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News Links | September 21, 2017

September 21, 2017 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Social media provides relief for those awaiting word from Mexico quake zone

Images of the dead pop up on Victor Gonzalez's Snapchat feed. They're images that break his heart. "It's horrible," he said. "That's your home country right there." The 7.1 magnitude Central Mexico earthquake is the second major quake to hit the nation in as many weeks. The first, measuring 8.1, came in a more remote coastal region. That's where Hugo Santiago's family is located. ... Victor and Hugo are both students at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon. They both say getting in touch with friends and family in the quake zone has been relatively easy thanks to social media.
KING 5, Sept. 20, 2017

Wine Scene: Back to school for YVC winemaking students

September means back to school for most students in the region. Among them are the next vintage of winemakers from Yakima Valley College’s viticulture and winery technology program. Yakima Valley is the oldest wine region in Washington, but until 2000, aspiring winemakers had to relocate to places such as Cornell University or the University of California, Davis, for a winemaking education. Between 2000 and 2010, four colleges in Washington — Washington State University, Walla Walla Community College, South Seattle College and Yakima Valley College — developed viticulture and enology programs.
Yakima Herald, Sept. 20, 2017

Opinion: Working together to revitalize timber and farm country

Here in timber and farm country, we must team up and work together to revitalize our small towns and communities so that our children and grandchildren can have a bright future. There’s no magic bullet, no single solution to boosting our economy in communities like Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Forks and Port Angeles. ... Our hospitals have challenges finding doctors and nurses who will live in our rural communities. Their families want quality schools. They want access to professional childcare, currently served by graduates of the Peninsula College Early Learning Program & soon to be provided by Grays Harbor College from their new program.
Forks Forum, Sept. 20, 2017

Enumclaw teen spent summer immersed in North African culture

Enumclaw teenager Leah Blanchard longs to see the world and make a difference. And the U.S. government has a desire to develop young people who are both fluent in languages and comfortable in parts of the globe deemed crucial to American interests. Those factors came together during the summer and found Blanchard immersed in the culture of Morocco, living six weeks in the North African country. ... Blanchard, who is bypassing the halls of Enumclaw High and, instead, attending Green River College as part of the Running Start program, wasn’t sure what to expect when she headed for a North African nation with a complex history.
Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Sept. 20, 2017

Working for and with others

Although he didn't graduate from Oregon State, there is an eager beaver in town. Ryan Votta wants to take on the world. He’s as serious as he is eager. He grew up in the Bay area and graduated from DeVry University (Fremont) with a Bachelor of Science degree before trading California for the Pacific Northwest. Ryan is enrolled now in classes at Tacoma Community College. He’s looking to gain more knowledge in the area of Human Resources. He wants to help small businesses grow. He’s anxious to find a start up he can work with so they can climb the mountain of success together. 
The Suburban Times, Sept. 20, 2017

College, distilleries partner in new 'Craft District'

For many students, alcohol is unofficially part of the college experience. Next year students at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia will be able to get degrees in brewing, distilling, and cider-making. It’s believed to be the first degree of its kind in the nation, according to Noel Rubadue, dean for Corporate and Continuing Education.
KING 5, Sept. 20, 2017

Edmonds School District students have built 40 houses since 1975

The school year has begun and, although retired, I still long to return to Edmonds School District’s Carpentry and House Construction Class. I miss teenagers with power tools. Their enthusiasm and energy have produced 40 houses that are valued homes, the result of a 42-year partnership between Edmonds School District 15 and the Lynnwood Rotary Club. ... The student-built houses have been designed to fit in with their neighborhoods. So you may be next door to — or actually living in one — without knowing. ... Most were decorated by the Interior Design class and landscaped by the Ornamental Horticulture class or by Edmonds Community College Horticulture.
Everett Herald, Sept. 20, 2017

Opinion: Burbank: Underfunding college shifts burden. debt to students

Monday night, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved an $80 billion annual increase in military spending, enough to make tuition free at all public colleges and universities in the country. President Donald Trump had only asked for $54 billion. Politicians from both parties derided Sen. Bernie Sanders for pledging free public school tuition last year, claiming it would bankrupt the country. But where are those howls now? ... We often talk about the rising costs of education in terms of 4-year institutions. But most higher education students in Washington are in the public community colleges. Almost 20,000 students took classes at Everett Community College in the 2015-16 academic year. The college awards more than 1,000 associate degrees every year, as well as 500 certificates and adult high school degrees.
Everett Herald, Sept. 20, 2017

Why digital marketing firm Intellitonic calls Bellingham home

At its core, Bellingham-based Intellitonic is a digital marketing agency with a heart. “We decided to build a digital marketing firm that’s more altruistic in nature,” shared Founder, Alex Bruner. Until recently, Bruner managed a team for the Tribune Company’s digital marketing agency, overseeing the web efforts of 800+ clients. He probably could’ve continued to grow his career working for big businesses, but he wanted his work to mean something more. ... In addition to Bruner, the Intellitonic team is made up of two other founding members, two team members focused on business development and sales, and interns from Western Washington University and Whatcom Community College
Whatcom Talk, Sept. 20, 2017

WGU Washington announces new advisory board member

WGU Washington welcomes Marty Brown, retired executive director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), to its statewide advisory board. Comprised of leaders and influencers from a variety of sectors, the advisory board helps guide the growth and development of Washington's only state-endorsed, online university. "As president of Columbia Basin College, I relied on Marty's leadership to strengthen our state's outstanding community and technical college system," said Dr. Rich Cummins, Chancellor of WGU Washington. ... In addition to Brown, the board consists of: ... Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney, Vice President of Leadership and Economic Development for Sea Mar Community Health Centers [and member of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges].
Markets Insider, Sept. 20, 2017

Columbia Basin College sees spike in Running Start enrollment

When classes started Monday, Columbia Basin College administrators received a surprise. While the Pasco college added 130 new students, increasing its enrollment from 6,813 to 6,951 students, the amount of Running Start students jumped by 20 percent. The class of 1,077 high school juniors and seniors is largest Running Start group that Cheryl Holden, the college’s vice president of student services, has seen in her 16 years at the college.
Tri-City Herald, Sept. 19, 2017

Late World War II veteran’s van finds new home

Persian Gulf War combat veterans who participate in a group through the Walla Walla Vet Center recently reconnoitered at the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walla Walla dealership on East Isaacs Avenue in search of car parts for a project. This crew of vets has fixed up five vehicles to give to fellow veterans in need, said member Les Echtenkamp, a U.S. Army combat veteran with two tours in Iraq, including the invasion in 2003-04 and later service in 2006-07. ... “Without their financial support, we wouldn't be able to complete the work or afford the parts,” said Les, who is an instructor in the John Deere program at Walla Walla Community College and helps facilitate the veterans’ projects.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Sept. 19, 2017

Fall classes begin at Big Bend

The parking lots were full, so full that drivers were circling around looking for a space. The library was bustling with students already researching via computers, highlighting textbooks and reviewing class notes, getting a start on some of those early assignments. Monday was the first day of classes for fall quarter at Big Bend Community College.
Columbia Basin Herald, Sept. 19, 2017

Trends | Horizons | Education

‘Not for the fainthearted’: Highline schools held up as model for training bilingual teachers

After five years of working at Bailey Gatzert Elementary in Seattle, Jonathan Ruiz Velasco realized he might want to become a teacher. He had been working as a bilingual instructional aide at the Central District school, helping students who were learning English. ... So, after four more years of considering his options — and with some prodding from teachers at Gatzert — Ruiz Velasco last year signed up for a new program offered by neighboring Highline Public Schools, where bilingual paraeducators can tap state-funded scholarships to help them earn teaching certificates. It’s a small program, with an inaugural class of just 17. But it’s getting a lot of attention as a creative solution when it comes to teacher shortages.
The Seattle Times, Sept. 20, 2017

Keeping close tabs on the local job market

Every year St. Louis Community College surveys the region's employers to get a better picture of the area's work-force needs. A growing number of colleges have bulked up their job-market research amid pressure from the public and policy makers for institutions to do more to improve wages and opportunities for working-class people. Community colleges in particular are feeling this scrutiny. Administrators at St. Louis Community College view the report as one part of how it seeks to stand out as a leader in work-force development.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 20, 2017

Study: High textbook prices lead to poor grades

A survey by e-textbook provider VitalSource has found that 50 percent of students who delayed buying textbooks because of high prices saw their grades suffer as a result. The survey, conducted by market research company Wakefield Research, asked 1,000 students from four-year colleges in the U.S. and Canada about their textbook-buying habits. It found that 85 percent of students had delayed or avoided altogether purchasing textbooks for their courses, with 91 percent of these students citing cost as the reason. Half of the students said that their grades had been negatively impacted by their decision.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 20, 2017

Politics | Local, State, National

More scrutiny of colleges' finances? Education Department says no

The Department of Education rejected two recent calls to improve its monitoring of the financial health of colleges and universities — despite findings that its metrics predicted only half of institutional closures in recent years. A Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday found that the risk measure the department uses to assess colleges' financial health is badly out of date. While the department agreed to improve communication about how it calculates that measure, it rejected a call to improve the metric. And the Office of Federal Student Aid separately turned down recommendations to strengthen the data it collects for oversight of institutions.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 21, 2017

Study: College student voting rose in 2016 election

College campuses are often the target of get-out-the-vote efforts, and there seems to be evidence that the strategy worked in the last election, at least to some extent. Turnout among college students increased by more than 3 percent in 2016 compared to the previous presidential election, according to a new study from Tufts University. Turnout, the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement found, was 48.3 percent in 2016, compared to 45.1 percent in 2012. Among those who were registered to vote, 68.5 percent voted in 2016, compared to 65.3 percent in 2012.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 21, 2017

Opinion: Improving the quality of education

Increasing graduation rates and levels of educational attainment will accomplish little if students do not learn something of lasting value. Yet federal efforts over the last several years have focused much more on increasing the number of Americans who go to college than on improving the education they receive once they get there. By concentrating so heavily on graduation rates and attainment levels, policy makers are ignoring danger signs that the amount that students learn in college may have declined over the past few decades and could well continue to do so in the years to come. 
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 21, 2017

Online abroad, and beyond Title IX’s reach?

Online courses — and especially the special brand of massive open classes that emerged earlier this decade — have helped colleges expand their reach geographically as well as educationally; they are far likelier today than they were a decade or more ago to be educating students in, and from, other countries. An unfolding lawsuit shows that a key federal law may not be keeping up with that reality.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 20, 2017

Calif. 2-year system renames fee waiver as Promise program

The California Community Colleges announced Tuesday that the Board of Governors Fee Waiver program, which provides nearly half of the system's 2.1 million students with free tuition, would be renamed the California College Promise Grant, a name reminiscent of many free college programs. ... The need-based fee-waiver program is first dollar, which means it covers tuition first before any other financial aid awarded to the student. That allows students to use other financial aid to offset the cost of textbooks, transportation and other expenses.
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 20, 2017

Democrats grill Ed Dept. nominee

Democrats used a Senate nomination hearing Tuesday to press the Department of Education's nominee for general counsel on questions involving federal Title IX policy and oversight of for-profit colleges. Carlos Muniz, the nominee for general counsel and a former Florida deputy attorney general, is only the third Senate-confirmed education official to be nominated by the administration, after Secretary Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary Peter Oppenheim. While Muniz revealed little about how he would act on specific issues, the hearing highlighted areas where congressional Democrats will continue to clash with the department and DeVos.
Inside HIgher Ed, Sept. 20, 2017

State superintendent says plan will help more struggling students

State officials are proposing a plan they say will help every child succeed. State Superintendent Chris Reykdal visited Marie Curie STEM Elementary School in Pasco to announce the submission of the state’s plan to meet the requirements set out in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The law, which replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, requires each state to develop a plan showing how they will spend federal dollars. The Department of Education has 120 days to comment on the plan before making a decision about it.
Tri-City Herald, Sept. 18, 2017

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