Tuesday, March 24, 2015

News Links | March 24, 2015


Spokane is test site for federal jobless program
Spokane is one of a handful of national test sites for a new federal program designed to help the chronically unemployed get jobs and get off public assistance. The $200 million program was announced Monday by U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon, who spent the day touring Spokane’s food and nutrition programs. Washington, one of 10 states participating in the effort, will receive $22 million to pay for case workers, skills training, job-based training and support services such as child care and transportation. ... Concannon announced the grant at Spokane Community College, where several hundred students are receiving USDA nutrition assistance.
The Spokesman-Review, March 24, 2015

SVC welding students enhance city sign
Drivers passing through west Mount Vernon can expect to be greeted by an unusual aviary sight. The city of Mount Vernon sign is decked out in snow geese as part of an art project created by Skagit Valley College students. It took seven students more than a month to craft the geese out of metal. The geese were welded to the sign on Friday.
Skagit Valley Herald, March 24, 2015

Students fend off cyber attacks in competition 
A good guy in real life, Robert Hartshorn is no good guy today. "Oh right now? Bad, totally," he laughed. He's a security engineer for Hewlett Packard, exercising his sinister alter ego at Highline College during the 8th Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. "We have 14 teams we're actively attacking," Hartshorn said. About 50 professional cyber security officials banded together to hack teams of college students from across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
KING 5, March 22, 2015

Sammamish seeks Mars Hill Church site for college campus
The city of Sammamish hopes to buy the former Mars Hill Church and its 22-acre site for a future community-college satellite campus. The Sammamish City Council last week authorized a $6.1 million offer on the property after receiving a joint letter of interest from three local colleges, Cascadia, Bellevue and the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. The colleges, all part of the state community-college system, could offer Running Start courses to high-school students at the site.
The Seattle Times, March 22, 2015

State’s harder GED exam draws far fewer takers
In 2013, 18,474 high-school dropouts in Washington state took a wide-ranging exam known as the GED to earn a high-school certificate. About 86 percent — nearly 16,000 — passed. ... After losing her longtime office job last fall, [Elizabeth] Laed is now studying at Highline College to pass the GED, struggling with concepts she hasn’t studied in years, like proportions and square roots. ... One result is High School 21+, a new program that allows dropouts to earn high-school credit by demonstrating they have gained some of the skills they need through work experience. ... Tacoma Community College, which adopted High School 21+ last year, hoped to pilot the program with five to 10 students. But 50 students registered right away, and now more than 100 are enrolled. ... One school — Clark College in Vancouver, Wash. — already has a waiting list of 600 for its program, which it plans to start as early as this summer.
The Seattle Times, March 22, 2015

For love of family, love of the game
Dave Quall doesn’t speak as firmly as he used to. But when the former state legislator and Skagit Valley College coach talks about basketball, everyone listens up all the same. Quall spent 18 years in the state House of Representatives, 11 seasons coaching the Skagit Valley College men’s team and 12 years coaching Mount Vernon High School. Now slowed by Parkinson’s disease, he hasn’t let the condition keep him off the sidelines, instead teaming up with his daughter Kay to coach the eighth-grade girls’ team at LaVenture Middle School in Mount Vernon.
Skagit Valley Herald, March 22, 2015

Military veterans forge new careers with Peninsula College studies
At 24, Lauren Piper has seen plenty. And she knows exactly what she wants. Piper joined the U.S. Air Force a little over five years ago, not long after her 19th birthday, and studied to become a medical technician. Stationed at Texas’ Lackland Air Force Base, Piper served a stateside deployment with war-wounded service members making the transition home. ... She’s among the men and women using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to attend Peninsula College — which is based in Port Angeles and has sites in Port Townsend and Forks — where she’s preparing to enter the nursing program.
Peninsula Daily News, March 21, 2015

Clark College rolls out 2015-20 strategic plan
The Clark College board of trustees approved the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan at its March 18 board meeting. The campus will begin implementing the new plan immediately. The approval represents two years of discussion and work at Clark to clarify the mission, vision, themes and values that will guide the campus over the next five years, said Shanda Diehl, associate vice president for planning effectiveness.
The Columbian, March 21, 2015

Supporting student and workplace diversity — Seattle Colleges gets acclaim
The Seattle Colleges recently received the American Association of Community Colleges award for national equity. The Seattle Colleges system has impressive numbers when it comes to representing diversity. The minority student population is 52 percent. This is in contrast to the combined total minority demographics for King County, Seattle, and Washington state, which is approximately 34 percent. Seattle Colleges also has a diverse workforce of 36 percent.
NW Asian Weekly, March 20, 2015

Opinion: Making decisions in Olympia by thinking of Redmond
By Sen. Andy Hill (R-Redmond). While writing a budget in Olympia that impacts every single Washingtonian and business, I spend a lot of time reviewing massive amounts of data and policies that go into making decisions in the Legislature. ... Another main goal for the session is to again freeze tuition at state colleges and universities. ... But then I think of the many Redmond students I’ve had the privilege to meet attending Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Cascadia College or the University of Washington, among other schools.
Redmond Reporter, March 20, 2015

Education leaders talk success, challenges at annual Chamber luncheon
Budget cuts and state-mandated reforms aren’t keeping local education leaders down. Kelso School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich, Longview School District Interim Superintendent Greg Kirsch and Lower Columbia College President Chris Bailey said they remain optimistic in spite of public education’s recent challenges at the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce’s annual education luncheon Thursday. ... All three educators lamented their struggles with budget cuts. LCC is losing money because of declining enrollment and reduced state support since 2008, Bailey said. Despite that challenge, LCC must keep growing because it provides essential services to the community, he said.
Longview Daily News, March 19, 2015

Metra, Sullivan honored with All-Washington Academic Team placement
South Puget Sound Community College students Brandon Metra and Courtney Sullivan will be honored at the 2015 All-Washington Academic Team ceremony on Thursday, March 26. Gov. Jay Inslee will be on hand to acknowledge recipients at the 20th annual ceremony, hosted by SPSCC. This year’s team consists of 65 students representing all the state’s 34 community and technical colleges.
Thurston Talk, March 19, 2015

BC, CWU partner to expand autism program
This spring Bellevue College and Central Washington University are partnering to expand services and educational opportunities for autistic students at the Ellensburg campus. Four years ago, Bellevue College faculty created Autism Spectrum Navigators as a way to support autistic students in accessing college programs, services and improve communication with instructors. Since 2011, students in the program at Bellevue College have been able to attend support meetings each week with trained peer mentors to help with group classes and discussions, their parents have been able to receive training and they’ve been able to fin assistance with community engagement and education.
Bellevue Reporter, March 19, 2015

CPTC: Interior design students present at portfolio event
Clover Park Technical College Interior Design students showcased their creativity at the program’s annual student portfolio event March 18 in the McGavick Conference Center. Kareen Grothuesmann had the unique opportunity to turn a life event into her final presentation, using a house flip as her project.
The Suburban Times, March 19, 2015

Rep. Denny Heck visits Lakewood Computer Clubhouse
United States Rep. Denny Heck made a special visit to the Lakewood Computer Clubhouse on March 13 to help celebrate the program’s new location in Lochburn Middle School. This free after-school program is operated in partnership with Pierce College, and aims to pair caring mentors with local youth ages 10-18. During his visit, Rep. Heck spent time touring the facility and getting to know the program’s goals and its students.
The Suburban Times, March 18, 2015

Seattle’s The Film School partners with Pierce College
Several lucky Pierce College students will soon have an opportunity to learn the art of screenwriting and storytelling directly from Hollywood pros during The Film School’s Script Development Lab. ... With faculty including Emmy Award-winning actor Tom Skerritt (Top Gun, A River Runs Through It), writer/director Warren Etheredge and Disney Pixar Consultant Brian McDonald, The Film School is dedicated to elevating the craft of storytelling.
The Suburban Times, March 18, 2015

Nuclear Technology program providing qualified workers
Washington River Protection Solutions’ continuing need for qualified workers is being met partly by a local education program the company has supported since 2009. The Columbia Basin College (CBC) Nuclear Technology Program offers a two-year associate of applied science degree in three options: non-licensed operator, radiation protection technician, and instrument and control technician. Since it began in the 2009-2010 school year, 72 students have graduated from the program. At least 50 of the graduates work for Hanford contractors or Energy Northwest.
Washington River Protection Solutions, March 17, 2015


Blogs, essays or both?
Asking students to blog for an audience of their classmates instead of writing an essay for a professor can bring out different qualities in their writing, according to a study published in next month’s volume of Teaching Sociology. But don’t expect instructors to do away with essays just yet.
Inside Higher Ed, March 24, 2015

Online or in-person? One college lets students switch back and forth
When you register for a course, you often have a choice: in-person or online. But at Peirce College, you don’t have to pick one or the other. All students will soon get access to both formats in the same course. Peirce, a college in Philadelphia that caters specifically to adult learners, plans to allow its students to switch back and forth between attending class in person or online, based on which is more convenient for them on a given week. The flexible delivery model will be offered in certain programs this fall and it will be extended to the college’s entire curriculum by September of 2016. The initiative is part of the college’s 2015-2018 strategic plan.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 24, 2015

Video: NSF gearing up to boost women in science
The director of the National Science Foundation, France A. Córdova, is devising strategies to improve the standing of female scientists, who are paid less and promoted less often than men are, make up a smaller percentage of invited speakers at scientific conferences, win fewer grants, and have higher rates of career attrition than do their male counterparts.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2015


College for convicts
Ask anyone who runs a correctional education program for evidence, and you’ll likely hear a lot about a 2013 study by the RAND Corporation. Experts called it a helpful — powerful, even — demonstration of how effective prison education can be. ... In Washington state, a group of lawmakers is hoping to repeal a law that bans the Department of Corrections from offering postsecondary education. A similar bill passed the state’s House of Representatives last year but didn’t make it out of a Senate committee.
Inside Higher Ed, March 24, 2015

Alexander’s Higher Ed Act agenda
The leading Republican in the Senate who is working on a rewrite of the Higher Education Act is weighing new ways to hold colleges accountable for their students’ success and is considering a federal database to keep track of student outcomes. Senator Lamar Alexander on Monday released three policy papers outlining ideas on making colleges share in the financial risk of the federal loans they provide students,overhauling accreditation and changing how the federal government collects data from colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, March 24, 2015

Opinion: Reining in cost of college a priority
High school seniors waiting for college acceptance letters, we feel your pain. But our nation has collective pain from the college process that is more worrisome. College costs too much for what students are getting and for what we as a society get in return. And, as usual, Congress is doing nothing about it.
The Seattle Times, March 22, 2015