Tuesday, October 13, 2015

News Links | October 13, 2015


Skagit Valley College revives Fall Powwow
After a 15-year hiatus, Skagit Valley College has revived its Fall Powwow. The three-day event, which concludes today, features an assortment of Native American cultural performances, primarily song and dance, from tribes across the country and Canada. However, the powwow is bigger than a mere demonstration, said Alana Quigley, the event’s organizer.
Skagit Valley Herald, Oct. 11, 2015

Guest column: Columbus Day needs to be replaced
By Tonya Drake, vice president for college relations and advancement at Edmonds Community College. When Columbus Day was approved as a set federal holiday in 1968, the U.S. Congress was swayed by a few key arguments. The day was already being celebrated in 45 states. And Congress felt that a fixed federal holiday would honor immigrants. A Senate report perfectly captured the intent through its proclamation of an "annual reaffirmation by the American people of their faith in the future, a declaration of willingness to face with confidence the imponderables of unknown tomorrow." ... If Columbus Day were proposed as a federal holiday today, members of Congress would possibly be dissuaded by arguments that Christopher Columbus has become as much a symbol of oppression as a figure of hope. Today, only 24 states recognize Columbus Day. Several cities such as Seattle, where I reside, offer an alternative such as Indigenous Peoples Day, meant to honor and recognize the rich history of indigenous people.
The Sun Chronicle, Oct. 11, 2015

Employment Spotlight: Pharmacy technicians meet pharmacists' support needs
As medical providers of all stripes face growing requirements for electronic documentation and other time-consuming tasks, health care organizations are depending on more mid-level and technical staff to maximize efficiency for the whole care team. So it is with pharmacy technicians, who are stepping in to fill a need as pharmacists take a more central role in educating patients and managing medications and prescription refills. ... Yakima Valley Community College has a classroom-based certificate program, in which students spend one quarter rotating through pharmacy settings.
Yakima Herald, Oct. 11, 2015

WSU Tri-Cities, Columbia Basin College have alert systems for campus shootings
Colleges and universities in Washington didn’t require the wake-up call from Umpqua Community College. They’ve tightened their preparations for campus attacks since the June 2014 fatal shooting at Seattle Pacific University. All of Washington’s public four-year schools, including Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland, have emergency alert systems that send text and email messages to students and staff, as well as parents who opt into the system. The alerts warn of police action near campus, as well as on-campus hazards. Columbia Basin College in Pasco has a similar alert system available to students and staff. ... At Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges, security measures vary from campus to campus, said Laura McDowell, spokeswoman for the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges. Each has its own security plans, she said, and some do regional tabletop exercises or mock drills with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “We continually survey our campus for areas where security can be improved,” said Seattle Central College spokesman David Sandler.
Tri-City Herald, Oct. 10, 2015

20-year-old woman fights back after her makeup-free photo became a cruel internet meme: 'Everyone should feel beautiful'
After a makeup transformation photo of Ashley VanPevenage turned into a cruel meme, the college student decided to fight back. According to Buzzfeed News, VanPevenage, 20, was having an allergic reaction to benzoyl when she turned to her friend makeup artist Andreigha Wazny to help cover up her acne. Wazny shared a comparison of VanPevenage with and without makeup on her Instagram account in January. But it wasn't until Twitter users captioned her photo that it went viral. ... When the Tacoma Community College student woke up and began reading the "disturbing and nasty comments," she became self-conscious of her natural skin. ... But VanPevenage decided to turn her experience into something positive.
People, Oct. 9, 2015

RTC receives $50,000 for precision machining technologies scholarship
The late Ormand John (O.J.) Harper of Issaquah donated $50,000 to the Renton Technical College Foundation in support of scholarships for students in the precision machining technologies (PMT) program. The funds will also support the Foundation’s current emergency services program.
Renton Reporter, Oct. 8, 2015

EdCC students, faculty attend leadership summit in South Africa
Edmonds Community College expanded its horizons by sending seven students, two staff members and one faculty member to the Global Leadership Summit held at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa from July 5-17. More than 100 international delegates from various universities in Asia, the United States and Europe, as well as 40 student delegates from the University of the Free State were in attendance. EdCC was the only community college in attendance at the GLS.
Edmonds Beacon, Oct. 8, 2015

Editorial: School safety back in the forefront
With the recent community college shooting in Roseburg, Ore. that left nine people dead, it’s natural to wonder what could have prevented the tragedy and how to stop further loss. ... Such challenges are handled similarly, yet differently, where adults are involved. Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake introduced “Ready Big Bend” Wednesday.
Columbia Basin Herald, Oct. 8, 2015

Communty colleges hold nationwide moment of silence for UCC
Clark College joined community colleges in a nationwide moment of silence Thursday, one week after the UCC shooting. Dozens of students and faculty met at the Chime Tower on campus at 11 a.m. They joined 1,137 community colleges across the nation, holding a moment of silence at the same time, honoring the victims, and showing support.
KGW, Oct. 8, 2015

Big Bend campus safety director talks frankly
In the wake of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. that left nine people dead, Big Bend Community College's Campus Safety and Security Director Kyle Foreman is addressing safety concerns at the college's campus. UCC is situated on about 100 square acres, with an estimated 3,330 full-time students. BBCC is located on about 150 acres and has 2,180 enrolled students, including 175 students living in on-campus dorms. Foreman said the incident at UCC started a conversation at BBCC about how the college would handle an active shooter on campus.
Columbia Basin Herald, Oct. 8, 2015

EdCC honeybees yield ‘bumper crop’ of honey
Edmonds Community College’s honeybees had a fruitful summer and yielded a bumper crop of delicious honey. The honey was extracted on Sept. 10 with some assistance from the engineering department’s recent contribution of a hand-crank extractor.
Edmonds Beacon, Oct. 8, 2015

SCC lands $2 million grant to help students succeed in school
Spokane Community College landed a $2 million grant that will be used for programs to help students stay and succeed in school. The U.S. Department of Education grant will fund the EPIC project − Engage, Prepare and Intrusively Advise Students to Completion, a news release said. That project includes new in-person and online advising systems; a required college success course for new students; beefing up a tutoring program; and helping faculty add student-support programs through a Teaching and Learning Center.
The Spokesman-Review, Oct. 7, 2015

Colleges roll out programs to meet IT workforce demand
With one four-year degree program beginning its second year and another one starting in fall 2016, Olympic College is doing all it can to help meet the growing workforce demands of the information technology sector.
Kitsap Sun, Oct. 7, 2015

Competency-based education: a faster way to earn a degree from CBC
If you want to earn an Associate's degree, but don't have time to step foot in a classroom … Columbia Basin College has a new program to help. It's called Competency-Based Education and it's the first one of its kind.
KEPR TV, Oct. 7, 2015


A tragic Friday
Shootings at two universities Friday morning each left a freshman dead. The shootings came a week after a lone gunman killed nine people and injured seven more at Oregon's Umpqua Community College in the third-most-deadly mass shooting ever to occur on a college campus. The events Friday shook the campuses where they took place, Northern Arizona University and Texas Southern University, but nervousness about security extended well beyond those campuses. A number of colleges around the country responded to threats last week, with some campuses shutting down for a day or more and others on heightened alert while reports of threats were investigated.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 12, 2015

After killings in Oregon, colleges face threats — and take no chances
Not long ago, a threat scrawled on a bathroom wall probably wouldn’t have provoked the panic that spread like wildfire across Eastern Kentucky University last week. But the graffiti vowing to "kill all by 10-8-15" surfaced just days after a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College,in rural Oregon, left 10 people dead. Similar threats have cropped up on campuses nationwide, some of them undoubtedly copycat crimes by troubled people craving attention. Few people last week were ready to assume they were hoaxes.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 11, 2015

Students who feel emotionally unprepared for college struggle in the classroom
Students who feel less emotionally prepared for college than their peers tend to have lower grades and other negative experiences on campus, according to survey results released on Thursday.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 8, 2015

Measuring academic skills and ‘grit’ to help identify at-risk students
With the help of a grant of nearly $2 million, Excelsior College wants to use analytics to identify at-risk students. The private nonprofit institution, in Albany, N.Y., was one of 17 recipients of a First in the World Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the college announced on Wednesday. It plans to use the grant money to fund an open-source assessment tool that colleges will eventually be able to use free of charge.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 7, 2015


Working for free college
"Free" has been the higher education buzzword of the year, as Democrats have proposed a range of plans to infuse billions of federal dollars into public institutions to lower tuition to zero or close to zero. But as politicians pitch debt-free and tuition-free college, some are also pushing another narrative: that they expect students to work in exchange for those new benefits.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 13, 2015

Uniting to regulate for-profits
Every few weeks, it seems, a new investigation is launched into one of the larger for-profit colleges in the country. Or there's a new sanction or inquiry into past behavior, such as the U.S. Department of Defense's suspension of the University of Phoenix's participation in the federal tuition assistance program last week. For many who work within the for-profit sector, or advocate for consumers who attend for-profit colleges, these investigations, inquiries and sanctions are connected to an interagency task force created to oversee the institutions.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 12, 2015

Ben Carson: Public colleges should pay loan interest
Ben Carson, a leading candidate in the Republican presidential nomination race, offered ideas on keeping tuition low and reforming student loans in an interview with The Eagle. Carson said that public universities should have to pay the interest on student loans, leaving students responsible only for the principal.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 12, 2015

Wells Fargo faces CFPB inquiry on student loan servicing
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating Wells Fargo over its student loan servicing practices, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Citing multiple anonymous sources, the Journal reported that the consumer bureau’s inquiry into the bank goes back at least to late last year. It’s not clear what loan-servicing issues the CFPB is investigating.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 9, 2015

Editorial: Senate panel gets an earful on school funding
They came to listen and got an earful. The state Senate's Education Committee was in Everett on Tuesday night to hear from teachers, school officials, parents and even a couple of students, all who wanted to make sure legislators understand how important it is to fix the way public schools are funded in Washington.
Everett Herald, Oct. 8, 2015

Report: Washington 7th in math scores, 40th in high-school graduation
Washington’s public schools have some of the nation’s best eighth-grade math scores but some of the worst high-school graduation rates. Those are among the ways to quantify the condition of the Evergreen State’s schools as lawmakers try to comply with a court order to take over the full cost of basic education from school districts.
The News Tribune, Oct. 7, 2015