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News Links | December 7, 2017

December 07, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Big Bend takes off: unmanned aerial systems programs gains accreditation

Big Bend Community College has been offering unmanned aerial systems classes since fall 2016, but starting in January students can receive an Associate of Applied Science degree in the program. The college received notice last week that the program has received accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Big Bend also received accreditation for a “certificate of achievement” in its mechatronics program. Accreditation means students taking those classes will qualify to receive financial aid for them, said program director Pat Ford. And training in both unmanned aerial systems and mechatronics will open up opportunities in a growing number of jobs, he added.
Columbia Basin Herald, Dec. 6, 2017

Future uncertain for Peninsula College in Sequim after campus closes

The closure of the Sequim campus of Peninsula College, 124 W. Spruce St., is yet another result of Washington state’s consistent declines in enrollment. “The primary reason was that we just didn’t have sufficient enrollment there to justify keeping the facility open,” said Peninsula College President Luke Robins said. College staff report the Sequim campus held an open house on Nov. 14, 2012, and officially closed prior to the fall quarter in September 2017. This is not the first time a drop in enrollment has affected programs at Peninsula College. Last spring, the Associated Student Council scrambled to successfully compose a budget plan for the 2017-2018 school year after they lost about $45,000 in funding.
Sequim Gazette, Dec. 6, 2017

New SFCC gymnasium to be named after longtime coach

Construction is well underway on the new gymnasium at Spokane Falls Community College. Wednesday the Community Colleges of Spokane Board of Trustees approved naming the facility the Ray Athletic Center after longtime coach and Athletic Director Maurice Ray. The $18 million project includes a renovation of the main 23,700-square-foot gymnasium, fitness center and weight room. The Ray Athletic Center will get new bleachers, scoreboard systems and lighting. It will add classrooms for physical education, athletics and faculty offices, student lounges and a two-story climbing wall. It broke ground in April 2017, and it is scheduled to be completed in June 2018. Ray spent more than 30 years at CCS. In 1978 he became the athletic director and dean of health, physical education and recreation. He built the district athletic program, combining SFCC and Spokane Community College teams and growing the number of sports offered. 
KXLY, Dec. 6, 2017

McDonald commentary: A tribute to Alice White Forth of Centralia College

Five years ago, I scheduled an interview with Alice Forth while compiling the history of Centralia College, but she called back a few days before our meeting to cancel because of ill health. She passed away only a few weeks later. Although I never met her, I learned about the professional educator last week when 100 people gathered at the TransAlta Commons to dedicate the Student Center in honor of the dignified, gracious and stylish woman who shepherded students, colleagues and even presidents during her 33-year career.
Centralia Chronicle, Dec. 5, 2017

Opinion: Black and brown | Diversity

By Rashad Norris, director of community engagement at Highline College. Back in 2009, I joined with some of my college colleagues to create the Black and Brown Male Summit, inspired by one we had attended in Florida, called Black and Brown College Bound. Ours started small, with maybe 25 students attending. Now, 400 to 600 young men of color come to the Highline College campus each year for the event. They give up an entire Saturday during the school year because the event means that much to them. ... The summit was created to foster an environment where relevant content and positive representation of other men of color could be in one space, generating an empowering and inspirational setting where self identity is centered in engagement.
Federal Way Mirror, Dec. 5, 2017

'It's OK to be white' posters reappear at Vancouver's Clark College

Several posters reading “It’s OK to be white” were put up around a community college in Vancouver, Washington. Clark College says the signs first started appearing on campus in early November, with the first-round coinciding with a white pride rally on an Interstate 5 freeway overpass in Vancouver. Since then, more flyers have been posted that read “Make your ancestors proud” and “Never feel guilty for our nation’s history” in front of images of white pioneers. As recently as Monday morning, a handwritten “It’s OK to be white” note was taped outside Clark College’s Office of Diversity and Equity.
OPB, Dec. 5, 2017

Retiring Olympic College president's legacy seen "in the success of every student"

Retiring Olympic College President David Mitchell oversaw $150 million in capital projects during his 15-year tenure. Mitchell is proud of the buildings that expanded opportunities on three campuses, but he most wants people to remember "that I cared about students." Mitchell, with less than a month left at the helm, is optimistic about the future of the college, which he says is poised to grow.
Kitsap Sun, Dec. 4, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

The landscape of 'post-traditional' learners

Many changes are needed — in federal financial aid policies, how institutions and others recognize nonformal learning, among other things — if the roughly 60 percent of undergraduates who are "post-traditional learners" are to get a meaningful postsecondary credential, the American Council on Education says in a new report. The study, a follow-up to a 2013 ACE paper, defines post-traditional students as those who are over the age of 25, working full-time, financially independent or connected with the military. The paper calculates, among other things, that if all adult students who have some college experience but no degree earned an associate degree, more than one million Americans would climb out of poverty.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 7, 2017

‘Academic Ableism’

Academic Ableism notes the progress higher education has made to be more inclusive of people with disabilities than in the past. But the book isn't full of praise. Rather, it offers critique after critique of the way colleges have ignored or responded inadequately to the needs of many students and professors.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 7, 2017

Moody's downgrades higher education's outlook

Citing uncertainty over federal policies as a contributing factor, Moody's on Tuesday downgraded its financial outlook for higher education to negative from stable. The credit ratings agency predicted that the growth of the industry's expenses will outpace revenue growth for the next 12-18 months, with public universities in particular facing money woes. Increases of tuition revenue, research funding and state contributions will "remain subdued," Moody's said. And, over all, the sector's expenses will rise by 4 percent, according to Moody's. But less than 20 percent of public, four-year institutions will see their revenue increase by more than 3 percent. More than half of private institutions will achieve growth of at least 3 percent.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 6, 2017

Handing off DeVry

DeVry University was once among the largest for-profit institutions in the country and the crown jewel in its parent company’s collection. But enrollments have fallen and the for-profit institution has seen multiple lawsuits over advertising, recruitment and job placement. Now DeVry’s parent company — Adtalem Global Education Inc. — is transferring ownership of the institution, along with Keller Graduate School of Management, to Cogswell Education LLC. DeVry and Keller together enroll nearly 30,000 students. Cogswell is the owner of Cogswell College, a California-based private for-profit institution of about 600 students, that specializes in art, game design, music and software engineering. No money is changing hands in the deal, which still requires regulatory and accreditor approval.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 6, 2017

What happens when sex harassment disrupts victims’ academic careers

Academics and others who have spoken out about experiencing sexual harassment or assault also speak of long-term repercussions to their careers. Students and former students describe carving paths that would allow them to avoid certain professors. Some, like Ms. Chu, say they changed the focus of their research, while others left higher education altogether. These losses can be devastating for the individuals involved. When their potential contributions as researchers, teachers, or leaders are squashed, what else is lost?
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 6, 2017

Washington’s grad rate is low compared with other states — here’s why that may be

While Washington has one of the lowest on-time graduation rates in the nation — as reported Monday by the National Center for Education Statistics — state officials say that’s not for the reasons you might think. Washington’s graduation rate for the class of 2016 was 79.7 percent, putting the state at No. 40 out of 50 states and Washington D.C. Iowa was No. 1, with 91.3 percent of its students graduating within four years, followed by New Jersey, at 90.1 percent. Washington D.C. had the lowest rate, with 69.2 percent. So what does Washington’s top schools official have to say? Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal wants Washington’s rate to be higher. But he adds that he doesn’t put a lot of stock into the rankings, for a variety of reasons. To start, he said, each state has its own graduation requirements, and each state tracks its students differently. And with the rankings, a tenth of a percentage point can separate one state’s rate from another.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 6, 2017

Graduation rates are up across the state and nation, but Washington is still far from the top

The good news: Both the state’s and the nation’s high-school students in the class of 2016 graduated at a higher rate than in years past. The bad news: Compared with other states, Washington’s graduation rate ranks in the bottom half. According to data released Monday, the national rate climbed to 84 percent, the highest since the National Center for Education Statistics six years ago changed the way it required states to calculate graduation rates. Among all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Iowa’s graduation rate was the highest, at 91 percent, and Washington, D.C., was at the bottom, with 69 percent of all students graduating within four years. Washington’s rate was 79.7 percent.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 5, 2017

After 10 years in court, a student-loan whistle-blower fights his last battle

Back in 2003, a former university professor and congressional staff member named Jon H. Oberg was toiling away as a researcher at the U.S. Department of Education, nearing retirement, when he noticed something odd. Through a careful maneuver, Mr. Oberg realized, banks using federal money to issue loans to college students had devised a clever way to keep a lot more of that money than they were supposed to. ... The last of those cases ended on Tuesday. The government won seven of the cases, recovering more than $70 million of taxpayer money in the process. Back in retirement, Mr. Oberg is happy with his success but remains concerned that the government really isn't doing nearly enough to prevent such abuses in the future.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 5, 2017

Moody’s downgrades higher ed’s outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’

The prospects for higher education are bleak, according to Moody’s Investors Service, a credit-rating agency that on Tuesday changed its outlook for the sector from “stable” to “negative.” In a report, the agency cited financial strains at both public and private four-year institutions, mainly muted growth in tuition revenue. But it also cited “uncertainty at the federal level over potential policy changes.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 5, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

Focus is Title IX in hearing for OCR nominee

Senators put the focus on federal Title IX policies in questions Tuesday for assistant secretary for civil rights nominee Kenneth Marcus. Marcus, one of four Trump administration nominees considered by the Senate education committee, would assume the duties of interim civil rights chief Candice Jackson if confirmed. Democrats pressed Marcus on his views over the department's guidance for colleges on Title IX and its proper role in investigating campus failures involving sexual misconduct. And one GOP senator expressed frustration over the lack of details about when the department would issue a new regulation governing campus policies.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 6, 2017

Last Modified: 2/9/18 11:39 AM
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