have passed a motion authorizing a potential WSU partnership. ... WSU already has relationships with three other state community colleges: Everett Community College, Olympic College in Bremerton and Clark College in Vancouver. A Bellevue partnership was a natural next step, said WSU President Elson Floyd, because it's the state's largest community college.
The News Tribune, Jan. 19, 2015

Everett-built carbon fiber wings key to Boeing's future
Take a drive down Highway 526 and look north toward the cranes and trucks and workers building the future of not only Boeing but an entire region. Contractors are creating a new 1.3 million-square-foot factory where Boeing workers will eventually fabricate airplane wings for a new family of twin-aisle airplanes called the 777X. ... There's an incredible demand beyond Boeing for skilled workers who know how to fabricate and repair composites, said Patrick Murphy, an instructor for Everett Community College's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Composites program. ... The Everett Community College program regularly has a waiting list for the 20 slots in its program. The program is adding another 20 slots.
Everett Herald Business Journal, Jan. 19, 2015

Video: Martin Luther King Day Bell Ringing Ceremony
Columbia Basin College in Pasco celebrates Martin Luther King Day with the 24th Annual Bell-Ringing Ceremony.
Tri-City Herald, Jan. 19, 2015

Pierce College selects students for 2015 All-Washington Academic Team
Pierce College is proud to recognize four high-achieving students who will represent the college as members of the 2015 All-Washington Academic Team. Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, introduced the All-USA Academic Team to honor students for their scholastic achievement and community service. The students who make up the All-Washington Team reflect the diversity of the state, maintain high standards of excellence and contribute positively to the community. Pierce College Fort Steilacoom has selected Robert Lasker and Meredith Wingate as members of the team. Pierce College Puyallup appointed Mikhail Kurkov and Sarah Parkhurst.
The Suburban Times, Jan. 19, 2015

Abji Named to Bellevue College board
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has named Shelmina Babai Abji to the Board of Trustees of Bellevue College. In this role, Abji will participate in the six-member board, whose duties include setting the college's strategic direction, establishing policy for the college, and approving budgets.
Issaquah Reporter, Jan. 19, 2015

Editorial: Free tuition good investment
It will shock no one that having a college degree makes it easier to find work that pays well. ... While community and technical colleges have always been the more affordable option when compared to four-year colleges and universities, in recent years the costs have climbed at two-year colleges as they have throughout higher education. Adding to the problem, financial aid has not kept pace with college costs, requiring students to juggle hours spent in class and hours spent on a part-time job, said Tonya Drake, interim vice president for college relations and advancement at Edmonds Community College. ... Everett Community College President David Beyer said in a statement the proposal recognizes the need for advanced education as “essential for family-wage jobs and a major factor in our country's economic success.”
Everett Herald, Jan. 18, 2015

Editorial: Bellevue College, WSU arrangement would be good news for students
News of a possible partnership — maybe a merger — between Bellevue College and Washington State University is good news for Bellevue residents. If it happens, it will make getting a high-quality education easier — and less expensive. Bellevue College — no longer “just” a community college — has a well-deserved reputation for providing quality instruction for degrees that lead straight into well-paying jobs. WSU is one of the state’s major research universities and already has an association with BC through its online degree program.
Bellevue Reporter, Jan. 16, 2015

College campus project at Fort Worden nears bid
A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed today (Jan. 16) by representatives of Peninsula College, the Fort Worden Public Development Authority (PDA), and the City of Port Townsend allows the college to move forward with submitting the long-anticipated renovation project for Building 202 to bid. The MoA commits the partners to providing an additional $500,000 of funding for the project to convert an Army barracks built in 1904, and modified in the 1960s, into a full-service public education center.
Port Townsend Leader, Jan. 16, 2015

BBCC students, staff help with blood drive
Although a recent blood shortage with the Inland Northwest Blood Center was remedied, the need for regular blood donations is still there. The organization announced they were critically low on O-negative and O-positive blood the last week of December - so low they would need about 500 donors that week to bring their levels back to normal. ... The bus was in Moses Lake Wednesday for a mobile drive at Big Bend Community College. Within the first hour, staff collected blood from 15 people, said Thomas.
Columbia Basin Herald, Jan. 16, 2015

EdCC alumnus honored with fourth annual Transforming Lives award
Edmonds Community College alumnus Chester Curtis is one of five community college students statewide to earn a $500 “Transforming Lives” award from the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges. The fourth annual Transforming Lives award — which will be awarded to Curtis at a ceremony on Jan. 28 in Olympia — honors students and graduates who overcome barriers to achieve their higher education goals, demonstrating how Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges help transform lives through education and support.
Edmonds Beacon, Jan. 15, 2015

Clark College president: 'Future is right now'
During a packed State of the College address Thursday in the Gaiser Student Center, Clark College President Bob Knight gave a nod to the past but spoke with feeling about the college's future. Knight paid homage to four longtime residents in the audience who have impacted the community.
The Columbian, Jan. 15, 2015

Black Panthers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared same goals, former member says at Edmonds CC King lecture
The Black Panther Party is viewed by many as one of the most controversial movements of the 20th century. Originally called the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, the organization initially was known for its armed citizen patrols and its opposition to police brutality. It might come as a surprise to some people that the work of the party actually aligned with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his teachings, according to a former member. Emory Douglas, the Black Panther newspaper’s art director and later the party’s Minister of Culture, spoke of the commonalities between the Black Panther Party and Dr. King at Edmonds Community College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. lecture Thursday afternoon at the college’s Black Box Theatre.
My Edmonds News, Jan. 15, 2015

Clark College gets taste of Scotland
Mae Wilson was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, but moved to the states after meeting her American husband. The Pacific Northwest, with its lush greenery, rain and friendly people is similar to Scotland, she said. ... She misses the sausages, her family and going to the theater. So, Thursday night's Scottish supper at Clark College's Columbia Tech Center was a little taste of home. ... [Clark College President Bob] Knight helped organize the inaugural Robert Burns Dinner to raise money for a student from Scotland to attend Clark College for a year.
The Columbian, Jan. 15, 2015

CBC volunteers to be remote testimony site for state Senate
Appealing to lawmakers on the hill in Olympia may no longer require Tri-Citians to traverse the Cascades — they might be able to make a quick trip to Columbia Basin College’s Pasco campus instead. Spokane likely will be the site for the public to give testimony remotely at Senate committee hearings this legislative session. But the college also is willing to be a site for the public to reach out to state lawmakers, CBC President Rich Cummins told the Herald.
Tri-City Herald, Jan. 14, 2015

SVC president: Obama’s free college plan a ‘tremendous opportunity’
President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a proposal that, if approved by the state, could mean millions of students throughout the country, including Skagit Valley, could attend their local community or technical college for free. ... The so-called “America’s College Promise” is one that wouldn’t just affect any of the Obama administration’s estimated 40 percent of college students, but also their families, communities, states and the country, Skagit Valley College President Tom Keegan said.
Skagit Valley Herald, Jan. 10, 2015


College students think they’re ready for the work force. Employers aren’t so sure.
Ask soon-to-be college graduates whether they’re ready to enter the real world, and they’ll probably say yes. After all, they are about to collect what everyone has told them is the ticket to a good job — a college degree. But ask employers the same question, and you’ll get a much less optimistic answer. A report released on Tuesday by the Association of American Colleges and Universities highlights the discrepancy between students’ and employers’ views.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 20, 2015

Community college liberal arts
Many liberal arts faculty members these days worry about struggling enrollments for their disciplines. But data being released today suggest that they might be encouraged by the trends at community colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 20, 2015

GED drop
The number of people who earned a GED last year declined significantly, following the first major revamp of the high school equivalency test in over a decade. Critics of the updated exam point to a test that's more difficult, more expensive and accessible only on a computer as explanations for the drop. The GED overhaul aimed to better align the test with the skills students will need to succeed in college and the workforce. The revisions followed a recent change in ownership for the GED Testing Services.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 20, 2015

Illegal mandatory leave?
A new disability discrimination settlement at Quinnipiac University reinforces recent court decisions demonstrating the legal consequences colleges could face for removing a student with a mental health condition from campus. The settlement, made public last week, stems from the university’s decision to place a former student on mandatory medical leave after she sought counseling for depression. The university didn’t consider alternative accommodations for the student that would have allowed her to continue her studies. Consideration of such alternatives is required under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the settlement.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 20, 2015

Humanities for America
The head of the National Endowment for the Humanities said Thursday that he wants to push humanities scholarship to become more directly connected to helping address the nation’s contemporary problems. Making the case for why the nation should continue its longstanding investments in the humanities, NEH Chairman William (Bro) Adams said his agency would be launching an effort to encourage humanities scholars to focus on topics that that are relevant to Americans’ daily lives. The initiative — dubbed “The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square” — will use the agency’s grant making and new projects to emphasize the link between the humanities and public life.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 16, 2015

Disciplines that expect ‘brilliance’ tend to punish women, study finds
Here’s a downside to our cultural obsession with genius: It might be a reason for the gender gap in certain academic fields. New research has found that women tend to be underrepresented in disciplines whose practitioners think innate talent or "brilliance" is required to succeed. According to the findings, that’s true across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the STEM fields; humanities; and the social sciences.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 15, 2015


State spending on higher education inches up, but fiscal pitfalls remain
An annual report on state spending on higher education is mostly good news, at least for the fiscal year just past. But widen the lens, and the focus muddies: Half of the states are still appropriating less for higher education than they did five years ago. And the prospects for future spending are clouded by falling oil prices and state lawmakers’ resistance to raising taxes. Over all, states increased appropriations for higher education by more than 5 percent from the 2014 to the 2015 fiscal years.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 19, 2015

Taxes and education
The White House Saturday announced a series of tax proposals that would raise taxes on financial institutions and wealthy individuals, simplify education tax credits and pay for his plan for free community college education. Many details were not spelled out and are expected Tuesday in the State of the Union address. Republicans were quick to oppose the tax increases (although some other parts of the plans have attracted bipartisan support in the past). The Saturday announcement caught many by surprise.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 19, 2015

What the president’s tax proposal would mean for higher education
Over the weekend, the White House announced a broad outline of the tax-reform plan that President Obama will lay out in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. While unlikely to gain much traction with a Republican Congress, the plan could help set the agenda for Democrats looking ahead to 2016. The plan would increase taxes on wealthy individuals and financial firms, and would offer new and expanded benefits to low- and middle-income households. It also has several direct implications for higher education.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 18, 2015

Opinion: Obama’s community college plan needs work
In a recent speech in Tennessee, President Barack Obama outlined his plan for two years of tuition-free higher education. In a subsequent Facebook video, he said that his purpose was to make “… the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it.” It might be, or could be, a good program, but it has been buried underneath mounds of unanswered questions, misstatements, corrections and flying numbers (they’re like flying monkeys, only worse). It almost seems to be the product of being carried away by the idea of nationalizing — that is, catching up with — state initiatives already addressing the formidable costs of higher education.
Everett Herald Business Journal, Jan. 16, 2015

A possible ‘McCleary‘ for Washington higher education?
Lawmakers have been told repeatedly by the state Supreme Court that they must increase funding for schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Now a prominent constitutional law scholar in Washington says the state has a similar duty to adequately fund public colleges and universities, and that another court case could arise if the Legislature doesn’t step up and do so. Hugh Spitzer, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Washington, said the same part of the state constitution that defined public education as the state’s “paramount duty” also defined the public school system as including normal schools and technical schools.
The News Tribune, Jan. 15, 2015