Tuesday, February 17, 2015

News Links | February 17, 2015


Moving ahead with competency
The online, competency-based certificate Bellevue College offered last year was a hit with students. In fact, the certificate in business software was so popular that the two-year college in Washington state decided to drop its conventional online version. ... Columbia Basin College, which is the system’s lead institution for the business degree, received approval from its regional accreditor for the program. ... Seven other two-year colleges in Washington, including Bellevue, plan to sign on and begin offering the competency-based associate degree later this year.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 17, 2015

Clark College department, program name changed
Clark College has changed the name of an established business assistance program, saying the new name and program improvements reflect the college's desire to meet the better serve Southwest Washington businesses and "community learners." The program is now called Economic & Community Development, a name that replaces Corporate and Continuing Education.
The Columbian, Feb. 17, 2015

Business After School: Students exposed to in-demand careers
Business After School helps high school-aged youth and young adults explore career opportunities in high-growth industries and gather information about job skills they'll need. ... Developed by Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council, the program is designed for young adults ages 16 to 21 who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math careers. ... The programs partners are: Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council developed the program with the Columbia River Economic Development Council, Cowlitz Economic Development Council, Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce, Clark College, Washington State University Vancouver and Lower Columbia College.
The Columbian, Feb. 16, 2015

Big Bend construction project still on track for funding
Funding for the planning process for a new professional-technical building at Big Bend Community College made the first cut in the 2015-17 state budget. ... The BBCC building is 12th on the capital budget list, behind construction projects that have already started and continuing maintenance allocations.
Columbia Basin Herald, Feb. 14, 2015

Community colleges examine possibilities with Obama plan, BAS programs
The ripples felt by President Barack Obama's proposal to provide two years of education at American community colleges can be felt at Green River [College]. "It's kind of exciting. We're waiting to hear more details about it," said Allison Friedly, Green River College communications director. Friedly said the college is still waiting to see what could happen if it receives the grant money. The influx of students would require another upgrade to facilities and services.
Auburn Reporter, Feb. 13, 2015

Opinion: Show your support for higher ed
By Dr. Eileen Ely, president of Green River College, and Pete Lewis, former Auburn mayor and chair of the college's board of trustees. Cuts in funding to higher education in Washington are a disservice to the people of our state. Last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published data that illustrated how people who have earned a college degree will receive better wages and have lower unemployment than their counterparts who have not attained a degree. A college degree has become essential to workers in today's economy. It is the only means of ensuring a livable wage and consistent employment.
Auburn Reporter, Feb. 12, 2015

CPTC: Comfortable in her own skin
Taylor Conley has discovered a new confidence as a student in Clover Park Technical College’s Esthetic Sciences Program. Now the aspiring master esthetician is studying to help others find the same feeling. “Making people feel comfortable and confident in their own skin is the best feeling,” the first-quarter student said.
The Suburban Times, Feb. 12, 2015

Cookie hunt: Delicious cookies around Tacoma for Valentine’s Day
I found three bakeries with cookies that would work as well for a dinner party as they would for a Valentine’s Day gift. Try it: Pecan shortbread with chocolate-caramel filling, 95 cents. Where: Bon Sucre Bistro and Bakery at Clover Park Technical College. The bakery case at Clover Park Technical College’s Bon Sucre Bistro is a tasty byproduct of whatever assignment the pastry arts students are tackling at the moment. That also means what you find today in the student bakery might not be there tomorrow. But I’ve been assured that they will be stocking the excellent shortbread cookies I found on campus last week.
The News Tribune, Feb. 11, 2015


Dropout-adjusted outcomes
Most research on the payoff of attending community college actually doesn’t measure the effect of attending, but rather what happens for those who graduate. Yet when the majority of students who enroll in community colleges don’t complete their programs, the financial benefit should be adjusted given the likelihood of failure. That’s the philosophy driving a recently published report that tries to measure the economic benefit of two-year college for the mass of dropouts.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 16, 2015


Expensive college textbooks targeted by two Puyallup legislators
Aware of the toll on students’ wallets, two Puyallup Republican legislators are looking to reduce college textbook expenses. Rep. Hans Zeiger wants to cap it at $100 per book. He introduced House Bill 1958, which would restrict professors from requiring books above that amount unless no comparable lower-cost material is available. The bill would apply to community and technical colleges as well as four-year state universities. ... Rep. Melanie Stambaugh also wants to reduce those expenses for students. She proposed House Bill 1973 to establish a pilot program at Eastern Washington University. The school’s libraries would give up to 10 professors grant money to create and assign course materials other than textbooks. That includes online materials and videos. For students who want a hard copy to highlight and write in, Stambaugh said the school could partner with an on-campus printing source, which would be cheaper than a private publishing company.
The News Tribune, Feb. 15, 2015

A plan for deregulating higher ed
To the delight of many colleges and universities, Senator Lamar Alexander plans to approach the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act as a gardening activity. The Tennessee Republican, who chairs the Senate's education committee, has said his top priority is to weed out burdensome regulations and requirements in the law, which governs federal financial aid.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 13, 2015

GOP lawmakers propose university-tuition cuts — but no plan to pay for them
Two Washington state senators have offered a plan to cut tuition in the state’s public universities and community colleges — provided the money can be found to pay for it. “That’s the million-dollar question,” said bill sponsor Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, when asked where the estimated $226 million to cover the expense of the proposed tuition cuts would come from. Lawmakers are facing a projected budget shortfall of more than $2 billion. Braun and Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, held a news conference Thursday to discuss their bill to cap tuition costs at the state’s public universities and colleges at a percentage of the average wage of the state, currently $52,635.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 12, 2015