Tuesday, January 6, 2015

News Links | January 6, 2015


Editorial: Jobs, education key to our future
With the new year ringing in, it's a time of reflection. Analyzing the past is helpful and needed for a better future. In general, we believe Grant County has much to offer. Our area offers a good quality of life and a close-knit community. ... We are fortunate to have Big Bend Community College and the new Grant County Technological Skills Center to provide additional training here in Moses Lake. Both programs offer another alternative for students who for whatever reasons decide not to attend a four-year college.
Columbia Basin Herald, Jan. 3, 2014

Creative tuition plans benefit students, colleges
The cost to attend college isn’t a minor matter to high school seniors, and those in Prosser are no exception. Tuition, fees, cost of living and the availability of financial aid, along with location, areas of study and class sizes, were often among the top concerns recently noted by students in a college preparatory course led by Doug Fassler, Prosser High School’s business teacher. ... Those schools have taken steps to ease the financial burden on students, though. Washington State University Tri-Cities and Columbia Basin College have increased their aid to students, with CBC awarding a record 500 scholarships worth a combined $1 million for the current academic year.
Yakima Herald, Jan. 3, 2015

Edmonds CC Foundation reaches $1 million campaign goal in support of student veterans
The Edmonds Community College Foundation announced Friday it reached its $1 million fundraising campaign goal for the Boots to Books and Beyond campaign.
My Edmonds News, Jan. 2, 2015

Clark College explores idea of hiring campus police officers
When school shootings in the Pacific Northwest dominated the headlines last spring, alarms were going off for those who work at Clark College. ... The college's board of trustees asked Knight to look into the possibility of having police on campus and Knight started the conversation. Clark College can't follow the trend of universities forming their own police force, such as Washington State University Vancouver, because it isn't allowed to under Washington state law.
The Columbian, Jan. 1, 2015

Editorial: Whatcom County hot topics for 2015
Whatcom County has quite a few issues that will be hot topics in 2015. Here’s a look at just a few. ... Green energy, technology, Made in the USA small manufacturing would all be welcome. We hope the NW Innovation Resource Center is successful in growing entrepreneurial innovation here. And we salute the efforts at Whatcom Community College and Bellingham Technical College in crafting programs that fill the needs in our community, such as nursing and welding.
Bellingham Herald, Jan. 1, 2015

Once-struggling student now in college, thanks to Treehouse
Like 50 percent of high-school kids in foster care, Almeisha Robinson almost didn’t graduate. For the first few years at Garfield High School she floundered: “School never really was a super-important aspect of my life. My parents never took interest in my schooling,” said Robinson. “Junior year, it was hard to focus and pay attention at school.” ... Now, Robinson is in the midst of her first year at college, attending Seattle Central College, taking classes in math, English and — of course — music.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 31, 2014

Boeing, marijuana, WSU helped make 2014 a busy year in business
Higher education options grow for Everett, Snohomish County. Washington State University made a huge commitment to the North Puget Sound region. Everett Community College opened a state-of-the-art center focused on advanced manufacturing.
Everett Herald, Dec. 31, 2014

Makah poet draws listeners in with his work
peaking in a soft voice that made his listeners lean in, poet John Pritchard III explored difficult topics — and by the end of his recitation, brought his audience out into the daylight. Pritchard, a member of the Makah tribe and a Peninsula College student, held attendees rapt in his solo reading from his new book WOLF: We Only Love Freedom, at the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center on Monday night.
Peninsula Daily News, Dec. 30, 2014

New blog hopes to reach teens with mental health, drug issues
With topics ranging from managing panic attacks to managing eating disorders, a new blog site for Issaquah- and Sammamish-area students already is covering a lot of ground. ... A member of the chemical dependency faculty at Bellevue College, blogger Jerry Blackburn said the idea of Mission Mental is to provide accurate information about mental health and various related issues.
Issaquah Press, Dec. 30, 2014

We will bury you: Students learn basics at funeral-service school
As baby boomers head to that last frontier, a new generation of funeral directors and embalmers will take care of the details. At Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland they learn those details in a program that is the only one of its kind in the state.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 29, 2014

Mom, daughter tell harsh truths about eating disorders
Alexis Colson hid in her mother's closet with a bowl of cereal in her lap and beautiful little dresses dangling all around her head. Colson hated dealing with people's judgments. She loved being alone. She loved the cereal, which tasted too good to resist — especially because her body was literally starved for fuel. ... "They're the most beautiful liars, these girls," said Colson's mother, Mary Thompson — who's now in nursing school at Clark College because of her daughter, she said. "They think of it as the 'glamorous disease,' but there's nothing glamorous about dying of a heart attack before you're 20."
The Columbian, Dec. 29, 2014

Resolutions start tomorrow: New Year’s dining at the Lucky Dog Casino
With New Years arriving mid-week this year, it’s hard to plan a proper celebration. One easy way to ring in 2015 properly (and still keep your weekend free) is with a dynamite dinner at the Lucky Dog Casino. ... A graduate of the South Puget Sound Community College’s Culinary Arts Program, Chef [Karen] Lewis has competed in such regional cooking competitions as Oysterfest, where she was the overall winner in six of her 12 appearances. Her Crab Cannelloni recipe was even featured in a local segment of the TV show ‘Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives’ on the Food Network.
Thurston Talk, Dec. 29, 2014

Inslee budget proposal would consolidate National Guard armories, fund projects at Capitol and Western State
A $3.8 billion construction budget proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee this month has money to complete a new state office building near the Capitol. It also proposes to build a single “readiness center” to replace two National Guard armories in Puyallup and Olympia, and it would add a new commissary and kitchen at Western State Hospital in Lakewood. ... Other Pierce County projects Gov. Jay Inslee included in his capital budget proposal: More than $3.1 million to design a Center for Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for existing manufacturing programs at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood.
The Bellingham Herald, Dec. 28, 2014

Editorial: Whatcom Cares: Kerri Holferty helps Whatcom Community College students overcome obstacles
More students with disabilities are staying school at Whatcom Community College, thanks to the efforts of an administrator who doesn’t just open doors for them, but also helps them understand that the door isn’t an obstacle. Coworkers at WCC who nominated Kerri Holferty, associate director of the Office of Access and Disability Services, said they admire her passion and commitment. Holferty counsels approximately 300 WCC students with a range of physical, emotional and other disabilities — blind and visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing, people with Asperger’s, ADHD, and those who use wheelchairs.
Bellingham Herald, Dec. 26, 2014

Clark College Foundation honored for fundraising
Clark College Foundation has earned gold in the best-of-the-best competition for fundraising campaigns from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VIII. The award recognizes excellence in marketing and communications among more than 130 advancement institutions in the Pacific Northwest.
Vancouver Business Journal, Dec. 26, 2014

How Tacoma Community College got its name
Toney Shelton, a educational administrator and community education advocate, convinced the Weyerhaeuser company officials to donate the land to the community to be used for educational purposes; and thus, the idea of a local community college was born. ... They agreed on Tacoma Community College.
The Suburban Times, Dec. 25, 2014

Hexcel Corporation plans expansion at its Burlington, Washington, operations facility
The Washington State Department of Commerce approved a $101,000 WorkStart grant to Northwest Workforce Council to help Hexcel Corporation train employees at their newly-expanded facility in Burlington, Washington. ... According to the state Department of Commerce, “this business expansion project is supported by a broad partnership that includes Hexcel Burlington, Northwest Workforce Council, Economic Development Association of Skagit County, Skagit Valley College and Green River College.”
Area Development, Dec. 24, 2014

Front Porch: EdCC plans new ag project
Edmonds Community College has received a $9,500 grant from the Sustainable Path Foundation to construct an aquaponics system. The system is made up of two aquaponic units.
Everett Herald, Dec. 24, 2014

P.C. issues new volume of digital academic journal
The Peninsula College Press has just released the second volume of its digital journal, Discovery: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies. Discovery, which was launched late last year, is the flagship publication of P.C. Press. It is a multimedia journal of academic and applied research, literary and artistic work, and provides a venue for exploring an array of topics across multiple disciplines and in a variety of media.
Sequim Gazette, Dec. 23, 2014

TCC online tool helps students match degrees to careers
Tacoma Community College recently launched “Career Coach,” an online tool that helps students and community members match degree and certificate pathways to local jobs. The tool is designed to help people choose degree-to-career pathways that match their skills and interests and have good employment prospects. Each transfer degree pathway is matched to a list of related careers, with brief descriptions and average salary ranges.
The Suburban Times, Dec. 23, 2014


In STEM courses, a gender gap in online class discussions
Women and men behave differently in online class discussions, at least in science, engineering, and computer-science courses, according to a new study conducted by Piazza Technologies, a company that makes a digital class-participation tool. The company found that women use its program, called Piazza, to ask more questions than do their male peers, but that they answer fewer questions. When women do answer, they are more likely to answer anonymously. The findings come in the midst of an online debate about male privilege in the sciences. Part of Piazza’s mission is to level the playing field for men and women in academic environments.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 6, 2015

Matching the 'undermatched'
Ever since a 2012 study found that a majority of high-achieving, low-income high school seniors don't apply to a single competitive college, educators and policy makers have been debating what to do about "undermatching," as the issue has come to be called. Some have argued for more attention (and resources) for the institutions that enroll these students in significant numbers, especially community colleges and regional public institutions. But many have looked for ways to attract more of these students to top colleges, which tend to have more generous aid offers and higher graduation rates than less competitive colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 5, 2015

Online, size doesn't matter
Conventional wisdom (backed by many research studies) holds that students benefit from smaller classes. They receive more personal attention from instructors, who can spend more time evaluating each assignment turned in and can spend more time with each student. Many rankings systems reward colleges for small class sizes. Many potential undergraduates judge colleges on the availability of small classes. But a large national study presented this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association challenges that conventional wisdom. The study finds that increases in online class size have no impact on student grades, student persistence in the course or the likelihood of students enrolling in future courses.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 5, 2015


5 things colleges can expect from Congress in 2015
When the 114th Congress convenes, on Tuesday, Republicans will control the Senate for the first time in eight years. In the House of Representatives, they’ll have their largest majority since 1928. What does that mean for higher education? In the spirit of the New Year, here are five predictions for 2015.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 5, 2015

Time, money and teacher prep
Several dozen higher education groups said Friday that the U.S. Department of Education was lowballing an estimate of how much its proposal to tighten regulation of teacher preparation programs would cost colleges and states. The American Council on Education and other groups urged the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to take a second look at the estimates and use a third party to verify their validity.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 5, 2015

Can lawmakers alter class-size mandate to avoid massive budget shortfall?
Washington voters delivered a ticking financial bomb to the Legislature just in time for the 2015 session. Initiative 1351, which voters narrowly approved in November, changes state law on student-to-teacher ratios in K-12 public schools, and calls for a major $2 billion investment in lowering those ratios over the next two years. One problem: I-1351 came with no new money, and lawmakers were already looking at a budget that, based on estimates from Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget office, is $2 billion in the red despite rising revenues.
The News Tribune, Jan. 4, 2015

Editorial: 2015 agenda for action
In 1987, News Tribune Publisher Bill Honeysett – who died last Sunday – launched an annual tradition: publishing a civic agenda outlining the editorial board’s chief concerns and priorities for the coming year. ... We’re concerned that the scramble for McCleary money will prompt a retreat from other critical state priorities, including the social safety net, higher education, early learning, mental health and transportation improvements. These must be protected – especially since the state hasn’t tapped some obvious revenue sources. ... Unless lawmakers override I-1351, which barely passed in November, those billions will come out of discretionary items like higher ed and school readiness. It would be insane to sacrifice programs that prepare young children for kindergarten. It would be equally insane to starve the public universities and two-year schools that high school graduates need to succeed as adults.
The News Tribune, Jan. 2, 2015

Some education news to watch for in the upcoming year
As the final days of 2014 tick by, here are five of the education stories we plan to keep an eye on in 2015. Continued college tuition freeze? Washington lawmakers seem to be leaning toward a repeat of their 2013 decision to freeze higher-education tuition. Gov. Jay Inslee endorsed the idea in his recent budget proposal, and the chair of the Senate’s higher education committee has spoken publicly of her hope of lowering tuition.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 31, 2014

Guest: Lawmakers must compromise to ensure future of Washington’s education system
By Jim Kastama, former Democratic state senator and currently a business consultant specializing in strategic planning and is a policy analyst at Accelerating Innovation. The state Supreme Court needs to allow the Legislature the flexibility to fund some but not all education reforms triggered by the McCleary ruling.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 28, 2014

GOP hopes splitting state budget for schools possible this year
Some House Republicans are again proposing to split education funding from the rest of the state budget, saying it would keep students from being used as bargaining chips as lawmakers decided the state spending plan. They call the notion “Fund Education First,” and it has failed repeatedly since Republicans first introduced it in the Legislature in 2006. Democrats generally oppose the idea, saying lawmakers can’t fund education in isolation without knowing how it might impact other spending obligations.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 26, 2014

Representatives join forces to promote computer science education
Due to the significant need in Washington state for highly-skilled technology workers capable of meeting the demands of the 21st century, today state Reps. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, and Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, are partnering with Washington students to participate in the “Hour of Code,” a week-long national event that promotes computer science education. ... According to Code.org there more than 20,000 open computing jobs in Washington, but less than 800 computer science majors are graduating per year from state colleges and universities.
Maple Valley Reporter, Dec. 26, 2014

Federal agency finds plenty of fault with oversight of higher education
Three days before Christmas, the Government Accountability Office put big lumps of coal in the stockings of accreditors and the U.S. Department of Education. The federal office released a report criticizing accrediting agencies’ efforts to oversee academic quality at colleges, and faulting the Education Department for not increasing its own scrutiny of colleges that are under accreditors’ sanctions.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 22, 2014

Observers greet Education Dept.’s ratings plan with heavy skepticism
For the past 16 months, the Obama administration’s plan to rate colleges has been one of the most talked-about issues in higher education. On Friday morning the Education Department’s draft plan arrived with a whimper, as news outlets and observers quickly remarked that the so-called framework was less a rough draft than a bare-bones outline of what an eventual system might feature.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 19, 2014

More metrics, more problems: Breaking down Obama’s college-ratings plan
President Obama’s controversial college-ratings plan has spawned 16 months of intense debate, much of it centering on one key question: What measures would factor into the ratings? On Friday the Education Department released a "framework" outlining what the system might eventually look like. The new information is unlikely to quell the controversy: It’s heavy on possibilities and light on details. But one document the department released does, at least, outline some metrics that could be factors in the ratings. Broadly, those metrics concern issues of access, affordability, and outcomes. Some of them are familiar, and others are less clear.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 19, 2014