Thursday, October 22, 2015

News Links | October 22, 2015


Pierce College celebrates Disability History Month
Throughout the month of October, Pierce College campuses will hold a number of events designed to raise awareness and understanding of people living with disabilities. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability. The Access and Disabilities Services departments on both campuses are designed to ensure all students with disabilities enjoy equal access to all college activities and programs.
The Suburban Times, Oct. 20, 2015

Marine technology program getting rebuilt with high school students’ futures in mind
Leaders are planning to revamp the high school marine technology program in hopes of attracting more interest, and students, so the program can restart next fall. ... Now, the program has more of a boatbuilding focus, with jobs focused on companies like Dakota Creek Industries, Walker said. They’re finding students are interested in other areas as well, including maintenance, boat chartering and working on a boat crew. Broadening the program will draw from a deeper pool, he said. That would make the high school program more of a precursor to the Skagit Valley College marine tech classes, which are going strong. High schoolers could start the new high school program in the fall or opt to take the college-level marine tech classes through Running Start.
Anacortes American, Oct. 21, 2015
Polio losing to good people taking action
If you sometimes despair about the myriad problems the world faces, you should talk with Ezra Teshome. I guarantee he’ll help you see possibilities in place of problems. “In a sea of problems you could walk away saying it is too much, or you could make a difference for one person,” Teshome told me. ... This week he’s celebrating a victory over polio, a disease that once preyed on millions of people around the world. Teshome will be among the speakers at a celebration of World Polio Day at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Saturday. And there is good news this year. ... When he was in high school, young people were part of a movement demanding changes in the government of Haile Selassie who had been emperor since 1930. Schools were often closed for days, weeks, even months because of the protests.  A friend suggested Teshome go elsewhere to finish his education and pointed him here. So in 1971, at 18, he entered Highline Community College, then earned a pre-law degree from Seattle University intending to go to law school, then return to Ethiopia.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 21, 2015
Editorial: Marine tech program can flourish with new energy, ideas
... We remember well the excitement when the marine skills center opened — and the community’s support and the expectations that young people would get excellent vocational training and be in line for entry-level positions here and elsewhere in an industry that struggles at times to fill jobs. Here was an opportunity to grow our local work force and grow the marine trades here. Those goals can still be realized. There is also good news at the skills center. The marine technology classes offered through Skagit Valley College are going strong with college students getting the training they need and going to work. Also, the aerospace program for high school students has been a success. A second class has been added and 34 students are enrolled in all.

Anacortes American, Oct. 21, 2015

A Halloween competition worth $50,000: Local sugar artist competes on Halloween Wars
Halloween Wars just started its fifth season earlier this month, and we have one of the competitors in the studio with us. Rebecca Wortman, a sugar artist on Team Morbid Morticians has been creating buttercream sculptures since 2012. She has many notable titles - one of the Top Ten Cake Artists in North America in 2014, Best Sugar Sculpture in 2012, and she is a member of the American Culinary Federation. Rebecca graduated from the Spokane Community College Professional Baking Program and she is now a Chef Educator for the Spokane Community College Inland Northwest Culinary Academy After Dark program. ... Halloween Wars airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Food Network.
KING 5 TV, Oct. 21, 2015

I don't need to look like a beast to win': Female lumberjack champion refuses to stop feeling 'glamorous' and 'sexy' because of her muscular physique
A stunning female lumberjack is shattering the manly image associated with the sport by crushing competition twice her size to claim the title of world champion, three times. Despite not having a big belly or a bushy beard, Erin LaVoie, 33, from Spokane, Washington, holds two world records and is a three-time Iron Jill in lumberjack sports. Erin first joined a lumberjack team - the SCC Gyppos - aged 19 while studying forestry at Spokane Community College. At that point, in 2002, very few women were practicing the sport, so she was forced to face off against male competitors. But while they put up a good fight, it wasn't long before Erin started winning against even the toughest opponents.
UK Daily Mail, Oct. 21, 2015

A walk through climate catastrophe with artist Mary Iverson 
What’s the best vantage point for taking in the apocalypse? The rim of Crater Lake is a possibility. A woodland pond near Mount Rainier offers another fine option. Or maybe the coast of Maui is the best alternative. In “You and Me in the Aftermath,” a new show by Seattle artist Mary Iverson at G. Gibson Gallery, environmental and volcanic devastation fills every horizon — and the reaction of the tiny human figures who observe it is pure nonchalance. Hikers keep hiking. Tourists keep gawking. And kids crane excitedly over a glacier-deep river of ships and bright cargo containers clogging the Columbia Gorge. Iverson, who teaches at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, is a landscape surrealist with an eco-warrior agenda. She deliberately “ruins” her pictures with inks, acrylics and X-ACTO knives to get her point across.

The Seattle Times, Oct. 21, 2015

Aiden Hunter is 14, and he's been attending college for two years
In his student ID photo, Aiden Hunter offers a bright, youthful smile. His wavy dark hair flips off his head just above his shoulders and curls across his forehead in sweeping bangs. He’s 12 in the photo — 20 years younger than the average Lower Columbia College student. Now, at 14, Aiden says he loves college life. He has prospered, carrying a full course load of physics, calculus and computer science, getting on the President’s List this year and carrying above a 3.7 GPA.
The Daily News, Oct. 22, 2015

CPTC Sends Expression of Support to Umpqua Community College
Umpqua Community College has been on the minds of Clover Park Technical College faculty, staff and students since the tragic shooting Oct. 1. To show their support, officers from CPTC’s Beta Omicron Gamma chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society designed a banner and invited the college community to sign it before they mailed it to the Oregon community college.
The Suburban Times, Oct. 22, 2015



How community colleges changed the whole idea of education in America
Community colleges have been at the forefront of nearly every major development in higher education. In January of 2015, President Obama unveiled his “American College Promise” program – a plan to make two years of community college education available free of charge to “everyone who’s willing to work for it.” In offering the proposal, the president did not just venture a partial solution to the student debt crisis. He joined a growing community of thinkers who see the community college as central to solving a wide variety of problems in higher education, from cost and inclusivity to career-preparedness and community engagement. The role of problem-solver is one that community colleges are well-equipped to play. Just over a century old, community colleges have been at the forefront of nearly every major development in higher education since their inception. To appreciate the role that community colleges can be expected to play in reforming higher education today, Americans would do well to consider their long history of innovation. ... Inexpensive, often publicly funded, and open to a wider cross-section of Americans than many of their four-year counterparts, these junior colleges were celebrated as “people’s colleges.” Though a far cry from full inclusiveness, these male-dominated, majority-white schools nevertheless catered to a broader swath of working-class Americans than nearly any other contemporary educational institution.
TIME, Oct. 20, 2015

Grant Programs Get Persnickety
To tame a rising tide of grant proposals, federal agencies are becoming sticklers about enforcing their application requirements — stating deadlines in hundredths of seconds and using software to prevent the submission of error-riddled applications In announcing grant programs now, a variety of agencies include explicit language warning applicants that failure to follow the guidelines for file names, content, and format could result in the proposal’s being returned without review. It is more important than ever to closely follow all requirements spelled out in a call for proposals and to submit early enough to fix any mistakes caught by the submission system. Application guidelines are nothing new, but the ferocity with which they are being enforced is. The wrong font size on a proposal could lead to its rejection, forcing the applicant to wait months until the next grant cycle to resubmit. The delay can prove damaging with the tenure and promotion clock ticking.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 21, 2015

Who Should Prevent Social Media Harassment?
On Wednesday 72 women's and civil rights organizations urged the U.S. Education Department to tell colleges that they must monitor anonymous apps like Yik Yak -- frequently the source of sexist and racist comments about named or identifiable students -- and do something to protect those students who are named. The groups said they view anonymous online abuse as an emerging issue under provisions of the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. For colleges, Yik Yak and similar apps have already led to numerous protests and anger, but some experts question the practicality and legality of administrators doing what the groups want.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 22, 2015

Report on Competencies Sought by Employers 
A report last month from the Committee on Economic Development examined which competencies employers find essential in the workers they want to hire, as well as which competencies are in short supply. ...The report found more than 90 percent of business leaders found problem solving and the ability to work with others of diverse backgrounds the most important competencies that led to being hired at their organizations. Those two areas were followed closely by critical thinking and teamwork or collaboration as important to have.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 22, 2015

The “O” word: Confessions of a Community College Dean
... Over the last ten years -- twenty, really -- public colleges' revenues have shifted from states (and sometimes counties) to students. As their revenue sources start to look more like the privates, they start to behave more like the privates.  Except that the mission is different. Private colleges can choose to shrink via increased selectivity ...Selectivity can make life easier for a private college, since it can outsource the riskiest populations to community colleges. Change the risk profile of your student body, and you will change outcomes. Improved retention and graduation rates can offset some of the tuition loss over time.  For community colleges, selectivity isn’t an option; it would violate the mission. In an environment in which tuition is sixty percent or more of a college's budget, enrollment drops mean immediate budget crunches. ... If we want community colleges to maintain academic standards while serving smaller populations, we're going to have to come to terms with the trend of cost-shifting to students.  States offloaded costs onto students; then, the students went away. That leaves colleges in a bad spot. ... If you want to maintain quality with shrinking enrollments, you'll need to offset the shrinking enrollments with... Anyone...? Increased operating aid.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 22, 2015


The quest for a higher education deal
Murray and Alexander are working to whittle down a long list of proposals for the next major education policy bill. ... Dis­cus­sions between Mur­ray and Al­ex­an­der’s staffs began re­cently, and the pan­el’s goal is to write a bill by year’s end. The on­go­ing con­ver­sa­tions between the pan­el’s staff fol­lows many bi­par­tis­an work­ing group meet­ings—open to any HELP Com­mit­tee mem­ber’s aides—that the chair­man and rank­ing mem­ber an­nounced in May. The staff met al­most daily dur­ing the sum­mer to dis­cuss the four ma­jor is­sues they were tasked with ana­lyz­ing: ac­count­ab­il­ity, ac­cred­it­a­tion, col­lege af­ford­ab­il­ity and fin­an­cial aid, and cam­pus sexu­al as­sault and safety.
National Journal, Oct. 21, 2015

Ed Dept. to Schools: You must teach all students, regardless of legal status
A new guide offers pointers on how to educate undocumented students. The Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment just is­sued a subtle re­mind­er to edu­cat­ors across the coun­try: Re­gard­less of cit­izen­ship or im­mig­ra­tion status, all stu­dents are leg­ally en­titled to edu­ca­tion in the United States. Aimed at high school and col­lege stu­dents as well as edu­cat­ors, a new guide lays out in­form­a­tion about de­ferred ac­tion for child­hood ar­rivals (DACA), which of­fers some young people a tem­por­ary re­prieve from de­port­a­tion and opens ac­cess to some jobs and schol­ar­ships. The guide also out­lines which states al­low un­doc­u­mented col­lege stu­dents to ap­ply for fin­an­cial aid.
National Journal, Oct. 22, 2015