Thursday, May 21, 2015

News Links | May 21, 2015

Renton Technical College selects new president
Renton Technical College announced the hiring of a new president Wednesday afternoon. The Board of Trustees have selected Dr. Kevin D. McCarthy to lead the institution starting July 1. McCarthy, who is currently the vice president of instruction atLake Washington Institute of Technology, will replace President Steve Hanson, who will retire at the end of June.
Renton Reporter, May 20, 2015

Zillah High School senior overcame debilitating headaches to graduate in top 10, earn YVCC degree
When a student misses almost five weeks of school during the first half of high school, odds are he or she won’t graduate in four years — much less earn a college degree in that same timespan. But Zillah High School senior Idalis Licea, 18, will do just that. A series of severe headaches and migraines disrupted her sophomore year, potentially setting back her health and academics. Next month, though, she will graduate from Zillah with honors and from Yakima Valley Community College.
Yakima Herald, May 20, 2015

WCC offering first-ever four year IT networking degree
Whatcom Community College will offer a new four year degree in IT networking. Dean of Workforce Education Janice Walker says it’s the first four year applied IT degree they’ve offered. It fills a growing demand from tech employers in the state who want workers with a bachelor’s degree.
KGMI, May 20, 2015

Second P.C. Zombie Run deemed a success
Peninsula College went public with its second annual Pirate Zombie Mud Run and the result was a day of screams – and smiles, as 220 entrants from age four to 65 tried to outrun zombies and navigate 15 obstacles over a 2.3-mile course on the Port Angeles campus.
Sequim Gazette, May 20, 2015

NC class valedictorian breaks cycle, first in family going to college
Oceana McLeod is graduating this spring as a distinguished valedictorian from North Central High School, a title she wears proudly after years of hard work trying to break a family cycle. ... One Running Start class, four honors classes and six advanced placement classes later she's not only a distinguished valedictorian but she will become the first in her family to go to college. ... Oceana and 51 others from North Central and Rogers who are first in their families to go to college will be honored at a special reception this week and, coming later this fall, Oceana will start her college career in the honors program atSpokane Falls Community College.
KXLY, May 19, 2015

Auburn man appointed VP at Highline College
Michael V. Pham has joined Highline College as vice president of Administrative Services. A resident of Auburn, Pham comes to Highline from Seattle Central College, where he also held the position of vice president of Administrative Services. He has 27 years of experience in higher education, all within Washington’s community college system.
The Auburn Reporter, May 19, 2015
Who will listen?
For some students, Twitter isn't just a space to vent. Students frustrated with the slow pace of administrative responses to issues on campus are taking more drastic measures, going public on social media or sharing their stories with members of the media before officials can present their own solutions. And while the publicity does create an image issue for the institution and sometimes gets results, officials say answers to students’ problems are often already in the works even before the issue becomes public and the added pressure doesn’t change their plans.
Inside Higher Ed, May 21, 2015

'Simple and seamless' or 'significant obstacle'?
Academic, library and technology organizations are denouncing a new sharing and hosting policy adopted last month by publisher Elsevier, saying it undermines open-access policies at colleges and universities and prevents authors from sharing their work.
Inside Higher Ed, May 21, 2015

Job outlook for June graduates sunnier but some clouds remain
[Vivian] Yu’s and [Jessica] Ramirez’s differing experiences highlight the kind of job market the graduating Class of 2015 is facing: It’s largely brighter than last year — and especially so for engineering and computer-science majors — but also continues to present challenges to job seekers.
The Seattle Times, May 20, 2015

Parents expect to keep paying, even after graduation
Sixty-five percent of parents expect to be providing some financial support to their children after they graduate from college, according to a survey released Tuesday by Upromise, a savings-related division of Sallie Mae.
Inside Higher Ed, May 20, 2015

Student evaluations: Feared, loathed, and not going anywhere
Student ratings of professors can have the feel of a high-stakes game. Faculty members speak of evaluations’ driving decisions on hiring, promotion, and tenure; adjuncts say they feel paralyzed when a low score can mean a pink slip.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 19, 2015

Opinion: The case for ‘unbundling’ higher education
The Great Recession and its aftermath have exposed a major mismatch between the skills of many college graduates and the skills employers are seeking. If anything, as technological change marches on, this problem may get worse. University presidents and trustees cannot afford to be complacent. One compelling suggestion, by Monica Herk, the the Committee for Economic Development’s vice president for education research, is that all institutions of higher learning focus far more on certifying competencies in particular skills that employers demand rather than on simply requiring students to complete a fixed number of classes.
Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2015
Bringing back Pell for prisoners
U.S. Department of Education is poised to announce a limited exemption to the federal ban on prisoners receiving Pell Grants to attend college while they are incarcerated. Correctional education experts and other sources said they expect the department to issue a waiver under the experimental sites program, which allows the feds to lift certain rules that govern aid programs in the spirit of experimentation. If the project is successful, it would add to momentum for the U.S. Congress to consider overturning the ban it passed on the use of Pell for prisoners in 1994.
Inside Higher Ed, May 20, 2015

Federal error rates criticized
The U.S. Department of Education last fall switched its approach to estimating how much it improperly paid out in Pell Grants and student loans after officials learned their initial methodology would have shown large jumps in erroneous payments, the department’s watchdog unit said in a report issued Tuesday.
Inside Higher Ed, May 20, 2015

Senator Sanders unveils debt-free-college bill
Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent who is running for president, on Tuesday unveiled more details about his plan to make public higher education debt-free for students. Sanders introduced legislation that calls for the federal government to dole out $47 billion per year to states that agree to eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees at their public colleges and universities.
Inside Higher Ed, May 20, 2015

U.S. delays requirement on tuition breaks for veterans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced last week that it was pushing back the deadline for states to comply with a law that requires public colleges to charge veterans lower in-state tuition rates, regardless of their state of residency. President Obama signed the legislation, known as the Veterans’ Access to Care Through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, into law last summer. The measure was set to take effect on July 1, but the department said in a news release that it was waiving the requirements of the law through December of this year.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 19, 2015

Second special session looming
Some Southwest Washington lawmakers are bracing for double overtime. ... The sticking point at the heart of the budget impasse appears to be the same as several months ago: whether raising taxes is necessary and, if so, to what degree.
The Columbian, May 18, 2015