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News Links | August 8, 2017

August 08, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

North Olympic Legislative Alliance aims for one voice on issues; selects officers

A coalition of officials aiming to give Clallam County a unified voice on state and federal issues announced its official formation this month. The North Olympic Legislative Alliance (NOLA), which has worked behind the scenes throughout the past year, announced its elected officers Aug. 1. NOLA is a strictly non-partisan group with representatives from local government, business, education, nonprofit and tribal groups, said the group’s chair, Steve Burke, executive director of William Shore Memorial Pool. ... The committee chairs are Kaj Ahlburg, member of Port Angeles Business Association, policy and government ... and Luke Robins, president of Peninsula College, workforce development and education.
Peninsula Daily News, Aug. 8, 2017

Here are some projects that will cost taxpayers more money, thanks to construction budget impasse

The Washington Legislature’s failure to pass a construction budget this year because of a dispute over rural water rights has thrown local governments, schools and community organizations waiting for expected money into limbo. The budget was expected to have roughly $4 billion in construction money, including about $1 billion for K-12 school construction. But gridlock over the water policy brought the capital budget down with it. Lawmakers adjourned in July without approving a budget for construction projects. With no cash infusion, some projects in Thurston and Pierce counties have been put on hold. Others are moving forward with creative financing packages — some of which are expected to create higher costs for taxpayers. ... On July 26, South Puget Sound Community College's Board of Trustees voted to use $980,000 of the college’s reserves to bankroll completion of a renovation of Building 28 on its main campus. It’s an unusual move, but one that college officials hope will bridge the budget gap.
The Olympian, Aug. 6, 2017

Getting La Center ‘shovel ready’

Driving into La Center is pretty straightforward. Take Exit 16 off Interstate 5 and turn east, away from the looming Ilani Casino Resort. ... Greg Thornton, La Center’s mayor, said the distance provides a nice buffer from the freeway, yet it also might be a missed opportunity. There’s very little to signal La Center’s offerings to the increasing number of people traveling to and from the Vancouver-Portland metro area. But that could change in the coming years. “Once we get the sewer out here, then this will all be shovel-ready for development,” said Thornton on a recent sunny Friday afternoon. ... Mike Bomar, president of the public-private partnership, said companies in technology manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing and others could use the site. ... It’s also a few miles from where Clark College is planning to build a campus — Clark College at Boschma Farms — that could contribute to a nearby talent pool, Bomar said.
The Columbian, Aug. 6, 2017

Locals bring laptops and learn cyber security skills

Cybersecurity can seem intimidating to most, but as our world becomes more and more connected digitally, it's even more important to understand. Folks grabbed their laptops and learned some key cyber skills from Columbia Basin College and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Cyber security engineers said social media is their biggest concern because nearly everybody uses it.
KEPR TV, Aug. 5, 2017

Sen. Braun receives 2017 CTE Legislator of the Year award

The Washington Business Alliance honored Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, on Thursday for his work on securing funding for career and technical education. The award was presented to Braun on Thursday at his business, Braun Northwest, in Chehalis. ... Bob Walter, principal of W.F. West High School, said the changes meant a lot for the Chehalis School District, which has focused on producing career and college ready students. “Having the programs in place that are tied to industry is important so we have a very strong CTE program and offer an array of trades and link that to Centralia College as well,” he said. “This really gives those programs a step up with supplies and if we need a new piece of equipment, there should be new grants available. It’s just pretty exciting.”
Centralia College, Aug. 4, 2017

How EdCC helps small businesses like this Bothell bookstore

A love for small businesses and books are in Annie Carl’s blood. As a girl, she played bookshop with her Barbies, alphabetizing and organizing her library. When she was 14 years old, Mr. B’s Bookery opened in Kingston. She visited on the second day asking for a job and persisted for a year before landing six hours a week shelving and tidying. ... The 33-year-old Puget Sound area native opened her Bothell store, The Neverending Bookshop, in October 2015. The passion and dream were all hers. She learned nuts and bolts knowledge at Edmonds Community College and through one of its partner programs, Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.
Everett Herald, Aug. 4, 2017

Tomorrow’s doctors train today in new Richland medical center

Dr. Erick Isaacson starts to smile when he talks about what the future of medicine is going to look like. “Delivering medical care is so complex you have to have a team to do it effectively,” says Isaacson, Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s family medicine residence program director. Whether it’s a medical assistant, a paramedic, a doctor or an emergency medical technician, the entire breadth of a patient’s experience can be experienced at the new Wortman Medical Science Center. Construction crews are putting the final touches on the new $17.7 million facility, and the clinic has opened its doors to the public. Within sight of Kadlec’s Richland headquarters, the new four-story building is part of a growing partnership between Columbia Basin College and the regional medical center.
Tri-City Herald, Aug. 4, 2017

WCC gets $1.3 million grant to prepare low-income high school students for college

Whatcom Community College will be awarded a $1.29 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education called Upward Bound. The five-year grant will help local low-income high school students to prepare for and attend college.
The Bellingham Business Journal, Aug. 3, 2017

All BBCC nursing grads pass qualifying test

Nursing students at Big Bend Community College have kept a 10-year streak alive, with all 17 nursing graduates passing the Washington state licensing exam. All 17 nursing candidates in the class of 2017 passed the exam on the first try. This marks the 10th year all nursing program graduates have passed the test on a first or second attempt, said Matt Killebrew, BBCC director of communications. In 2017, the national pass rate on the first try was 88.4 percent, according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
Columbia Basin Herald, Aug. 3, 2017

Grays Harbor College Foundation awards $175,000 in scholarships

Nearly $175,000 was awarded this week to 72 students who are recipients of the E.K. and Lillian F. Bishop Scholarships, earmarked for students in their third and fourth years of undergraduate degree programs, as well as those pursuing graduate degrees. Since Grays Harbor College now offers Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in three fields, three GHC students enrolled in BAS programs qualified for Bishop scholarships as well.
Grays Harbor Talk, Aug. 3, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

Seven tips to help you graduate from college in four years

It may sound counterintuitive, but freshmen college students who take a full load of reasonably demanding courses are more likely to graduate from college on time. That’s part of the message Western Washington University has been conveying to its students in a campaign called “15 to Finish,” which encourages students to work hard from the outset. Nationally, only about 40 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen graduate in four years with a bachelor’s degree; the rate is 59 percent after six years.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 8, 2017

40% of 2-year college grads earn a bachelor's

Among community college graduates who hold no previous degrees or certificates, 41 percent earn a bachelor's degree during the next six years. That's among the findings from a new report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which is able to track almost all students who enroll in U.S. colleges. The center's analysis looked at 575,067 community college students who graduated in 2011. 
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 8, 2017

College diversity officers face a demanding job and scarce resources

Seven months ago, Mark Brimhall-Vargas became Brandeis University’s chief diversity officer. He was the first person to hold that job, though he has spent about 20 years doing diversity work in higher education. Mr. Brimhall-Vargas reports directly to the president, and for the first time in his career he feels like he has a seat at the table when major institutional decisions are made. Four full-time staff members report to him. But according to a new survey of chief diversity officers at institutions nationwide, Mr. Brimhall-Vargas is in the minority. Fewer than half of respondents said they began with adequate resources to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 8, 2017

Archway to a better job

McDonald’s has joined the large number of companies that pay for employees to attend college, with a relatively new tuition assistance benefit that includes some unusual features. Begun two years ago, the fast-food giant’s Archways to Opportunity program is open to managers and front-line workers, at both McDonald’s-owned and franchised restaurants, a total of roughly 800,000 employees. Participants can finish a high school diploma online, learn English, attend college courses and talk with career and education advisers.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 7, 2017

Students say schools do poor job of preparing them for college

Adults in education spend a lot of time debating about how to get high school students ready to succeed in college. But students have a less-than-rosy picture to report about how well that's going. A new survey of 55,000 high school students across the country finds that only about half say their schools are doing a good job. The study was conducted by YouthTruth, a San Francisco nonprofit that contracts with schools and districts interested in using the online surveys to kickstart dialogues focused on improvement.
Education Week, Aug. 4, 2017

A key (state) to completion

Foundations and reformers who want to increase the number of Americans with a college degree or certificate are turning to the state with the largest population of college-going adults — California. The state has become a testing ground for groups like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation to encourage the latest education innovations in an effort to improve college completion. But it wasn’t long ago that groups advocating for reforms were viewed as antithetical to a liberal education and kept a low profile in the state.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 4, 2017

4 questions for 2 experts on the future of higher education

Ithaka is a nonprofit organization focused on technology and academic transformation. We asked Kevin M. Guthrie, its president, and Catharine Bond Hill, managing director of its Ithaka S+R consulting arm, which trends show the most promise and which are most overhyped.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 3, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

‘No timetable’ for new gainful-employment data

The Department of Education has yet to provide institutions this year with lists of graduates from gainful-employment programs — a preliminary step for calculating debt-to-earnings ratios that measure whether career training programs saddle students with debt they can't repay. The revelation, made by department officials last week in a written response to questions from Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, indicates that the department will be slow to release new gainful-employment data after delaying several provisions involving compliance by career education programs. The department released the first set of gainful-employment data in January of this year.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 8, 2017

Opinion: Split government in Olympia has stymied state’s potential

Today’s Senate majority in Olympia bears a greater resemblance to the elevated partisanship of Washington, D.C., than the history of bipartisan cooperation symbolized by the widely-respected service of Republican Gov. Dan Evans.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 7, 2017

Seattle-area education officials question adequacy, equity of state’s new school-funding plan

It took the Washington Legislature less than 36 hours in late June to unveil and approve a sweeping overhaul of public education as part of a last-minute budget deal to avert a government shutdown. It’s taken much more than 36 hours — 36 days, in fact, as of Friday — for local school-district officials to figure out how that budget will affect their districts. And they’re still not clear on just how beneficial the changes will be.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 7, 2017

Education Dept.’s progress is stalled in complying with consumer rule

The Education Department has not made any progress toward generating data this year to comply with the Obama-era gainful-employment rule and does not have “any timetable” for doing so, according to a letter last week from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The hotly contested regulation, a holdover from President Barack Obama’s administration, is meant to hold career-preparation programs accountable when their graduates’ education debts consistently exceed their ability to repay them.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 7, 2017

School stats: Who gets how much under state’s new education budget? It’s not entirely clear yet

For weeks, school finance gurus in Olympia have scrambled to make sense of how the Washington Legislature changed public education funding in its hastily prepared and passed state budget. Their understanding is a lot clearer now, and on Monday, number crunchers at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction released new spreadsheets showing exactly who gets what in the plan to spend $7.3 billion on public schools over the next four years.
The Seattle Times, Aug. 4, 2017

Bipartisan legislation tackles student loan defaults

A bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday to address student loan defaults by steering delinquent and defaulted borrowers toward income-driven repayment programs and reducing other paperwork barriers to student loan relief.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 4, 2017

Rhode Island becomes 4th state to offer free community college tuition

Rhode Island lawmakers voted to become the fourth state in the nation to offer free community college for state residents Thursday. Lawmakers passed the state budget proposal, which included $2.8 million to fund the free tuition program for one year. Graduating high school seniors who maintain a 2.5 GPA and go to school full-time will be eligible, regardless of income.
UPI, Aug. 3, 2017

What’s next on Title IX

Betsy DeVos, who plans to put her stamp on federal policy governing campus responses to sexual harassment and assault, is in the midst of an extended period of deliberation and gathering input on potential changes. But there’s little appetite from any corner for the Department of Education to completely rescind 2011 Obama administration guidelines that have been at the center of ongoing controversies over how the feds enforce civil rights violations involving gender discrimination. Instead, colleges and universities have asked for more clarity on areas of Title IX policy not addressed by the 2011 Dear Colleague letter or subsequent guidance documents. And representatives of accused students have pushed for more transparency in campus proceedings.
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 4, 2017

Federal sex-assault investigations are being resolved more often. These 11 cases show how.

Since President Trump took office, one of the most closely watched issues in higher education has been his Education Department’s shifting approach to enforcement of campus sexual-assault policy. Candice E. Jackson, acting assistant secretary for the department’s Office for Civil Rights, directed her staff to sharply scale back the scope of sexual-violence investigations under the gender-equity law known as Title IX. Her instructions sought to cut down on a backlog of cases that the department said had "exploded" under President Barack Obama. Mr. Trump’s presidency is still young, but signs have emerged already that the department is delivering on that pledge. Sexual-violence investigations are still being opened at a rapid pace — this week, the department acknowledged six new ones, for a total of 350 active cases. But resolutions have grown more frequent, too, with two more announced this week.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 3, 2017

Last Modified: 10/9/17 11:40 AM