Tuesday, October 6, 2015

News Links | October 6, 2015


Elizabeth Wesley program marks 2 decades of honoring African American youths
Two decades ago, a group of Pierce County community leaders was frustrated at what was happening with local African American high school students: low graduation rates, underachievement, too few on the road to college. ... What emerged was the Elizabeth Wesley Youth Merit Incentive Award Program. In 1996, the program recognized five African American kids for their achievements. At its most recent awards ceremony, held in September at Clover Park Technical College, there were 203 Wesley honorees. ... CeDrice Howard, a Curtis High School and Running Start student at Tacoma Community College, is a three-time Wesley award winner.
The News Tribune, Oct. 5, 2015

America needs to let go of its reverence for the bachelor's degree
Many high-school graduates must choose between two bad options: a four-year program for which they’re not academically or emotionally prepared, or job-specific training that might put a ceiling on their careers. ... Other community colleges in Washington offer a bachelor’s of applied science, or BAS, a four-year degree designed explicitly to build on a two-year technical degree and provide a seamless pathway for students to continue their education. Some of the programs, like the BAS in manufacturing operations at Clover Park Technical College, add business and management skills to a two-year program teaching students how to operate and repair complex machinery. Others, like the BAS in radiologic technology at Bellevue College, allow students to continue deepening their technical skills in a particular field.
The Atlantic, Oct. 5, 2015

Northwest Career and Technical Academy inspires kids to serve
One day, a kid in Jack Greaves’ Fire Science and EMT class at the Northwest Career and Technical Academy could save a life. Be it a car wreck or a house fire, the 28 high school students in the class will soon have the skills they need to set them on a path to help people. ... This is the first year the academy has had a fire science program, said Northwest Career and Technical Academy Executive Director Doug Walker. ... Next year, the students can continue their studies through Skagit Valley College’s newly expanded fire science program.
Skagit Valley Herald, Oct. 5, 2015

A plan to give 5,000 dropouts a second chance
Carol Cleveland has launched 326 high school dropouts on a path to graduation. With a big boost from the United Way, she’s likely to launch many, many more. Cleveland is principal of iGrad, an unusual school completion program tucked into a Kent strip mall. Organizations like hers will be the beneficiaries of the United Way’s new “Reconnecting Youth Project,” which aims to help 5,000 dropouts achieve high school equivalency degrees. ... iGrad, which currently has 430 students, opened in June, 2012. Since then, Cleveland said, 326 students have moved on from the program to receive degrees, diplomas or certificates. They work at their own pace, on their own schedule, with close supervision from iGrad mentors. Many of them earn simultaneous credit at Green River College, an iGrad partner, and go on to earn associate degrees.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 5, 2015

Opinion: Sharon Brown and Mike Padden: Videoconferencing the next step in Washington’s participatory democracy
Noted author and publisher Dan Poynter once challenged members of an audience to always keep moving forward toward reaching their goals. “Each step you take reveals a new horizon,” he told them. “You have taken the first step today. Now, I challenge you to take another.” It’s the same challenge we have made to the Legislature when it comes to providing Washingtonians an opportunity to testify at legislative hearings using remote videoconferencing technology. ... Six remote facilities were used, including locations at Spokane Community College, WSU-Spokane and Columbia Basin College in Pasco. ... The analysis also found that there was a high level of cooperation from the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
The Spokesman-Review, Oct. 4, 2015

Edmonds Community College officials, students praise tuition cuts for students
The new state budget recently allowed for Washington state to implement a first-ever drop in tuition by 5 percent for community colleges. Washington is the only state in the country to lower tuition. The cuts recently took effect for fall quarter 2015. “This is a huge deal for students,” said Lia Andrews, student and president of the student executive board at Edmonds Community College. “Even for the students who qualify for financial aid, debts from student loans are exorbitant in America. The concern over whether one can even pay for college is a big incentive not to attend college.”
My Edmonds News, Oct. 3, 2015

North Olympic Peninsula police, college personnel train to avert shooting catastrophe like rampage at Oregon college
City, county, state and federal agencies on the North Olympic Peninsula practice plans to avert the kind of carnage that wracked Umpqua Community College on Thursday in Roseburg, Ore. Security personnel at Peninsula College campuses in Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Forks are not commissioned law enforcement officers, carry no firearms and have no arrest powers because the state Legislature has not granted the school such authority.
Peninsula Daily News, Oct. 3, 2015

WCC students’ dream comes to fruition in new, improved Pavilion
Turns out you don’t need to be Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella in “Field of Dreams” standing in an Iowa cornfield to hear voices — a community college in the middle of Bellingham will suffice. And much like Kinsella, Whatcom Community College decided to listen to the voices and build something much grander. Instead of plowing under a portion of a cornfield to build a baseball diamond, WCC decided to gut parts of its nearly 20-year old Whatcom Pavilion, refurbish other portions and nearly double its size in a $13 million project to create a beautiful new Pavilion and Student Recreation Center that should now serve as a hub for campus life.
The Bellingham Herald, Oct. 3, 2015

Everett Community College expands training for advanced manufacturing
With the aerospace sector booming, Everett Community College announced Friday a $2.5 million facility expansion to its year-old Advanced Manufacturing Training & Education Center. The expansion will add 17,000 square feet for the college’s precision machining, welding and fabrication, engineering technician, composites and manufacturing pre-employment programs.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 2, 2015

Centralia College seeks balance of safety and freedom for higher ed
Steve Ward sees a lot of similarities between Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and Centralia College, where he serves as a vice president for finance and administration. He finds the shootings that happened at Umpqua, coupled with threats of violence and the lockdown and evacuation at Centralia High School on Friday, particularly disturbing. After learning of the threats made to Centralia High, Centralia College did not go into lockdown. Rather, administrators sent messages to students and faculty via email and a mobile phone warning service called e2Campus.
Centralia Chronicle, Oct. 2, 2015

Students and staff at YVCC weigh in on deadly shooting at community college in Oregon
The shootings at the small community college in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday morning left our country stunned. Other colleges are trying to make sense of this act of violence and for our students at Yakima Valley Community College it's frightening, knowing something like this could happen so close to home.
NBC Right Now, Oct. 2, 2015

CBC continues maintaining safety precautions and emergency preparedness
Friday we talked with local law enforcement as well as Franklin County Emergency Management on their preparations and safety measures with Columbia Basin College in the time of an emergency.
NBC Right Now, Oct. 2, 2015

College tries to identify troubled students before they strike
On Friday, authorities said the Umpqua shooter was a student in the classroom where the rampage started in Roseburg, Oregon. Some schools in Western Washington go to extraordinary lengths to try to identify troubled students before they strike. "Oh, I was terrified. I was thinking it could be Bellevue College someday. Or it could be South Seattle or Seattle Central," said Ana Blackstadt, dean of student success at Bellevue College. Blackstadt heads the team that monitors potentially troubled students at the Eastside college. The Behavioral Intervention Team – or BIT – is charged with monitoring "students of concern."
KING 5, Oct. 2, 2015

CPTC: Former Marine forges industry connections, new career in manufacturing
As Jake Boushack prepared to separate from service with the U.S. Marine Corps, the artilleryman researched employable fields in Washington state. Manufacturing caught his attention and Boushack found Clover Park Technical College offered the ideal program to prepare him for his post-military career.
The Suburban Times, Oct. 2, 2015

Whatcom Community College hires two for leadership roles
Whatcom Community College recently appointed two to its leadership team. Curt Freed is the college’s new vice president for instruction and Luca Lewis will serve as the college’s vice president for student services.
Bellingham Business Journal, Oct. 2, 2015

LCC: 'Thoughts and prayers are with our colleagues at Umpqua'
Lower Columbia College operations will continue as normal in the wake of Thursday’s shooting at Umpqua Community College near Roseburg, Ore. As normal as possible in this kind of situation, anyway.
Longview Daily News, Oct. 1, 2015

Oregon campus shooting reverberates at Clark College, WSUV
The tragedy at Umpqua Community College was felt Thursday at Clark College and Washington State University Vancouver.
The Columbian, Oct. 1, 2015

Ten dead, shooter killed at Oregon community college
Video: Security messages keeping Spokane Falls Community College safe.

At colleges, ‘It’s always a balance’ between security, openness
From cellphone alerts to emergency call boxes and lockdown drills, colleges and universities in Washington prepare for the worst, while striving to be open and welcoming to communities they serve. ... “It is something we know from SPU, someone can come on campus and commit horrendous crimes,” said Laura McDowell, director of communications for the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. ... This spring, Seattle Central College installed blue emergency call towers and call boxes, with cameras, to provide another way to assist in or report an emergency on campus. ... At Bellevue College, emergency messages can take over any desktop computer on campus and soon will be able to take over the college’s Web pages as well, converting them to an emergency information hub. ... Many colleges also take a preventive approach, by seeking to identify struggling students who may need counseling or other support. The so-called Behavior Intervention Teams are standard practice at Whatcom Community College, said Luca Lewis, vice president of student services there.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 1, 2015

Epperson takes over as Skagit Valley College's athletic director
Steve Epperson has been a fixture at Skagit Valley College, both in the financial aid office and on the sidelines as the women’s basketball coach. Now, he’ll step into the shoes of another familiar figure. Epperson has been hired as the college’s new athletic director. He replaces Gary Knutzen, who has retired after 47 years in the position.
Skagit Valley Herald, Oct. 1, 2015


A nuanced look at (some) 2-year students
The easy headline to be drawn from new research examining the preparation and outcomes of students at two- and four-year colleges is that traditional-age students who enroll at community colleges are less likely to earn a bachelor's degree within six years than are comparably qualified students who go straight to four-year colleges. That is an undeniable finding of the study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which was conducted by researchers at the College Board and the University of Michigan. But it is far from the only, or even the most interesting, result of the study, given that quite a bit of previous research has found something similar, and it probably won't surprise a lot of people. What's more interesting about the study is that it tries, the authors say for perhaps the first time, to compare the academic preparation that traditional-age students have when they enter two-year and four-year colleges, and to show that there is significant differentiation among community colleges in the preparation of students.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 6, 2015

Army U
Everyone in the U.S. Army, from top officers to new recruits, gets some kind of training. Soon, many of those trainees will also be in college. Sort of. They will be in Army University: a soon-to-begin restructuring of the Army’s educational system that will be modeled after traditional civilian universities. The idea is to consolidate the Army’s many educational and training programs, to make them more flexible and adaptable, and to help students get more college credit for their military experience.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 6, 2015

Shifts in major aid program for black students
The National Merit Scholarship Program has announced that it is phasing out its National Achievement Scholarship Program, which has provided aid to black students since 1964. The National Merit Scholarship Program has been widely criticized for picking semifinalists for its program based on PSAT scores, and black students, on average, do not score as highly as white or Asian students on that test.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 6, 2015

Statisticians wanted: The lesser-known, but also hot tech field
In recent years, there’s been a big focus on computer science as a path to a top job after college. But the American Statistical Association would like students to know that statistics is also a hot field these days. Even though more students are earning statistics degrees than ever before, there aren’t enough statisticians being trained to meet the demand.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 5, 2015

Coalition of the willing or the wealthy?
In the question period of a session on whether the admissions profession has lost its way, an early question came from a woman who said she had worked in high school counseling and in college admissions, in both cases at institutions that are not famous. She talked about how reform ideas that originate among institutions that don't top the rankings lists have a hard time capturing attention. And she implored the leaders of the most prestigious institutions to push for reform of college admissions. The statement drew applause. The admissions development with the most buzz here at the annual meeting of the National Association for College Admission Counseling was an effort by prestigious institutions to do just what the speaker urged — to take a stand for a change in admissions.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 5, 2015

Credentialing ‘summit’ will tackle proliferation of degrees, badges and certificates
More than 150 people from education, labor, business, and public-policy organizations will gather here on Monday to kick off a process aimed at making better sense of the myriad of credentials that people use to advance their careers and employers depend upon when hiring. At issue are traditional credentials in academe and the workplace as well as newfangled ones like the badges issued by MOOC operators and certificates from other so-called alternative providers.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 3, 2015

Community colleges face big security risks with few resources
The violence at Umpqua Community College last week was the worst mass shooting at a two-year college, whose campuses typically have less security and mental-health resources than those of four-year institutions. A former president of the college, Joseph Olson, said that it has only one security guard, who is unarmed, and that it relies otherwise on the local police force. That’s not uncommon at small, rural colleges like Umpqua, in Roseburg, Ore., say campus-security experts.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 2, 2015

Tragedy at Umpqua
Oregon’s Umpqua Community College on Thursday became the site of the third-most-deadly mass shooting ever to occur on a college campus. A lone gunman identified as a 26-year-old local man shot and killed 10 people and injured seven more at the rural two-year campus, reported The New York Times and many other news outlets.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 2, 2015

A push to send students abroad
Few if any of the attendees at a summit on increasing study abroad participation would need to be convinced of study abroad’s value, but a key theme of discussions on Thursday was the need to better communicate that value to others. To first-generation college students and to students at community colleges. To students who are military veterans and to students who have disabilities. To parents. To faculty members. To prospective employers. The drive to increase and diversify the population of students going abroad at institutions of all types is a shared goal at the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Summit, which continues through today.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 2, 2015

In falling default rates, an incomplete picture of borrower distress
Default rates on federal student loans fell at all types of colleges this year, with the biggest drop occurring among for-profit institutions. Nationwide, the federal default rate declined by almost two percentage points, to 11.8 percent for students who entered repayment in the 2012 fiscal year. Only 15 colleges exceeded the cutoffs established by Congress and could lose access to federal student aid as a result. The bit of good news masks a crucial fact, however: Thousands of borrowers are still struggling to repay their debt.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 1, 2015


Clinton takes on Sanders's free tuition plan
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Monday criticized efforts to make college “free for everybody,” saying she doesn’t want to give away such benefits to children from wealthy families.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 6, 2015

5 things colleges should know about the new secretary of education
John B. King Jr., who will lead the Education Department through President Obama’s final year in office, isn’t well known in higher-education circles. Like his predecessor, Arne Duncan, who announced on Friday that he would step down in December, Mr. King is most famous (or infamous, depending on whom you’re talking to) for his efforts to remake elementary and secondary education. Here’s what readers need to know about him.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 5, 2015

States grow need-based aid
States are increasing the financial aid they provide to undergraduates, with need-based aid rising at a much faster pace than non-need-based aid. Funding for undergraduate need-based grant aid increased nationwide from about $7 billion in 2013 to about $7.4 billion in 2014, an increase of 4 percent when adjusted for inflation, according to a report released today by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 5, 2015

Duncan legacy: Innovation and regulation
Arne Duncan, a member of President Obama's inner circle and the second-longest-serving education secretary ever,announced Friday that he will resign in December. He will be replaced by John King Jr., who has been acting as Duncan's deputy secretary since January and is former commissioner of education in New York. Many observers had assumed that Duncan would be among those to turn out the lights on the administration in early 2017, given his close personal relationship to the president; they are basketball-playing buddies as well as close colleagues. And indeed, President Obama said in a news conference announcing Duncan's departure Friday that he had "pushed Arne to stay."
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 5, 2015

New push on bankruptcy protections
The Obama administration is calling on Congress to make it easier for some student loan borrowers to erase their debt through bankruptcy, as part of a package of proposals aimed at helping Americans who are struggling with loan payments.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 2, 2015

Perkins Loan Program, a federal stalwart since 1958, meets its demise
The Federal Perkins Loan Program died on Wednesday, the victim of a senator who has made it his mission to simplify student aid. Perkins was the oldest federal student-loan program on the books: Created in 1958, it spanned 11 administrations and provided $36 billion in aid to 30 million low-income students during its lifetime. Supporters said the program made college possible for millions of students who would otherwise have been unable to attend or been forced to take on costly private loans.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 1, 2015

Group that shaped federal student-aid policy is disbanded
Lost in the news of the demise of Perkins Loans on Thursday was another death: that of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. For nearly three decades, the committee had counseled Congress and the Education Department on student-aid issues. It played a major role in shaping federal student-aid policy, issuing reports that led to the creation and simplification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the development of two formulas to analyze the financial needs of low- and moderate-income students. Its work is frequently cited by academic researchers and lobbyists, and referred to in legislation.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 1, 2015