News Links | October 3, 2017
System News | Opinion
Bellingham Technical College’s Board of Trustees on Monday approved the Bellingham
Education Support Team (BEST) Collective Bargaining Agreement. BEST, which represents
classified clerical, technical, instructional and retail support staff, went on a
four-day strike last week.
The Bellingham Herald, Oct. 2, 2017
When Pierce College, in Washington State, redesigned its precollege-level math courses in 2013, administrators
asked students what had helped them succeed. The response was surprising: What mattered
most, the students said, was which instructor you were assigned. ... The frustration
over the grading discrepancies set in motion an experiment that led to significantly
higher college-completion rates at Pierce, and is earning the college national attention. For
the past three years, the college’s institutional-research office has created data
dashboards that show course-completion rates for the classes of every Pierce instructor.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 1, 2017
LWTech joins forces with Pacific Northwest institutes of technology to provide industry aligned talent for the Cascadia Corridor
Lake Washington Institute of Technology joined forces with two other institutes of technology this month to collaborate in
four key areas to bring industry-aligned talent to the Cascadia Innovation Corridor’s
workforce needs. Microsoft President Brad Smith announced the partnership between
LWTech, British Columbia Institute of Technology in Canada and Oregon Institute of
Technology at the two-day Cascadia Corridor Innovation Conference on Sept. 12, where
the three polytechnics signed a memorandum of understanding to solidify the move.
Kirkland Reporter, Sept. 30, 2017
Seattle City Light has announced $1 million in Community Green Up Grants that include
funding solar panel installations at three Capitol Hill Housing complexes and at Seattle Central College. ... Seattle Central is receiving $200,000 for its solar installation.
Capitol Hill Times, Sept. 29, 2017
The fall quarter of classes began Monday at Clark College, and the roster includes several new educational programs. Clark’s culinary institute
restarted after several years on hiatus, and the school added a second bachelor’s
degree option, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management.
Clark County Today, Sept. 29, 2017
Youth unemployment is a global issue. According to a McKinsey & Company report, young
people worldwide are three times more likely than their parents to be out of work.
... Add to this crisis the misleading narrative that to secure a good, long-term job,
you need a four-year college degree. Sure, a college degree is an asset in the United
States and abroad, but there are other ways to secure a sustainable career, especially
in manufacturing. ... For example, intern Elizabeth Kaehr said mentors were an integral
part of her internship experience – she had several while at work at the City of Lynden’s
waste and water treatment plant. She secured her internship while a student at Bellingham Technical College in Washington.
Forbes, Sept. 28, 2017
While Highline College searches for a new president, a familiar name will fill the role. Jeff Wagnitz, who
has been serving as acting president since December 2016, has been named interim president
by the college’s board of trustees, effective Oct. 1. The announcement came during
the board’s regularly scheduled Sept. 21 meeting.
Auburn Reporter, Sept. 28, 2017
A Garfield High School senior who wants to go to college. A Seattle University student
studying to become an engineer. A 23-year-old who writes poetry. The speakers at a
rally at Seattle Central College on Thursday had different backgrounds, but one thing in common: They’re all undocumented
immigrants who were brought to the United States when they were young. And they’re
all worried about their future, and the future of their families, because of the Trump
administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The Seattle Times, Sept. 28, 2017
Bellingham Technical College announced late Thursday that the college and the teachers' union BEST have reached
an agreement in the current teachers' strike. Classes are set to resume on Friday,
September 29. The Board of Trustees will vote on its approval at a special board meeting
next week. Once the contract is approved, details of the contract and the settlement
will be released.
KING 5, Sept. 28, 2017
Members of three local Rotary clubs recently presented the Centralia College Foundation with a $25,000 check from the proceeds of the 2017 Tri-Club Rotary Auction
held earlier this year. The focus for the 2017 auction was to create a grant to help
veterans with tuition and expenses at Centralia College in a gap period before their
GI funding begins.
Centralia Chronicle, Sept. 28, 2017
Laura Tenneson needed a career change. Her job as a restaurant server increasingly
was becoming more challenging as her arthritis began to flare up. Tenneson, 36, sought
a new calling — something that would be easier on her joints, tap her intellectual
skills, and perhaps even be a little more lucrative. She believes she has found such
an opportunity through the North Idaho College paralegal training program. ... Mirisa
Bradbury, paralegal program director at Spokane Community College, says enrollment in paralegal courses is rising, with about 50 students currently
enrolled, up about 10 percent from the previous year.
Spokane Journal of Business, Sept. 28, 2017
Rob Piatt plans to eventually take over his family’s ranch, but the recent high school
graduate from Marysville, Calif., isn’t preparing by studying agriculture at a four-year
university. Instead, he’s a first-year trainee in a program called ThinkBIG, an apprenticeship
in servicing heavy-duty agricultural equipment that combines classes at Stockton’s
San Joaquin Delta College with work in the service department at a Caterpillar dealership.
... John Deere has a similar program, the Ag and Turf Dealer Technician Program, which
also combines lecture and laboratory class instruction with paid work at a John Deere
dealership. Among its 16 U.S. locations is Walla Walla Community College in Washington state.
Capital Press, Sept. 28, 2017
After winning full-time custody of her three daughters in a bitter divorce, Anne Abbott
knew it was time to get back to work. Abbott had been a stay-at-home mom for 12 years
when the divorce was finalized in 2015. She had started writing again and doing marketing
work from home, but that would not be enough to support a family of four, she thought. So
early last year she moved to Spokane from central Oregon, with plans to become an
attorney specializing in family law. After volunteering at the county prosecutor’s
office, she found work as a paralegal at a downtown firm and restarted her education
at Spokane Community College. That wouldn’t have been possible, she said, if it weren’t for a pair of scholarships
she received through the Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation.
The Spokesman-Review, Sept. 27, 2017
A behind bars classroom is dedicated to teaching inmates skills in the booming technology
industry. Inmates at Airway Heights Correction Center can apply to take Aerospace
Composites, a course taught in conjunction with Spokane Community College. Part of that curriculum involves learning how to operate drones. Drones have been
part of the curriculum for about two years.
KREM, Sept. 27, 2017
As a new quarter began Monday at Green River College, organizations were at the main campus in Auburn to welcome students. Inspirus Credit
Union, based in Tukwila, handed out 135 gift cards to Green River’s bookstore. Students
had the opportunity to spin a wheel to determine if they would get a $10, $25 or $50
gift card. ... Inspirus also hosted bookstore giveaways at Highline College and Everett Community College.
Auburn Reporter, Sept. 27, 2017
Aspiring chefs eager to utilize Clark College’s new state-of-the-art culinary facility will have to wait just a little longer for
it to finish cooking. The McClaskey Culinary Institute, originally scheduled to open
at the start of the fall quarter — which began Monday — is expected to begin hosting
classes in the third week of the term, according to Genevieve Howard, the college’s
dean of workforce, technical and professional education.
The Columbian, Sept. 26, 2017
Some pecks of Pasco peppers were picked at Columbia Basin College for local food banks Tuesday. The peppers were grown at CBC's Agricultural Research
Farm and rather than see them wasted, the school teamed with Fields of Grace to make
sure they were put to good use. Fields of Grace is a faith-based organization formed
11 years ago by members from 53 different Tri-Cities churches. Volunteers glean, or
pick, leftover crops to donate to local food banks.
KEPR TV, Sept. 26, 2017
Kiana Sam is an example of how Wenatchee Valley College at Omak is helping change lives. Her advice and recommendations to high school seniors
would be, “Don’t grow up too fast! Enjoy the time you have and cherish all the little
things. To be a successful student takes a lot of self-discipline and responsibility,
but all the hard work really pays off in the end, so dive into your education and
take advantage of the opportunity while you can. I must say, there was no better feeling
than when I was walking across the stage at graduation and being able to take that
deep breathe and say, I did it!”
Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune, Sept. 26, 2017
If you live in or near Seattle, you’ve probably been to Gas Works Park, home to sweeping
skyline views and vintage industrial structures. It’s also home to a large number
of young people experiencing homelessness who camp there because of the amenities
and shelter it offers. Karina Wallace was one of those young people. ... For Karina,
support from the community and her mother has helped her to address her mental health
challenges. She is now enrolled in Shoreline Community College and has been living in a transitional housing apartment for almost two years. ... Jen
Germain is a producer with Spark Public. Jen is a graduate of the Film and Video Program
at (the former) Seattle Central College, as well as a graduate of the Communications Program at Pikes Peak Community College
in Colorado Springs, CO.
KCTS 9, Sept. 25, 2017
It’s back to school for Clark College, as the Vancouver school welcomed about 12,000 students and launched several new
programs for the fall quarter. The school was abuzz with students Monday afternoon,
the first day of class, some reconnecting with old friends, others peering at the
campus directories to find their next class. Though official enrollment numbers won’t
be released until the 10th day of class, Clark College in an early estimate announced
12,055 students enrolled, down slightly from last year’s 12,099 students.
The Columbian, Sept. 25, 2017
The new 17,000 square foot Wenatchee Valley College Recreation Center is now open. The $6.2-million facility was officially opened at
a formal ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. Wenatchee Valley College President Jim
Richardson says the new Rec. Center wouldn’t have been possible without the help and
determination of the students.
NCW Life, Sept. 25, 2017
Edmonds Community College Foundation recently celebrated the success of Deanna Britt, a recipient of a Complete
the Dream Scholarship. At a foundation board meeting, Britt recounted her 35-year
journey to graduate college, starting with a GED® at age 16, marrying at 19, and having
four children plus caring for her husband’s three children.
My Edmonds News, Sept. 25, 2017
It was an unusual show of numbers as well as pointed oratory. At a meeting last week,
roughly 20 members of the Everett Community College faculty appeared at a Board of Trustees meeting as their union president voiced their
frustration over slow-moving contract negotiations. They wore buttons, saying a cost-of-living
increase doesn’t amount to a raise and urging support for the college’s counselors.
Everett Herald, Sept. 25, 2017
As the largest city in Eastern Washington, Spokane is a hub for higher education.
Schools from across the state have operations here, and the city is steadily becoming
a center of medical and technological research. ... Community Colleges of Spokane: Two of Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges are in Spokane. They operate
under the same district, Community Colleges of Spokane, and together serve nearly
31,000 students, including those pursuing degrees or certificates and those taking
classes just to bolster their skills, according to data for the 2015-16 school year. The
colleges also aim for accessibility.
The Spokesman-Review, Sept. 24, 2017
In a twist of fate, Walla Walla Community College is lending a hand in helping to shape the future of Rwanda. Since last spring Walla
Walla has been home to seven Rwandan students: Eliane Wibabara, Grace Ingabire, Sarah
Benimana, Sandrine Iradukunda, Ornella Usanase, Aline Uwase, and Ariane Kangabo. All
are enrolled at the college, studying soil science, irrigation technology, precision
agriculture and water conservation. All seven are graduates of the Gashora Girl’s
Academy of Science and Technology near Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Sept. 24, 2017
Not a day goes by that Tanya Young doesn't think about her mother, Shayla Martin. “It’s
weird to think that on Saturday I won’t have seen my mom for a year,” Young said Thursday.
“It feels like no time has passed, and it feels like 1,000 years have passed.” ... This
week, Young found a way to honor her mother by establishing the Shayla K. Martin Memorial
Scholarship at Skagit Valley College, a school from which Young graduated a few years ago.
Skagit Valley Herald, Sept. 23, 2017
The ghost of Harrison “Hank” Blass can rest easy now that the opus of Olympic College’s first art teacher and his students, the mosaic “The Progression of Mankind,” has
been rescued from the jaws of progress. All 360 (or so) glorious, engaging, imperfect,
mysterious square feet of it. Ten years after it was considered doomed, the piece
of Bremerton’s cultural heritage now has been returned to a central location on the
Kitsap Sun, Sept. 23, 2017
A hitch in the state budget process has halted progress on many state-funded construction
projects, but work is continuing on the plans for the new workforce education building
at Big Bend Community College. At least for now. The new building will house the college’s technical training programs
such as welding and auto maintenance, with the exception of aviation mechanics. The
state’s portion of the project is included in the capital budget, said Linda Schoonmaker,
the college’s vice-president of finance and administration. But the capital budget
is caught up in a dispute between the Washington Senate and Washington House of Representatives.
Tri-City Herald, Sept. 22, 2017
The daughter of Shayla Martin, who died in the shooting at Cascade Mall in Burlington
last September, just started a college scholarship in her mother’s name. Martin was
one of five people shot and killed last September inside the Macy’s at Cascade Mall.
This Saturday marks one year since the tragedy. Martin’s daughter, Tanya Young, started
the scholarship in her honor at Skagit Valley College, where Young graduated in 2015.
KOMO News, Sept. 21, 2017
The Tumwater Craft Brewing and Distilling Center, a project planned near Capitol Boulevard,
has its first three tenants: Sandstone Distillery of Tenino, Heritage Distilling of
Gig Harbor and South Puget Sound Community College, which plans to lease space for its new craft brewing and distilling program. ... Clearing
and grading work at the site is well underway, although it is not visible from Capitol
Boulevard. Instead, the project can be viewed more clearly from Tumwater Valley Drive,
which leads motorists to either the golf course or Valley Athletic Center.
Centralia Chronicle, Sept. 21, 2017
Lawmakers could use a procedural tool called a discharge petition to force action
in the U.S. House on the DREAM Act, to protect the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients
now in limbo. Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal talked about the new move during
a news conference on Thursday with Democratic members of Congress including Washington’s
two Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as Rep. Adam Smith. ... Jose
Manuel, a DACA recipient himself, attended Bellevue College before transferring and graduating from the University of Washington.
KING 5, Sept. 21, 2017
Rashad Norris is no wallflower. The Director of Community Engagement for Highline College is quick to smile and brimming with energy as he sits down to talk with me. It’s the
kind of energy certain people like Norris carry naturally, one that’s often found
in actors and entertainers. ... As the Director of Community Engagement, Norris says
his department is the public face of the college and his division oversees institutional
Seattle Medium, Sept. 21, 2017
Bellingham Technical College’s associate degree nursing program has received national accreditation through the Accreditation
Commission for Education in Nursing. The BTC nursing program has always been approved
through the state’s Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, and has been working
toward this national accreditation for several years.
Bellingham Business Journal, Sept. 21, 2017
In John F. Kennedy’s 1958 book “A Nation of Immigrants,” our past president wrote:
“Every ethnic minority, in seeking in its own freedom, helped strengthen the fabric
of liberty in American life. Similarly, every aspect of the American economy has profited
from the contributions of immigrants.” Amy Diehr, education services manager at Tacoma
Community House, could not agree more with Kennedy’s sentiments. ... Photo: Ukrainian
immigrants Nicolai immigrated almost two years ago with his wife and children, and
Svetlana came one year ago to live with her married sister who had been here 10 years.
Euniche moved with her husband and son, who is a straight “A” student at Tacoma Community College.
Tacoma Weekly, Sept. 21, 2017
New art installations by Edmonds artists are on exhibit this fall as part of Edmonds
Arts Commission's rotating temporary public art program “On the Fence.” “Screaming
Down Main Street aka Live Large by Loving Life,” by Minh Carrico, is along the Frances
Anderson Center Playfield fence. “Birdland,” along Sixth Avenue North, is by students
from Chase Lake Community School with Mona T. Smiley-Fairbanks and Beth Black. “Screaming
Down Main Street” is a text-and-shadow-play installation along the fence line of the
Anderson Center on Main Street. Carrico, a photographer and designer, is on the Visual
Arts faculty at Edmonds Community College.
Edmonds Beacon, Sept. 21, 2017
Puppies are, of course, cute, but the pups hopping around Holly Kohls’ Snohomish farm
may have a higher purpose. “They seem to have a sixth sense,” said Kohls. “An innate
ability to comfort and to know when something’s wrong and to lean in close.” Kohls
says the dogs are a hybrid called Coltrievers, a cross between Border Collies and
Golden Retrievers. They make great pets, but over the years Kohls’ Coltrievers have
become a beacon for families with autistic children. ... Sara Gardner, who leads the
Autism Spectrum Navigators Program at Bellevue College, says the pressure of a dog leaning into an autistic person creates a calming sensation,
and it’s the kind of pressure that comes natural to Coltrievers.
Q13 Fox, Sept. 20, 2017
Jono Vaughan, visual artist who honored trans lives with Project 42, wins the 2017 Betty Bowen Award
Seattle Art Museum has announced the recipient of the annual Betty Bowen Award, an
unrestricted cash award of $15,000 for a regional Pacific Northwest artist. Chosen
out of five finalists, the winner’s work will be featured in an installation at the
Seattle Art Museum in April. And the winner is [Bellevue College faculty member] Jono Vaughan, a visual artist whose work is rooted in gender and social
The Stranger, Sept. 15, 2017
Traditionally used for transporting goods near and far, shipping containers are being
repurposed for residential living. Karen Hirschman, a board member of the Washington
State Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, noted that burgeoning
interest had spearheaded a floor plan design contest for students from all seven Washington
colleges and universities that have interior design programs. ... The winning plan
for the shipping container (which was purchased by ASID from shipping company ConGlobal)
came from Brandon Riem of Bellevue College. The interior design boasts efficiency and simplicity — which are required of a space
that measures just 320-square-feet. Although the exterior is simple blue corrugated
steel, the interior tones of black, gray and white exude luxury.
Seattle Magazine, September 2017
Trends | Horizons | Education
The IRS and the Department of Education on Sunday restored the data retrieval tool
that allows students to automatically import their family income data into their applications
for federal student aid. The IRS abruptly suspended the tool in March, citing suspicious
activity and potential vulnerability of taxpayer information. Student financial aid
advocates rushed to communicate the change to students and provide assistance to those
who would face greater challenges applying for aid. Lawmakers also asked the Department
of Education to provide additional help to student aid applicants.
Inside HIgher Ed, Oct. 2, 2017
About 80 protesters have been sanctioned for breaking the student-conduct code at
The Evergreen State College in Olympia last spring, when race-related protests broke
out on campus, college officials say. About 120 incident reports involving 180 students
were filed during the campus unrest, college spokeswoman Sandra Kaiser told The Olympian.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 1, 2017
Two national magazines recently published their annual best-college rankings, and
some Washington schools gained some temporary luster as a result. But no matter where
state schools land on national rankings, Washington needs more of its young people
from a variety of backgrounds to continue their education past high school, either
in college or career training.
The Seattle Times, Sept. 28, 2017
For the first time since 2013, the overall three-year cohort default rate on federal
student loans has risen, if ever so slightly, the U.S. Department of Education announced on
Wednesday. The percentage of borrowers defaulting on their student loans within the
first three years of entering repayment ticked up fractionally, from 11.3 percent
to 11.5 percent, for those who began repayment in 2013-14. However, that number is still
lower than it was for students who entered repayment in the 2012 fiscal year. The default
rate for public institutions remained steady, at 11.3 percent, and rose for private
colleges, from 7.0 percent to 7.4 percent.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 27, 2017
A new study based on a survey of 2,000 academics in Australia has found that teaching
online is more time-consuming than teaching in person, Times Higher Education reported.
The study found that it took instructors an average of 10 hours to plan an hour-long
online lecture, compared to eight hours for an in-person lecture. Planning an entirely
new unit took 100 hours for online students and 96 for face-to-face students.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 22, 2017
Politics | Local, State, National
About 22,000 students are now attending a State University of New York or City University
of New York campus without paying tuition because they are receiving the new Excelsior
Scholarship, the state announced this weekend. More than 6,000 applications are still
being processed, so the number of students receiving scholarships is expected to rise.
But the state released early figures on the new scholarship at the start of October,
several months after lawmakers captured attention and sparked swift applications by
passing the free public college program at the urging of Governor Andrew Cuomo this
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 3, 2017
A Senate budget resolution released by Republican leaders Friday left out reconciliation
language from an earlier House budget blueprint that mandated billions in cuts for
education programs. The House budget resolution released in July included more than
$200 billion in mandatory spending cuts over the next 10 years — about $20 billion
of those directed at programs overseen by the House education committee. Carrying
out those cuts would likely mean significant changes to student loan programs.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 2, 2017
Democratic lawmakers are “extremely disappointed” in Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s
decision to rescind Obama-era guidance on campus sexual-assault policy, says a letter
to her from 32 Senate Democrats. “Your action on Friday shows a clear lack of concern
for the many requests of survivors of sexual assault and members of Congress who have
asked you to leave the previous guidance in place,” the senators wrote. Led by Patty
Murray, of Washington, they said the new guidance was “already creating uncertainty
and chaos for schools,” and asked that Ms. DeVos reinstate the previous guidance.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 28, 2017
The education secretary, Betsy DeVos, took aim at the Obama-era borrower defense-to-repayment
rule during a speech on Friday at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, according
to The Detroit News. While students should be protected from “predatory practices,”
Ms. DeVos said, the system should also treat “schools and taxpayers” fairly. “Under
the previous rules, all one had to do was raise his or her hands to be entitled to
so-called free money.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 25, 2017
With just a few weeks before his controversial travel ban gets a Supreme Court hearing,
President Trump has issued revamped restrictions on travelers from eight countries,
including Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Unlike the original travel ban, which barred
travelers from a half-dozen predominantly Muslim countries, the new rules, released
Sunday night, vary from country to country, preventing the citizens of certain nations
from visiting the United States while increasing scrutiny of visa applications from
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 24, 2017
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General has released the results
of a much anticipated high-stakes audit of Western Governors University, with negative
findings that could threaten the large online university and, more broadly, the growing
field of competency-based education. Citing concerns about an inadequate faculty role —
which the competency-based university contests — the inspector general called for
the department to make WGU pay back at least $713 million in federal financial aid. The final
audit report, issued today, also said the nonprofit university, which enrolls 83,000
students, should be ineligible to receive any more federal aid payments.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 22, 2017
The Trump administration on Friday scrapped Obama-era guidance on investigating campus
sexual assault, replacing it with new instructions that allow universities to require
higher standards of evidence when handling complaints. DeVos has said that Obama’s
policy had been unfairly skewed against those accused of assault and had “weaponized”
the Education Department to “work against schools and against students.” The change
is the latest in Trump’s broader effort to roll back Obama policies. Women’s rights
groups slammed Friday’s decision, saying it will discourage students from reporting
assault. ... DeVos’ new interim guidelines let colleges choose between that standard
and a “clear and convincing evidence” standard, which is harder to meet. Those rules
will be in place temporarily while the Education Department gathers comments from
interest groups and the public and writes new guidance.
The Seattle Times, Sept. 22, 2017
Practically speaking, federal guidance on campus sexual-assault policy has returned
to the pre-2011 era. But colleges’ policies won’t. At least not right away. Campus
Title IX officers told The Chronicle on Friday that their colleges would remain committed
to sexual-assault prevention and response, despite the federal government’s announcement
that the approach to the gender-equity law that the Obama administration had championed
was effectively over.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 22, 2017
As advocates for survivors of sexual assault await more information on the Department
of Education’s new approach to sexual misconduct on campus, they’re raising concerns
that Secretary Betsy DeVos and her team are doing exactly what they slammed the Obama
administration for: making new policy without sufficiently consulting the public.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 22, 2017
Western Governors University was ineligible to participate in federal student-aid
programs, according to an audit conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office
of Inspector General, and the department should require it to return more than $700
million. ... Watchers of competency-based education knew that the inspector general
was interested in such programs and that an audit of Western Governors was in the
works, so its release was not a surprise. But it still sounds a bit shocking: It’s
not every day that such a high-profile college faces a penalty generally understood
to be a death sentence.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 21, 2017