Thursday, March 5, 2015

News Links | March 5, 2015


Energy Adviser: Businesses go green to save energy
Businesses in Clark County are learning what it means to be green. Since 2012, 50 businesses have gone through the county's Green Business program and been certified to claim the distinction. To get the county's green seal of approval, businesses must complete assessments in six areas — stormwater, waste and recycling, water and wastewater, toxics, community and energy. Businesses must meet the Green Business requirements in all six areas, including forming a green team that considers improvements and makes recommendations for future improvements. ... This year, New Seasons, Clark College and Canine Utopia are among 10 of the green businesses the county will recognize for their efforts during 2014 at a March 19 showcase and reception at the Fort Vancouver Artillery Barracks.
The Columbian, March 5, 2015

Stanford says his bill would make college affordable for service members
State Rep. Derek Stanford says that a bill that the House of Representatives passed Monday would make college more affordable for active duty service members. Stanford is the prime sponsor of House Bill 1706, written to allow universities and community and technical colleges to waive building fees and activity fees for military service members receiving tuition assistance from the U.S. Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Program. The Defense Department program helps service members pay for tuition, but a recent change means that the program no longer covers certain fees.
Everett Herald, March 4, 2015

Former EvCC director keeps an eye on women's rights
Joan Tucker is a painter now, a painter and a poet. At 72, she is leaving the battles of her earlier years to younger people. That doesn't mean she has given up the mantle of feminism. Nor does it mean Tucker has forgotten heady times in the 1980s when she was director of the Women's Center at Everett Community College.
Everett Herald, March 4, 2015

Iraq, Afghanistan veteran struggling to find his place in the workforce
At age 18, Isaiah Stewart joined the U.S. Army. For 15 months, he armed and maintained helicopters in Iraq. He later spent another six months in Afghanistan arming and maintaining Army drones. Even though the mechanical engineer kept some of the military’s most sophisticated fighting equipment airborne, Stewart’s life crashed after he returned to the civilian world. ... He and Robin enrolled in Lower Columbia College in September of 2014 and are both studying to receive general transfer degrees so they can transfer to Washington State University to learn to be farmers. They said they both have a passion for wanting to sustain their family with home-grown food and hope to run a farm somewhere in Washington. Between working 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. shifts at Walmart and being a full-time student, father, and husband, Stewart doesn’t get much sleep. But the tiredness is worth it, he said.
Longview Daily News, March 4, 2015

LCC students set to vote on quarterly fitness center fee
Students at Lower Columbia College will vote next week on whether to implement a fee to maintain the school’s new fitness center. The Myklebust Gymnasium and Fitness Center was financed over the last 10 years with the help of a student-imposed $2.50 per credit quarterly fee. Students voted 278 to 36 to approve that fee in May 2005. If the proposed initiative passes, every student would pay $25 quarterly, and staff members would pay $50 quarterly to maintain the new gym that will open in April.
Longview Daily News, March 4, 2015

Briefs: EdCC trustee reappointed to post
Quentin Powers was reappointed to the Edmonds Community College Board of Trustees on Feb. 6. Gov. Jay Inslee reappointed Powers — currently the vice chair of the college's Board of Trustees — to serve a five-year term through September 2019. Powers was initially appointed to the Board of Trustees in October 2006 by Gov. Christine Gregoire.
Everett Herald, March 4, 2015

How gang kid re-created himself as a scholar, with guidance
Cuate Mexica describes himself as a predator who liked to intimidate people; sometimes it was for money, sometimes it was just what he and his friends would do for amusement. He spent time, lots of it, in juvenile detention, and along the way he re-created himself. This month, Mexica will earn a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Washington, which is not the usual outcome for people who start out as he did. ... Mexica enrolled in Spokane Falls Community College in 1999, with a parole officer checking on him periodically. After a year, he transferred to Eastern Washington University.
The Seattle Times, March 1, 2015

Around the Sound: Remembering Spock
He played in our community college’s annual production of Oliver that year — Nimoy starred as Fagin — and the production, that drew actors from around town, wheat and potato fields, the school district and college, was the highlight of Big Bend Community College’s cultural contributions to the region. The community’s paper, The Columbia Basin Herald, followed the actor’s coming and goings throughout the time he was in town. Sure, we’d had stars such as “Soupy” Sales, Liz Torres, Joe Namath, Howard Keel, and Jan Pierce perform during previous seasons, but none was as exciting to the town than the season that Spock beamed down.
The Suburban Times, March 1, 2015

Video: Producer Patrick does his best firefighter stair climb
Ron & Don Show producer Patrick got to test his might against a firefighter in training who will be competing in the Scott Firefighter Stair Climb. The Scott Firefighter Stair Climb benefits the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and will take place at Seattle's Columbia Center tower on Mar. 8. Firefighters from all over the world will participate, testing themselves in a 69-flight event course decked out in 50 pounds of "turnout gear" including fire helmets, pants, jacket, breathing apparatus and air tanks. Colin Nash and Peter Evans from Everett Community College's fire training program joined The Ron & Don Show Thursday to tell us about the competition and their fundraising efforts. So far, their team has raised $1,375 of their $3,000 goal., Feb. 26, 2015

Bellevue College to offer 2 new bachelor's degrees
After nearly eight months of work, submissions and research into what students want and employer demand, Bellevue College will have a new four-year degree opportunity starting as early as this fall and potentially a second next fall. On Feb. 5, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges approved the college's application to offer a bachelor of applied science in applied accounting.
Issaquah Reporter, Feb. 26, 2015

EvCC theater instructor brings her 'Evil Twin' to life
Teacher Beth Peterson is proud of providing her community college students with the opportunity to debut a new play, work with a professional director and do it in a short time frame that only the pros would undertake. To top it off, it's the longtime Everett Community College theater instructor's play.
Everett Herald, Feb. 26, 2015


Distance ed myths debunked
In fall 2013, one in every eight students enrolled at colleges and universities in the U.S. studied exclusively online. One in every four students took at least one online course. Those and other findings, released this week in a three-part analysis by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), suggest distance education is more pervasive in higher education than previously imagined, and may help debunk some of the common myths surrounding the medium.
Inside Higher Ed, March 5, 2015

Free community college: It works
President Obama's free community college proposal has a direct ancestor in a program Tulsa Community College began in 2007. And Tulsa's free-tuition experiment is working, with the college's leaders calling it a “battle-tested” recipe for increasing degree production. Tulsa Achieves pays for three free years of tuition or 63 free credits, which is enough for an associate degree. The scholarship is open to all high school graduates in Tulsa County, Okla. They must enroll right out of high school, maintain a 2.0 GPA, take a student success course and do 40 hours of community service each year to remain eligible. The community college hit the ground running in 2007, enrolling 1,350 students in the program's first class.
Inside Higher Ed, March 5, 2015

Opinion: Public universities are crucial for the greater good
As a vice president at Washington State University with a background in business and academia, and whose portfolio includes public-private partnerships, I am frequently asked why our state’s higher-education institutions do not simply become private schools? State budgets are stretched — isn’t higher education today more of a private than public good anyway? No, it is not. It is true that the rewards of college go to the degree-holder, including successful careers, higher incomes and more stable lives. Not to be overlooked, however, is the greater public good generated by college graduates who tend to be civically engaged, philanthropic and entrepreneurial, creating opportunities and jobs. They give back to their communities and their schools.
The Seattle Times, March 4, 2015

Opinion: Why doesn’t every school offer computer science classes?
Some of the biggest success stories in Washington history — from Bill Gates to Jeff Bezos — began like mine, with the opportunity to learn how to create technology. Yet, in Washington state — where Microsoft changed the world in establishing a market for personal computers, where changed the way the we shop and where startups like Expedia, Zillow, Redfin and Zulily are changing the future of our state’s economy — the majority of students in K-12 schools statewide cannot take a single course in computer science. It’s time for the Washington to do more. This is a problem we can solve. We are solving it. Today, more than 50 top business and education leaders unite — from Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks to the Chamber of Commerce, University of Washington and Washington Education Association — calling for legislation to address the issue comprehensively.
The Seattle Times, March 4, 2015

All the news that's fit to teach
Last month's announcement that The New York Times Company would launch an education initiatives may have had a familiar ring to it. The company has spent close to a decade trying to turn the newspaper’s vast institutional knowledge into knowledge higher education institutions and students want to buy. The company's new approach to education reflects changes seen in both higher education and the journalism industry, but at its core, The Times's interest in education is still seen as an extension of its own brand.
Inside Higher Ed, March 4, 2015

5 reasons why college is still worth it
It’s easy to stop believing that a college education is worth it when the nation has over a trillion dollars in debt, but college graduates still earn more over a lifetime than those without a degree. Plus, they’re more employable. According to this CNBC article:  ”Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a high correlation between joblessness and earnings, and those with less than an associate’s degree fare worse on average than workers with post-graduate credentials.” 1. College doesn’t have to be expensive. Benefits of colleges can be reaped from an associate’s degree from a community college. In addition, students can start at community colleges or do intense scholarship searches.
Forbes, Feb. 28, 2015

Temporary messages, lasting impact
Keeping an eye on students on Snapchat and other online platforms presents a “moving target” for colleges and universities, administrators say — shut down one account, and another will appear in its place. To avoid wasting time on combing through the Internet for student code violators, some institutions are instead focusing their efforts on educating the campus about responsible social media use and giving students a say in how their institution should be portrayed online.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 27, 2015

Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.
Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all say millennials still strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning, a bias that surprises reading experts given the same group’s proclivity to consume most other content digitally. A University of Washington pilot study of digital textbooks found that a quarter of students still bought print versions of e-textbooks that they were given for free.
The Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2015

New research released on alternative pathways for degrees
New research released Friday (Feb. 20) sheds light on how two approaches to creating alternative pathways to college graduation for post-traditional students are working. The American Council on Education’s (ACE) Center for Education Attainment and Innovation and Center for Policy Research and Strategy are co-hosting an event with Blackboard on this topic and released research findings with implications for the future of higher education and degree completion.
eCampus News, Feb. 20, 2015



What a promise of financial aid might mean to a middle schooler
Aspiring college students are asked to take their future on faith. They’re expected to strive to reach a higher-education experience many of them can hardly imagine, to trust they’ll find a way to foot the bill for one of the most expensive purchases they’ll ever make. That last part, in particular, can be a tough sell when your family earns less in a year than some colleges charge for one. Promising younger students money for college could encourage them to stay on track. That’s part of the logic behind programs that help low-income students save for college, "promise programs" offered by cities and states, and at least one effort in the private sector. Some experts have proposed that the federal government do something similar, on a bigger scale: Promise low-income students a certain amount of Pell Grant money years before they apply to college.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 5, 2015

Keep higher education healthy and affordable
Since 2008, the recession and state budget deficits have squeezed higher education institutions, students and their families, who are paying higher tuition. This year, the Legislature faces the daunting task of satisfying the state Supreme Court, which said in its 2012 McCleary decision that the state was failing to fund public K-12 education. Funding K-12 education should not come at the expense of the important bookends of education, which enjoy no such mandate: early learning and higher education. While the Legislature grapples with increasing funding to K-12 education in a way that actually improves outcomes for students, lawmakers have two important goals when it comes to higher education. First, budgets for the state’s community colleges and universities should see at least modest increases. Second, lawmakers should try to keep college as affordable as possible.
The Seattle Times, March 1, 2015

Undocumented students push for access to state-funded college scholarship
On Friday, hundreds of Latino students will visit with lawmakers in Olympia. One of their top issues relates a state-funded college scholarship. As KUOW’s Liz Jones reports, they want undocumented students to be eligible for this money, too.
KUOW, Feb. 27, 2015

Dual-credit high school and college courses may face changes
A bill in Olympia could eliminate Running Start from high school campuses, potentially altering dual-credit opportunities in Yakima Valley high schools. Supporters of House Bill 1546, backed by Gov. Jay Inslee, say it would level the playing field among higher education institutions offering courses that count as both high school and college credit. Critics argue that it disproportionately limits opportunities among rural students.
Yakima Herald, Feb. 27, 2015

Changes to sex assault bill
The bipartisan group of U.S. senators that has been pushing legislation to curb campus sexual assaults is making some changes to their proposal as they look to advance the measure in the new Congress. The sponsors of the legislation, who now include five Democrats and five Republicans, on Thursday unveiled a new version of their bill aimed at holding colleges more accountable for addressing sexual violence. Those lawmakers said at a press conference that the revised proposal was a response to feedback from victims of sexual assault, advocates for the rights of accused students, law enforcement and college and university administrators.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 27, 2015