Tuesday, February 10, 2015

News Links | February 10, 2015


Lake Washington Institute of Technology students produce magazine: Lion’s Pride
An online browse through Lake Washington Institute of Technology’s The Lion’s Pride is an adventure in student creativity. The writing, photography, music, art and video give new meaning to school work. In the words of student Natasha Tucker, a photography student whose photo series includes a pink haired woman in a fanciful yellow and turquoise dress checking an automobile’s oil level (page 46), the work in this publication is where “the ordinary meets the extraordinary.”
Kirkland Reporter, Feb. 10, 2015

Student retention at 10-year high at CBC
Student retention is at a 10-year high at Columbia Basin College, with Hispanic students the most likely to be in school a year after enrolling. Six out of 10 Hispanic students were enrolled at the college a year after beginning classes in the 2012-13 school year, according to an academic monitoring report from the college, compared with five out of 10 students seven years ago. Retention of white students at the college also was among the highest it’s been in years but slightly lower than that of Hispanic students.
Tri-City Herald, Feb. 9, 2015

Grays Harbor College President in support of 2 years free college for all
The Grays Harbor College tells KXRO that President Ed Brewster recently met with Governor Jay Inslee to discuss critical issues in higher education. Joined by other community college presidents, the group focused on their support for full funding for residents from preschool into college.
KXRO News Radio, Feb. 9, 2015

Bates Technical College: Army spouse pursues non-traditional career
The wife of an Army chemical corps member, Diana Hoffmann and her family were used to moving around. Within six years, the family had called five states their home. Because of the frequent moves and the timing, Diana, who holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, found it difficult to land a teaching job. So she decided to delay her dream to become a science teacher and pursue a different career path. Stationed at JBLM , her husband mentioned a WorkForce Central program that offered veterans and military spouses a year of tuition-free education in Bates Technical College’s Diesel and Heavy Equipment Mechanic program.
The Suburban Times, Feb. 9, 2015

Three will receive Iris Awards
Lisa Schauer, Lori Pulliam and Victoria Bradford will be recognized as women of achievement in Southwest Washington at the Iris Awards presented by Clark College on March 5. ... Celebrating the lasting and far-reaching contributions of women in Southwest Washington, the award is sponsored by the college, the Clark College Foundation, Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and the Vancouver Business Journal.
The Columbian, Feb. 9, 2015

School winners
Veteran honored for work at EdCC. Edmonds Community College alumnus Chester Curtis was one of five community college students statewide to earn a $500 “Transforming Lives” award from the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges.
Everett Herald, Feb. 9, 2015

Editorial: Cut books and cut costs with open course picks
The average cost of a new textbook at the Eastern Washington University bookstore is $97. Welcome to higher education. Students and professors have complained about book costs for decades, especially in the case of standard texts that are revamped every year or two with an extra comma or so, making the older volumes obsolete and worthless for resale. The high costs have become less defensible as more instructional material becomes available on the Internet. ... Washington’s community college system pioneered open course, and remains a leader in the field. The Washington Board for Community and Technical Colleges offers instructional materials for 81 courses that are used not just in Washington, but in any college that wants them – at no cost. The packages include course syllabi, readings, videos and assessments.
The Spokesman-Review, Feb. 8, 2015

Fife High School senior scores a rare perfect ACT test
Kodi Cumbo says he could have been better prepared for the ACT exam. His perfect score says otherwise. Fife High School Principal Amanda Fox said the 17-year-old senior is the first student in the school’s history to earn the highest possible composite score of 36 on the assessment, which universities use to evaluate high school graduates seeking higher education. ... He’s editor-in-chief of the school’s magazine, president of Key Club, vice president of Technology Student Association and an active member of the Future Business Leaders of America. He also regularly volunteers at the food bank in Edgewood and works at the Fife Dairy Queen — all while working toward his associate’s degree at Tacoma Community College as a full-time Running Start student.
The News Tribune, Feb. 8, 2015

Oak Harbor teen turns from ‘angry child’ to Youth of the Year competition
Nikki Barone can laugh now when she thinks back to the time she first met Erika Aguilar. It was the fall of 2007 and Barone was still relatively new to the staff at the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Harbor. From day one, Aguilar, then a sixth-grader at Oak Harbor Middle School, posed a unique challenge. ... Aguilar is now a freshman at Skagit Valley College and works part-time at the Boys & Girls Club, where she oversees the kindergarten program. Her dedication to the club is partly why she was recently honored. Youth of the Year is the premier recognition program for Boys & Girls Club members, honoring them for their service to the club and community, academic success, and strong moral character.
Whidbey News-Times, Feb. 7, 2015

Using housing vouchers to improve education
Five years ago, Chrystal Olson was on drugs. She was tired of dragging her children along in that lifestyle in Tacoma, Wash. Today, Olson, 36, is in the PTA at McCarver Elementary School in Tacoma. She has a job, working as a cashier at Kmart. She completed her GED last year and will go to Tacoma Community College in the spring to finish her degree. Olson’s family and 38 others are participating in a pilot program run by the Tacoma Housing Authority. The idea is to give housing vouchers to families with children enrolled at McCarver Elementary. Three years in, it seems that turnover at the school and its ill effects have tapered off. Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently pointed to the program as a way of “thinking differently” about the relationship between public housing and education.
US News & World Report, Feb. 6, 2015

Bellevue College to offer new bachelor's accounting degree
After nearly eight months of work and submissions, students at Bellevue College will have a new four-year degree opportunity. On Thursday the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges approved its application to offer a bachelor of applied science in applied accounting.
Bellevue Reporter, Feb. 6, 2015

Editorial: Remote testimony would bridge state's east, west gap
We live in a remarkable age where affordable technology exists to reach others and stay connected with friends, family and business associates. Many people have smartphones with the ability to shoot video and quickly go online by tapping a screen. For all the negatives written about the dangers of online abuses, such as Internet pornography and cyberbullying, we believe positives abound with online capabilities. It is exciting to explore all the possibilities. ... A solution that's being explored is allowing residents to provide testimony at Spokane Community College in Spokane and Columbia Basin College in Pasco. Big Bend Community College officials in Moses Lake are also considering the option, according to a Jan. 29 article in the Columbia Basin Herald.
Columbia Basin Herald, Feb. 6, 2015

CPTC: A sweet side of Chicago
Mollie Stewart knows to reach big dreams she has to take big steps. A graduate of Clover Park Technical College’s Pastry Arts Program, Stewart took a major first step to Chicago last fall, where the aspiring pastry chef was hired at Nico Osteria, an authentic Italian seafood restaurant. After a successful three-month internship on the pastry line, Stewart was hired on and will relocate from Tacoma to her new home later this month.  Her husband, Rob Stewart, is finishing CPTC’s Culinary Arts Program this quarter and will join Mollie in Chicago, where he will also get his start in the industry.
The Suburban Times, Feb. 6, 2015

American Technical Training Fund: Creating a Strong Training Pipeline to Middle-Class Jobs
Juan Rodriguez is a 33-year-old son of migrant farm workers and the father of three school-aged children. He recently earned an associate’s degree in welding technology from Lake Washington Institute of Technology. ... He credits the education and training he received at LWIT with helping him reach his dream of securing a good job that allows him to support his family without public assistance.
Department of Education's Homeroom, Feb. 5, 2015

CPTC hosts regional automotive competition
Clover Park Technical College’s Automotive Program hosted the 2015 SkillsUSA South Puget Sound Regional Automotive Competition Jan. 31. Automotive students from Auburn High School, Puyallup High School, Sumner High School, White River High School, Kentridge High School, Decatur High School and the Pierce County Skills Center competed in two divisions: automotive service and automotive maintenance. CPTC’s Automotive faculty and students judged the students in a variety of timed hands-on service stations that included diagnostics, electrical, brakes and engine repair. This year marked CPTC’s fourth year of involvement in hosting the South Puget Sound competition, which is the largest contest of the six regional competitions in the state.
The Suburban Times, Feb. 5, 2015


Rate my word choice
Many professors cringe when they think about the way they are described on Rate My Professors, the popular site used by students to evaluate faculty members. A new tool allows those being rated (or anyone) to see the way students tend to use different words when rating male and female professors — generally to the disadvantage of the latter.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 9, 2015

So much for bachelor's degrees not having value
It's become fashionable among some pundits and politicians to question the economic value of the bachelor's degree. But the latest unemployment figures, which show good hiring trends across the board, suggest to Bloomberg Business that there is one possible labor market problem for bachelor's degree holders: there may not be enough of them.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 9, 2015

Beliefs about raw talent can skew academic career choices
Who performs the best: Students who believe they’re naturally smart or students who believe they get smarter through effort? Research suggests it’s the latter. Students who think they’re born with smarts are reluctant to jeopardize their self-image with challenging tasks. On the flip side, students who belong to groups stereotyped as naturally inferior may get anxious about those biases and perform below their potential on tests. A recent study suggests those attitudes may help shape university careers, too.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 6, 2015

Follow the money
Lots of colleges and universities acknowledge troublesome — if relatively small — gaps in pay among men and women professors, and among white and minority professors. But it’s a hard thing to study and address, given the many variables and competing theories involved. So a new, comprehensive study of tenure-line faculty salaries at the University of California at Berkeley — along with an administrative pledge to close revealed gaps — is getting a lot of attention.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 6, 2015


In FAFSA simplification, complexity
It seems, all of a sudden, that there’s a rush among policy makers in Washington to chop off questions from the 108-question Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA. ... The agreement on FAFSA simplification reflects a consensus among many that the complex questionnaire scares some families off -- and that a simple form would boost enrollments of low-income students. But many colleges and states want to put the brakes on the race to eliminate as many FAFSA questions as possible.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 9, 2015

Obama says students should ‘get the best skills possible,’ quickly and cheaply
Middle-class college students should have more opportunities to "get the best skills possible," as quickly and cheaply as possible, and making community-college tuition free would help achieve that goal, President Obama said on Friday during an address at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. Speaking and answering questions from students at the headquarters of one of the nation’s largest statewide community-college systems, the president touted his free-tuition proposal and said that heading straight to a four-year college isn’t for everyone.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 6, 2015

Obama explains reversal on plan to tax 529 accounts
President Obama said Friday that the popularity of 529 college savings accounts made him abandon a proposal to end the tax benefits of those accounts just days after first proposing it. "It wasn’t worth it for us to eliminate it," he said during remarks at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. "The savings weren’t that great.”
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 9, 2015

Waiting for the FCC
College and university chief information officers are unsure of what to make of the Federal Communications Commission’s hard line on blocking personal wireless hot spots and whether it applies to higher education. Nearly a year after the issue emerged, the agency still has yet to clarify.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 6, 2015

Income-based repayment costs rising
The Obama administration revealed this week that extending its income-based repayment program to 5 million existing student loan borrowers will cost taxpayers more than $9 billion. The price tag for the expansion of the Pay As You Earn program had not previously been made public but was included as part of the administration’s annual budget. It came as the U.S. Department of Education also raised its estimate of the long-term cost to the government of all federal direct loans.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 6, 2015

Trade anxiety
European higher education leaders are concerned that two trade agreements currently being negotiated could cast doubt on the ability of national and regional governments to determine the character of their higher education systems. At issue are the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), for which negotiators from the European Union and the United States entered their eighth round of talks this week, and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which is being negotiated between 23 World Trade Organization members, including the E.U. and the U.S.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 6, 2015