Skip to content

News Links | September 27, 2016

September 27, 2016 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Blyn naturalist publishes guide to Northwest

With the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic National Park just outside his front door, it was only natural for author Robert Steelquist to develop a deep love and curiosity for the wild — a passion he hopes to spread to others through his new book, “The Northwest Coastal Explorer.” ... Steelquist holds an associate degree from Peninsula College and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental studies from The Evergreen State College.
Peninsula Daily News, Sept. 25, 2016

Cybersecurity: how to protect your private information

Following a major data breach of 500 million Yahoo! users, Action News met with a local cybersecurity expert to find out how to protect your information, money and your identity online. "Big fan of online shopping — all of the kids' stuff, all of my stuff, all of my stuff for work, everything goes through an online shopping cart," said Valary Cronin, mother of two. Like many, Cronin said she’s never thought much about checking for web security while shopping online. But cyber security experts said — without taking extra precautions online — it only takes hackers seconds to access your information. "Now they have access to all of your credit information, your background and they start stealing and taking over your life," said Matt Boehnke, cybersecurity expert and assistant professor at Columbia Basin College.
KEPR, Sept. 24, 2016

3rd bachelor’s degree approved through Grays Harbor College

Centralia College announced that they received official notice this week that a joint Bachelor of Applied Science in Teacher Education between Grays Harbor College and the school was approved. The college states that the program, developed with GHC, will offer courses shared between the two colleges via live video.
KXRO, Sept. 23, 2016

What’s working: 21st century advising for today’s college students

When Whatcom Community College started reaching out to students who were in danger of failing a course, the faculty and administrators were happily surprised by the student response. ... Whatcom is one of an increasing number of colleges and universities that have started using a suite of online advising tools called iPASS, which stands for Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success. Early alert, for example, automatically flags students who have repeated absences or missed assignments for in-person follow-up. This allows the student to get back on track. Since implementing iPASS, Whatcom has seen fall-to-winter retention rates increase by 5 percentage points compared to the previous year.
The Huffington Post, Sept. 22, 2016

Veterans risk homelessness, losing tuition after ITT Tech shutdown

Military veterans were among the people most affected by this month's shutdown of ITT Technical Institutes. More than six-thousand former service members were enrolled at the for-profit college chain. ... They called Lake Washington Institute of Technology from the ITT parking lot and set up an appointment for the next day. Amy Goings is president of the school. She said those veterans were among many ITT students who've come to enroll.
NPR, Sept. 22, 2016

Former Centralia College student adds 17 years to Thurston County weather records

When Andy Jacobson first came across the nearly 133-year-old documents in 2010, he didn’t know about the six-year journey they would take him on. Back then, Jacobson was a student at Evergreen State College, where he’d started after graduating from Centralia College in 2010.
Centralia Chronicle, Sept. 22, 2016

The future of Washington wine is in the skilled hands of the next generation

The state’s fast-growing wine industry will continue to evolve under new leadership. Thanks in no small part to four Washington colleges training the next generation of winemakers and grape growers, our industry is poised to educate young people rather than rely on other states — specifically California — to do the job for us. Last year, Washington State University opened its high-tech Wine Science Center in the Tri-Cities. That will bring education and research to the heart of Washington wine country, while Walla Walla and Yakima Valley community colleges and South Seattle College provide vital training to those who want to become winemakers.
The Seattle Times, Sept. 22, 2016

Seattle Central College turns 50, celebrates history of social activism

Seattle Central College is celebrating its history as an epicenter of social activism. The Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, Occupy Seattle, WTO, May Day — Seattle Central has been the starting or ending point of all these demonstrations and marches.
The Seattle Times, Sept. 22, 2016

Our views: Centralia College continues to grow and improve

It’s a sign of strength in any organization when a change in leadership does not coincide in a reduction in efforts or improvement. That seems to be the case at our beloved local institution of higher learning, where facilities and educational offerings have continued to grow even with three different men occupying the president’s office in the past two years. Jim Walton returned on an interim basis when Robert Frost was relieved of his contract by the Centralia College board of trustees. Now, with Bob Mohrbacher at the helm, the college continues a trend of the past several years — inspiring announcements of positive change.
Centralia Chronicle, Sept. 22, 2016

Trends | Horizons | Education

Opinion: Reverse engineering the student experience

Even the most well-intentioned colleges and universities have a hard time figuring out where to start on the path to improving student success and completion. Financial incentives that keep students on track toward graduation have, in many cases, proven effective, but they often don’t scale in an era of tight budgets. Emerging technologies promise transformation, but they can fall short in a world where financial or organizational challenges tend to stymie implementation. As it turns out, the road to innovation is lined with real-world hurdles. Initiative fatigue abounds. And all too often, fiscal and organizational barriers can win the day when colleges and universities consider doing something new. But what if colleges and universities flipped that model on its head?
Insid Higher Ed, Sept. 27, 2016

How one institution went from a vocational school to a university

The United States needs more-inclusive campuses, where students can complete one certificate or degree and move on to the next, says Matthew S. Holland, president of Utah Valley University. It now offers several master’s programs but isn’t embarrassed by its vocational ethos, he says: The university is more focused on serving its nearly 35,000 students than on reaching for the next tier.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 27, 2016

In transitional year, SAT scores drop on old test

The College Board today announces average scores on the SAT for last year's high school graduating class — and such announcements are typically a time of debate over the state of education, the value of standardized testing, educational inequities and more. This year's results are somewhat difficult to analyze, because some students took the old version of the SAT and others the new.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 27, 2016

Epidemic of racist incidents

A year ago, racial incidents and lingering tensions on many campuses turned into protests in October that spread nationally in November. This year, incidents have multiplied at the very beginning of the academic year. And so have protests. Some of the incidents are closely tied to campus issues. But many reflect the protest movement — which extends well beyond campuses — against police shootings of unarmed black men. Many students are joining that movement, and in particular the calls of some not to stand during the playing of the national anthem before athletic events. And some of the racist incidents involve attacks on Black Lives Matter, frequently invoking the name of the movement along with racist images.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 26, 2016

The international bubble

This year’s charged political climate in the United States could seriously hurt colleges’ and universities’ ability to recruit international students, according to high school counselors and admissions officers. By one unscientific measure, 39 percent of counselors serving students from outside the U.S. said that the result of the U.S. election in November could change their students’ willingness to attend a university in the United States. The number is particularly eye opening for U.S. higher education leaders who increasingly look overseas for students who can fill classroom seats and pay high tuition bills.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 26, 2016

Washington State students object to fee for sports

Students at Washington State University are objecting to an administration plan to have each of them pay an additional $50 per semester as part of a plan to deal with an athletics department deficit, The Spokesman-Review reported. The athletics department has a $13 million deficit and the student fees would generate at least $1.7 million annually.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 26, 2016

Community college won't let four-year colleges recruit

Rowan College at Burlington County, a New Jersey community college that is affiliated with Rowan University, has angered many other four-year colleges by saying that they may no longer hold transfer fairs or recruitment events at the college, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 26, 2016

Virtual classrooms can be as unequal as real ones

When massive open online courses, or MOOCs, exploded in popularity in the early 2010s, educators were particularly excited about the courses’ potential to give disadvantaged students equal access to a quality education. But a bevy of recent research has shown that online learning has largely fallen short of that goal. The same factors that have held back low-income or minority students in physical classrooms also plague virtual ones. Studies have found that online-learning resources had trouble attracting low-income students — or, in the case of school-age children, their parents — and that those who did participate in online classes performed more poorly than their peers.
The Atlantic, Sept. 26, 2016

Shaken by economic change, 'non-traditional' students are becoming the new normal

While colleges and universities have seen enrollment growth follow every recession since 1980, the boost in enrollment following the Great Recession was far greater than previous. And a growing number of those students enrolling are older, working, have a family -– or all three. Nearly half of those enrolled in higher ed today are so-called "non-traditional" students. One quarter of all students are over the age of 30. The increase is driven mostly by tough financial realities and a changing economy.
NPR, Sept. 25, 2016

More aid for the needy

The percentage of students receiving federal Pell Grants has grown as incomes have fallen. A new report from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics found that the percentage of both independent and dependent students who received Pell Grants increased from 1999 to 2011. In 1999, 19 percent of dependent students — or those who relied on their parents' income — received the grants. That figure increased to 35 percent by 2011. Among independent students, the percentage of recipients increased from 25 percent in 1999 to 48 percent in 2011.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 23, 2016

When a C isn't good enough

For freshmen taking writing composition at the University of Arizona, receiving a C at the end of the semester may no longer warrant a sigh of relief. Instead, they may have to repeat the class. Two years ago, Arizona hired Civitas, an education technology company that uses predictive analytics, to track student behavior in an effort to boost student graduation rates. One finding jumped out: students' performance in commonly required courses was linked to whether they would graduate or drop out.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 23, 2016

Redoing application reading

Colleges and universities are preparing for a future in which student bodies are less white, Northeastern and Midwestern. That means changes for admissions readers, those who evaluate applications from prospective students. Admissions officers from three institutions shed some light on those changes in a session Thursday at the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 2016 national conference.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 23, 2016

Boeing invests $6M in local STEM education

Boeing is putting $6 million into local STEM education to create new generations of qualified employees. One million of it adds to investments already made at the college level.  The rest is going to elementary and high schools.
KING 5, Sept. 22, 2016

State releases new student achievement statistics. Experts balk

Parents in Washington state may notice another measurement along with their students’ state test scores this year. The student growth percentile (SGP) is meant to compare a child’s learning to their peers. ... Similarly, SGPs are supposed to show in relative terms how much your child’s state test score improved over last year compared to kids around the state with a similar test score history. That might help parents interpret whether a low score is a sign a child is struggling in a subject - or that one year's test was just unusually difficult. But as a measurement tool for individual student performance, SGPs have raised the ire of some researchers.
KUOW, Sept. 22, 2016

Seattle school enrollment exceeds forecast, may force teacher reassignments

Like last year, Seattle Public Schools may reassign some teachers three weeks into the school year, and create additional split-grade classes. The district says it needs to make adjustments because it underestimated how many students would arrive on the first day. Last year, the district said it had to reassign about two dozen staff members because it overestimated enrollment.
The Seattle Times, Sept. 21, 2016

How are kindergarten teachers balancing more rigorous standards?

Education experts widely recognize that a strong early childhood education is an important factor to set kids up for success in school. But whether kindergarten is more like preschool or elementary school has long been an open question that leaves teachers caught in-between. For some children kindergarten is the first time they’ve been to school, and at five-years-old they’re still too young to shoulder the anxiety and pressure of benchmark testing. All this leaves kindergarten teachers in a tough spot — they are required to teach an increasingly demanding set of standards, but many are also trained in child development and see the new demands as developmentally inappropriate.
KQED, Sept. 19, 2016

Politics | Local, State, National

Donald Trump's plan for America's schools

"I'm a tremendous believer in education." So begins a campaign ad for Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. But what does that mean? What does Trump believe about how we should fund and fix our schools, train and pay our teachers, and, most importantly, educate every child whether they're rich or poor, fluent in English or anything but, learning disabled or two grades ahead? To these questions the candidate has offered few clear answers.
NPR, Sept. 25, 2016

Hillary Clinton's plan for America's students

For nearly as long as she's been in the public eye, Hillary Clinton has counted the well-being of children among her defining causes — from the bestselling 1996 book (and enduring cliche) It Takes A Village to her advocacy for the State Child Health Insurance Program. This presidential campaign has been no exception, except if anything, she's been working even harder to draw connections between investments in education and economic growth. Here's a rundown of her positions from cradle to college.
NPR, Sept. 25, 2016

Warren, other Democrats take aim at accreditors

U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin and Brian Schatz on Thursday introduced legislation that would increase accountability for accreditors and require new standards for student outcomes they use to evaluate colleges and universities. Warren and Durbin have frequently called for greater accountability in higher education, particularly in the for-profit college sector. But the bill suggests a new focus by consumer advocates on the role of accrediting agencies in providing oversight of colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 23, 2016

Trump targets colleges with large endowments

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, on Thursday outlined his first specific idea on how to make colleges more affordable. He said that he would work with Congress to pressure institutions with large endowments to spend more on students — or to face a loss of their tax-exempt status.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 23, 2016

Forecast shows slight rise in Washington state revenues

An updated forecast shows Washington state is expected to rake in $336 million more in revenues than previously thought for the current two-year budget cycle. That means lawmakers will have a little more money to deal with school funding and other pressing issues when they return to Olympia in January.
Everett Herald, Sept. 21, 2016

Last Modified: 2/9/18 11:38 AM
starburst graphic