Thursday, January 8, 2015

News Links | January 8, 2015


Lower Columbia College updates harassment, discrimination policies
Lower Columbia College has beefed up its harassment and discrimination procedures, following changes being made nationwide in the wake of college scandals. ... LCC doesn’t necessarily have a problem with discrimination or violence, but the changes were needed to keep pace with changing state and federal regulations.
Longview Daily News, Jan. 8, 2015

Edmonds Community College alumnus Kanligi awarded national grant
Edmonds Community College and Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) program alumnus Benjamin Kanligi was awarded a prestigious grant offered by the U.S. Department of State Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF). ... Through the NWCCI program — currently in its sixth year — Edmonds Community College, together with Pierce College in Lakewood and Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, have hosted 270 students from Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Panama, South Africa, and Turkey.
My Edmonds News, Jan. 7, 2015

Peninsula College welders win at tree festival
Peninsula College welding department won Best of Show at the 2014 Olympic Medical Center Foundation’s Festival of Trees. It all began with a welded tree local business owner Petersen of Necessities and Temptations saw while attending a concert on the college campus. It was a tree crafted by P.C. welding students, specially decorated with welded ornaments.
Sequim Gazette, Jan. 7, 2015

Illustrating hunger — Local children’s book brings light to national problem
If you tell your best friend you’ll keep something secret, when is it OK to break the promise? Sofia struggles with the promise and the knowledge that her best friend, Maddi, doesn't get enough to eat. Lois Brandt, of Issaquah, wrote a book, “Maddi’s Fridge,” that poses that dilemma. The illustrated children’s book published by Flashlight Press and released in September is a poignant look at something that’s often ignored — hunger. ... Brandt, who teaches English as a second language and creative writing at Bellevue College, has also been thrilled — and a bit surprised — about the book’s reception.
The Issaquah Press, Jan. 6, 2015

Only 13 percent of local residents age 18-24 voted in November
Washington voters younger than 35 overwhelmingly sent more ballots to trash and recycling bins than mailboxes in November’s election. In Cowlitz County, just 13 percent of residents 18 to 24 years old voted, and 18 percent of those 25 to 34 did. ... Jake Rahn, 20, was proudly among the 12 percent of the 18-to-24 age group did vote. “The fact there is almost an entire generation not choosing to give their voice on measures passed and officials elected gives an eerie feeling for future elections to come,” said Rahn, the spokesman for the Associated Students of Lower Columbia College. “Whether this generation is not informed or just doesn’t care, something needs to be done.”
Longview Daily News, Jan. 6, 2015


Elusive data on education and workforce
After eight years of work and $640 million in federal spending, state data systems that seek to link education and the workforce remain riddled with holes. That was the conclusion of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report released in November. The GAO looked at two federal grant programs to support states’ development of “longitudinal" data systems that try to follow students as they move from early education to K-12, college and employment.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 8, 2015

A 'chilly climate' on campus
Women and students of color continue to encounter psychologically damaging racism and sexism on college campuses, creating a climate where students struggle to graduate and are unsure who to turn to for help. That’s according to an article published this week based on the findings of Harvard University’s Voices of Diversity project.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 8, 2015

Gendered skepticism
You can’t argue with hard data about gender bias in science. Except that lots of people do, especially men in online comments about research on the topic. That’s the major finding of a study published today in Psychology of Women Quarterly – that men are much more likely than women to reject findings of sexism in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and even to make sexist comments in response to such research. At the same time, commenters over all are more likely than not to agree that gender bias exists.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 8, 2015

Student loans are poorly aligned with graduate earnings
Student-loan payments are the bane of many new graduates. A recent analysis by the Brookings Institution explains why: The typical new graduate is likely to devote 14 percent of his or her paycheck to student loans. That’s about half of what the average American spends on housing each month. It’s even worse for students who graduate with fine-arts or therapy degrees. They can expect to put more than 20 percent of their pretax income toward paying off student loans. Good news for nursing and engineering majors, though. They’ll need to dedicate less than 10 percent of their initial income to student loans.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 7, 2015

'No discernible growth' in online education market?
The online education market showed "no discernible growth" between the fall of 2012 and 2013, according to a preliminary analysis of the federal government's data on students enrolled in distance education courses. The analysis, conducted by higher education consultant Phil Hill, shows that the number of students enrolled in fully online programs grew from 2.63 million to 2.65 million, a margin small enough to be considered statistical noise as many institutions changed how they reported enrollment data during that period.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 7, 2015

Freezing out young scientists
Ten years ago, a report from a National Academy of Sciences committee sounded an alarm about the barriers that young biomedical scientists face in launching their research careers. If improvements aren’t made, the report warned, there could be dire consequences to the future of biomedical research in the U.S. Since then, the situation has only grown worse, as the share of research money going to young scientists has continued to decline, according to a paper by Johns Hopkins University President Ronald Daniels. The paper was published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 7, 2015

Rating the rankings
U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the best online programs are growing more robust with each iteration, its critics acknowledge, but the publication is exaggerating by calling them the “only resource students can turn to for unbiased information on online programs.” The fourth edition of the rankings, which were introduced in 2012, went live this morning — the latest attempt by the publication to provide an overview of the rapidly expanding number of institutions that offer distance education programs. In three years, the number of ranked programs has nearly doubled, from 677 in 2012 to more than 1,200 this year.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 7, 2015


Guest: Less support for higher-ed hurts students
By State Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater, vice chairman of the House Education Committee. The U.S. student loan debt is almost $1.3 trillion. That's trillion with a “T.” Students and families from Washington state own at least $18.3 billion of that debt, with $1.4 billion in additional borrowing last year alone. ... Our anti-tax hysteria is the largest contributor to this crisis. The rhetoric of over-taxation is not supported by the facts. As demand continues to rise for services such as high-quality schools, colleges and universities, adequate prison facilities and mental health treatment, the revenues that pay for those services are shrinking as a share of our collective income.
Everett Herald, Jan. 7, 2015

Poll: Voters say education top issue for Legislature
A new poll shows that voters rank education as the top issue for lawmakers this year. Independent pollster Stuart Elway said Tuesday that it was the first time in seven years that economy was not named the most important issue. It came in second. The 105-legislative session begins Monday, with lawmakers facing a projected shortfall of more than $2 billion while dealing with a state Supreme Court order to put more money into state education.
The News Tribune, Jan. 6, 2015

Guest: Higher education can’t afford another budget cut
By Bruce Shepard, president of Western Washington University. I look at Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget proposal through one lens: implications for higher education’s ability to serve Washington. While the budget represents real leadership, significant work must be done to shore up funding for higher education. Washington’s revenue approach is broken — designed for an economy that no longer exists: taxing goods when today’s economy is service-based and goods are sold more and more outside the state’s taxing authority. This means that, as the economy grows, state revenues grow more slowly. Budget requirements escalate as population grows, and commitments are locked in through formulaic spending obligations. State support for public higher education is then remorselessly decreased.
The Seattle Times, Jan. 5, 2015

Student tuition now outweighs state funding at public colleges
Driven by higher tuition fees and tighter state funds, America's public colleges now get more money from their students than from all state sources. That's according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, which says tuition revenue reached 25 percent of the colleges' total in 2012. The numbers are stark, with the GAO saying that from fiscal years 2003-2012, "state funding decreased by 12 percent overall while median tuition rose 55 percent across all public colleges." Over that period, funds from state sources fell from 32 percent of total revenue down to 23 percent.
KUOW, Jan. 5, 2015