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News Links | February 28, 2017

February 28, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Truck simulator gives CBC students realistic experience behind the wheel

Students in Columbia Basin College's Commercial Driver’s License certification program can now hit the road without leaving the classroom. In January the program installed a full motion truck simulator to give students a realistic take on what it's like to get behind the wheel. Instructor Bud Stephens says the machine is practical since the Columbia River Basin is a hub for commercial driving jobs due to construction and the surrounding farm lands.
KEPR TV, Feb. 27, 2017

OC revisits security issue with series of forums

Olympic College administrators back-pedaled on proposed security cuts in November, after word about plans to reduce staffing set off ripples of alarm on all three campuses. On Monday, the college hosted a forum at its Poulsbo campus to field concerns from students and staff. Other forums are planned this week at the Bremerton and Shelton campuses.
Kitsap Sun, Feb. 27, 2017

Commentary: Better funding would help EdCC, EvCC prepare workforce

David Beyer, president of Everett Community College, and Jean Hernandez, president of Edmonds Community College. Each year, thousands of graduates from Everett and Edmonds community colleges land well-paying jobs or transfer to universities. As two of the state’s 34 community and technical colleges, we offer tuition savings and real-world training in Snohomish County. Yet community and technical colleges receive the lowest level of state funding per full-time student in Washington. Collectively, our colleges are operating at 2007 funding levels. This is damaging to our students and our state. To meet the future needs of our students and communities, two-year colleges need an additional investment from the Washington Legislature.
Everett Herald, Feb. 26, 2017

EDC given grant for trades education

The San Juan County Economic Development Council has been given a Washington State Department of Commerce Work Start grant for a county-wide Marine Trades Education program, which will be run in partnership with Commerce, San Juan County, the Town of Friday Harbor, Skagit Valley College, the Port of Friday Harbor, Islanders Bank, the Northwest Workforce Council, Heritage Bank, and area marine businesses. A highly competitive grant program, Work Start is designed to provide training to workers in order to address business expansion or loss of business to other states or countries.
The Islands' Sounder, Feb. 26, 2017

Whipple selected for NISOD recognition

Clover Park Technical College Esthetic Sciences instructor Jennifer Whipple’s has been selected as the college’s 2017 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award recipient. Whipple was nominated by her peers and selected by a faculty-composed selection committee for her commitment and leadership to students, education and the college.
The Suburban Times, Feb. 26, 2017

Seattle may spend $6.5 million to expand free community-college program

The city of Seattle could spend as much as $6.5 million in the coming years to expand a program that promises students who graduate from certain public high schools a free year of community college. The 13th Year Promise Scholarship Program, as it is called, gives students a first free year of community college, regardless of family income. It also provides support services to help them academically during their first year. The program has been offered for several years to graduates of three Seattle high schools — Cleveland, Chief Sealth International and Rainier Beach — to attend South Seattle College. Under the proposed expansion, students who graduate from West Seattle High starting in 2018 can also get a first year free at South Seattle College. In addition, Seattle Central College and North Seattle College will each begin offering a free first year of college to the graduates of one high school located nearby. The high schools that will be added to the program haven’t yet been identified, community-college officials said. ... The scholarship program was inspired by research from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, which shows that high-school graduates who attain a year of college reach a “tipping point” in their educations that allows them to earn a living-wage job.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 24, 2017

Study: Highline added $631.5 million to local economy

A new study found Highline College alumni and operations added $631.5 million to the King County economy during the 2014-15 fiscal year. The added income translated into 8,675 jobs, according to the economic impact study commissioned by the college. Conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International, the study demonstrates that Highline supports King County’s economy through college operations, additional revenues from skilled alumni, and spending by students who came from outside of the county, such as international students.
Tukwila Reporter, Feb. 24, 2017

Former CBC president Thornton to serve as interim president following Cummins' retirement

Columbia Basin College (CBC) Board of Trustees has decided to hire former CBC President Lee Thornton as Interim President following Rich Cummins' resignation. According to a CBC news release, Thornton will temporarily serve as president after Cummins leaves March 30, 2017. Thornton was CBC's president from 1995-2008 and has worked as a higher education consultant since then.
KEPR, Feb. 24, 2017

Centralia College nursing students perform well on licensed practical nurses exam

Testing results of nursing students at Centralia College were high enough in 2016 to put the college in fourth place in the state for licensed practical nurses exam performance. Nursing students at the college who took the national certification exam to be licensed practical nurses are among the best in the state, according to, an online ranking of the best LPN programs in the nation. Centralia College does not have an LPN program, but many of the students in the college’s registered nursing program take the LPN exam, according to a press release from the college.
Centralia Chronicle, Feb. 24, 2017

EdCC almuna honored with Transforming Lives award

The Edmonds Community College Board of Trustees awarded alumna Yasmin Dunn with its 2016 Transforming Lives award. The award is given annually to a student whose life was transformed by attending Edmonds CC, and who also overcame significant barriers to achieve his or her educational goals.
Edmonds Beacon, Feb. 24, 2017

CBC’s new math center is a godsend for struggling students

Celina Fox began her studies at Columbia Basin College in the 1990s, but left before graduating to raise a child. Now, her son is grown and Fox is back in school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in applied management. Everything was going swimmingly — until she signed up for a statistics course. Like many students, Fox brought a healthy dose of fear to her math studies. Unlike most, she got proactive. She began visiting CBC’s new math center to beef up her skills before the class began and continued to visit daily, often seeing her professor and fellow students.
Tri-City Herald, Feb. 23, 2017

Washington State Ferries looks to train workforce of its future as retirements loom

With about one-quarter of Washington State Ferries’ 1,800 employees eligible for retirement within five years, new training simulators in Ballard are part of an aggressive recruiting effort to draw new employees — and help current employees get ready for more advanced roles. ... Ferries employees will begin training in March on the bridge simulator, which opened in November. They’ll start training on the engine-room simulator, which opened last month, shortly after that. Through an agreement with the Maritime Academy (part of Seattle Central College) Ferries will have access to the simulators, the only ones of their kind in the region, for 60 days a year.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 23, 2017

Closing the gender gap in tech at Green River

When Tina Ostrander joined Green River College in 2014 to help launch a bachelor’s degree in software development, she set a lofty goal for the program: reach 50/50 female/male enrollment by 2020.
Auburn Reporter, Feb. 22, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

Aid applications from undocumented students drop

Fewer undocumented immigrant students have applied for state-level financial aid in California so far this year, and state education officials are encouraging them to apply before this Thursday's deadline, the Los Angeles Times reported last week. The California Dream Act allows undocumented immigrant students to apply for state financial aid.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 28, 2017

Guest essay: Teaching writing in a post-truth era

Writing professor Peter Wayne Moe explains the need for college writing courses to promote information literacy. ... If facts don’t count for anything, then how is public discourse possible? How do I teach my students to write when it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a claim grounded in fact? What’s a writing teacher to do?
The Seattle Times, Feb. 28, 2017

Online ed's return on investment

A potential bombshell of a study on the lack of returns on investment to students and taxpayers from online education instead has other researchers questioning the author’s data and methodology. The study, “The Returns to Online Postsecondary Education,” reads something like an indictment of online education. Written by Caroline M. Hoxby, the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor in Economics at Stanford University, the paper and its findings “provide little support for optimistic prognostications about online education.”
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 28, 2017

Teachers get educated about the rights of student immigrants at Tacoma gathering

At least 100 educators gathered in Tacoma Monday night to learn what they can do to help students who feel threatened by reports of stepped up enforcement from U.S. immigration authorities. They communicated what they’re hearing from students — some who come to them in tears — afraid that their parents could be snatched away while they’re at school, or worried that deportation may put an end to their dream of a high school diploma.
The News Tribune, Feb. 28, 2017

Highline Schools teach staff how to help refugee students

Staff in the Highline School District will gather on Monday for an event aimed at best serving refugee students. The training is part of a three-part series where they will learn about everything from the refugee resettlement process to hearing from a panel of refugee parents and students.
KING 5, Feb. 27, 2017

Data help educators determine who is at risk of dropping out

There’s no single solution to help students who struggle to graduate from high school. It takes a mix of ideas, said Joyce Stewart, deputy superintendent for the Everett School District. She and her team are focused on making sure students regularly attend school, have a teacher or another adult they trust, and find classes, clubs and sports that make school feel worthwhile.
Everett Herald, Feb. 27, 2017

Baby boomers retrain in sought-after skills

According to the National Skills Coalition, about half of jobs today require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year college degree. After a long downturn, manufacturing has stabilized in Reading, but many of the jobs require increasingly technical skills. For older workers, that often means retraining, sometimes several times.
Marketplace, Feb. 27, 2017

New study on computer-mediated remediation

A new report from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College at Columbia University finds that computer-mediated developmental math benefited high school students more than those same courses when taught at Tennessee colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 27, 2017

For undocumented 'dreamer' studying at CWU, just getting to college took a lot of learning

Maria was a typical student at Pasco High School. She was involved in student government, played sports and had aspirations to continue her education at the next level. So when she visited a high school adviser to start discussing her undergraduate plans and was asked for a Social Security number, Maria learned she was different than the rest of her peers — she was undocumented.
Yakima Herald, Feb. 24, 2017

Which colleges might give you the best bang for your buck?

The cost of college is high and rising, while a bachelor's degree is practically required to get ahead. It's hard enough for a family with means to get a student through school these days, let alone a low-income family. So, are the immediate costs of college, and the loans that can follow, worth it? A recent study took a look at each college in America and calculated the number of low-income graduates who wound up being top income earners. We call that mobility. The study comes from the Equality of Opportunity Project and is paired with an interactive tool from the New York Times.
NPR, Feb. 24, 2017

In Finland, kids learn computer science without computers

Coding and programming are now part of the curriculum in the Scandinavian country, and they’re subjects kids tackle from a young age. But unlike in some parts of the United States where learning to code is an isolated skill, Finnish children are taught to think of coding and programming more as tools to be explored and utilized across multiple subjects. That mindset aims to accomplish a couple of things: to make coding and programming accessible to kids with a variety of interests, and to show students why understanding how technology works is relevant to their lives by linking its use to a multitude of activities.
The Atlantic, Feb. 24, 2017

Teaching and integrating international students

Various surveys look at biggest academic challenges international students face and the availability of professional development opportunities for professors teaching in intercultural classrooms.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 24, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

Moody's: Free college a credit positive

Free college tuition proposals will be moderately credit positive for the overall higher education sector, Moody’s Investors Service said Friday in a report issued after New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee and San Francisco have recently introduced new or expanded proposals. Proposals for free public college tuition tend to be relatively cost-effective ways for governments to support higher education access and affordability goals because they are usually structured as last-dollar programs that exhaust other sources of financial aid before drawing on new state subsidies, Moody’s said. Consequently, the ratings agency expects the trend toward free college to continue.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 27, 2017

Opinion: Fund the State Need Grant — we are worth the investment

Four Washington state college students urge the Legislature to fully fund the State Need Grant so that all eligible lower-income students have the opportunity to go to college.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 24, 2017

Mexican universities say they’ll take in any UW students who get deported

Earlier this month, the largest university in Mexico made an offer to 35 American universities: If any of their students or professors are deported to Mexico under President Donald Trump, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM in Spanish) would try to figure out a way for them to continue their studies in Mexico City.
Seattle Weekly, Feb. 24, 2017

McCleary roundup: House Democrats approve bill; no movement on levy cliff

As the Washington Legislature approaches the halfway mark of its 105-day session next week, lawmakers have made incremental progress in a five-year-long effort to finally resolve the landmark McCleary school-funding case. Democrats in charge of the House passed their preferred fix, which now goes to the GOP-led Senate. Republicans, meanwhile, continue to ignore calls to delay a so-called “levy cliff” that school officials warn could trigger layoffs. And some lawmakers even crossed party lines — accidentally — in a mistaken vote for the opposing side’s legislation.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 24, 2017

Democrats ask GAO to assess hunger on campuses

A group of Democratic Senators is seeking a review by the Government Accountability Office of hunger on college campuses. In a letter to Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro, the four senators — Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Patty Murray of Washington — highlighted recent surveys finding struggles with food insecurity on college campuses. They also pointed to the growth of food banks on campuses as well as off-campus programs serving hungry students.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 24, 2017

Student affairs groups criticize lifting of protections for transgender students

Two national student affairs groups on Thursday issued statements criticizing the Trump administration for rescinding guidance from the Obama administration that said federal anti-bias laws cover gender identity. While individual colleges may continue to bar discrimination against transgender students, and may continue to permit transgender students to use bathrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity, the official view of the administration is that they don't have to do so.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 24, 2017

DeVos vs. the faculty

Professors tell students "what to say, and more ominously, what to think," new education secretary says in her first sustained criticism of higher education.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 24, 2017

Opinion: State lawmakers must stay focused on education

Some Republicans leaders in the Washington state Legislature have wisely opted to stay out of national (and presidential) politics to focus on state government. Good for them. While what’s going on at the White House and at Mar-a-Lago (the Southern White House) is fascinating, particularly for political junkies, it doesn’t have anything to do with fully funding basic public education — the Legislature’s top priority.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Feb. 23, 2017

Gov. Jay Inslee signs order to restrict state participation in federal immigration enforcement

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday signed an executive order to restrict the ways in which state agencies can assist or enforce federal immigration laws. State agencies and officials can no longer use state resources to apprehend people in violation of federal immigration law or create or enforce a religious registry unless compelled by federal or state law. Washington agencies and officials must continue to provide resources regardless of a person’s immigration status or request documents to determine the status.
Puget Sound Business Journal, Feb. 23, 2017

Former Homeland Security secretary, champion of immigrant students

Napolitano has emerged as one of the leading defenders of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which at least for now President Trump appears to have spared, despite vowing during the presidential campaign to rescind it. The program has provided temporary relief from deportation to three-quarters of 1 million undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, including many attending the University of California.
The Atlantic, Feb. 23, 2017

Federal panel gives controversial community-college accreditor a clean slate

A federal advisory panel recommended on Thursday that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges continue its status as a gatekeeper of federal student aid for 18 months. If approved, the recommendation would also allow the commission to accredit some baccalaureate degrees at two-year colleges. The recommendation, by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, marks a new milestone in the long-running saga of the accreditor, which oversees community colleges in California, Hawaii, and several U.S. territories. A senior Education Department official must approve the recommendation for it to take effect.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 23, 2017

Opinion: Time to move on from charter-schools lawsuit

Now that a King County Superior Court judge has ruled that Washington’s charter-schools law is constitutional, the detractors of this promising education approach should stand down. No doubt the coalition, led by the Washington teachers union, is disappointed, but Washington needs to move on from the legal challenges against charter schools.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 22, 2017

Last Modified: 2/9/18 11:42 AM
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