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News Links | February 21, 2017

February 21, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Rescue group revives OC mountaineering course

A group of mountain rescuers hopes to resuscitate Olympic College’s venerable outdoor education program. The members of Bremerton-based Olympic Mountain Rescue say they’re committed to keeping the nearly 70-year-old program alive, despite years of low enrollment and the retirement of a longtime instructor.
Kitsap Sun, Feb. 20, 2017

Pasco man wins Grammy as part of acclaimed bluegrass band

Joe Smart set a goal for himself years ago: He wanted to win a Grammy by age 40. The Pasco man celebrates the milestone birthday next month. And last week, he celebrated nabbing the coveted award as part of the O’Connor Band. The band’s album, Coming Home, nabbed Best Bluegrass Album at the 59th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. ... Smart grew up in the Tri-Cities. He earned top honors in the Washington State Old Time Fiddlers’ contest while a student at Columbia Basin College in Pasco. Several years later, he swept the National Flat Pick Guitar Championship held during the Walnut Valley Festival in Kansas.
Tri-City Herald, Feb. 20, 2017

Opinion: Finding simple, elegant solutions to difficult problems

By Pat Sisneros, vice president of college services at Everett Community College and former small business owner. Want to be a better inventor? Here is the story of one inventor. It starts with a statistic: one out of every 100 babies born around the world each year have heart disease. Some of these children have a hole in their heart. Not too long ago, fixing this problem would require major heart surgery. Dr. Franz Freudenthal, a Bolivian pediatric cardiologist, thought he could help. Freudenthal was encouraged by his grandmother to become a doctor as she was, and he became interested in medical devices. Freudenthal’s story caught my eye because his philosophy conveys lessons for any inventor — “the most complex problems in our time can be solved with simple techniques, if we are able to dream.”
Everett Herald, Feb. 20, 2017

Our Voice: CBC and community will miss Cummins’ visionary leadership

We took the news of Rich Cummins’ departure from Columbia Basin College with a mix of emotions — a sense of sadness to lose such a leader and visionary from our community’s higher education system; admiration for Cummins’ decision to take on a new role with a new institution; and, mostly, gratitude for all he has done for higher learning, generations of students in the Tri-Cities and the community in general. Cummins’ leadership and vision have truly changed the face of higher education in our community by looking at the big picture. He has done that through cooperative efforts with four-year institutions and pathways to bachelor’s degrees, having the foresight to see the value in reinvigorating skills-specific training tracks (think nursing, nuclear, agriculture, etc.), or blowing up the perception that most folks once had of community colleges.
Tri-City Herald, Feb. 19, 2017

Dream job comes early for CPTC student

Not many people find their passion and dream job before officially graduating high school. But for Clover Park Technical College Running Start student – and soon-to-be alum – Caleb Davenport, that’s exactly what happened. ... That great opportunity is a Level II Technician position with Aggreko, a worldwide supplier of temporary power generation and temperature control equipment with a local office in Pacific. Aggreko provides power and temperature control for some of the biggest events in the world. Davenport acknowledges that the job might not sound too exciting to others, but for someone who grew up “literally with a screwdriver in one hand and a wrench in the other,” it doesn’t get much better.
The Suburban Times, Feb. 19, 2017

LCC professors take on new political atmosphere

Last year, when they taught a class about political activism and how to express it in art and writing, Lower Columbia College instructors Michael Kohlmeier and Amber Lemiere hit an ironic roadblock: Students were too apathetic to study a portion of the class that discussed apathy. So they had to repeat it. Not this year. They and other instructors at the college are finding that the supercharged political awareness that has overtaken the country has muscled its way into their classrooms as well. Some students are more active. Others are anxious, and some are angry. And instructors have found themselves overwhelmed with the responsibility of not only encouraging and moderating constructive conversation and debate, but by their new roles as counselors and mediators in classrooms that suddenly have become tense with competing viewpoints. Heightened political awareness among their students is changing the way they teach.
Longview Daily News, Feb. 18, 2017

2017 Legislative Session | Universities’ secret presidential selection process sparks Senate oversight proposal

Applicants for universities’ top leadership positions may have to answer to your state senator rather than a board of regents or trustees if a new Senate proposal successfully brings those appointments from college campuses to the capitol. ... Two-year colleges select candidates through a public process that includes meeting with stakeholders such as students and faculty on campus, holding open forums, community tours, and formal interviews with trustees. As one of 34 community and technical colleges in the state, South Puget Sound Community College selected its current president, Timothy Stokes, through a similar year-long process in 2013. The college’s trustees selected an outside consulting firm, National Search and Education Consulting (NSEC), to manage the search.
Bainbridge Review, Feb. 18, 2017

Yemeni students studying in Wash. face uncertain future

A dozen exchange students from Yemen are stuck in limbo in Lynnwood. Their situation doesn't have anything to do with President Trump's immigration order or his travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries. Their uncertain future in the U.S. has to do with a civil war in Yemen and their exchange student visas running out. ... Now, a dozen of those students are at Edmonds Community College. Their support from the State Department runs out in June.
KOMO News, Feb. 18, 2017

Edmonds CC students recognized as top scholars

Edmonds Community College students Kimberly Greene and Gloria Ibe will be recognized for their scholastic achievement and community service at a ceremony at noon March 23 at South Puget Sound Community College, in Olympia. State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Executive Director Marty Brown will be the keynote speaker.
My Edmonds News, Feb. 18, 2017

Students frustrated trying to get into UW’s strict engineering program

At a time when students are encouraged to go into careers in science and technology, as well as business, it’s becoming harder and harder to do so in some majors at the state’s largest flagship university. ... Allen Putich, a first-quarter transfer student who earned his associate degree from Skagit Valley College, knows it’s hard to get into his intended major, computer science; he spent an entire week studying for his first midterm. He thinks his chances are good, but he’s got a backup plan: electrical engineering.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 19, 2017

Our Views: Centralia College’s beautiful master plan is coming together

No, Steve Ward, you’re not hallucinating. We see it too. The rise of the TransAlta Commons on the Centralia College campus comes with the approaching culmination of decades of work by dedicated, professional and persistent leadership at our local institution of higher learning.
Centralia Chronicle, Feb. 17, 2017

Seattle Central's connection to Japanese internment

Seattle Central College students remembered the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese American students Friday. SCC has a unique connection to the internment. Before the location became a college, it was Broadway High School. More than 300 Broadway students were sent to concentration camps, according to the college. That was close to one third of the school’s students. SCC officials believe that’s one of the reasons the high school eventually closed in the 1940s.
KING 5, Feb. 17, 2017

Foundation breaks scholarship record

The Clark College Foundation will give more than $1 million in scholarship awards during this school year, the first time it has done so in its 43-year history. The Foundation’s endowment portfolio has grown by 13 percent in the past decade from $51 million to $58 million, allowing it to distribute more scholarships. The foundation distributed $345,000 in scholarship to students a decade ago.
The Columbian, Feb. 17, 2017

Passenger air service provider makes presentation in Port Angeles

An absence of commercial air passenger service on the North Olympic Peninsula that stretches back to Thanksgiving 2014 could end May 1 under a $160, one-way-ticket plan to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Boeing Field that was offered Thursday by a Vancouver, Wash.-based air-shuttle company. ... Olympic Medical Center CEO Eric Lewis said it would be easier to recruit doctors by flying them to the area instead of having them drive from Sea-Tac, while Peninsula College President Luke Robins said he and Lewis also would find it more convenient for legislative sessions in Olympia.
Peninsula Daily News, Feb. 17, 2017

Non-traditional path works for 19-year-old auto body student Demry Polum

The traditional high school environment isn’t for everyone. Just ask 19-year-old Demry Polum, who decided to enter the Auto Body Rebuilding and Refinishing program at Bates Technical College as a high school senior. “A traditional high school environment wasn’t working, and I have always wanted to work with cars, so I transferred,” Polum says. “And it’s been a great experience.” Through the Technical High School program at Bates in Tacoma, Wash., high school students can earn their diploma while earning a college degree or certificate, tuition-free. Demry is set to graduate in August with an associate in applied science degree and her high school diploma.
Body Shop Business, Feb. 17, 2017

Could Tacoma Dome host e-sports events as Swedish company opens local office?

A major e-sports company now has an office in Tacoma. Swedish company DreamHack hosts video game tournaments on popular gaming platforms, often in arena or conference venues. So far, DreamHack has hosted events mostly in Europe, but it expects to expand to a robust schedule of events in North America. To help facilitate that expansion, the company opened an office in Tacoma earlier this month. ... Tacoma’s higher education institutions also played a role, Briggs said. University of Washington Tacoma, Bates Technical College and Clover Park Technical College would graduate students who could become future employees of DreamHack, he said.
The News Tribune, Feb. 17, 2017

Edmonds Community College Foundation awards scholarships

The Edmonds Community College Foundation on Jan. 18 celebrated its annual Breakfast of Champions, which included scholarship awards. Linh Tran, 18, received two scholarships through the Foundation. Tran left Vietnam at age 17 to study at EdCC. In her second year, she is active in student government while pursuing an associate in business transfer degree. Fellow scholarship recipients Naol Debele, from Ethiopia, and Leah Lesperance, who was once homeless with her two daughters, also spoke at the event.
Everett Herald, Feb. 17, 2017

Study finds OC adds $412M annually to local economy

Olympic College contributes hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the West Sound economy, according to results of a recent study. The study, conducted by consulting firm Emsi, found the Bremerton-based community college added more than $412 million to the economies of Kitsap and Mason counties in the 2014-15 fiscal year, a contribution roughly equivalent to 3.3 percent of the gross regional product (the value of all goods and services produced) or 6,100 jobs.
Kitsap Sun, Feb. 16, 2017

Laid-off aluminum workers look to retraining

Primary aluminum smelters, which require a large and steady supply of cheap electricity, were sited along major rivers near hydroelectric dams all over the U.S., including on the Columbia and St. Lawrence. And they were significant providers of well-paid industrial jobs in small towns and rural areas. But in the past few decades, foreign competition and slowing global growth have taken a toll on U.S. production. ... “We worked our tails off,” said Josh Musgrove, 38, a 16-year veteran at the smelter. “I didn’t think there was any chance of them shutting that old place down.” Musgrove is enrolled in an auto mechanics class at Wenatchee Valley College with other laid-off Alcoa workers as part of the government-supported vocational retraining typically available to workers after a plant closure.
WWNO, Feb. 16, 2017

Columbia Basin College professor receives backlash after publishing controversial article

A Columbia Basin College (CBC) professor finds himself feeling the heat after he penned an op-ed piece about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The controversy started when Dr. Gary Bullert, who teaches political science at CBC was moderating a debate about whether or not it was a racist act to put Japanese Americans in an internment camp after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The debate team called the Badger Club that is sponsored by the Tri-City Herald presented only one side of the argument so the paper then asked Dr. Bullert to present the opposition.
KVEW TV, Feb. 16, 2017

Billings high school grads help Microsoft reshape reality

Microsoft plans to unveil its next-generation three-dimensional experience sometime this year, and two Billings high school graduates left their mark on the project. The HoloLens uses three microprocessors and a series of mirrors to project holograms into its user’s eye. The result is high definition interactive imagery that can be adapted for entertainment, educational, industrial and military purposes. ... Yourk departed Montana a month after graduation to study at Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland, Washington. The move paid off with career opportunities like the CoroWare job and a limited position operating the timing system with Rally America, where he met childhood idols and action sport legends Travis Pastrana, Ken Block, Dave Mirra and Bucky Lasek.
Billings Gazette, Feb. 7, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

Money woes extend beyond tuition

Food, housing and other forms of financial insecurity are a major reason behind students’ inability to complete community college. A new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement released during the 2017 Achieving the Dream conference today revealed that nearly half of community college students reported that a lack of finances could cause them to withdraw from their institutions.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 21, 2017

Student debt in America has hit a new record

Total U.S. student debt hit a record $1.31 trillion last year, the 18th consecutive year Americans' education debt rose, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. ... Outstanding loans taken out for higher education have doubled since 2009, data show. No other form of household debt has increased by as much since then. In fact, of the six major categories of consumer debt tracked by the New York Fed, only student loans and auto debt have increased since year-end 2008 (total auto loans are up 46 percent). Total household debt has fallen by 1 percent.
Bloomberg, Feb. 17, 2017

State’s wage gap wider than U.S. average

The wage gap between men and women in Washington appears to be wider than the national average. A new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the state’s full-time workers who are women earn, on average, 77.8 percent of the earnings of men. Women reported earning $797 per week, while men earned $1,025. The gap in Washington is the 36th-largest among the United States, according to the data, which is based on earnings in 2015.
The Columbian, Feb. 17, 2017

For some first-generation students, fee waivers don’t go far enough

First-generation college students face a well-known set of obstacles, from financial to social, before ever stepping foot on campus. A coalition of student groups from elite institutions, in coordination with 1vyG, a first-generation college student network, is setting its sights on removing just one of them.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 17, 2017

Oregon Promise influencing students' decisions

Oregon's free community college scholarship, which began last year, is encouraging more students to consider going to college and to feel more confident about being able to afford it, according the results of a survey conducted by Education Northwest, a nonprofit research group.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 17, 2017

Maybe college isn't the great equalizer

College is the great equalizer. That's the message proudly proclaimed by many in higher education, not to mention many parents trying to urge children who may not have trust funds to prepare for college. But a new study says that the economic impact of college — in postgraduation wages — is very much tied to the income of students' families growing up, with students from wealthier families earning more than others.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 17, 2017

Online education costs more, not less

The myth that online education courses cost less to produce and therefore save students money on tuition doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, a survey of distance education providers found. The survey, conducted by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), found that most colleges charge students the same or more to study online. And when additional fees are included, more than half of distance education students pay more than do those in brick-and-mortar classrooms.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 17, 2017

Video: The life of an undocumented high school senior

Ilse Cruz was brought into the United States by her mother when she was 4 years old, and has no memories of her native Mexico. She also doesn’t feel truly American — because she’s undocumented. ... As a high school senior, the discouraging realities of Cruz’s legal status have begun to set in: She’s wary of ever leaving the country to visit Mexico, she’s not sure if she can go to college, or apply for federal aid to make it possible.
The Atlantic, Feb. 16, 2017

Campus sexual assault: Washington students still woefully uninformed

Though politicians and universities across the country have recognized the problem of campus sexual assault, administrators are still working to determine the most effective policies and programs for reducing students’ vulnerability. At Washington State University, for example, mandatory workshops teach incoming students how to identify violent behavior and intervene when their peers are at risk. At Western Washington University, posters listing survivor resources are in every restroom on campus. But establishing more universal policies is a work in progress that state administrators, Title IX coordinators, student groups and other entities are tackling in a collaborative effort.
Crosscut, Feb. 16, 2017

Fliers at WSU targeting ‘illegal aliens’ appear to be from white supremacist group

Fliers urging people to report “illegal aliens” to immigration authorities were found on the Washington State University campus Tuesday and appear to be the work of a white supremacist group. “A notice to all citizens of the United States of America,” the fliers state. “It is your civic duty to report any and all illegal aliens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They have broken the law.” Students discovered the posters, which also included a phone number for ICE, along Library Road and tore them down on Tuesday, a WSU spokesman confirmed.
The Spokesman-Review, Feb. 15, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

In our view: Funding education

Voters throughout Clark County on Tuesday demonstrated strong support for local schools at the ballot box. With a variety of levies and bond measures being considered, the public reinforced the notion that education forms the foundation for a prosperous future — not only for current students but for the entire community. But now that voters have done their job, it is time for the Legislature to adequately perform its duties.
The Columbian, Feb. 20, 2017

Don't blame state disinvestment alone

State disinvestment isn’t the whole story behind rising tuition levels. Neal McCluskey, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, makes that argument in a new study seeking to explain increases in college and university tuition levels. It’s in some ways a middle-of-the-road finding for a libertarian think tank weighing into a debate whose different sides have long been dug in behind their favorite narratives. But it is also a distinct attempt to shift the focus at a time when some believe state funding has received too much attention in the debate over college costs and tuition levels.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 20, 2017

Fewer credits may be required for graduation

Three years after deciding high school students must earn 24 credits to graduate, some Democratic and Republican lawmakers say they went too far. They are pushing a bill to reduce the requirement to 21 credits. They succeeded in getting it passed out of the House Education Committee this week. Under House Bill 1509, the change would occur with the class of 2019 which, under current law, is when the 24-credit mandate is to take effect.
Everett Herald, Feb. 18, 2017

Popular domestic programs face ax under first Trump budget

The White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending, including longstanding conservative targets like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. Work on the first Trump administration budget has been delayed as the budget office awaited Senate confirmation of former Representative Mick Mulvaney, a spending hard-liner, as budget director. Now that he is in place, his office is ready to move ahead with a list of nine programs to eliminate, an opening salvo in the Trump administration’s effort to reorder the government and increase spending on defense and infrastructure.
The New York Times, Feb. 17, 2017

McCleary roundup: Another week, another plan for funding public schools

Moderate Democrats in the Senate pitch a fourth education-funding proposal, adding to the confusion as lawmakers try to resolve the landmark McCleary case.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 17, 2017

Trump: DACA a 'difficult subject'

In a news conference Thursday, President Trump came across as conflicted but noncommittal when asked about his plans for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era program under which more than 700,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, many of them college students, have gained temporary protection from deportation and renewable work permits.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 17, 2017

DeVos says her higher-ed views are ‘very aligned’ with Trump’s

Betsy DeVos, the recently confirmed secretary of education, said her views on higher-education policy are “very aligned” with those of President Trump, in an interview with Axios published on Friday. It is not unusual for an education secretary’s views to align closely with those of the person who nominated her, as The Chronicle has noted, and this administration is no exception. In the interview, Ms. DeVos said both she and President Trump believe that four-year degrees are not doing a good job of serving students, and that vocational training may better prepare many for work.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 17, 2017

Trump plans new executive order on immigration

President Trump said Thursday he will issue a new executive order on immigration after federal courts blocked his administration from enforcing a Jan. 27 order barring entry into the U.S. by refugees and nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries. In a news conference, Trump said the new order would come out next week. The order, Trump said, would "be very much tailored to the, what I consider to be a very bad [court] decision, but we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything, in some ways more."
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 17, 2017

DeVos praises community colleges in remarks

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called community colleges "a uniquely American national asset" in a speech Thursday that praised the work of those institutions while linking them to the priorities of the Trump administration and conservative leaders. She gave her remarks at the Community College National Legislative Summit in her first speech on higher education since being confirmed as secretary last week.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 17, 2017

Opinion: From prison to college to success

Some may not want to pay to help felons cope with life outside prison walls, but if we don’t invest many will fall back into a life of crime.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 15, 2017

Last Modified: 2/9/18 11:41 AM
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