Tuesday, December 8, 2015

News Links | December 8, 2015


New approach leads to math boom at Moses Lake college
Big Bend Community College continues to show strong gains in the number of students enrolling in math and technology fields. The gains are especially striking among Hispanic students.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 7, 2015

Half of community college students struggle to find housing, food
In the American imagination, higher education is supposed to be a ticket to a better life. But even for a large share of students who make it to college, poverty can be hard to escape, because its trappings plague them through school. More than half of community college students experience some form of housing insecurity, ranging from struggles to afford rent to sleeping in abandoned buildings or shelters, according to a study released Friday by the University of Wisconsin’s Hope Lab, a research organization aimed at increasing equity in higher education. ... At Tacoma Community College in Washington, students who maintain a 2.0 GPA and are at risk of homelessness are eligible for housing vouchers provided by the school.
MarketWatch, Dec. 7, 2015

Unifying statewide education to create a credential ladder
The higher education system is notoriously slow to change, but widespread concerns about the value of a postsecondary education combined with high demands for specific skills from employers have pushed innovation in the credentialing space forward. In Washington, state legislators are finding ways to create a unified credentialing system that helps learners move towards advanced degrees through a stackable model. In this interview, Jan Yoshiwara, deputy executive director of education at the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, discusses the importance of stackable credentials for today’s learners and shares her thoughts on what it takes to create a higher education system designed for stackability.
EvoLLLution, Dec. 7, 2015

Audubon clubs prep for Christmas Bird Count
Bird watchers are gearing up for the Christmas Bird Count, an annual census that gives experienced birders a platform to involve newcomers in citizen science. ... “Scientists tend to be more interested in the trends rather than the numbers and species of a single count,” said Gary Blevins, Spokane Audubon member and biology professor a Spokane Falls Community College.
The Spokesman-Review, Dec. 5, 2015

SVC remembers former assistant fire chief Jerry Banta
Every day when he came to work, Mount Vernon firefighter Eric Tyree would thank his assistant chief, Jerry Banta. “I love my job,” Tyree said. “He’s the one who called and offered me the job.” Banta, who worked for the Mount Vernon Fire Department between 1973 and 1999 and was known for his passion for training firefighters, died Wednesday. He was 74. ... Banta was also instrumental in the construction of the training tower at Skagit Valley College that bears his name.
Skagit Valley Herald, Dec. 4, 2015

300 middle school students learn at STEM conference
More than 300 middle school students took part in the annual STEM Exporers Middle School Conference at Columbia Basin College. Students from the mathematics, engineering, science achievement program, known as MESA, got to learn directly from the professionals in the field.
KVEW TV, Dec. 4, 2015

Pierce College pursues adults who didn’t finish high school
Mallery Tickle is a 29-year-old single mother who wants to spend more time with her daughter. Jacob Gottschalk is a 25-year-old steel scaffolding builder who wants to make up for youthful indiscretions. Both are high school dropouts who wanted to go back to school and did. Although they dropped out for different reasons, Tickle and Gottschalk share a common goal: to earn their high school diploma and get a degree. ... After more than a decade working long hours at dead-end jobs, Tickle and Gottschalk found themselves at Pierce College.
The News Tribune, Dec. 3, 2015

Boxer Andre Ward hopes to provide ‘turning point’ for at-risk youths during Seattle visit
Andre Ward remembers childhood conversations with his father and godfather as “turning points” that shaped him into a boxing world champion. ... Your House founder Chris Cates-Lopez can relate to the power of somebody taking an interest. Cates-Lopez, 36, formed the non-profit boxing club in 2011, years after his own “turning point” in his 20s diverted the one-time gang member from crime toward a legal career. ... Cates-Lopez got help for the post-traumatic stress he’d suffered as a result of overseas military duty. He eased away from the gang buddies he’d fallen back in with upon his return, and eventually he took classes at Edmonds Community College.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 3, 2015

LaRue: Young, white and Southern, she helped change the civil rights scene
She was born into a white Southern family, to a racist mother who would tell her: “No matter how bad things are, at least ya aren't black.” Joan Trumpauer Mulholland rebelled, and not just in the Virginia home where she grew up. At Duke University, she took part in a civil rights protest in 1960 — and the dean of women suggested counseling and demanded she cease participation. ... “It’s not yesterday’s news, it’s history,” said Mulholland, now a 74-year-old mother of five, in an interview Tuesday. “We need to have it taught more.” In that spirit, she is coming to the Puget Sound area to speak Thursday at Pierce College in Puyallup. Mulholland said she’ll be certain to make her references to the past relevant.
The News Tribune, Dec. 1, 2015


Yik Yak on campus: Safe space to vent, or forum for hate? (Or both?)
At the center of a hate-speech incident at Western Washington University over Thanksgiving week was an anonymous-posting app many students use and many parents may not know about: Yik Yak. It was the latest in a string of events across the country that have students, activists and administrators across the country wrestling with how the anonymous-posting service, extremely popular with millennials, fits in on campus.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 7, 2015

Higher education groups seek flexibility for accreditors
Three major higher education groups on Friday urged the U.S. Department of Education to allow federally recognized accreditors to evaluate colleges differently based on the colleges’ performance. The goal is to allow colleges with strong student outcomes to face a less intensive review process, which many institutions find to be “long, arduous, expensive and complicated,” the associations wrote in a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. It was signed by the leaders of the American Council on Education, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Universities.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 7, 2015

College board embraces prior-prior year
The College Board decided Wednesday to follow suit with recent FAFSA reform and begin accepting prior-prior year data for the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 7, 2015

College-educated women have lasting marriages
Women who have a bachelor's degree are significantly more likely than those with less education to have lasting marriages, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center. Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, researchers estimate that 78 percent of college-educated women who married for the first time between 2006 and 2010 could expect their marriages to last at least 20 years. For women who have a high school education or less, the share is only 40 percent.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 7, 2015

Meal plan costs tick upward as students pay for more than food
Tennessee’s contract with its dining vendor, Aramark, is just one example of how universities nationwide are embracing increasingly lucrative deals with giant dining contractors, who offer commissions and signing bonuses to help pay for campus improvements and academic programs. It is part of a new model of raising money through partnerships with private vendors, officials say, and with state funding for higher education still below pre-recession levels, a way to replace lost revenue.
New York Times, Dec. 5, 2015

When more is less
New study suggests that when it comes to writing assignments and instruction, quality — not quantity — matters most.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 4, 2015

All colleges aren’t the same
Recently over at the Washington Post, Daniel Drezner, a professor at Tufts, has have a helpful post for how to think about academic reforms. Be specifc.
Washington Monthly, Dec. 2, 2015


Bills in 10 states for debt-free college
Legislators in 10 states will announce today that they are introducing bills in their respective legislatures to create debt-free options in public higher education.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 7, 2015

State plans to start regular 529 college-savings program
The committee that runs Washington’s college-savings program will ask the Legislature for startup costs to create a traditional 529 college-savings plan. Meanwhile, people continue to ask for refunds from the state’s prepaid tuition program, which will remain frozen for now.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 5, 2015

Accreditor fight with CFPB moves to federal court
The battle between a national accrediting organization overseeing many for-profit colleges and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now making its way through federal court. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, known as ACICS, argued in a court filing late Tuesday that it shouldn’t have to turn over records to the CFPB because the agency lacks jurisdiction over college accreditors.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 4, 2015