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News Links | April 20, 2017

April 20, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Turning point for OER use?

Inside Digital Learning asked ed tech experts if New York State's decision to pour millions of dollars into open education resources represents a breakthrough for OER. Here are their responses. Do you agree? ... Quill West, open education project manager, Pierce College. Every investment in open education, especially at the governmental level, is a positive move toward transitioning the burden of education costs away from individual students and to a more equitable and sustainable approach for delivering curricular materials.
Inside Higher Ed, April 19, 2017

Bates Technical College instructor wins esteemed state award

Bates Technical College instructional designer Bryce Battisti was recently selected as a 2017 Anna Sue McNeill Assessment, Teaching and Learning Award recipient. The award recognizes a faculty member’s ability to positively affect student learning in a public two or four-year college in Washington state.
The Suburban Times, April 19, 2017

Marysville students learn about many opportunities for futures

Just like in the old board game Monopoly, when Opportunity Knocks it is good to be prepared for anything that could happen. High school students from Marysville found that out Tuesday at the fifth annual Opportunity EXPO at Everett Community College. Marysville Getchell and Marysville-Pilchuck students found out about all kinds of jobs they didn’t know about before at the event. Vendors were on hand from various businesses, agencies, military branches and colleges.
Marysville Globe, April 19, 2017

Milestone: PC students named to 2017 All-Washington Academic Team

Peninsula College students Alicia Beck and Tu Lisa Hoang were honored as members of the 2017 All-Washington Academic Team at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia on March 23. The ceremony recognizes top scholars from community and technical colleges from all over the state.
Sequim Gazette, April 19, 2017

Opinion: Educating prisoners pays off

Two decades ago, in the midst of a crime wave, the state Legislature ended postsecondary education for prisoners. In retrospect, it is clear the decision was shortsighted and ignored rock-solid research showing education behind bars effectively prepares inmates never to return. The Legislature has finally changed course, lifting a 1995 law that banned state funding from being used for college courses in prisons. ... The pilot program run by Walla Walla Community College has found even better results, albeit with a limited snapshot: Of the 141 inmates who earned degrees, just 8 percent returned to prison within three years. ... Brian Walsh, who coordinates prison education programs for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, estimated that 400 inmates a year can now be educated.
The Seattle Times, April 18, 2017

Yakima Valley College students produce quality wine

Spring Barrel Tasting is a little more than a week away and don't be surprised when you see some Yakima Valley College students there. YVC's Grandview Campus has had a wine making program for about 10 years and their wines have won more than 60 awards. Trent Ball is the agriculture program chair at YVC’s Grandview campus and has been part of Yakima Valley Vintners since the program started. The students in the program produce between 300 to 500 cases of wine a year and have done well in every competition they've entered.
KIMA TV, April 18, 2017

Inslee signs into law Haler bill to help small businesses get local skilled workers

House Bill 1130, sponsored by Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, was requested by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. It repeals the expiration date of the Washington Customized Employment Training Program which helps small businesses by allowing them to contract with qualified community and technical colleges or private vocational schools to provide customized training.
NBC Right Now, April 18, 2017

Early Childhood Literacy Fair sparks excitement for learning

Hundreds of families with young children took part in the event designed to get kids excited about reading and learning. Each child was given a learning passport to make their way to nearly a dozen activity stations, from arts and crafts, to letter matching, word games and storytelling stations. Kids also had the chance to learn about Japan while enhancing their vocabulary skills, get a free eye screening and learn about health eating habits and teeth care. Students in Big Bend Community College’s Early Childhood Education program partnered with the library and offered children free books following the activities.
iFiber One News, April 18, 2017

Opinion: Fund State Need Grant, the backbone of college financial aid

By Ana Mari Cauce, president of the University of Washington, Stephen V. Sundborg, president of Seattle University, and Shouan Pan, chancellor of the Seattle College District. Tom’s story has a happy ending. Yet too many Washington students don’t get the same opportunity to fulfill their potential. The state Legislature can increase the opportunities for many by fully funding the State Need Grant. Each year, the State Need Grant benefits tens of thousands of students and families. Created more than 40 years ago, it provides financial assistance to students with household incomes below 70 percent of the state’s median income, currently $59,000 for a family of four. It is available to all Washington students — students like Nayeli Cervantes, who became the first person in her family to attend college when she enrolled at Seattle University, and Kim Hines, who was raised in foster care but was able to use state aid to graduate from Whatcom Community College before transferring to SU to pursue a career in improving foster care. The breadth and flexibility of the State Need Grant has made the program a national model for need-based access programs.
The Seattle Times, April 17, 2017

EvCC counselor wins national award

The American College Counseling Association has named Everett Community College Counselor Earl Martin as its Counselor of the Year. The national award recognizes a college counselor who has made a significant impact on the national, state or local level. Martin, who has worked at EvCC since 1990, was honored for his statewide leadership and longtime advocacy for counseling services at community and technical colleges.
Everett Herald, April 17, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

An instructor saw digital distraction in class. So she showed students what she’d seen on their screens.

Students get distracted in class, and all the shiny baubles that grab their attention are well chronicled. But what happens when students are presented with the greatest hits from their browsing history for an entire semester? A graduate-student instructor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Meg Veitch, did just that. In an effort to keep students focused, she tracked all the times she had spotted them digitally wandering in class. She didn’t have access to their complete browsing history; rather, she used the low-tech method of writing down what she had spotted on students’ screens.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 20, 2017

If the ratio ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Is an eight-to-one student-faculty ratio one to be cherished or seen as a luxury few colleges can afford? Debate at Whitman illustrates the tensions.
Inside Higher Ed, April 20, 2017

Full-time finishers

A growing body of research shows that college students who enroll full-time, taking even 12 credits’ worth of course work in a single semester, are much more likely stick with college, save money and eventually graduate. Yet while the researchers behind these studies encourage efforts to nudge more students to go full-time (ideally taking 30 credits in a year), they warn against neglecting the many who will continue to attend part-time because of work and family demands — currently only 38 percent of community college students are enrolled full-time, according to the American Association of Community Colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, April 19, 2017

Making a modern president

Everything about the college presidency today seems to be unsettled, including the career pathways new presidents take on the way to the top job on campus. Current presidents face a slew of new challenges as demographics drive colleges and universities to enroll increasingly diverse student bodies with new sets of needs, as financial constraints impose harsh realities on institutions, and as technology threatens to upend the campus and the workplace. At the same time, the professional ladders leaders climb on the way to becoming presidents is changing — just as a large number of long-serving presidents are expected to soon retire. Yet presidents too often find themselves running from crisis to crisis or falling into short-term thinking. As the job pressures mount, and as presidential tenures shorten, leaders are looking for quick wins that will allow them to show their boards of trustees or their next campus that they have a record of getting things done.
Inside Higher Ed, April 19, 2017

A new channel for OER

Open educational resources provider Lumen Learning has a new partner in its effort to get more faculty members to use alternatives to commercial textbooks: the college bookstore. Lumen, a start-up based in Portland, Ore., said on Monday that it had teamed up with Follett, creating a new channel for its course content to reach more faculty members. Follett operates more than 1,200 physical and 1,600 virtual bookstores, and will feature Lumen’s content alongside commercial educational materials from more than 7,000 publishers.
Inside Higher Ed, April 18, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

Why some cities and states are footing the bill for community college

A surge of innovation in states and cities is building momentum for what could become a seismic shift in American education. Just as the country came to expect in the decades around World War II that young people would finish at least 12 years of school, more local governments are now working to ensure that students complete at least 14 years. With that change, political leaders in both parties are increasingly acknowledging that if society routinely expects students to obtain at least two years of schooling past high school, government has a responsibility to provide it for them cost-free.
The Atlantic, April 20, 2017

Illinois and everyone else

It’s impossible to examine state higher education finances in 2016 without separating the collapse in Illinois from a more nuanced picture across the rest of the country. ... That situation proved to be enough of an outlier that it weighed down several key markers in the 2016 State Higher Education Finance report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers association, which is being released today. The report annually offers an in-depth look at the breakdown of state and local funding, tuition revenue, enrollment, and degree completion across public higher education, a sector that enrolls roughly three-quarters of students in U.S. postsecondary education.
Inside Higher Ed, April 20, 2017

After travel ban, AG Ferguson’s next fight: deceptive student-loan practices

He vaulted into the public’s eye in January when he challenged President Donald Trump’s travel ban, but Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says student debt is the issue that’s taken center stage in his office these days. In January, Ferguson and the Illinois attorney general both filed lawsuits against Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of student loans, alleging the company used deceptive, unfair and predatory lending practices in loaning billions of dollars to students between 2000 and 2009.
The Seattle Times, April 19, 2017

Trump’s new order on visas could make American colleges less appealing overseas

Yet again a Trump-administration executive order has the potential to roil American campuses and their recruitment of international students. President Trump on Tuesday signed a measure that would target fraud and abuse in overseas guest-worker programs and increase federal oversight of the H-1B visa program for highly skilled foreigners. Higher education ranks third behind technology-related occupations as the largest industry sponsor of recipients of H-1B visas. But colleges’ chief concern is not likely to be the visa holders — typically, professors, researchers, and postdocs — on their payrolls. Rather, the order could have an impact on American colleges’ recruitment of students from abroad. For many international students, the opportunity to stay in the United States, even temporarily, after graduation and gain work experience is almost as valuable as an American degree itself. Any policy that might erect hurdles on the pathway from college to work could depress international enrollments.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 19, 2017

Attorney general’s student loan transparency act passes legislature

Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s bipartisan legislation to provide more transparency to students regarding their borrowing passed the Washington State Legislature on April 13 with a unanimous vote of the Senate. ... The legislation is part of the Ferguson’s larger focus on protecting student borrowers. These borrowers are often confounded by confusing or difficult to find information — but there is no shortage of scammers out to take advantage of them. As part of a broad initiative, Ferguson proposed the agency-request legislation to mandate clear debt information for student borrowers in Washington.
Renton Reporter, April 17, 2017

Opinion: Lawmakers should not pick and choose what education to fund

Washington state needs high quality preschool, excellent K-12 schools and a well funded higher education system. All three, not one of the above. The Senate budget proposal for the next biennium cuts the Working Connections program to make way for more spending on K-12. Education funding should not be an “either or” proposition. Children need excellent early learning, a great K-12 experience, and opportunities to continue their learning after high school. Lawmakers need to find the money to do all three.
The Seattle Times, April 17, 2017

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