Tuesday, April 7, 2015

News Links | April 7, 2015


In brief: Forums set for final SCC president candidates
The search for a new Spokane Community College president has been narrowed to four finalists. Public forums with each of the finalists to replace retiring SCC President Scott Morgan are scheduled for later this month in the the Lair on the SCC campus.
The Spokesman-Review, April 7, 2015

Community college students learn math by using it
The grinding sound of metal on metal filtered through the walls of Chris Lindberg’s math class at Shoreline Community College, but his students had no trouble tuning out the noise. ... With I-BEST, basic math and writing skills are taught alongside technical skills, usually in the same classroom. ... The beginning of I-BEST dates back to 2005, when educators with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) became increasingly worried about the baby-boom generation of skilled workers who were starting to retire. ... Renton Technical College’s anesthesia-tech program is a good example, using I-BEST practices to help students learn the vocabulary and other skills they need to aid anesthesiologists in the operating room.
The Seattle Times, April 6, 2015

Guest opinion: Community colleges figuring out how to move students further and faster
By Jan Yoshiwara, deputy executive director for the education division at the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Community and technical college students don’t have time or money to waste. They want to graduate as soon as possible and land a good job or transfer to a university. We serve students of all ages; the average age is 26.  They work, raise children, and often take multiple courses from multiple institutions. Nearly half of our students receive financial aid in eligible courses, making it all the more important to realize every dollar’s worth of education. Successful colleges are innovative and meet these students when and where they are in their lives. For community and technical colleges, this means capitalizing on the things that work and creating new opportunities where gaps exist.
The Seattle Times, April 6, 2015

A great example of why community colleges are 2015’s rock stars
Washington state community college students seeking an associate degree will soon be able to opt for a competency-based online business transfer degree that uses open educational resources (OER) in all courses. The courses are under creation in partnership with Lumen Learning. In addition to eliminating textbook costs, the self-paced courses are designed to adapt content and activities based on a student’s prior knowledge or areas in which they need to demonstrate course objective mastery.
eCampus News, April 6, 2015

State colleges to reward good test scores
Washington’s new standardized test could speed up your college life. This year’s high school juniors who get high scores on the state’s new standardized test can bypass precollege course work — courses below the 100 level. The arrangement is the result of an agreement among the state, Lower Columbia College and 32 other state community and technical colleges. All of Washington’s public universities signed a similar agreement, which may be the first of its kind, according to officials from the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
Longview Daily News, April 6, 2015

Students practice real-life financial skills at Financial Reality Fair
When Kalama High School freshman Levi Orem walked through the doors of the Lower Columbia College Student Center last Thursday, he had a new life waiting for him. In a matter of moments, he was handed a career, a salary and even moderate student debt. He traded in his life of homework and soccer practice for a career as an FBI agent with a $42,000 starting salary.
Longview Daily News, April 5, 2015

Two Big Bend students on all-state academic list
Big Bend Community College students John Johnson and Kevin Herbert were among 65 community and technical college students in the state named to the All-Washington Academic Team late last month. The award recognizes students for academic achievement, leadership, community activities and work experience, said Doug Sly, the college's public information director. The students were recognized at a reception in Olympia March 26.
Columbia Basin Herald, April 3, 2015

Reporter tries mobile texting and drunken driving simulator at Centralia College event
As I stepped into the car, I felt sober. But once I began driving, it was apparent by my slowed reaction times, my swerving and my incredibly low speed that I was far from OK. Approximately 50 students at Centralia College experienced the same thing as the Unite Corp.’s Arrive Alive Tour aimed to educate people on the dangers of drunken driving and texting while driving. The tour provides an environment where people can experience dangerous driving habits in a place where they are not risking their lives.
Centralia Chronicle, April 3, 2015

Pierce College hosts 8th graders during College Exploration Day
More than 400 local 8th graders visited Pierce College Fort Steilacoom March 27 to experience a bit of college life firsthand, and learn about what it takes to be a successful student. The event brought together representatives from local colleges who spent time interacting with students and sharing insights about the importance of higher education. ... Highline College Director of Community Engagement Rashad Norris entertained and encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunity to learn what it takes to do well in college.
The Suburban Times, April 3, 2015

CPTC: Preparing to launch
In just the two years since Lara Sisco (’13) graduated from the Clover Park Technical College’s Interior Design Program, she has tapped into everything she learned there. “I felt I had a really great foundation of skills,” Sisco said. “They teach you what you need to know to get started.”
The Suburban Times, April 3, 2015

Washington state federal junior duck stamp exhibit on display at Centralia College
Centralia College is hosting the 2014 Washington State Federal Junior Duck Stamp exhibit in Washington Hall through the first week of May. Displayed by Centralians Bryn and JoAnne Watson and Bob and Karen McInturff, the 36 winning entries feature the original artwork of K-12 students from art academies and schools throughout Washington.
Centralia Chronicle, April 3, 2015

Pierce College makes strong showing at Achieving the Dream conference
As an Achieving the Dream leader college, Pierce [College] is committed to finding new and innovative ways to increase the success of all students. The college recently sent 22 employees to the Achieving the Dream annual Institute on Student Success in Baltimore to learn about new ways they can help more community college students succeed.
The Suburban Times, April 2, 2015

Scholarships awarded to Edmonds CC Community Read winners
As part of the eighth annual Edmonds Community College Community Read, five Edmonds CC students — Megan McDermott, Denica McMillan, Shabina Pal, Ilene Ong, and Kathryn Severson — were awarded scholarships for their project submission inspired by the 2014/15 Edmonds Community College Community Read book, “You’ve Got It All Wrong.” Two $1,300 scholarships, which covers spring quarter tuition; one $600 scholarship, which covers partial spring quarter tuition; and two $350 scholarships were all funded by the Edmonds Community College Foundation.
My Edmonds News, April 2, 2015


A simpler path, authors say, is key to community-college completion
Community colleges need to fundamentally overhaul the way they offer courses by giving students fewer choices, a more structured curriculum, and better guidance from registration through graduation, according to the authors of a book being released this week. Creating a simpler, streamlined pathway will be far more effective than the piecemeal approaches two-year colleges have used in trying to bolster sagging graduation rates, the book, Redesigning America’s Community Colleges (Harvard University Press), argues.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7, 2015

Private loan takedown
As scrutiny of for-profit institutions increases, direct private loans from those institutions to students are becoming rarer. One reason is that states have joined federal agencies in scrutinizing the sector over its lending, recruitment and advertising practices.
Inside Higher Ed, April 7, 2015

'Expanding the Circle'
Despite increasing attention on diversity issues within academe, colleges and universities still have a ways to go in broadening the repertoire of research on L.G.B.T.Q. studies, according to a book published earlier this year. Course curriculums rarely expand beyond heterosexual male and female experiences, and most faculty members don’t receive training for working with transgender students, for example. Many campuses don't have adequate policies, role models or programs designed for L.G.B.T.Q. students.
Inside Higher Ed, April 6, 2015

Free community college program in Philadelphia
The Community College of Philadelphia is starting a free community college program, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Tuition will be waived for students who are graduates of the city's high schools and are eligible for Pell Grants. Students, once enrolled, will be required to earn degrees within three years and to maintain a 2.5 grade point average.
Inside Higher Ed, April 6, 2015

Starbucks’ employee plan to cover all 4 years of college
Starbucks has revamped the college plan it offers U.S. employees in order to cover full tuition for all four years of college in Arizona State University’s online program. The plan, also underwritten by ASU, previously paid for the last two years of college, while freshmen and sophomores had access to partial scholarships and financial aid.
The Seattle Times, April 6, 2015


Relief for community colleges
The Obama administration is proposing to make it easier for colleges with high loan default rates but few students taking out loans to avoid losing their eligibility for federal student aid. Officials last week unveiled a draft plan to expand the circumstances under which a college can appeal a high default rate on the basis that a low percentage of its students borrow money through the federal loan program.
Inside Higher Ed, April 7, 2015

U.S. names remaining colleges under scrutiny
Officials at the U.S. Department of Education on Friday released the names of 20 colleges whose access to federal funds they have restricted because audits of those institutions uncovered various problems, most of which were “severe.” The department named the remaining colleges that it had redacted from the list of colleges facing extra scrutiny known as heightened cash monitoring. Officials initially balked at releasing those names, citing ongoing investigations at those colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, April 6, 2015

Editorial: Freeze or cut college tuition, but make up for lost revenue
Parents of kindergartners might already be panicking when they consider how much sending that child to college will cost, with good reason: Tuition at Washington’s four-year state schools shot up 37 percent in the last five years, from an average of $6,400 in 2010-11 to $8,778 in the current year. Freezing college tuition — or even lowering it — is a worthy goal for state lawmakers. The higher tuition goes, the less affordable college is for students and families, and creates larger student debt. Freezing or cutting tuition only works, however, if the state makes up the lost revenue. Otherwise, the effect is just a budget cut for schools. Many proposals on the table this legislative session don’t properly address funding.
The Seattle Times, April 2, 2015

Editorial: Washington must focus on STEM education
A critical pipeline to Washington’s future economic success is far too narrow. That’s the conclusion of “Opportunity For All,” a report on the booming science and technology job sectors that are shamefully neglected in a supposedly high-tech state. The just-released Boston Consulting Group analysis shows Washington could benefit much more if it could muster a focused, coordinated strategy. The push for more educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, commonly called STEM, is not new, but the report shows Washington needs stronger leadership and bigger tools.
The Spokesman-Review, April 2, 2015