Tuesday, April 14, 2015

News Links | April 14, 2015

New book urges community colleges to create better paths toward student goals
A new book about what ails community colleges, and how to fix problems in the system, draws in part on research done at Washington’s two-year colleges. And a few of the fixes are already being used here. ... The book’s authors believe the schools must do a better job of creating a structured path of courses that leads to a goal — a degree or certificate that results in a better job, author and CCRC senior researcher Davis Jenkins said in an interview. And the schools must do better at contextualizing instruction — that is, teaching the writing and math skills that are required of the degree the student is pursuing, Jenkins said. That’s an important feature of I-BEST — Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training — a program offered at all of Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges. I-BEST has been studied for years by CCRC.
The Seattle Times, April 14, 2015

Two RTC students named to All-Washington Academic team
Two Renton Technical College students were recently honored by Gov. Jay Inslee and RTC President Steve Hanson for making it to the All-Washington Academic team. Breeann Loya and Joe Spieldenner were both chosen through a competitive process based on their classroom and community achievements. Loya is in the early childhood careers program at RTC and Spieldenner is studying accounting.
Renton Reporter, April 13, 2015

Bachelor's degrees support community college mission
​Allowing community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees doesn’t dilute their mission, as critics charge; it actually reinforces their mission of training people for the workforce. ... The Seattle College District began its first bachelor’s degree program in 2005 – in hospitality at South Seattle College – and now offers baccalaureates in sustainable building science, dental hygiene, several allied health tracks, applied behavior science, international business, professional teaching, teacher education and application development. More baccalaureate programs will start in 2015-16, including early childhood education, information technology networking and nursing. Fifteen colleges in Washington state have 35 baccalaureate programs. Next year, 44 programs will be available at 20 colleges.
Community College Daily, April 13, 2015

Wait is almost over to unveil LCC's new fitness center
For Matt Crawford, waiting for the opening of Lower Columbia College’s new fitness center has been like waiting for Christmas morning: full of anticipation and disorder. ... Crawford’s wait will soon be over. The $9.5 million, state-of-the-art fitness center will be open during limited hours next week. It will open for full hours the last week of May, when the college will host an open house for students, including orientations and training sessions.
Longview Daily News, April 13, 2015

CPTC: Student takes his degree to Japan
Arata Kobayashi was on a plane to Japan the day after Winter Quarter ended. The international student at Clover Park Technical College had just completed the Interior Design Program and had a job waiting for him in his home country. Kobayashi started his new position for a house building company on April 1, where he will put the hands-on skills he learned at CPTC to use.
The Suburban Times, April 13, 2015

Tri-City Made: Western Sintering gives recycled metal a new life
Western Sintering doesn’t make the end product consumers buy. Instead, as a primary manufacturer, it makes the parts another manufacturer will use to finish a truck, rifle or other consumer good. ... Western Sintering does a ton with only 17 employees. Morasch said they are all cross-trained, which helps. A number of their employees come fromColumbia Basin College’s manufacturing/machine technology program.
The Tri-City Herald, April 12, 2015

Highline College students honored at state awards
Highline College students Laura Yanez and Rebecca Ring earned statewide recognition recently for their achievements. Both have been named members of the 2015 All-Washington Academic Team for their academic achievement, community service and involvement on campus. Additionally, Yanez was selected as a 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar, a national award that further recognizes students who are selected for their statewide academic team.
Federal Way Mirror, April 12, 2015

Edmonds literary community mourns passing of Ivan Doig
My Edmonds News notes Thursday’s passing of Ivan Doig, a prodigious writer and great friend to the Edmonds literary community. Over the years, many Edmonds residents attended Doig’s readings and book signings. Doig is the author of 16 books in total, including “This House of Sky” which was a National Book Award nominee. His historical fiction won many awards including the 2007 Wallace Stegner Award, the Western Literature Association’s lifetime Distinguished Achievement award and many Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association honors. ... Ivan Doig is survived by his wife Carol, professor emeritus journalism, Shoreline Community College; whom he often referred to as his “partner in crime.”
My Edmonds News, April 11, 2015

Parkton native earns Centralia College’s highest honors
As James Chapel walked through the halls of Michael Smith Gymnasium on the campus ofCentralia College in Washington, he paused and glanced at a wall displaying the pictures of the school’s Hall of Fame athletes. ... On Feb. 21, Chapel became the latest addition to the two-year institution’s prestigious group, earning the honor for his efforts on the basketball court. A 1984 graduate, Chapel helped lead the Trailblazers to the Northwest Athletic Conference Championship twice, earning All-Region honors in his final season.
The Robesonian, April 11, 2015

Looking for hope in all the right places
As can be the case with teens anywhere, the faces around a table at Walla Walla Community College last month wore masks of boredom and polite indifference. Minutes from touring the campus, students from Pathways Back education center at Walla Walla County’s Juvenile Justice Center had zero questions for Melissa Williams, the school’s director of public relations. Williams took it in stride, searching for a way to connect. …The WWCC walkabout gave the teens a far better idea of how easy the campus is to navigate, and their masks of seeming boredom came off, JJC teacher Shannon Ball said.

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, April 11, 2015

7 tips for launching a second career
At the end of 2008, the pulp and paper plant where Tina Wixon worked was bought out, and the new owners brought with them a series of temporary layoffs. Wixon, now 52, says that was the push she needed to finally follow her dream of becoming a nurse. The Kelso, Washington, resident spent two years at Lower Columbia College to complete prerequisite work, before earning her bachelor’s degree through Western Governors University in Utah. She enjoys her new career so much that she’s considering a master’s degree in nursing informatics.
US News & World Report, April 10, 2015

Policing experts weigh in on San Bernardino County deputies video 
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies shown on video kicking and beating a surrendering suspect went far beyond what training calls for in such a scenario, and should face stiff penalties, a use-of-force expert said Friday, adding that their colleagues had an ethical obligation to stop the violence. ... Gregory Gilbertson, a police use-of-force expert and criminal justice instructor at Centralia College in Washington state and former police officer, said he found the video “reprehensible” and thinks the first two deputies should be fired.
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, April 10, 2015

Mid-Columbia students to compete in NASA rover contest (w/video)
Fernando Cuellar dreams of being an architect. But the 19-year-old Kennewick student figured he could learn a thing or two from helping build a moon buggy for a NASA-sponsored race. Both involve design and materials science, as well as problem-solving, said Cuellar, who attends the Columbia Basin College High School Academy.
The Tri-City Herald, April 9, 2015

Senator sees fruits of Clean Energy Grant
The regional energy industry’s eyes turned to Centralia Wednesday as a prominent national leader from Washington state received a glimpse at the fruits of a major grant to enhance education in energy creation. U.S. Sen Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., visited with staff, students and stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy in Centralia on Wednesday afternoon. The center, along with two other Centers of Excellence and eight community colleges, received a Department of Labor $10 million grant in September 2014 to provide students skills for careers in demand, and showcased its work to the senator for about an hour. The grant’s major focus is a program known as WISE, or Washington Integrated Sector Employment, led byCentralia College that offers training in manufacturing, clean energy and construction sectors. The program aims to bridge education with employment, providing a path to family-wage jobs.
Centralia Chronicle, April 9, 2015

When can police use lethal force against a fleeing suspect?
The law gives police officers latitude to use deadly force when they feel physically endangered, but there’s far less legal flexibility when it comes to opening fire at fleeing individuals. Here’s a look at legal issues raised by Saturday’s police shooting in South Carolina in which video recorded by a bystander shows a black man being shot in the back and killed as he runs away. ... “You don’t shoot fleeing felons. You apprehend them unless there are exigent circumstances — emergencies — that require urgent police action to safeguard the community as a whole,” said Greg Gilbertson, a police practices expert and criminal justice professor at Centralia College in Washington state.
The Washington Post, April 8, 2015
Advantage women
Many studies suggest that women scientists aspiring to careers in academe face roadblocks, including bias — implicit or overt — in hiring. But a new study is throwing a curveball into the literature, suggesting that women candidates are favored 2 to 1 over men for tenure-track positions in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. Could it be that STEM gender diversity and bias awareness efforts are working, or even creating a preference for female candidates — or is something more nuanced going on? Experts say it’s probably both.
Inside Higher Ed, April 14, 2015

Booming brand campaigns
Colleges are eager to highlight their strengths and distinctive characteristics for prospective students, parents and donors. Despite that high level of interest, though, college marketing departments have little information about best practices or common approaches to branding strategies. ... The lack of agreed-upon methods is due in part to the recency of the focus on branding in higher education. Only in the past decade have higher education administrators generally recognized the importance of developing a brand strategy, which Deborah Maue describes as an internal understanding of what a college offers to the world that is translated into external communications such as brochures and logos.
Inside Higher Ed, April 14, 2015

A long-term view of college-educated workers
The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce regularly releases analyses on education and job-market trends. A new report out today looks back over decades to track some of the long-term trends — and they reinforce the importance of higher education.
Inside Higher Ed, April 13, 2015

For the humanities, some good news is mixed with the bad
In an otherwise grim picture of the field of humanities, there are still a few bright spots: Financial support for academic research in the humanities, which is typically dwarfed by spending to support other fields, has increased in recent years, and there are signs of rising interest in the humanities at the high-school and community-college levels.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 13, 2015

Blogs aren’t better than journal assignments. They’re just different.
Although some instructors are phasing out journal-keeping assignments in favor of a class blog, a study has found that blogs are not inherently better instructional tools. ... He expected the blogs to yield reflections that were more thoughtful, but that wasn’t what he found. It’s not that one format is better than the other, he discovered, it’s that they’re different. Public blogs encourage students to take intellectual risks, and private journals encourage them to take personal ones.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 13, 2015
Public colleges' revenue shift
Tuition dollars made up roughly 47 percent of revenues for public higher education for the third straight year in 2014, cementing a trend in which tuition revenue now rivals state appropriations as the main funder of public colleges and universities. Tuition dollars in 2014 made up 47.1 percent of public higher education revenues, down slightly from last year's level of 47.7 percent, an all-time high, according to the State Higher Education Finance report for fiscal 2014 released today by the State Higher Education Executive Officers association.
Inside Higher Ed, April 13, 2015

State spending on higher education shows 'sizable' increase
The buds of a recovery in state and local support for higher education that appeared in 2013 blossomed even more in the 2014 fiscal year, a new report shows. But the effects of the Great Recession still linger, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers association. Even with what the group called a "sizable" 5.7 percent increase in spending over the previous year’s figure, the $86.3-billion in overall state and local funding remains below 2008-11 levels in inflation-adjusted dollars.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 13, 2015

Q&A: Should the Education Department discharge loans?
Students from the troubled Corinthian Colleges are getting support from state attorneys general and U.S. senators in their quest to have their federal student loans forgiven. The question is what comes next. Discharging the debt of all former Corinthian students could cost the federal government billions. And any action to help them potentially opens the door for other former for-profit students — or other unhappy borrowers — to seek similar relief.
The News Tribune, April 13, 2015

Guest opinion: Investing in STEM is vital to Washington’s economic future
Washington lawmakers must strengthen the STEM pipeline from cradle to career. According to a recent poll commissioned by Washington STEM, they have overwhelming public support to do just that. A bipartisan group of legislators have proposed four pieces of legislation to help give students a high-quality STEM education.
The Seattle Times, April 10, 2015

Preparing students to compete in a high-tech job market
Starting next fall, 10 high schools and three middle schools in Seattle will offer computer-science courses ranging from exploratory to Advanced Placement classes. The courses will begin to address a growing problem: Washington businesses are creating jobs in science, technology, engineering and math fields, but the state is failing at preparing its students to seize those opportunities. To close that gap, the state must invest more money and resources in expanding efforts already under way and look for smarter, long-term solutions to better prepare students entering the job market.
The Seattle Times, April 7, 2015