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News Links | February 6, 2018

February 06, 2018 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

From felon to star student: LCC student reinvents himself

Life didn’t give Clinton Howard many breaks: He was born into drug addiction, dropped out of school by eighth grade, and went to prison twice on felony charges. But two years ago, he enrolled in classes at Lower Columbia College, beginning a complete reinvention of himself. He’s now the school’s student government president. He’ll graduate this spring with the possibility of attending an elite four-year college, and he recently won statewide awards and honors for academic success and transforming his life.
Longview Daily News, Feb. 6, 2018

UW Bothell plan: New student housing, academic buildings

There is still room to grow. And that’s what University of Washington Bothell is poised to do. So is Cascadia College, which shares the same campus. Those hopes are spelled out in a 186-page, 20-year master plan that was recently approved by both institutions as well as the city of Bothell. It’s a blueprint for growth, though there is no guarantee on a timeline for all of the work. The plan envisions the campus could grow by 1 million square feet in new stand-alone academic buildings and student housing as well as with expansions to the library and student activities and recreation center.
Everett Herald, Feb. 5, 2018

Centralia College establishes scholarship in honor of ‘beloved dean’ Cristi Heitschmidt

Centralia College announced Monday it would establish a scholarship through the Centralia College Foundation to honor Cristi Heitschmidt, a “beloved dean” who died Feb. 1 after a long battle with cancer. “Cristi loved Centralia College and committed her career to training kind, caring, compassionate teachers,” said Centralia College President Dr. Bob Mohrbacher in a press release. “There’s no better way to honor her memory than by supporting the students she loved so much.”
Centralia Chronicle, Feb. 5, 2018

City of Lacey partners with Thurston EDC to help veterans learn about business

At one time or another, we have all dreamed of starting a business. My mom and I thought about starting a dog supply store. I even tried my hand at being a dog trainer for a while. Owing your own business feels like the all-American dream, and many Veterans desire to make it a reality after completing their military service. But, starting a business isn’t easy. That’s why the City of Lacey and the Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) Center for Business Innovation created the EDC Veterans Microenterprise Program. It began when South Puget Sound Community College was awarded funds to help veteran students, but they ended up getting money from somewhere else to fill this need. The funds became “extra.” Celia Nightingale, Center for Business and Innovation Director, was asked to come up with a way to use the surplus funds to help Veterans even further. What better way than to partner with the EDC (located in the same building), to offer training and grant money for Veterans interested in starting a business or growing their current one.
Thurston Talk, Feb. 5, 2018

Search for next EdCC president enters final stage

The search for a new Edmonds Community College president is entering its final stages. The Board of Trustees voted last month to consider three finalists recommended by a search committee made up of campus and community members. Trustees Quentin Powers and Emily Yim served as co-chairs of the panel. Each finalist will be on campus for interviews in late February, officials said. During those visits, they will meet with faculty, students and others. Names of the finalists will not be released until a few days before their scheduled interview day, said Dennis Curran, associate vice president of human resources.
Everett Herald, Feb. 4, 2018

Local innovation hubs provide space for creativity to thrive

There is no connection, per se, between Uber service in Boston and farm labor in Walla Walla. Except that a conversation about one brought together two strangers who are now working on an app related to the other. In the office of the Emberfuel Coworking space, on the second floor at 26 E. Main St., James Christopher and Riley Clubb met as strangers chatting about ride-sharing on the East Coast. Then they found out they had more in common than they realized. ... The spot — also open to students from Walla Walla University and Walla Walla Community College — is a potential launchpad for student startups in a communal workspace where students can collaborate.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Feb. 4, 2018

Researcher tells of surprises discovered about cougars

Cougars are far more social than previously thought, a Sequim scientist told a Peninsula College audience last week. A 17-year study in northwest Wyoming found that social tolerance among mountain lions was largely driven by direct reciprocity, Mark Elbroch said in a Studium Generale presentation Thursday.
Peninsula Daily News, Feb. 4, 2018

CBC spent nearly half its reserves. It wasn’t what they planned on

Columbia Basin College is now in the housing business. The public community college spent $11.2 million to buy a recently opened 126-bed dormitory. What began as a private-public partnership turned a different direction when college officials learned that they couldn’t lease the complex without special or particular legislative approval — something they apparently didn’t initially realize. Trouble was the 46-apartment building was built already and the rooms were not getting snapped up because the private owners were charging market prices. By buying the building, the college could make the rent more affordable for students. ... The decision was made before its new CBC president, Rebekah Woods, began and after long-time CBC President Rich Cummins left for another position in Western Washington. Former CBC President Lee Thornton was serving as the interim president. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges signed off on the deal in September.
Tri-City Herald, Feb. 3, 2018

Free kids' dental clinic at Clark College highlights national need

More than 100 kids and their parents sat patiently in packed waiting rooms and hallways in a small building on Clark College’s campus on Saturday. For many, it’s their only chance for a dental exam all year. “Children who maybe don't have dental insurance, those are the ones we're targeting. Or the families who just can't afford to get the dental care,” said Kristi Taylor, program director of the college’s dental hygiene department. Saturday’s event marked the 11th annual free children’s dental clinic at the college.
KGW, Feb. 3, 2018

Opinion: Community colleges teach vocational skills – and a whole lot more

Perhaps Donald Trump hasn’t visited enough factories, auto repair shops or community colleges lately, because his comments Thursday to Republicans at a congressional retreat in West Virginia exhibited extraordinary ignorance of the modern economy and American higher education. ... Take a gas turbine plant in Charlotte, N.C., I visited in 2016, where all the workers have some post-high school education. Or Walla Walla Community College, in Washington state, which was named the top community college in 2013 by the Aspen Institute, and where John Deere pays students to train as technicians. Yes, a vocational training program at a community college, one of several that John Deere supports across the country. As Andy Winnett, who directs the John Deere program at Walla Walla told me on a 2015 visit, most John Deere tractors have a few dozen computers in them and require students with advanced skills to repair them.
The Washington Post, Feb. 2, 2018

Less community, more vocational

The Trump administration's rhetoric for more work force and career training increased Thursday, with the president calling for community colleges to undergo a name change. President Trump’s call for more vocational training (quotation and video are below) reflects statements he made during Tuesday’s State of the Union, during which he called for a larger national investment in work-force development. But community college leaders were quick to point out that their institutions already offer the vocational or work-force programs Trump has highlighted, and more. ... Trump cited a need for more vocational programs in carpentry and bricklaying. However, Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio, for example, has a bricklaying program and apprenticeships where students can earn an associate degree. And Seattle Central College has a carpentry program where students also can earn an associate degree.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 2, 2018

Proposed law would make tampons and pads free for community college students

Amid national and state-wide awareness of women’s health care, Washington state lawmakers are considering a bill that would require community and technical colleges to provide free tampons or sanitary pads to students. Representatives in the House Higher Education Committee passed the bill out of committee on Wednesday, Jan. 31. “It smartly identifies something that should not have taken us this long to identify,” said Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, chairman of the House Higher Education Committee. Rep. Melanie Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, the bill’s prime sponsor, said House Bill 2863 ensures that those with low incomes can have access to clean products. She got the idea for the bill from a Pierce College student who raised concerns about the costs of the products, the impact on low income students, and a card-based culture in which students often do not have quarters to pay for tampon dispenser machines in women’s restrooms.
Centralia Chronicle, Feb. 2, 2018

Mount Vernon teen named Youth of the Year

Mount Vernon High School freshman Lusana Spitler vividly remembers the years of bullying she endured and the toll it took emotionally. Even after moving to a new city, the bullying didn’t stop, Lusana said. She began to lose sight of who she was, she said — until she found the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County. ... On Wednesday evening, Lusana, 14, was named the Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County’s Youth of the Year. ... For the first time, the Skagit County Youth of the Year winner will also earn a full-ride scholarship to Skagit Valley College, worth about $10,000.
Skagit Valley Herald, Feb. 2, 2018

Opinion: Olympia, politics and policy

I try and visit Olympia two or three times each session. It is always interesting and entertaining to see democracy in action. This is the short 60-day session, so things move fairly fast, or not at all. It is also an election year for all of the House of Representatives and half of the Senate. ... The hottest issue of local interest going into the session was the capital budget. It contained a significant number of local projects. Highline College wanted $23 million for a new building, the Federal Way school district $2.8 million for STEM facilities, City Hall $1 million for a kitchen upgrade at the Performing Arts and Event Center, $250,000 each for replacements of Safe City cameras and preservation of a piece of land at the old Weyerhaeuser site, the Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce $250,000 for an economic development project, and FUSION needed $500,000 for transitional housing.
Federal Way Mirror, Feb. 2, 2018

Main Street director outlines new path

An energetic new executive director of the Oak Harbor Main Street organization and an active board are working to build a busier and more attractive downtown. Owners of downtown businesses, city officials and other interested folks crowded into a room at the China Harbor restaurant Wednesday night to hear the plans that are in store for the area. Everyone seemed positive about the ideas, though several people expressed concerns about the perennial issue of parking. ... The first project in the works is to fix up Serendipity Lane, a little-known stairway and walkway that runs from Pioneer Way down to Bayshore Drive. Rhonda Severns, a member of the board, said the city, the Navy, the Oak Harbor Garden Club, Skagit Valley College and Main Street are all partnering on the project.
Whidbey News-Times, Feb. 2, 2018

Not your parents’ home ec class

Washougal’s new Excelsior High School is shattering preconceptions about what it means to enroll in culinary arts classes. Inside the district’s brand-new, state-of-the-art Excelsior building, a new Career and Technology culinary program is guiding students through courses and techniques far more advanced than traditional home-economic classes of yesteryear. ... The advanced culinary students recently went on a field trip to observe the Skills USA regional event. Next January, Hitchins students will compete in the culinary competition. Students who are interested in competing next year will start practicing once a week after school. The competition, Hitchins says, can help students earn scholarships at some of the top U.S. culinary schools. For seniors, who won’t be able to compete next year, but who want to continue their culinary journey, Hitchins encourages them to look into the culinary program at Clark College, which recently received $10 million in upgrades.
Camas Post-Record, Feb. 1, 2018

Food for thought

An exhibition of art about food is a delightful concept — lighthearted and lightweight. Most of the art in the "Food in Art" exhibition at Tacoma Community College consists of pop-style paintings of food, many of which are clever and funny, such as Diane Fairbanks' "Deception Pass Doughnut," a painting of a giant doughnut with chocolate icing floating down the river. There are others that are equally clever, but most are just still-life paintings of food with nothing in particular to brag about.
Weekly Volcano, Feb. 1, 2018

House panel votes for aid to homeless college students

Homeless students in Washington would have more support while attending universities under two bills passed by a legislative committee Wednesday. One bill would require the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges to create a pilot program offering homeless students such services as affordable housing, free or reduced-price meals, laundry and bathroom facilities.
The Spokesman-Review, Feb. 1, 2018

Trends | Horizons | Education

Giving to colleges rises by 6.3%

Individual donors reopened their checkbooks in 2017 as a strong stock market fueled rising personal giving that in turn powered an increase in contributions to higher education institutions. Colleges and universities raised a total of $43.6 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, according to results from the latest version of the annual Voluntary Support of Education survey from the Council for Aid to Education, which is being released today. The fund-raising total is up 6.3 percent from 2016 — 3.7 percent after adjusting for inflation. It is the highest fund-raising total recorded in the survey’s six-decade history. The 6.3 percent year-over-year increase nearly quadrupled the rate of growth between 2015 and 2016, which was 1.7 percent in last year’s survey.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 6, 2018

Graduation rates and bright lines

Accrediting agencies have taken flak in recent years for their oversight of poorly performing colleges, including those with low graduation rates. That scrutiny peaked in 2015, after a series of high-profile closures of for-profit colleges, when The Wall Street Journal published an investigation of how accreditors deal with problem colleges under the headline "The Watchdogs of College Education Rarely Bite." The seven regional accrediting agencies responded the following year by beginning a project on graduation rates. Today the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions released a review of that work.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 6, 2018

Trend toward online codes is bumping cost of college textbooks, students say

Book publishers that bundle online access codes with college textbooks are thwarting attempts to bring down the price of the books, which can cost as much as $1,200 per academic year, a student advocacy group says. The proliferation of access codes — which are sold along with textbooks and hide homework and quizzes behind an online paywall — makes it impossible for students to buy or sell used textbooks at the end of the semester or quarter, said Madison Longbottom, the chair of WashPIRG Students, a state chapter of U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). PIRG is a nonprofit consumer-research agency with a number of student chapters. The access codes usually expire at the end of the quarter or semester, making it impossible for students to resell or reuse them, said Longbottom, a student at the University of Washington.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 5, 2018

Why transfer mission matters

For the last few years, community colleges have seen an increase in pressure to focus more on career and training education. The two-year institutions are being asked for more certificates, apprenticeships and other nondegree credentials that will push students into skilled professions quicker. Last week, President Trump stressed the need for more vocational schools and suggested that community colleges change their names and shift their focus to offering mostly work-force programs. But there's another side of the community college coin that doesn't receive as much acknowledgment from policy makers — transfer.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 5, 2018

Report on making apprenticeships work

Amid increasing bipartisan interest in expanding apprenticeship opportunities in this country, a new report from the University Ventures Fund includes policy recommendations for how to best harness new federal investment in the space. Ryan Craig, the investment firm's managing director, wrote the white paper with Tom Bewick, president of the Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum and co-founder of Franklin Apprenticeships.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 5, 2018

Costs mount for federal loan programs

The increasing popularity of income-driven repayment plans for federal loans, as well as loan forgiveness programs, might soon lead to the federal government losing money on its huge student loan portfolio, according to a newly released audit from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General. The audit builds on findings from a 2016 Government Accountability Office report, which revealed that the department had drastically underestimated the cost of income-driven repayment.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 5, 2018

College-age suicide is past due for serious talk

At any American college with a football program, there are few bigger men on campus than the quarterback. The name, face and exploits at the game’s most visible position naturally become familiar to those in the fan base and beyond. These guys have it made, or so it seems. Now it seems much different, with last month’s heart-wrenching news that Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinski took his own life. According to his teammates, there were no clues that he was considering this extreme act, that he was struggling with depression or some other problem. The reflexive question of why has found no clear answer.
Yakima Herald, Feb. 3, 2018

Federal student-loan program is rapidly losing money, and income-based repayment is to blame, report says

The federal government is well on its way toward lending more money in student loans than it is repaid, according to a new report from the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General. The rising cost of the federal student-loan program, the report says, is due in large part to the growing number of borrowers who are enrolling in income-driven repayment programs, which allow them to repay their loans for a set period of time in correlation to how much money they make.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 2, 2018

3 million Americans live in higher education deserts

Roughly three million Americans live more than 25 miles from a broad-access public college and do not have the sort of high-speed internet connection necessary for online college programs, according to a new report from the Urban Institute's education policy program. The institute used data from the U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission to identify these education "deserts," cross-referencing that information with data from the Census Bureau to determine who lives in them. The report found that 17.6 million adults live in a physical higher education desert, with 3.1 million (1.3 percent of adults in the U.S.) lacking access to online and physical college programs.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 2, 2018

The 9th graders of 2009, 7 years later

Nearly three-quarters of ninth graders tracked in a major federal study had received some kind of postsecondary education or training within seven years — and nearly a quarter of them had left their programs without a credential of any sort. Of the 28 percent of respondents to the survey who were ninth graders in 2009 but had not enrolled in any postsecondary program by February 2016, more than four in 10 cited financial factors as the reason, and roughly the same proportion earned $10,000 or less in 2015.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 2, 2018

Politics | Local, State, National

Report on alternative to gainful-employment metrics

Using Bureau of Labor Statistics earnings estimates as an alternative to actual earnings data for gainful-employment programs would seriously mislead prospective students about the value of those programs, according to a report released today by New America. The Obama administration's gainful-employment rule was written to hold career education programs accountable for graduating students with debt they couldn't repay. It did so by tying access to Title IV federal student aid to programs' performance on a debt-to-earnings metric reflecting graduates' earnings two to three years after leaving a program.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 6, 2018

Senate Democrats issue principles for Higher Ed Act

Senate Democrats last week issued a set of principles they say should guide the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, among them: college affordability, access for low-income students, safety on campuses and accountability for institutions. They released the document shortly after Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander's office issued a staff white paper focusing on accountability. That paper suggested that a loan repayment rate measure would be more appropriate than the existing cohort default rate benchmark designed to put colleges on the hook for high student loan defaults. But it appeared to endorse dropping the 90-10 rule and the gainful-employment rule that targets poor-performing career education programs. Both rules improperly addressed only one sector of higher ed, the paper said.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 5, 2018

Washington state lawmakers consider universal screening to find gifted students

Until last month, only 28 low-income children out of 3,000 in the Northshore School District had been deemed academically gifted. The same pattern held for nonnative English speakers, only 11 of whom had been rated intelligent enough for accelerated learning. But in January, Northshore upended its old system of screening students for giftedness based on test scores and parent referrals. Instead, they decided to measure the potential of everyone — all 16,000 elementary- and middle-school children — in an effort to change the racial and economic complexion of advanced learning. As a result, about 500 low-income or foreign-born students in the district now will be considered for gifted education.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 2, 2018

Alexander white paper lays out framework for higher ed accountability

Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee, released a white paper Thursday suggesting that current federal accountability measures for higher ed institutions are inadequate or simply unfair. The paper found that the cohort default rate — which attaches Title IV federal aid to the percentage of student borrowers who default on their loans after leaving an institution — rarely sanctions colleges and provides little incentive to improve. The paper suggested a loan repayment rate, an alternative favored on both the right and the left, would be preferable.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 2, 2018

Washington bill aims to clarify sex offender restrictions at community colleges

Community colleges in Washington should be able to bar level three sex offenders from enrolling in classes when minors are present. That’s the upshot of a bill under consideration by the state legislature. Republican Representative Joyce McDonald introduced the legislation. She said she decided to propose the bill after being contacted by a constituent who had concerns about a community college.
Northwest Public Broadcasting, Feb. 1, 2018

Trump pressures Democrats to bargain on immigration

President Trump turned up the pressure on Democrats on Thursday to come to an agreement with Republicans on protections for young undocumented immigrants, asserting that opposition leaders “talk a good game” but cared more about politics than actually resolving the matter. In a speech to Republican lawmakers at their annual retreat, Mr. Trump complained that Democrats were unwilling to budge and would rather see him fail than make progress on immigration or other issues that would benefit the country. At the same time, he warned his fellow Republicans that they would have to make compromises themselves to reach a deal.
The New York Times, Feb. 1, 2018

Opinion: It’s up to Congress, not the president, to fix DACA

So why were all eyes on the president Tuesday as he outlined his plans for immigration reform? Because despite Congress’ power over immigration, the story of the Dreamers over the past 16 years has been one of congressional inaction. And just like in so many other areas — ranging from climate change to fair pay — Congress’ political paralysis has led to a suboptimal result: Shifting executive branch policies, rather than a more stable legislative solution. These policy changes have created significant uncertainty for the Dreamers, along with ongoing legal battles that have pulled the judicial branch of government into the fray. None of this has served our democracy well.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 1, 2018

In West Virginia, free community college would come with a drug test

West Virginia is the latest state to move closer to offering free community college to its residents. But as with “free college” measures that have gone into effect in other states, the education funding would come with a few caveats. The West Virginia Senate voted, unanimously and across party lines, on Tuesday to move Senate Bill 284 on to the House of Delegates for consideration. If enacted, the bill would create a last-dollar benefit to cover the outstanding costs of tuition and mandatory fees not covered by Pell Grants or other grant aid. ... But a requirement that prospective students pay for a drug test, and pass, to qualify for the scholarship — particularly in West Virginia, which is among the states hit hardest by the national opioid crisis — has raised objections.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 1, 2018

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