Thursday, March 19, 2015

News Links | March 19, 2015


Renton, Bremerton colleges on Aspen’s top 10-list
Two Washington community colleges on the short list for a major national prize for excellence didn’t take home the trophy Wednesday. But Renton Technical College and Olympic College in Bremerton did receive recognition for the strength of their programs by the Aspen Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, at a National Press Club ceremony.
The Seattle Times, March 18, 2015

TCC students try to curb hunger during finals week with PB&J giveaway
Tacoma Community College student Beau Jackson couldn’t sleep. But instead of lying in bed thinking of tests he had to take, he was suffering from insomnia tied to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Jackson, the president of TCC’s associated student government, helped organize an effort to hand students close to 700 sandwiches this week during their winter quarter finals. They wanted to give a meal to students, especially those with tight finances, so they have one less thing to worry about during a stressful time. ... The student government association took the idea from Clover Park Technical College. It is a first step toward addressing hunger among students, including some who must decide between paying for tuition and books or their next meal, Jackson said.
The News Tribune, March 18, 2015

Bellevue College DECA team advances to national competition
For years Bellevue College didn't have a DECA team, but all that changed last September when professor Kyle Barber sent out open calls for students interested in competing. "It wouldn't be just an opportunity to teach, but a chance to push for a four-year degree in marketing," he said of his reasons for creating the team and joining Bellevue College last fall. "I wanted to make sure they were put into role plays and challenged to think on their feet." Barber said the turnout was more than he imagined from the student population and after seeing their determination and their skills he and 23 students traveled to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to compete in the Collegiate DECA Pacific Northwest Career Development Conference.
Bellevue Reporter, March 18, 2015

PC faculty earn Roueche awards
Peninsula College journalism professor Rich Riski and multimedia professor Marina Shipova have been selected as 2015 recipients of John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards. The awards, presented annually to outstanding community college instructors from across the county by the League for Innovation in the Community College at its spring Innovations conference, celebrate outstanding contributions and leadership by community college faculty and staff.
Sequim Gazette, March 18, 2015

Bellingham college’s culinary students head to regional cook-off in Las Vegas
In the teaching kitchen at Bellingham Technical College, culinary student Anastasia Lagutochkin squeezed a cut finger lime until the pulp popped out — the little beads of juice looking round as caviar. “See. Isn’t that beautiful?” Lagutochkin said of the citrusy tasting “caviar” that was part of the appetizer she was making during a practice session Friday, Feb. 27. The Bellingham resident was one of five members of the BTC hot food team preparing for the American Culinary Federation’s western regional March 20-21 in Las Vegas.
The Bellingham Herald, March 17, 2015

LCC postpones student vote on quarterly fitness center fee
Voting to approve a new quarterly fee for Lower Columbia College staff and students has been postponed till mid-May in order to clarify which students are eligible to vote. The new $25 quarterly fee for students and $50 quarterly fee for staff would help maintain the new Myklebust Gymnasium and Fitness Center. Staff won’t participate in the vote. Associated Students of LCC President Drew Davidson said Monday the 11-member ASLCC executive council will vote April 7 on whether to approve a change to the group’s bylaws. If the change is approved, only students who pay student services and activities fees can vote.
Longview Daily News, March 17, 2015


Sensing a moment, diversity officers swap tips on improving campus climate
Put 300 campus diversity officers in a room, and they’ll have no shortage of topics to discuss. But this week, when the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education held its annual conference here, one issue came up frequently: the racial climate on college campuses. That topic has claimed the national spotlight, most recently after a video surfaced of several University of Oklahoma fraternity members’ singing a racist anthem. (Two of the students were expelled.) In North Carolina, the recent killings of three young Muslims and a backlash against the call to prayer at Duke University shocked students. And the Black Lives Matter movement, fueled by a recent wave of African-American men’s deaths at the hands of white police officers, also has found a place on campuses. The incident at Oklahoma didn’t come as a surprise, diversity officers said. But it did provide an impetus for college officials to look more closely at race relations on their own campuses.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2015

New .college domain is opportunity for some colleges, worry for others
A college’s online presence isn’t as simple as the classic .edu. The college also has to worry about .com, .net, and .org, to protect its good name. And as of this week, there’s another domain type to worry about: .college. On Tuesday colleges with registered trademarks were given first dibs at .college domains. Trademark holders are eligible to register and obtain domains that exactly match their trademarks — at no charge — until April 17. Another registration phase begins on April 20.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2015

Website aims to replace community colleges
Could an online education resource eliminate the need for community colleges? Such an undertaking might seem drastic, but it’s exactly what the newly re-launched aims to accomplish. More than just a trendy name, offers 19 exclusive courses accepted for credit by the American Council of Education (ACE), and another 30 are currently under review. Students can also submit their scores to more than 2,900 accredited colleges for transfer credit.
eCampus News, March 18, 2015


House would cut student aid more than budget blueprint reveals
Turns out the budget outlook for student aid is even bleaker than it seemed. On Tuesday, Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives released a spending blueprint that would freeze the maximum Pell Grant for 10 years and roll back some recent expansions of the program. On Wednesday they revealed that their plan would also abolish the in-school interest subsidy on Stafford loans, reverse a recent expansion of income-based repayment, and end public-sector loan forgiveness. Those cuts in the federal student-loan programs don’t appear in a budget document that the House Budget Committee released on Tuesday. But when Rep. Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, asked during a markup session on Wednesday if such changes were assumed in the measure, a committee aide confirmed that they were. Taken together, the three changes would save taxpayers more than $61 billion over 10 years, according to budget estimates. But they would also make student loans more expensive for borrowers.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2015

7 arrested protesting higher ed cuts at Senate hearing
A group of demonstrators interrupted a U.S. Senate Budget Committee hearing Wednesday, decrying proposed reductions in higher education spending in the budget blueprints released this week by Congressional Republicans. United States Capitol Police escorted the demonstrators from the hearing room as they chanted, “No cuts, no fees, education should be free.” Seven individuals were arrested, according to public information officer Shennell Antrobus, who said they would each be charged with "crowding, obstructing or incommoding," a misdemeanor under District of Columbia law.
Inside Higher Ed, March 19, 2015

GOP would freeze Pell
Kicking off what will likely be months of contentious budget battles, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday released a 2016 funding blueprint that calls for freezing the maximum Pell Grant award. The proposal, which was spearheaded by the House budget committee chairman, Representative Tom Price of Georgia, would keep the maximum Pell award at the current $5,775 for the next 10 years. It is part of an overall plan that seeks deep cuts in domestic spending in order to bring the federal government’s expenditures into balance with its revenue over the next decade.
Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2015

Opinion: A welcome ‘Bill of Rights’ for student loans
I’m a glass-half-empty person by nature. It’s not that I’m overly pessimistic, but when I focus on the negative, it serves to make me work harder to fix or change something. So with that mindset, after reading President Barack Obama’s “Student Aid Bill of Rights” memorandum last week, I first saw what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t adequately address the problem of the rising student loan debt that is now an astounding $1.3 trillion. It swipes at the issue, but there aren’t any concrete solutions to the rising costs in higher education that have already indebted so many.
Everett Herald Business Journal, March 17, 2015