Thursday, April 16, 2015

News Links | April 16, 2015


Clark College students to vote on fee hike for rec center
Clark College students are voting this week on a proposal to permanently increase student fees to fund a $16.3 million expansion and operation of the college's O'Connell Sports Center. The project would add 27,420 square feet to the existing facility and include new basketball courts, an elevated running track, expanded weight and cardio rooms, student spaces and a new food vendor. If students approve the fee, construction on the building would begin in 2017, according to Sarah Gruhler, the college's student life director. The sports center is at the southwest end of the campus.
The Columbian, April 16, 2015

Universities in six states agree to Smarter Balanced definition of 'college ready'
Nearly 200 colleges and universities in six states have agreed to let students skip remedial coursework if they reach the college-readiness score on the 2015 Smarter Balanced assessment. Wednesday's announcement marks a major development in the consortium's bid to convince higher education to accept the "college-ready" cut score on its 11th grade test for course-placement purposes.Until this week, it had only the state college and university systems in two states signed on. Now that list has grown to 197 campuses in six states. Here's how it breaks down ... 49 in Washington state, all 40 of its two- and four-year colleges and nine independent colleges and universities.
Education Week, April 15, 2015

BBCC's Phi Theta Kappa brings home awards
A chapter participant and the advisor of Big Bend Community College's Phi Theta Kappa chapter, and a chapter member, brought home top regional honors after the regional conference in Seattle. Barbara Whitney, BBCC math instructor and advisor for the school's Rho Zeta chapter, received first place for advisors. Rho Zeta participant Melinda Dourte brought home first place in the "distinguished chapter member" category.
Columbia Basin Herald, April 15, 2015

Milestone: P.C.’s Peet honored
Peninsula College Accounting faculty member Gail Peet recently was selected as a recipient of the 2015 Anna Sue McNeill Assessment, Teaching and Learning Award. The honor is given to individuals “in recognition of outstanding contributions to teaching, student learning and assessment and commitment to supporting and providing educational opportunities for all students,” according to a Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
Sequim Gazette, April 15, 2015

EvCC engages Latino community with admissions night 
It was Everett Community College’s first attempt to expand its diversity efforts for prospective students at the EvCC Family Night in Spanish, or for Spanish speakers, “Noche Entre Familia.” The event on Wednesday, April 8 gave information to families about classes, options for financial aid and other college services, but uniquely all of the information was given in Spanish. The college is planing future nights in other languages.
Snohomish County Tribune, April 15, 2015

Cyber contest nets 8th for college team
Recently, eight students representing Peninsula College at the 2015 Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in Des Moines faced a fictitious cyber scenario and claimed eighth place overall against teams from Western Washington University, the University of Washington, Idaho State University and others. The challenge was to maintain the computing infrastructure for the Pacific Northwest Centers for Disease Control during a major viral outbreak, which results in a zombie apocalypse. ... Team members Robert Chisick, George Delorey, Joshua Diehl, Ian Hassel, Michael Loghry, Sarah Mullikin, Drew Ross and David Walter, as the first team from the Olympic Peninsula to compete at such an event, performed well against 14 other teams.
Peninsula Daily News, April 14, 2015

Pierce College 2015 Distinguished Alumnus: From convict to counselor
As a teen, Pierce College alum Brandon Stogsdill made some bad choices. Growing up in an unstable home without a father created feelings of anger and depression, and he quickly learned to take out his aggression on others. ... During his time in prison he took distance learning courses from Pierce College and earned 187 credits while working toward his associate degree. Before he was released, he learned of the scholarship opportunities at Pierce College, and applied for four. He had little money and would be unable to pay tuition on his own. Luckily, he was selected for one of the scholarships and was given the opportunity to have his college paid for. ... Stogsdill currently works as a licensed therapist at Sound Mental Health, working with troubled youth using extreme sports as a way to transfer risky behavior into constructive alternatives.
The Suburban Times, April 14, 2015


4 reasons for high school graduates to turn to community college
Prom, college acceptance letters, graduation: Spring can be an exciting time for students who have secured a spot at their dream four-year university, but the future can seem less exciting for those headed to community college. Teens often consider community colleges to be undesirable and inferior, but the two-year institutions can be a great option for recent graduates, experts say.
US News & World Report, April 16, 2015

College offers tuition rebates to encourage retention
Ohio’s Clark State Community College is taking a proactive approach to reducing the cost of education by launching a challenge program that could cut tuition up to 10 percent and surpasses new requirements laid out by lawmakers. The program, also aimed at increasing retention, allows students to get a 5- to 10-percent tuition reduction for taking more credit hours and maintaining good grades. It was approved at the Board of Trustees’ March meeting.
eCampus News, April 13, 2015


A higher-ed guide to 4 presidential contenders
Over the past few weeks, four candidates have officially announced that they’re running for president. The Republican field includes three U.S. senators: Florida’s Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants who is pitching himself as the fresh face of the GOP; Texas’ Ted Cruz, a conservative Christian and Tea Party hero; and Kentucky’s Rand Paul, a libertarian who is positioning himself as the candidate for young people. The Democratic field has just one contender so far: Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady, senator, secretary of state, and household name. Here’s where they stand on three issues that matter to colleges: affordability, immigration, and science.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 16, 2015

Debt collector suit fails
A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education by four student loan debt collection companies that claim the department arbitrarily cut ties with them earlier this year. The decision by U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Francis Allegra is a victory for the Education Department, which effectively fired five debt collection companies in February after accusing them of misleading struggling borrowers.
Inside Higher Ed, April 15, 2015

In our view: Make college within reach
While many indicators point to the decline of the middle class in the United States, one of the most prominent examples of the changing landscape is the importance of a college education. Essentially gone are the days when a high school graduate could secure a life-long manufacturing job; essentially gone is the notion that entering a blue-collar profession can provide family wages for the long term. Although exceptions can be found, the rule is that a college degree is required for those hoping to establish some measure of employment security. This situation has delivered increased attention upon college tuition rates and has led Republicans in the state Senate to attempt a bold move in addressing the issue. In devising their budget proposal for the 2015-17 biennium, Republicans have recommended cutting tuition by 30 percent at the state's two research universities, and by lesser amounts at regional universities and community colleges.
The Columbian, April 14, 2015