Wednesday, October 21, 2015

News Links | October 20, 2015


Green River College begins college program prioritization
Green River College is seeking input from faculty, staff, students and the community for its new program prioritization process. The process will help the college improve its programs as well as save money as it faces a potential $4 million to $5 million budget deficit, said Derek Brandes, Green River's vice president of instruction.
Kent Reporter, Oct. 15, 2015

Smart software developer training strategies
To resolve the worldwide shortage of software developers, the answer is education.But that doesn't necessarily mean a college degree, or even a vocational-technical school certificate. ...  In Washington state, the shortage is so severe -- 10,000 unfilled software development jobs just in the Seattle metropolitan area, as of September 2015 -- the community college system is applying for a grant to begin offering a credential program to give residents fast and inexpensive access to coding skills. "This is targeted at people who already have a bachelor's degree, because companies in Washington want employees with college degrees," said Maureen Majury, director of the Center of Excellence for Information and Computing Technology at Bellevue College in Bellevue, Wash. "Our tuition can be a lot cheaper than those private programs, and the goal is to eventually have this in most of our 32 locations across the state."
TechTarget, Oct. 16, 2015

CBC Student Safety Day draws many
Long lines formed for popcorn, and other more important reasons at Columbia Basin College's pavilion. "We hand out candy, we also hand out popcorn, but mostly we get them encouraged to understand campus safety," said Brady Brooks of CBC's administration. Now in its sixth year, Student Safety Day educates students about campus safety options. And this year it has many students more at ease in the wake of the Oregon campus shooting earlier this month.
KEPR TV, Oct. 16, 2015

Drone technology flies into Bellevue College
A new Bellevue College course is addressing the next wave in technology: drones. “Now we’re beginning to see the next wave, it’s the wave of robots and they’re coming. There’s going to be all different kinds of automated vehicles out there,” said Greg Foy, a veteran of the technology industry and one of the men behind the drone course.
Bellevue Reporter, Oct. 16, 2015

Former WCC president Harold Heiner dies
Former longtime Whatcom Community College President Harold Heiner died Saturday, Oct. 17, at the age of 76 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. Heiner was instrumental in creating a central campus for WCC during his 24 years as president. Family and former colleagues say he will be remembered for his compassion toward students. ... Current WCC President Kathi Hiyane-Brown, in a statement released Monday, said Heiner will be remembered for his belief in the power of education and for his work to make college accessible for all students.“Dr. Heiner’s can-do spirit was infectious. His passionate advocacy on behalf of students inspired colleagues and community members, who carry on his students-first philosophy today,” Hiyane-Brown said.
Bellingham Herald, Oct. 19, 2015

WSU, state college board start new transfer student program
Washington State University Tri-Cities will participate in a pilot program that will allow transfer students to apply credits earned at the campus toward unfinished associate degrees. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and the Washington Council of Presidents are working in partnership with the WSU system on the program. As many as 1,000 transfer students will be eligible to participate. ... About 200 new transfer students are enrolled at WSU Tri-Cities, according to initial enrollment estimates. The north Richland campus has frequently been a destination for students who start at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.
Tri-City Herald, Oct. 18, 2015

10 campuses receive $2.9 million grant from U.S. Department of Education to strengthen educational opportunities of Native American, Pacific Islander, Asian American students
... Arne Duncan, the nation's secretary of education, said that "these funds will enhance the quality of these schools to better prepare Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students for success in college and careers, by giving them the skills they need to compete in the 21st century, global economy." This program has set specific requirements to be eligible for the grant. From the enrollment statistics of the school's undergraduates, at least 10% of the total undergraduate population are Native American Pacific Islanders and Asian-Americans. Grantees include ... Washington's Highline College ...
iSchoolGuide, Oct. 19, 2015

Running Start program brings more than 350 North Olympic Peninsula students into college early
More than 350 area high school students are gaining a lead on their education this year by already being enrolled in college thanks to a program that continues to grow steadily on the North Olympic Peninsula.  In the fall 2015 quarter, 354 high school juniors and seniors registered for classes at Peninsula College, representing every high school in the area.
Peninsula Daily News, Oct. 19, 2015

LCC middle hitter's YouTube video (2.8 million views) led to appearance on 'Ellen'
Not everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame, but Lower Columbia College sophomore middle hitter Madison Studer’s time in the sun has now stretched for more than two years. In January 2013, Studer posted a YouTube video of her wisdom teeth removal for her grandmother to see, not knowing it would become one of the most-watched videos in YouTube history and earn her an appearance on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show.” ... More than two years since the video went viral, Studer is leaning toward a career in video production. At LCC, she’s the vice president for student activities for the Associated Students of Lower Columbia College. Besides her wisdom tooth video, she has done several high school video productions along with promotional videos for LCC.
The Daily News, Oct. 20, 2015


ASAP Graduates
The City University of New York will today announce a major expansion of a program that has had remarkable success at improving graduation rates of community college students. CUNY plans to enroll all new full-time students at Bronx Community College in the program, with a goal of having a 50 percent three-year graduation rate. There are many efforts around the country showing progress at improving community colleges' graduation rates. But CUNY's announcement today -- including a goal of applying one of the most promising of these programs to an entire college -- represents an effort to take such a program and bring it to scale, something that has not generally been attempted.  The program, Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, or ASAP, has many fans in New York State and also in Washington, D.C., where President Obama has praised it. The program provides students with much more academic and financial support than most community college students receive: free tuition, textbooks and public transportation, and regular required contact with an adviser who has a relatively small caseload.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 16, 2015

As Campus Gun Violence Increases, So Do Professors' Fears
Gallows humor masks feelings of helplessness and anger as faculty members speculate on the grim probability of more classroom shootings.  ... On social media, their comments are a mix of worry and anger. "I hate being afraid of my students, but I am," wrote one. "If I’m the next professor to die because politicians refuse to act on gun control, please politicize my death. Thank you in advance," wrote another.  "None of us went into academia with the idea we'd qualify for combat pay," said Kevin M. Gannon, chairman of the history department at Grand View University, in Iowa.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 12, 2015

Older parents face college-debt crunch
Higher education is certainly a priority for this tight-knit Maple Valley family. [Green River] College professor Walter Lowe and his wife, Annerose Lowe, are determined to help their five children earn college degrees and start their careers without taking on mounds of student debt. But the Lowes are also older parents in their 50s and 60s. They have a six-figure mortgage, limited savings and a break-even cash flow that makes additional savings difficult.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 17, 2015

New grant will create prizes for faculty using digital courseware
The Online Learning Consortium, in a move to encourage professors to develop and use digital courseware, will offer new prizes for faculty-led teams that advance and adopt sophisticated online courses with “a strong pedagogical focus and a sustained impact on student success in gateway courses,” the organization announced at its conference here last week. The organization, formerly known as the Sloan Consortium, said it would award up to 10 prizes of $10,000 each to the faculty teams, beginning in 2016. It will also provide up to three prizes of $100,000 each, it said, to institutions that showcase sustained innovation “on a broader scale” in the use of the courses.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 19, 2015

High-School Diploma Options Multiply, but May Not Set Up Students for College Success
For too many students, high-school diplomas are "tickets to nowhere" that offer "false assurances" that graduates are ready for college or a job, according to a report released on Monday. The report, "How the States Got Their Rates," was issued by Achieve, a nonprofit group that works with states to raise academic standards and graduation requirements. As states try to increase their high-school graduation rates and tailor programs to different goals, the number of diploma options has become "incredibly complex," the report notes. ... Achieve’s report was released amid growing concerns that students graduating from high school aren’t ready for college. Last week the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of Community College Trustees, and Higher Ed for Higher Standards announced a plan to work together to push for more-demanding standards for high-school graduation. The three groups reported that about half of first-year students at two-year colleges and one in five of those entering four-year institutions require remedial coursework before they can start college-level classes.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 19, 2015


What’s the First Lady’s New Public-Awareness Campaign All About? And Could It Work?
Michelle Obama on Monday unveiled a new element of her work to encourage young people to pursue education beyond high school: a public-awareness campaign called "Better Make Room." The campaign, which rolled out with a diverse list of partners including the Lumina Foundation, Mashable, and Funny or Die, has a website, a hashtag, and a video in the style of a public-service announcement. Users can also sign up for college-related text-message reminders.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 19, 2015

What Duncan Wishes He’d Done Differently — and What’s Next for the Education Dept.
If the departing secretary of education, Arne Duncan, has any regrets about his supervision of higher education, it’s not cracking down on "bad actors" in the for-profit-college sector sooner. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Mr. Duncan, who has served as secretary since the start of the Obama administration and who announced this month that he planned to step down in December, twice said he wished he’d issued the "gainful employment" rule earlier than in 2009.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 19, 2015

Colleges Embrace Pell Grant Expansion for Prisoners
More than 200 colleges and universities have said they’re interested in joining the Obama administration’s pilot program that will provide Pell Grants to incarcerated students, an official said Monday. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell told reporters that the Education Department had received “over 200” letters of interest from colleges and universities that want to participate in the program, which the administration has dubbed Second Chance Pell.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 20, 2015