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News Links | October 5, 2017

October 05, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

As school year starts, Washington’s Evergreen among colleges working to balance free speech, safety

Washington’s colleges and universities are wrestling with difficult questions about how far they should go to protect faculty and students from harm, while also guaranteeing free-speech rights. ... This is not the first time that Washington colleges have wrestled with free speech and hate speech on campus. In January, the University of Washington defended the rights of right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to speak, although the university also condemned his rhetoric. During a clash with counterprotesters, one man was shot. In 2015, Western Washington University suspended classes for a day, then arrested a student in connection with threats made to students of color on a social-media site. Five years ago, on the other side of the political spectrum, students and faculty at Seattle’s community college campuses vigorously fought a new set of rules that limited “Occupy Wall Street”-style protests, and succeeded in getting some of them amended.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 5, 2017

Wyman on push to get younger voters involved

Kim Wyman is an ideal voter. She’s cast a ballot in almost every election she could since she turned 18 and registered. More than 35 years later, Washington’s secretary of state was trying to convince a room full of sleepy community college students that they should do the same. Wyman, in a two-day tour through Eastern Washington this week, stopped to talk to about 70 students in Gary Bullert’s American government class at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Oct. 5, 2017

Lieutenant governor visits Clallam: More opportunities for students among topics discussed

Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib heard from business and community leaders Wednesday of a need to create more opportunities for students in Clallam County. ... Habib toured Peninsula College’s Allied Health and Early Childhood Education building — and heard about its work preparing nurses for Olympic Medical Center and other local facilities — met privately with college President Luke Robins and visited Angeles Millwork and Lumber Company.
Peninsula Daily News, Oct. 5, 2017

Spokane Community College opens 'Library of Things'

The library was always a place to provide students with resources for school work, but now a local community college is bringing that to a whole new level. The Spokane Community College started a new program this year called the Library of Things. Officials at SCC said the program was created to make education accessible for people in all walks of life and backgrounds. SCC student, Vania Hennes said she attends SCC because she wants to be a baker and uses the Library of things for the tools and equipment those classes require.
KREM 2, Oct. 4, 2017

Local grads with ties to research celebrate Nobel Prize for Physics

When three scientists made the breakthrough that earned them this year’s Nobel Physics Prize, a couple of former Clark County students were part of the team. Jenne Driggers and Cody Messick took part in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project, which includes a Washington facility at Hanford. The Nobel Prize went to Kip Thorne and Barry Barish of the California Institute of Technology and Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ... Messick graduated from Prairie High School in 2008. He attended Clark College before transferring to the University of Washington. He now is a now is a doctoral candidate in physics at Penn State University.
The Columbian, Oct. 3, 2017

WWCC shows off industrial ed center at Clarkston site

Students attending Walla Walla Community College no longer have to travel to Clarkston High School for hands-on industrial education. The campus' 15,000-square-foot Workforce and Business Development Center this fall launched two new programs — welding and plant operations mechanic. The programs have space for up to 16 students each, and a machining program is expected to be completed soon. Monday night, a crowd of students, college administrators, local donors and community supporters flocked to the new center to tour the space and recognize those who made the project a reality.
The Lewiston Tribune, Oct. 3, 2017 

Trends | Horizons | Education

Post-recession borrowers struggle to repay loans

New federal data show that college students are taking out more student loan debt and also taking longer to pay it off. The report from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, released today, examines patterns of student loan repayment for two separate groups of borrowers — those who started college in the 1995-96 academic year and those who started eight years later, in 2003-04. Twelve years after beginning their postsecondary educations, the second group had paid off a smaller proportion of their student loans and had defaulted at a higher rate on at least one loan.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 5, 2017

Find gifted students where you have not looked before, state tells schools

With minimal fanfare, parents pushing for more attention to gifted children have won a significant victory that could change the complexion of advanced-education classrooms statewide. In August, every district was directed to make it a priority to find low-income kids who may be candidates for accelerated learning. By Nov. 10, under a new state law, each district must submit a detailed plan to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction on how they will do so this school year.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 5, 2017

Bumps in the road for rural students

The demands on rural community colleges when it comes to keeping students from dropping out extend far beyond academics. Food, transportation, housing, health care and child care insecurities and lack of access to broadband internet dominated the concerns discussed by college leaders at the Rural Community College Alliance national conference here last week. ... The proportion of rural adults aged 25 and older with an associate degree increased from 6 percent to 9 percent from 2000 to 2015. But the proportion of rural adults with some college and no degree also increased, from 20 percent to 22 percent in the same time frame, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 4, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

How to pay for free community college

The popularity of college promise programs — or tuition-free initiatives for community colleges and in some cases for four-year degrees — has been growing across the country in the last few years. But despite enthusiasm from families, policy makers, businesses and organizations to lower the cost of college, questions have remained over the best way to sustain these programs financially. On Wednesday, the nonpartisan College Promise Campaign, which was launched by President Obama and Educational Testing Service, released five reports on the different tuition-free models operating in the country. The papers combine to form the “Designing Sustainable Funding for College Promise Initiatives” report, which doesn’t endorse any one approach but suggests the importance of financial viability.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 5, 2017

Aid office "focused" on dealing with borrower claims

Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer A. Wayne Johnson said Wednesday that the Department of Education is "marshaling the resources" to deal with a backlog of thousands of borrower-defense claims submitted by former students of Corinthian Colleges and other for-profit institutions.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 5, 2017

Ongoing barriers to college aid

Two tweaks to the federal student aid application process — an earlier start date and use of family income data from the previous year — appear to have boosted completion rates of applications for federal student aid. A years-long decline in filings of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid was reversed. Every state saw its application numbers go up. And applications by high school seniors were up 9 percent over the previous year as of June 30, traditionally considered the end of the academic year. But two papers released Tuesday by the National College Access Network found that those changes didn't fundamentally simplify what's often a painfully complicated process of applying for aid to attend college. And students from the lowest-income school districts — those most in need of federal aid — continue to lag peers in wealthier districts in completing the FAFSA.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 4, 2017

Whistleblower allegations prompt tough questions for Washington's prepaid tuition program

Did Washington’s prepaid Guaranteed Education Tuition program give VIP service to state lawmakers with accounts? “Absolutely not,” was the answer Monday from GET Coordinator Betty Lochner during questioning by a panel of state lawmakers. Did GET staff question the personal financial motives of lawmakers who own GET credits and were proposing legislative changes to the program? “There was no indication that had been happening,” Lochner said. GET officials were called before the Legislature’s Advance Tuition Payment advisory committee to answer those questions, and also to address broader allegations of “gross mismanagement” made by a whistleblower in August.
KNKX, Oct. 3, 2017

Young immigrants in Yakima Valley worry but find support as DACA deadline looms

Anxiety is growing as the deadline looms for young immigrants to renew work visas under a program that’s shielded them from deportation but is now nearing its end. “There’s a lot of sadness, disappointment and fear out there,” said Laura Contreras, directing attorney for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Granger. She spent Friday morning helping six people fill out the paperwork to renew their status under the Deferred Acton for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which is being rescinded by President Donald Trump. But Contreras and another advocates say they’re also seeing support from the community to help the young immigrants stay in the country.
Yakima Herald, Sept. 30, 2017

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