Thursday, April 9, 2015

News Links | April 9, 2015


Sen. Patty Murray sounds out YVCC students about challenges paying for education
Flor Fernandez drives her three kids from Mattawa to her mother’s house in Wapato every morning before heading to classes at Yakima Valley Community College. After school, she picks them up and drives home to cook dinner, care for the kids, then focus on her own studies. Tiffany Stewart has worked at least two jobs at the same time since she was 16 and is paying for YVCC entirely out-of-pocket. At the coffee shop where she works part time, her boss lets her spend any downtime on homework, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., listened to these and other students’ stories at a roundtable meeting at YVCC on Wednesday morning, taking notes and asking questions about their biggest challenges in accessing higher education.
Yakima Herald-Republic, April 9, 2015

CBC celebrates Arbor Day with annual tree planting 

The National Arbor Day Foundation has named Columbia Basin College a tree campus for the fifth consecutive year. Wednesday afternoon 45 students at CBC helped to plant six new trees outside the HUB's main entrance. It's all part of their annual Arbor Day celebration.
KNDO, April 9, 2015

Help for high-school students who aren’t quite ready for college
New classes designed to help high school students avoid remedial classes in college will be offered at about 100 Washington schools this fall — and then expanded to roughly 60 percent of them in the next 3-4 years. The classes, called “Bridge to College,” were piloted this year in about 40 schools, and supporters hope their growth will help the many students who are expected to fail this spring’s Smarter Balanced exams. ... If students earn a B or higher in the Bridge to College courses, they can automatically enroll in college-level classes at any of the state’s 34 community and technical colleges.
The Seattle Times, April 8. 2015

Student's life changed through college education

When Big Bend Community College brought distance learning to Mattawa in 2000, it transformed the life of Maribel Gomez-Aguilar. Gomez-Aguilar had hopes of returning to school, but she lived 70 miles from campus. Once she gained access to college, she didn't let up. It took six years to finish an associate's degree and bachelor's degree, mostly online, while raising three children and working full time.
Columbia Basin Herald, April 8, 2015

Youth donates money to PC Foundation
While most 5-year-olds dream of receiving trendy toys on their birthdays, Port Angeles resident Layla Parker had a different idea this year. Following a family discussion on making a charitable donation in lieu of more traditional birthday gifts, Layla decided to collect money for the Peninsula College Foundation.
KONP, April 8, 2015

19-year-old college student receives gift of sound
A 19-year-old college student who has struggled with a lifetime of hearing challenges received the gift of sound from a foundation that stepped in to help. Kristin Toti attends Lake Washington Technical Institute and works at a Seattle cafe. Because she cannot fully hear, daily conversations and keeping up in school have been difficult. Kristin has high-frequency hearing loss. The Miracle-Ear Foundation stepped in to help, giving her needed treatment and providing a hearing aid for free.
KIRO TV, April 8, 2015

Bellevue College planning first phase of student housing

Bellevue College is taking its first steps to creating student housing on campus, with plans of opening a 350-room dormitory in the fall of 2018. A feasibility study was conducted by the college to determine how to provide student housing and completed in October.
Bellevue Reporter, April 8, 2015

State Senate capital budget proposes millions in funding for Peninsula projects with impacts from Forks to Port Townsend
Projects ranging from a new health and early learning center at Peninsula College to improvements at Fort Worden State Park would be funded if a plan proposed this week by the state Senate becomes law. The Senate's proposed capital budget would provide $3.5 billion for infrastructure improvement projects across the state.
Peninsula Daily News, April 8, 2015

CPTC: Finding community in painting
Emiko Hammond enjoys hobbies she can do by herself. The 87 year old makes Japanese dolls, plays the piano and makes origami. And ever since she was in high school, she has enjoyed painting. Nearly two decades ago Hammond signed up for a painting class at Clover Park Technical College as a way to get out of the house. Today, Hammond is still a faithful student who just started the Spring Quarter of the Oil Painting for 50+ class offered through CPTC’s Continuing Education Program.
The Suburban Times, April 8, 2015

RTC narrows president search to four
Renton Technical College's Board of Trustees have selected four finalists in the college's search for its next president. RTC will hold public forums next week for the community to meet Mary Garguile, John Jablonski, Dr. Joyce Loveday and Dr. Kevin McCarthy the four finalists.They were selected after an extensive national search and review of applicants from the state, region and nation.
Renton Reporter, April 7, 2015

Sid Snyder recognized and Bette reads a poem
In March, Lower Columbia College recognized the Honorable Sid Snyder as 2015 Alumni of the Year. Snyder, whose career spanned 54 years, was the son of a Kelso barber. After graduating from Kelso High School, he went on to serve in the Army Air Corps and attend Lower Columbia College.
Chinook Observer, April 7, 2015

Peninsula College to receive award for innovations
Peninsula College will be one of two recipients of this year’s 2015 Energy/Facilities Connections Innovations Award through Washington State University’s Extension Energy Program. ... Peninsula College’s submittal concerned best practices and innovations related to custodial services and the development of a custodial master plan, as well as the results of that effort.
Peninsula Daily News, April 7, 2015


College-attainment rate inches up, but not fast enough for Lumina
With just 10 years to go until 2025 — the point at which the Lumina Foundation wants Americans to have a 60-percent college-attainment rate — there is still a gap of 20 percentage points between the goal and reality. Forty percent of U.S. residents between the ages of 25 and 64 had at least an associate degree in 2013, according to the latest edition of an annual report that the foundation released on Thursday. That figure represents a 0.6-percentage point increase in the college attainment rate from the previous year.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 9, 2015

New offering from Noodle will help colleges build online programs
The education site Noodle is putting a new twist on helping colleges create online degree and certificate programs with its creation of Noodle Partners, announced on Wednesday. Noodle Partners, the brainchild of the Princeton Review founder John Katzman, is an enabler — a company that helps colleges build online-education programs. Several other companies provide similar services, one of them being 2U, also founded by Mr. Katzman.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2015

The many meanings of free
When the Community College of Philadelphia announced it was launching a tuition-free program for incoming students, the emphasis was on low-income, Pell Grant-eligible families. When Harper College in suburban Chicago made its tuition-free announcement a week earlier, it didn't have an income limit but focused on academic requirements, community service and attendance. And unlike some programs that require participating students to be near the top of their classes, Harper's included many more conditions. Those programs also differed from others in requirements and funding that have emerged over the years or more recently as "free community college."
Inside Higher Ed, April 8, 2015

Editorial: Preparing students to compete in a high-tech job market
tarting 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

Former Boeing exec: Want a strong Washington aerospace industry? Get more girls into STEM
Scott Carson knows the aerospace industry. He spent more than 30 years at Boeing Co. – three of them as the CEO and president of the company's Commercial Airplanes division. He also knows education. Carson is on the Board of Regents at Washington State University and is the namesake of the school's Carson College of Business. When I asked Carson how to keep the aerospace industry competitive, his answer was surprisingly straightforward: Get kids, particularly girls, excited about and engaged in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Puget Sound Business Journal, April 7, 2015


Emerging path to federal aid
A scenario in which a student can use a Pell Grant to help pay for a bundle of edX courses no longer seems so far-fetched. Political support is building for a system to encourage and oversee higher education upstarts that don't look or act like colleges, such as online course providers and coding boot camps. And these emerging players soon may have a pathway to accreditation and even federal financial aid eligibility, albeit in limited or experimental form.
Inside Higher Ed, April 9, 2015

Education Department clarifies loan counseling flexibility
The U.S. Department of Education on Monday clarified that colleges are able to take some active steps to help students avoid excessive loan amounts. Federal law requires that colleges in most cases disburse to students any amount of federal loan they request so long as they are eligible for it.
Inside Higher Ed, April 8, 2015

WA Senate plan to cut college tuition receives support
The average student loan debt in the United States is now nearly $30,000, according to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success. Experts predict the higher education price tag will only continue to climb. The huge financial burden has caught the attention of lawmakers in Olympia. ... The cap would be 14 percent of the state's average wage for other state schools and 6 percent for community colleges. The extra funding is expected to come from the general fund.
KING 5, April 8, 2015

Washington attorney general sues over student loan practices
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against a student loan processing company, accusing the firm of exploiting student loan borrowers for profit. The lawsuit filed Monday says StudentLoanProcessing.US and its president, James Krause, violated Washington’s Debt Adjusting Act and Consumer Protection Act. It says the company charged illegally high fees and failed to inform customers of their rights. Ferguson says StudentLoanProcessing.US charged its customers at least $250 to help them apply for federal loan repayment programs and loan consolidation. Washington law limits such initial fees to $25.
Everett Herald, April 7, 2015