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News Links | May 4, 2017

May 04, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

When new technology fails

Seven years ago, as the 34 community or technical colleges in Washington all dealt with a decades-old software system, the solution for the state seemed straightforward: Replace the old system with something better. So the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges started planning to implement a brand-new software system for course sign-up, financial aid and other college business. ... The issues with ctcLink at the three schools used as guinea pigs — Spokane, Spokane Falls and Tacoma community colleges — forced a pause in the rollout to other colleges.
Inlander, May 4, 2017

Mayor Ed Murray won’t speak at Seattle Colleges commencement

Mayor Ed Murray will no longer be the keynote speaker next month at a commencement ceremony for the Seattle Colleges. The mayor was slated to headline the June 16 ceremony at Safeco Field, the first ever to include students from all four Seattle Colleges locations. But a decision was made this week for him not to attend, spokesman Benton Strong said.
The Seattle Times, May 4, 2017

Relocated marine life appears healthy in Puget Sound

Marine life moved from toxic pilings appear to be adjusting to their new home deep down in Puget Sound."These are purple sea stars here. This is a leather star," Rus Higley showed while diving near Maury Island. Higley works for Highline College. He and Randy Williams, a member of Washington Scuba Alliance, used a camera underwater with other divers to show KING 5 what they found. They wanted to see the results of a project from last year that no one had done there before.
KING 5, May 3, 2017

Plant Amnesty arborists donate a day of pruning to the Arboretum at South Seattle College

In celebration of Arbor Day, local arborists certified by Plant Amnesty took to the trees of The Arboretum at South Seattle College last week, providing some much needed expert pruning services. “I am so happy that this work is getting done,” says Mark Pollock, Arboretum Coordinator. “The value of these services is somewhere between $12,000 and $15,000. It’s a tremendous gift to us and we are very thankful.”
West Seattle Herald, May 3, 2017

SFCC instructor known as ‘Doc Polly’ named Washington community colleges’ faculty member of the year

A Spokane Falls Community College instructor has been named “faculty member of the year” by the Washington State Association of College Trustees. Polly McMahon has taught social services and gerontology at SFCC since 1995. She was awarded tenure in 1998 and was one of the college’s first instructors to offer an online degree program. ... McMahon has served on the board of directors of the Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation since 2011. In that role, she created a scholarship for students in the social services and gerontology program. ... SFCC’s board of trustees nominated McMahon for the “faculty member of the year” award. She’ll be recognized at a banquet May 25 at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake.
The Spokesman-Review, May 2, 2017

SPSCC students want a $16 million Health and Wellness Center. Here’s how they plan to pay for it.

A Health and Wellness Center featuring sports courts, a weight and cardio room, and more study spaces could be coming to South Puget Sound Community College. Students at the Olympia-based college voted last week to have a quarterly fee assessed to pay for the proposed $16 million, 39,150-square-foot facility on its main campus. If everything stays on schedule — officials say it still needs approval this month from the college’s Board of Trustees and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges — the center would open in summer 2020.
The Olympian, May 2, 2017

Could small-town Harvards revive rural economies?

College campuses and educational institutions can bolster the economies of small towns that otherwise would be struggling like many other rural locations throughout the country. Many of the rural areas that are thriving today are either home to natural features they can capitalize on — like Aspen, Colorado, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, do with skiing — or they’re the home to colleges or universities. ... Hoping to resuscitate the local economy, in 2000, Walla Walla Community College started an enology and viticulture program, and began training local students in the art of winemaking. ... “This was a dying western rural community,” Wyner said. “Now, the community blows your mind. They helped create a new economy.”
The Atlantic, May 2, 2017

TRiO Educational Opportunity Center opens at South Seattle College

The TRiO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) at South Seattle College is now open to community members, offering free one-on-one help for adults with questions about paying for and attending college. EOC advisors provide assistance with financial aid (FAFSA), funding options, career guidance and college admissions applications to qualified adults who seek to enter or continue an academic or vocational degree or certificate program, whether that program is at South Seattle College or another college or university in the area.
West Seattle Herald, May 2, 2017

Renton Technical College to open $20 million automotive technology complex

Think about all the ways automobiles have changed — in their designs, engineering, and technical innovations — over the past 30 years. Now, consider that three decades have passed since Renton Technical College last expanded its facilities to train students to become automotive technicians. That will change in May when the college joins the future of automotive education and officially unveils its new Automotive Technology Complex, a $20 million renovation of four buildings totaling 63,550 square feet and housing the college’s automotive, auto body, and paint instructional programs.
425 Business, April 20, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

A student paper under fire

A journalism adviser at a Kansas community college has been suspended from his job, and student reporters there believe the administration is targeting them after they published multiple unflattering pieces. Alan Montgomery, adviser to the Hutchinson Community College student newspaper, The Hutchinson Collegian, said he was informed of his suspension Friday, with his courses being canceled before the semester’s end. This follows friction between the college’s leadership and student reporters.
Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2017

Pushing public higher ed boundaries

Purdue University managed to make a big splash without fronting cash in its deal to acquire Kaplan University and its major online education presence. That’s a key point in an era when public higher education institutions are increasingly saddled with tight state funding and rising cost pressures. But it comes with trade-offs. Purdue agreed to a lengthy contract requiring it to buy support services from parts of the Kaplan operation that will remain tied to a for-profit business. The contract limits Purdue’s early financial downside, but getting out of it in the future would come at significant expense.
Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2017

350 colleges still have room for new undergrads

More than 350 colleges and universities are still accepting applications for first-year or transfer enrollment for this fall, according to an annual survey from the National Association for College Admission Counseling. That's more than was the case in a number of previous years, but NACAC simply opens a database and allows colleges to participate, so it is not possible to compare the survey's totals from year to year, as the same colleges don't participate every year.
Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2017

Student drops from ceiling to steal an exam

A student at the University of Kentucky climbed through ceiling ducts and dropped down into a faculty member's office to steal an exam Tuesday night, reported. The student told authorities that, earlier in the semester, he had succeeded in doing so for another test. This time, the student again reached the office and then unlocked it to let in another student. But early Wednesday morning, while the students were still in the office, the faculty member returned. He had been working late and stepped out to get something to eat when the students broke into his office. The students fled, but then returned and confessed.
Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2017

Low-income, minority students lag in high school grad rates

Despite rising national graduation rates, low-income and minority students continue to lag behind their peers in finishing high school, according to a study released Wednesday. While the national graduation rate for the year 2015 was 83.2 percent, it was only 77.8 percent for Hispanic students and 74.6 for black students, said the report by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at the Johns Hopkins University. The report represented an analysis of federal data released in December and policy recommendations. On the bright side, those students are catching up faster than their peers.
The Seattle Times, May 3, 2017

Prof bites back at WSU over wolf story

A Washington State University professor says the university violated his academic freedom after he spoke out about the killing of the Profanity Peak wolf pack last year. An official complaint filed Thursday with WSU alleges administrators were politically motivated to discredit him.
Crosscut, May 3, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

IRS tool won't be restored for 2017-18 aid cycle

The IRS data retrieval tool that let financial aid applicants automatically import income information into the FAFSA won't be restored for the current aid cycle, said James Runcie, chief operating officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid, in written testimony to Congress Wednesday.
Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2017

Spending bill gives flexibility to borrowers seeking loan consolidation

Language in the omnibus spending bill Congress agreed to over the weekend directs the Department of Education to allow student loan borrowers to select any servicer when consolidating their federal student loans. It's a change that was long sought by state-based and not-for-profit servicers. Previously, borrowers were required to move their loans to one of several large servicers after consolidating.
Inside Higher Ed, May 3, 2017

Under Trump budget, nearly 2 million kids may lose after-school care

Mary Beth Burkes lives in Buchanan County, Va., a depressed coal-mining region where 1 in 4 families lives in poverty and where her autistic son gets extra help in the after-school program at his school. Burkes says the program has been a godsend for her and other parents, because they know their children are in a safe place after school. "Their parents work," she says. "There is no day care in this area." But in his budget for next year, President Trump wants to eliminate this nationwide after-school program for low-income children, called 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says there's no evidence the $1.2 billion-a-year program works.
KNKX, May 2, 2017

So goes the special session in Olympia: Lawmakers are redoing work they’ve already done

The Legislature’s extended game of chicken entered a new phase Tuesday, with each chamber re-approving several bills it already passed. The likely next step: Lawmakers across the Capitol rotunda will keep ignoring those measures for the next several weeks. So goes the game of special sessions in Olympia, in which lawmakers redo work they’ve already done while waiting for leaders to come to a deal on a state budget. Because of procedural rules, bills that passed one chamber but not the other during the Legislature’s regular 105-day session must be re-approved when lawmakers reconvene in overtime.
The Olympian, May 2, 2017

Spending bill restores financial aid for 16K college students in Washington

A last-minute deal to fund the U.S. government through September will also allow about 16,000 students in Washington state who receive federal financial aid to use the grants for summer school. The Obama administration eliminated the year-round Pell Grant program in 2011, preventing low-income students who enroll full-time for two semesters in a row to access more Pell money at the end of the second semester. If signed by President Donald Trump, a bipartisan, $1 trillion-plus spending bill announced Sunday would restore eligibility for those students to use the aid for the summer semester as well.
The Seattle Times, May 2, 2017

Last Modified: 2/9/18 11:40 AM
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