Skip to content

News Links | October 31, 2017

October 31, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

At 19, he was ‘Baby’ this year on the Pacific Crest Trail

What did you do this past summer? Cameron Hill, 20, of Snohomish, hiked the entire length of the 2,660-mile Pacific Crest Trail. His solo journey began April 4 at Campo, California, on the Mexican border, and ended Sept. 18 at Manning Park, British Columbia. Along the way, Hill dealt with snow, swollen rivers, fires and a long, hot dry spell. It wasn’t the easiest year to through-hike the trail. ... I am working a part-time job staging houses, and I plan on continuing school in the winter. I took a year off from Everett Community College to hike the PCT. I plan on finishing my associates degree and then continue my education to work in health care.
Everett Herald, Oct. 31, 2017

Chemistry Week gets students excited about science

Some of the students in Erin Duez’s seventh-grade science class at LaVenture Middle School didn’t know they could make crystals out of household items such as soap, Borax and Epsom salt. “The slower the crystals grow, the prettier they are,” said Roxi Smith, chemistry professor at Skagit Valley College. Last week was the American Chemical Society’s National Chemistry Week. To celebrate, science students and professors from Skagit Valley College visited LaVenture Middle School to help get students excited about science.
Skagit Valley Herald, Oct. 30, 2017

Skills USA club holds Senior Citizen Service Day

The Skills USA club held their annual Senior Citizen Day Saturday at Big Bend Community College. All senior citizens were welcome to bring their vehicles in to be serviced for free. Normally, the skills club meets once a week where students can work on their own cars or their parents cars but they hold this annual event to teach students on how to help customers.
iFiberOne News, Oct. 28, 2017

Six finalists in search for new Olympic College president

The Olympic College Board of Trustees has identified six finalists in its search for a new president to replace David Mitchell, who will retire Dec. 31. The finalists are: Martin (Marty) Cavalluzzi, president of Pierce College in Puyallup. Deborah Casey-Powell, vice president of student services for Green River College in Auburn. Barbara Marie Hanson, former chancellor for Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe, Louisiana. Kenneth Lawson, vice president of instruction at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon. Christopher Reber, president of the Community College of Beaver County in Monaca, Pennsylvania. Carli Schiffner, vice president of instruction at Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee.
Kitsap Sun, Oct. 27, 2017

College Success Fund (Thumbs up)

The state-funded part of Lower Columbia College’s operating budget has shrunk 23 percent since 2008 according to a TDN story by reporter Zack Hale. To fill in the gaps where state funding falls short, the college launched the College Success Fund being run through the non-profit Lower Columbia College Foundation. Since the initiative was introduced at LCC’s annual gala in September, $85,000 has been raised.
Longview Daily News, Oct. 27, 2017

Washougal 17-year-old isn’t afraid of the spotlight

Tirza Meuljic wouldn’t surrender the spotlight. The ambitious young performer just stood there soaking up dance-recital applause, certain that her future was set. She was 3 years old. “I wouldn’t leave the stage. It’s just in me,” she said. Now 17, the Washougal resident has appeared on community theater stages all over Clark County, and last year graduated to the Young Professionals Company at Oregon Children’s Theater. That’s a group of advanced theater students, ages 14 and older, who pursue college-level training, mentorships and peer support as they perform in Portland. ... Meuljic, a Running Start student at Clark College, hopes to attend a four-year college or conservatory and emerge with a degree in musical theater.
The Columbian, Oct. 27, 2017

2017 SW Washington autism conference has biggest year yet

When Monica Meyer heard a middle school psychologist’s plan to handle her autistic son’s outbursts included tackling the teen, who also had a seizure disorder, she was horrified. “That’s not going to happen,” she said. The experience led her to quit her job as a pediatric health clinic manager and work with Educational Service District 112 to develop better plans and policies for autistic students and their families. Meyer, now a consultant and advocate for individuals on the autism spectrum based in the Vancouver area, was the keynote speaker Friday morning at the 2017 Southwest Washington Autism Conference. The seventh-annual edition of the conference was held this year at Centralia College. It was the best-attended event in the conference’s history, said event facilitator Bill Weismann. 
Centralia Chronicle, Oct. 27, 2017

Governor's town hall on climate change draws tribal protesters

Protesters at Gov. Jay Inslee’s town hall on climate change at the University of Washington in Seattle said the governor’s actions don’t live up to his stirring words. “I think that he knows how to sound pretty,” Pamela Chelalakem Bond of Bothell said. The Snohomish tribal member and other protesters in cedar hats and “No LNG in 253” T-shirts played Native drums and rattles before Inslee spoke and shouted back angrily at him as he did. ... Wednesday’s event followed three similar town halls at Bellevue College, Green River College and Western Washington University.
KUOW, Oct. 26, 2017

Aging in style| Intergenerational models are a win-win

There are other communities here and around the nation and world that embrace this “intergenerational model.” At Wesley Homes in Des Moines, Washington, students from Highline College get to live in the senior community at reduced rental rates; this is in exchange for volunteering within the community. Several students offer tech support to senior residents; others help with daily tasks that seniors might find difficult. Reviews by the residents are glowing; daily, these young people are positively impacting lives within the senior community.
Queen Anne and Magnolia News, Oct. 26, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

Career and tech ed. courses don't boost chances of college-going, study finds

Taking career and technical education classes in high school increases students' odds of graduating on time, but doesn't improve their chances of enrolling in college, according to a paper published Tuesday. The findings are likely to inform the expanding national conversation about the role that career and technical education can play in the lives of high school students as they prepare for jobs and college. Policymakers are increasingly touting CTE as a road to college, and the new paper adds to evidence that questions how solid that linkage is.
Education Week, Oct. 31, 2017

Survey positive on undergrad education

Higher education leaders gave high marks to the state of undergraduate education in a new survey released today, but they also pointed to the need for improvement in degree-completion rates, student learning quality and affordability. In addition, they signaled that federal policy is changing in a way that could hurt efforts to improve.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 31, 2017

Strayer and Capella announce merger

For-profit colleges probably face too many challenges, many of them competitive, to come roaring back, even in the favorable regulatory environment created by the Republican Party's dominance in Washington and most state capitals, experts say. Yet the combination of less scrutiny from regulators and the sector’s continued financial and enrollment challenges could lead to more creative partnerships, sales and mergers. ... The transaction trend among publicly traded for-profit universities continued this week, with news that the parent companies of Strayer University and Capella University plan to merge. The two for-profit universities, which are among the industry’s most respected and successful, will continue to operate as independent institutions under the combined company, which will be renamed Strategic Education Inc.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 31, 2017

Roots to Wings: PNWU program aims to increase number of Native Americans, Hispanics in medical, science fields

Seventeen-year-old Naomi Jim spent her summer interning with the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., researching how a certain chemical receptor affects recovery from brain injuries. ...  Jim is in her second year of participating in the Roots to Wings program, a collaboration between Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, the Yakama Nation Tribal School and the Mt. Adams School District that aims to get more Native American and Hispanic youths interested in careers in medicine and science. It was through Roots to Wings that she applied for the NIH internship. The program pairs middle and high school students with PNWU medical students in a “co-mentoring” model, where the kids teach the med students about their traditions and heritage, and the med students teach them about medicine and pursuing higher education. There are 27 PNWU students and 75 youths in the program this year, ranging from sixth to 12th grade.
Yakima Herald, Oct. 30, 2017

What’s the ideal mix of online and face-to-face classes?

Is there a tipping point at which students who take a blend of online and in-person coursework are doing too much online? That question goes to the heart of something called the online paradox. ... But is it possible to determine how many online courses a student can take before the risks outweigh the benefits? Peter Shea and Temi Bidjerano decided to find out. The two researchers looked across the State University of New York’s 30 community colleges, tracking outcomes for more than 45,000 students who first enrolled in an associate-degree program in the fall of 2012.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 30, 2017

How to help disadvantaged students reach the middle class

Gaping opportunity gaps between low-income students and their peers can be plugged only if campuses share data and success strategies, say researchers who gathered here on Monday to kick off a new national effort to help disadvantaged students reach the middle class. So far, about 200 colleges representing 3.5 million students have signed on to the Collegiate Leaders in Increasing MoBility, or CLIMB, partnership.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 30, 2017

Demand for pilots sparks instructor shortage at colleges’ flight programs

Increasing demand for commercial pilots has increased enrollment in many flight programs and schools across the United States, including those at colleges. And while the programs are adding class sections and planes to their fleets to accommodate the influx of students, they’re also losing a key to their business: flight instructors. The combination of a growing airline industry, a coming wave of retirements of major-airline pilots, and a demand for regional flights has left airlines scrambling to fill their cockpits — and quick to poach flight instructors because of their experience. The shortage is being felt nationwide, said Elizabeth Bjerke, associate dean in the aviation department at the University of North Dakota.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 30, 2017

John Grisham: A candid conversation on for-profit colleges and his latest thriller

John Grisham, the best-selling author of The Firm and The Pelican Brief, has found a new villain: The for-profit college industry. His latest book, The Rooster Bar, focuses on a group of students who are nearing graduation from a fictional for-profit law school, only to find that they have few job prospects and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to show for it. Mr. Grisham sat down with The Chronicle’s Jack Stripling last week to talk about for-profit colleges and the outsize role that Mr. Grisham may have in shaping popular views of the industry and the student-debt crisis.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 30, 2017

Faculty buy-in builds, bit by bit: Survey of faculty attitudes on technology

Professors are slowly gaining confidence in the effectiveness of online learning as more of them teach online, Inside Higher Ed's 2017 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology reveals. While faculty members remain slightly more likely to disagree than to agree that online courses can achieve student outcomes that are as good as those of in-person courses, the proportion agreeing rose sharply this year, and the proportion strongly disagreeing dropped precipitously.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 30, 2017

Falling behind

Colleges can’t seem to keep up with computers. The growing number of jobs in the computing field far outpaces how many students are earning bachelor’s degrees in computer science and similar fields, according to a lengthy new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. The continued demand for computer science programs at colleges and universities has strained faculty workloads, especially as more and more students enroll. Of those students, few are women or from underrepresented minority groups, and that’s not likely to change unless academe begins targeting those populations.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 27, 2017

Let divisive speakers like Richard Spencer talk, but set the ground rules, says free-speech expert

Colleges and universities around the country are struggling to find the right balance between free speech, academic freedom and campus safety. One of the nation’s experts in the field is Frederick Lawrence, a visiting professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and secretary and CEO of The Phi Beta Kappa Society. Lawrence, former president of Brandeis University, has studied free speech for much of his career. While in Seattle this week to give a guest lecture at the University of Washington, he spoke to Education Lab about free expression on campus.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 27, 2017

College unveils a mandatory patriotism class for all freshmen

Amid a backdrop of athletes across the country taking a knee during the national anthem, a Missouri college has unveiled a new, mandatory class that aims to stoke students’ “patriotic yearnings.” The College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., is now requiring all freshmen to enroll in its “Patriotic Education and Fitness” program, which aims to educate students on modern military customs, American politics, and flag protocol and procedures. A public event was held at the Christian college on Monday to introduce the new course.
The Olympian, Oct. 25, 2017

Opinion: The hidden discrimination facing Hispanic students

Hispanics make up about a quarter of the U.S. student population, nearly half of whom reside in our two most-populous states — California and Texas. But while 1 in 5 U.S. students call these states home, California and Texas have access to only 4 percent of the national spots at the National Geographic Bee, the U.S. Academic Decathlon, Letters About Literature, the Presidential Scholars Program award and several other iconic academic competitions. Meanwhile, small states — such as Wyoming and Vermont, where just 0.4 percent of the nation’s student population reside — are given an equal number of spaces. Under the state-based format, in which an equal number of students from each state are selected to move on to the national round of the competition, 54 percent of the nation’s student population has access to only about 20 percent of the national spots. This amounts to unjust discrimination against students who live in our most populated states. The format is particularly unfair to Hispanics, robbing some of the United States’ most disadvantaged youths of desperately needed enrichment opportunities. It’s time these events give every individual student an equal shot.
The Washington Post, Oct. 25, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

Rich school districts will benefit more than poor ones from Washington’s budget, new analysis suggests

In the days after the Washington Legislature approved a new state budget in June, school-finance experts began reading the fine print. They soon started warning that while lawmakers may have increased state spending on schools, some richer districts would get a bigger boost than many poorer ones. Months later, a Supreme Court justice raised similar concerns last week during a hearing on the adequacy of the Legislature’s four-year plan for school spending. An attorney for the state dismissed those worries and argued that lawmakers attempted to be fair to all schools. But not long after that hearing ended, the nonpartisan League of Education Voters released a new analysis that questions whether the state’s bigger new K-12 budget will fuel a growing divide between poor and rural districts and their wealthier urban counterparts.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 31, 2017

Opinion: Pass a capital budget to help rural communities build

Each day, a leaking sewer system reminds Carbonado residents how the Legislature can’t get its job done. The Pierce County town of 665 people is in line for about $12 million in state money to replace its network of cracked, aging clay pipes. Work should have begun this fall. Instead, the project is on hold while the state’s $4 billion construction budget sits in limbo amid a debate about how the Legislature should protect water rights in rural areas. This delay is untenable. Politics is interfering with projects that affect public safety, much-needed school construction and thousands of jobs. Lawmakers and the governor should find a solution now.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 29, 2017

DeVos offers buyouts to shrink Education Department workforce

The U.S. Department of Education on Friday informed staff in the Office of Federal Student Aid, the arm of the agency that handles grants and loans to college students, that buyouts are being offered to shrink the division. In a memo obtained by The Washington Post, the department said it received approval from the Office of Personnel Management to offer early retirement and voluntary separation incentive payments. The offer, according to the memo, does not extend to all positions. Eligible employees will receive an email from human resources by Wednesday.
The Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2017

Congress rallies around campus free speech

At a congressional hearing on free speech on college campuses Thursday, witnesses and senators from both parties championed the free exchange of a diversity of ideas, though they almost all had the same opinion: free speech needs to be vigorously defended on college campuses in the wake of a spate of instances in which students have shouted down speakers.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 27, 2017

White House picks former Bush official for OCR

The White House announced Thursday that President Trump would nominate Kenneth L. Marcus, president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, as the next head of civil rights at the Department of Education. Marcus, should he be confirmed, will assume the duties of Candice Jackson, who has served as acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the department since April.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 27, 2017

OCR on sex violence cases filed under Trump

The top official at the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights told House lawmakers Thursday that a quarter of active campus sexual violence cases involving colleges and universities at her agency were filed under the Trump administration. That’s reflective, said Candice Jackson, the acting assistant secretary for civil rights, of an improving culture where survivors of sexual violence feel comfortable coming forward.
Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 27, 2017

Opinion: Equity in gifted education: smart move by Washington lawmakers

Noticing inequity is relatively easy. Speaking up about it is a little harder. But when state government officials notice a problem and then try to do something to fix it, that’s a moment worth noting. For a while now, The Seattle Times’ Education Lab has been writing about inequity involving which students benefit from gifted education and advanced-placement classes. During the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers increased funding for gifted education but also demanded more attention to equity within those programs. Now every Washington school district is figuring out how to bring more low-income students into accelerated classes. Thanks to the Legislature, which smartly combined an increase in funding with a new form of accountability, progress may be made on eliminating this long-standing inequity in Washington public schools.
The Seattle Times, Oct. 26, 2017

What to expect when you’re expecting a McCleary decision

The Washington State Supreme Court has heard arguments over whether the Legislature has finally fully funded K-12 education. Now, Washington waits for yet another McCleary decision. What happens if the court says the state is still under-funding education? 
My, Oct. 26, 2017

Candice Jackson on campus sex assault: ‘We’re bot asking schools to step in as courts of law’

In a rare public appearance, Candice E. Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Education, spoke to lawmakers on Thursday about her office’s new philosophy on campus sexual assault. Ms. Jackson, who drew heated criticism last summer for suggesting that most campus rape cases involve alcohol and regretful female students, is overseeing how the Office for Civil Rights is adjusting its approach to enforcing Title IX, the gender-equity law, and how it applies to sexual violence. Her comments brought some clarity to what’s driving the thinking of federal officials on the issue.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 26, 2017

Advocate for Jewish civil rights is tapped to lead key Education Dept. office

The Trump administration announced on Thursday it would nominate Kenneth L. Marcus, founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, to be assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The announcement follows months of vacancies in key positions across the administration, including in the department.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 26, 2017

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