Thursday, February 12, 2015

News Links | February 12, 2015


Spokane Falls Community College to offer bachelor's degree
Spokane Falls Community College will begin offering a four-year applied science degree in the fall to help prepare students for jobs in computer-related fields. The school expects about two-dozen students who have already earned associate's degrees in computer technology. In their third and fourth years, they'll be charged tuition equal to the amount paid by students at Eastern Washington University.
The Daily Astorian, Feb. 12, 2015

EDC hands out annual awards
At a meeting of the Clallam Economic Development Council members on Jan. 30, First Federal was recognized as the EDC’s Business of the Year and county commissioner Jim McEntire was recognized as the EDC’s Individual of the Year. Both received the EDC Olympic Leader Award. The awards were presented by Dr. Luke Robins, president of Peninsula College, and by EDC Executive Director Bill Greenwood. Robins announced the establishment, with the EDC and the Peninsula College Foundation, of two new student scholarships at Peninsula College, to be named each year in honor of the EDC Olympic Award winners.
Sequim Gazette, Feb. 11, 2015

Special ‘welcome home’ for Vietnam vets
Martin Spani stepped forward to present the Vietnam veterans flag and to say some words few veterans of that conflict heard when they returned stateside. “Let me begin by saying — finally — welcome home,” said Spani, of Lynnwood, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1040. It's been more than 50 years since the United States formally involved itself in Vietnam's civil war. Around 40 Vietnam veterans and their families gathered in the longhouse at the Hibulb Cultural Center Feb. 7 to be honored for their service. During the ceremony Chris Szarek, who runs the veteran resource center at Edmonds Community College, read a proclamation in which the president called on local, state, and federal officials to seek out and honor the veterans of the Vietnam War and their families.
Everett Herald, Feb. 11, 2015

Sikh student at Whatcom Community College excels after escaping prejudice
On Sukhdip Singh’s first day at Whatcom Community College, a student walked by him on campus, smiled and said “hey.” It was a simple gesture that meant a lot for the 20-year-old Sikh from Greece. “In Greece I would not have experienced that, because of my race,” Singh said. Since that day, Singh has flourished in his two years at Whatcom Community College as he works toward his goal of becoming a doctor. Along the way, he also hopes to alter misconceptions about people who, like him, wear a turban as part of their religion. ... Since he’s been at Whatcom Community College, he has earned a 4.0 grade point average and has become active in student government. He was one of five students to receive the 2015 Transforming Lives Award from the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges, which recognizes students across the state who have overcome barriers to achieve their college goals.
The Bellingham Herald, Feb. 10, 2015

WHS graduate is involved in fish fundraiser
Donations toward artwork created by a former local resident will enable the Port of Camas-Washougal to install additional art pieces along a waterfront trail. The trail and park, which is expected to break ground within the next few months, will include part of the former Hambleton Lumber Company site. A prototype of a salmon-shaped piece of stainless steel, created by Malo Hasselblad, is available to view at the port office. ... Hasselblad, a 1997 Washougal High School graduate, studied welding technology at Clark College.
Camas Post-Record, Feb. 10, 2015

Swift success
Career-minded students looking for a growth industry with a promising future, take note: the composites industry is booming, and in need of skilled workers. Composites are big business, here in the Pacific Northwest and around the globe. Per global market research firm Lucintel, the industry is projected to grow nearly 7 percent annually and reach $35.1 billion by 2019. In Washington, robust growth is driven largely by the aerospace industry and its need for light, durable building materials that boost fuel efficiency, said Mary Kaye Bredeson, executive director of the Center of Excellence for Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing, housed at Everett Community College, near Boeing’s Everett Factory.
AWB Washington Business, winter 2015

Supply in demand
Washington’s Center of Excellence for Global Trade & Supply Chain Management helps ensure that the goods Americans use — and the products we create and ship around the world — make it to their destination on time. Located at Highline College, this center of excellence is well-positioned between Washington’s two largest ports as it prepares students for high-paying jobs in logistics and supply chain management.
AWB Washington Business, winter 2015


Fulbright program seeks to get more community colleges involved in exchanges
When someone mentions the Fulbright Program, it often evokes images of venerable researchers from elite institutions traveling to far-flung corners of the world. But the U.S. State Department is doing more to make sure that faculty members and others from community colleges also benefit from the exchange program, with the goal of getting more international perspectives into community-college campuses and classrooms. Like those enrolled at four-year colleges, community-college students will be entering an increasingly globalized work force. But they often have fewer opportunities to study abroad because many of them work, have families, or face financial hardships. What’s more, while more international students are coming to community colleges in recent years, students from overseas tend to enroll at research institutions — meaning students at two-year institutions have far fewer opportunities to meet or share views with a foreign peer.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 12, 2015

New energy for 2-year colleges
Community college leaders arrived here this week for their annual legislative at a time when the political chattering about their institutions appears to be at a fever pitch. Public two-year colleges, which are scattered across nearly every Congressional district, have long enjoyed bipartisan support, if not necessarily funding,in Washington. But President Obama’s free community college proposal has pushed the discourse around public two-year colleges in a new direction, leaders say. Whether that spotlight and attention will translate into actual victories for the institutions in Congress, though, is an open question.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 12, 2015

Finding the right formula
Performance-based funding in higher education is spreading, with 35 states either developing or using formulas that link support for public colleges to student completion rates, degree production numbers or other metrics. The resulting debate over whether performance funding works is heating up, too. But a new report from HCM Strategists makes the case that there is great variation among the policies in those 35 states. It seeks to classify four types of formulas to help inform policy makers, researchers and higher education officials.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 12, 2015

The community college/‘real college’ divide
We often speak in this country of a red and blue state divide. Here’s another divide: people who believe in community colleges, and people who dismiss and even diminish them. It’s true, community colleges are not the kind of places that pride themselves on 10 percent acceptance rates. Rather, they pride themselves on their open door policies. That’s because access is part of their mission. It’s one of the reasons that 46 percent of our nation’s undergraduates are enrolled in community college. Community college is real college. Real students must accrue real credits to earn real diplomas. Many students transfer from their real community colleges to real universities, while others enroll in real work force programs and go straight to real jobs. And by the way, they make real money and real contributions to the economy and their communities.
The New York Times, Feb. 11, 2015

The new bachelor's payoff
Doubts about the labor-market returns of bachelor’s degrees, while never serious, can be put to rest. Last month’s federal jobs report showed a rock-bottom unemployment rate of 2.8 percent for workers who hold at least a four-year degree. The overall unemployment rate is 5.7 percent. But even that welcome economic news comes with wrinkles. A prominent financial analyst last week signaled an alarm that employers soon may face a shortage of job-seeking college graduates. And the employment report was a reminder of continuing worries about “upcredentialing” by employers, who are imposing new degree requirements on jobs.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 11, 2015

Professors know about high-tech teaching methods, but few use them
Innovation is sweeping the world of higher education, but not all faculty members are embracing it in their classrooms. A new survey from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has found that 40 percent of the professors surveyed use or are interested in using innovative techniques and technologies. But of that 40 percent, only half — or 20 percent of the overall survey sample — have actually used them.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 10, 2015


Ratings release draws nearer
Officials with the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday revealed a slightly earlier estimate for when colleges may get a glimpse of the Obama administration's controversial college ratings. The department aims to come out with its first version of college ratings by late spring or early summer, according to Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell, who spoke about the plan at the Association of Community College Trustees' National Legislative Summit.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 11, 2015

Rep. Hansen introduces bill to alert students about college opportunities
Colleges would reach out directly to high-achieving, low-income high schoolers to boost their admission rates under HB 1812 a bill introduced by Rep. Drew Hansen. ... Modeled after a program that produced dramatic results — students who received the mailers applied to 20 percent more colleges and were 30 percent more likely to gain admission to a selective institution — the bill calls for the state to mail information about public and private colleges, including financial aid information and application fee waivers, to high-achieving, low-income high school students.