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News Links | April 13, 2017

April 13, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

'In Yemen, if you're not dead by the end of the day, you're lucky'

Bill Radke speaks with Ramilya Salem and Yunus Alhobane, two students at Edmonds Community College. Three years ago, they came to America for a 10-month high school exchange program through the state department. Then, a civil war broke out in their home country of Yemen. It was too dangerous for them to go home, so the State Department extended their stay. Now, the State Department has decided it can no longer fund that program. So when June comes around, the students will be in limbo: no money, and no student visas. Most likely they'll be sent back to Yemen.
KUOW, April 12, 2017

Milestone: PC medical program gets national accreditation

Peninsula College’s Medical Assisting Program recently received national programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, on the recommendation of the Medical Assisting Education Review Board, which will benefit current and former students.
Sequim Gazette, April 12, 2017

Economic development council donates to Skagit Valley College culinary arts program

Island County’s Economic Development Council board of directors recently donated $500 to Skagit Valley College’s culinary arts program in recognition of the work by students from the college’s culinary arts program. According to a press release, the council wished to support the program that trains future chefs and recognize the student chefs’ accomplishments at the 31st Annual Penn Cove MusselFest, a mussel and chowder competition held last month in Coupeville.
South Whidbey Record, April 12, 2017

Opinion: Free bus pass is route to transit future

Real change almost always takes a team effort, but it often begins with one person. At Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, it was student body president Annie Mafi. Her campaign to bring cheap transit access to Clover Park students hit the jackpot Monday when the Pierce Transit board doubled down and, after accepting a student government subsidy, unanimously agreed to make bus passes free. The test program will run until June 2018. Give credit to Mafi, students, school administrators and transit officials for collaborating to solve a transportation puzzle. The next logical step is to extend it to all the other two-year colleges and trade schools in Pierce County.
The News Tribune, April 11, 2017

A grand homecoming: Piano star returns 10 years after Centralia College graduation

At one point during his sold-out concert Saturday evening, Charlie Albright put his hand up to shade his eyes from the stage lights and peered out over the capacity crowd in Centralia College’s Corbet Theater. “I think I know most of the people in the audience,” Albright said to laughter from the 500-some members of the audience. It was one of many easygoing conversational breaks during an electrifying two-hour piano concert by an international musical sensation who seemed just as happy to be playing for a hometown audience as his old neighbors were to be listening to him. Albright, a Centralia College alumnus, has become a jet-setting musician since leaving Centralia for Harvard University 10 years ago, but on Saturday he was just Charlie as he played a mix of classical music, jazz, improvisations and a little rock ‘n’ roll.
Centralia Chronicle, April 11, 2017

Troubled software for Community Colleges of Spokane on ‘pause’ as vendor files for bankruptcy

A $100 million software system that was pushed online at the Community Colleges of Spokane more than a year and a half ago still doesn’t work properly and the vendor hired to install it filed for bankruptcy this week, a legislative panel was told Tuesday. Consultants hired to study problems with the software, known as ctcLink, have told the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to “pause” the installation until all problems can be worked out at Spokane, Spokane Falls and Tacoma community colleges.
The Spokesman-Review, April 11, 2017

Columbia Basin College faculty promises not to share immigration status

Prior to November’s election, Elizabeth Hernandez didn’t hear Columbia Basin College students talk about deportation. Now, roughly four months into Donald Trump’s presidency, it’s a common conversation. Kristy Henscheid, an associate professor in biology, along with Hernandez, hope a recent resolution from the college’s faculty senate will help ease the fears of students involved in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, referred to as DACA. The resolution says the college will not ask nor surrender information regarding students’ immigration or citizenship status. It also endorses a call by the state’s community college presidents to continue DACA, and supports college policies that protect the privacy of students’ information.
Tri-City Herald, April 11, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

UW will let freshmen apply to engineering school in 2018

Starting in spring 2018, the University of Washington will begin admitting incoming freshmen directly into its highly competitive College of Engineering, one way to lower the growing pressure on students vying to win a seat in the coveted engineering school. As it stands now, less than half of all UW undergraduates who apply to major in engineering get in, and an unknown number of others are discouraged from ever applying, said Michael Bragg, the college’s dean. The problem has been exacerbated in recent years by the popularity of the so-called STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math.
The Seattle Times, April 13, 2017

Choice and student debt

Roughly three-quarters of undergraduates are paying more for college than is recommended by a common benchmark for affordability. That's the top-line finding of a new report by higher education experts from three think tanks with a range of political perspectives, the American Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute and New America.
Inside Higher Ed, April 12, 2017

Relying on women, not rewarding them

Women shoulder a disproportionately large workload at home in ways that might disadvantage them professionally. But are female professors also “taking care of the academic family” via disproportionate service loads? A new study says yes and adds to a growing body of research suggesting the same.
Inside Higher Ed, April 12, 2017

UW study suggests federal school-improvement grants weren’t a complete waste

Seven years and $7 billion wasted. That was the general reaction to a report released in the final days of the Obama administration that found no proof that a federal program aimed at improving the nation’s lowest-performing schools did any good. But in a new study co-authored by Min Sun, a professor in the University of Washington’s College of Education, researchers concluded that the grants had significant and positive impact, at least in nine San Francisco schools.
The Seattle Times, April 12, 2017

New college affordability website

The Urban Institute has created a new website that attempts to inform students and their families about college affordability. Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the institute, and other researchers designed the site to better define what affordability actually means. With funding from the Lumina Foundation, the site seeks to map out the full life cycle of student finance, from defining "what is college" to loan repayment after college. It also includes sections on financial aid, covering expenses and student demographics and income levels.
Inside Higher Ed, April 12, 2017

Should high school students need a foreign language to graduate?

Tennessee caused a stir earlier this year when it ran an audit of the state's 2015 graduating class. The number crunchers in Nashville reported that nearly a third of students who received a diploma didn't complete the required coursework. One in three. Naturally, parents and politicians alike were baffled and more than a little bothered. ... State data show that rural districts are the heaviest users of these waivers. Administrators argue they're doing students a favor, especially those with plans for a technical career.
KNKX, April 11, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

The (temporary?) U.S. education team

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the hiring of nine senior staff members Wednesday, including an acting under secretary with significant experience working on student aid and postsecondary issues. The hiring of most of the individuals in the announcement had previously been discussed publicly, but it was the first official announcement from DeVos about who would fill key staff positions. Like other federal agencies in the Trump administration, the Department of Education has gone nearly three months without naming appointees to a number of political positions.
Inside Higher Ed, April 13, 2017

DeVos’s rollback of servicing guidance raises fears among borrowers’ advocates

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s decision to withdraw Obama-era directives aimed at streamlining student-loan servicing for borrowers is adding to fears among some advocates about the erosion of student protections early in her tenure. This week, Ms. DeVos rescinded three memos — issued last year by the former secretary of education John B. King and under secretary Ted Mitchell — that were part of an ambitious effort by former President Barack Obama’s Education Department to rethink how loan servicing looked and worked. One problem with Ms. DeVos’s action, student advocates say, is that in halting a new vision for student-loan servicing, she did not offer a detailed alternative.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 13, 2017

A marketplace in confusion

New York’s freshly signed free public tuition program puts the squeeze on many of the state’s weakest private colleges and universities. Private college presidents know it. But most aren’t yet sure what to do about it. Those presidents reacted with a mix of dismay, confusion, criticism and, in some cases, resolve in the days after New York leaders struck a deal to start a tuition-free public college program this fall.
Inside Higher Ed, April 13, 2017

U.S. alters rules for picking student loan servicers

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday withdrew guidance issued by the Obama administration aimed at improving the contracting process for student loan servicers. That guidance, issued by former Education Secretary John B. King Jr. and former Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, directed the Office of Federal Student Aid to consider past behavior of servicers in awarding contracts and to include consumer protections in those contracts. The procurement process was an opportunity to improve the experiences and outcomes of student loan borrowers, King said last year.
Inside Higher Ed, April 12, 2017

Health care vs. higher ed

When Republicans in the House of Representatives seemed to be nearing a vote on a health care reform bill last month, several prominent Democratic governors spoke out to criticize the proposed changes, arguing they would impose high costs on states. ... The way the current law was designed, states' share of Medicaid costs is rising as the federal government pulls back on incentives it used to encourage them to expand the program. And when federal spending requirements for states grow, public funding for colleges and universities — one of the largest so-called discretionary pots of money most states control — tends to be the target. Consequently, the current law has drawn attention from higher education experts, because more spending requirements on states translates into more pressure on public funding for colleges and universities.
Inside Higher Ed, April 12, 2017

Here's the fine print on the country's biggest-ever free college plan

New York state has passed legislation that would create the largest experiment in the country to offer free tuition at two- and four-year colleges. The Excelsior Scholarship, approved over the weekend as part of the state budget, would cover full-time students in the State University of New York system, which totals 64 campuses and 1.3 million students. ... Still, now that free public college is closer to being a reality, the cheerleading is accompanied by nitpicking among some college affordability advocates.
KNKX, April 11, 2017

Last Modified: 2/9/18 11:43 AM
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