Thursday, March 12, 2015

News Links | March 12, 2015


Students try on turbans for first time at Whatcom Community College event
For at least one day, people not wearing a turban were the minority in the student center at Whatcom Community College. On Tuesday, March 10, the college held a Turban Awareness Day in the Syre Student Center on campus. The event attracted community members and students who wanted to learn about, and try wearing, turbans. ... The process can take half an hour for people less experienced in tying turbans. For others, like student Sukhdip Singh, it takes only a couple minutes. He ties his turban twice a day. Singh organized the event in an effort to quash the misconception he says many people still have that a person wearing a turban is potentially a terrorist. Singh escaped that kind of prejudice in Greece and has wanted to organize a Turban Awareness Day ever since he joined the student government at Whatcom Community College.
Bellingham Herald, March 11, 2015

Local women welders are in high demand
The New Tech Skills center is partnering up with almost 40 schools in 11 different districts. Many of those students spend half of their day taking classes such as welding. Normally, it is men who are in the program, but lately it's been women that are in high demand. ... Others may go onto more advanced welding programs like one at Spokane Community College.
KREM, March 11, 2015

Plane donated to Big Bend aviation maintenance
A single-engine aircraft popular with bush pilots around the world was donated to the Big Bend Community College aviation maintenance technology program. The Helio Courier hit the runway at the Grant County International Airport on March 3, said college spokesperson Doug Sly. It was donated by the Boeing Corporation, and under the company's rules for aircraft donation, is permanently grounded, Sly said.
Columbia Basin Herald, March 11, 2015

Chef, professor shed new light on staple vegetable in first ‘Food for Thought’ event; dinner to follow on March 27
The lowly potato was the star of a presentation Wednesday and will be the featured food at a dinner later this month. The potato is a dietary staple but also has tremendous historical and cultural importance, Port Townsend High School students were told. “Almost none of us would be here if not for the potato,” said Peninsula College professor Wes Cecil, who conducted the assembly program along with Jefferson Healthcare hospital chef Arran Stark.
Peninsula Daily News, March 11, 2015

Aerospace program helps students soar
After getting a taste of what aerospace work is like, Christian Espinoza is thinking more about a job in manufacturing. The Mount Vernon High School student is half-way through the one-year aerospace program in Anacortes at the Northwest Career & Technical Academy. ... The program started in the fall of 2013 after input from Boeing as well as Janicki Industries, Hexcel and Goodwinds in Mount Vernon. Ware said it is industry-endorsed and industry-supported. It is only offered for high school students now, but will be opened up to Skagit Valley College students in the fall. High school students can earn college credit.
Go Anacortes, March 11, 2015

CPTC: Esthetic Sciences students volunteer at women’s health event
Esthetic Sciences students from Clover Park Technical College volunteered at a community event at the Carol Milgard Breast Center in Tacoma on March 6. Eight students in their third or fourth quarter performed hand massages and distributed information about skin care and the importance of sun protection. This was the second year the Esthetic Sciences Program was invited to participate in the event, which is for women who have no insurance or are under insured.
The Suburban Times, March 11, 2015

Careers conference helps students find their vocation
The morning of March 5, Jaime Baker sat at the front of a basement meeting room in Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church talking to a group of high school students. ... Baker’s plainspoken about the challenges that lay ahead for someone who chooses to become an import mechanic. An associate degree with an emphasis on auto skills has become a must. Then there’s specialty training--Baker’s specialty, BMWs, requires a year-long fast track certification program typically offered by the Universal Technical Institute, though the program’s expanded to public two-year institutions like Renton Technical College. After all that, mechanics can expect to invest in up to $10,000 of tools and work poor hours until they prove themselves reliable, Baker said.
Issaquah Reporter, March 10, 2015

Washington Center showcases Bleha’s eye-popping sculptural paintings
When painter Bernie Bleha speaks about his work, he uses the term “paint by numbers.” And he means it literally, though there is nothing pre-fab about his vividly colored abstract sculptural paintings, on view at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. ... “The excitement in my work is in the first hour when I have that drawing going,” said Bleha of Rochester, who was chairman of the Fine Arts Division of Green River College for 32 years until he retired in 2000. “After that, it is just plain work. I could probably train a chimpanzee to do the rest of it after I do the drawing.”
The Olympian, March 10, 2015

Washington Avenue at Centralia College to be closed in July
Centralia College is in the process of replacing the old student commons building with a larger facility, closing Washington Avenue permanently to traffic and creating a pedestrian mall. According to Bill Sloan, project architect with MSGS Architects in Olympia, the avenue would be closed from Pear Street to Centralia College Boulevard to create an esplanade for pedestrian traffic. The new commons area, which is set to be approximately 70,000 square feet, would replace the current structure that sits at the corner of Centralia College Boulevard and Ash Street.
Centralia Chronicle, March 10, 2015

CPTC: New tenured faculty
The Clover Park Technical College Board of Trustees awarded tenure to instructors Marla Briggs, Lara Cooper, Ken Markovits and Jody Randall on March 4. The instructors completed a three-year process that included significant observation, assessment and feedback. Each instructor was highly recommended by their tenure committee.
The Suburban Times, March 10, 2015

Centralia College Foundation helps fund capstone projects
The Centralia College Foundation recently approved $10,000 to help fund student research projects in 2015. The money can be used to complete Capstone Projects across different disciplines, and up to $500 may be available for an individual or $2,500 for a group. In the third year of the Capstone Projects at the college, rapid growth has been seen, requiring assistance from other areas of the college. This is the first year the foundation has offered financial support for the projects.
Centralia Chronicle, March 3, 2015


Can Robert Putnam save the American Dream?
The event is billed as a lecture on a new book of social science. But the speaker visiting Cambridge’s Lesley University this Monday night sounds like a political candidate on the hustings. Robert D. Putnam — Harvard political scientist, trumpeter of community revival, consultant to the last four presidents ­— is on campus to sound an alarm. "What I want to talk to you about," he tells some 40 students and academics, is "the most important domestic challenge facing our country today. I want to talk about a growing gap between rich kids and poor kids."
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 12, 2015

What's in a name?
Politicians in Georgia are pushing forward with a proposal to rebrand the state’s technical college system, despite opposition from retired college leaders and the system's regional accreditor. The bill would rename the Technical College System of Georgia the Career College System of Georgia. Republican Governor Nathan Deal introduced the idea in January, saying the change would better reflect what the colleges do and help to attract more students. But a group of 20 retired presidents of Georgia’s technical colleges and the president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges say differently. The association is the regional accreditor for the system’s 23 colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, March 12, 2015

Next phase for Gates's completion agenda
After spending roughly half a billion dollars on the college completion agenda during the last seven years, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is ready to be more assertive about what it thinks should happen in four key areas of higher education policy. The foundation lays out what an official there calls its "strategy reboot" in a newly released document. It describes a focus on data and information, finance and financial aid, college readiness, and innovation and scale.
Inside Higher Ed, March 11, 2015

Opinion: Career and technical education should be the rule, not the exception
It's hard to argue with the success of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, which teach transferable workplace skills and academic content in a hands-on context. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently characterized CTE programs as providing "instruction that is hands-on and engaging, as well as rigorous and relevant." He went on to say that CTE programs "are helping to connect students with the high-demand science, technology, engineering and math fields -- where so many good jobs are waiting." Furthermore, in recognizing CTE month on the House floor, Rep. James Langevin recently stated, "CTE is an investment in the future of our economy, our workforce and our country." Despite these benefits of CTE, only about one in four students (28.6 percent) earned five or more CTE credits, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Most students have some interaction with CTE during their high school experience, but few are immersing themselves in CTE programs.
Gallup, March 10, 2015


Feds’ debt collector drama
Two of the debt collection companies that the U.S. Department of Education earlier this month accused of misleading borrowers could potentially continue to collect defaulted loans on the department’s behalf under a different contract. Coast Professional and National Recoveries were among the five companies whose contracts the department said it would end, citing “materially inaccurate representations” they made to borrowers who were trying to get their loans out of default. But while the department won’t give the two companies any more business under their 2009 contracts, newer agreements they have with the department so far appear to be unaffected by the allegations of misleading borrowers.
Inside Higher Ed, March 12, 2015

Senate passes bill to cut tuition at state universities, colleges
The Washington state Senate passed a bill Wednesday to cut tuition at the state's public universities and community colleges. Senate Bill 5954, which passed on a 37-12 bipartisan vote, would link tuition at state schools to a percentage of the average wage for Washington workers. It will now be considered by the House. Tuition would be highest at the state's two research universities, Washington State University and the University of Washington. At lower tiers, the state's regional universities and community colleges would have their tuition rates set to lower percentages of the state's average wage.
KOMO News, March 11, 2015

Lawmaker asks Education Dept. for clarity in dispute over campus counseling records
A U.S. congresswoman has asked the U.S. Education Department to clarify a provision of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as Ferpa, that may allow colleges to view and release students’ counseling records. Suzanne Bonamici, an Oregon Democrat, on Wednesday wrote a letter to the department’s chief privacy officer, Kathleen M. Styles, seeking to clear up ambiguity surrounding the distinction between a student’s education records and his or her treatment records.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 11, 2015

What Obama’s ‘Student Aid Bill of Rights’ will — and won’t — do
President Obama’s latest effort to improve student lending has a catchy-sounding name — the Student Aid Bill of Rights — and it’s garnering praise from consumer advocates and Congressional Democrats. But does it actually alter the student-lending landscape? Yes and no. The "bill of rights," and an accompanying memorandum that the president announced on Tuesday at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will make it a little easier for borrowers to stay current on their debt payments and to file complaints against the companies that manage their loans. But the president’s steps won’t ease students’ debt burdens or make it easier for struggling borrowers to discharge that debt. And they don’t fundamentally change how the government services student loans.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 11, 2015