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News Links | February 20, 2018

February 20, 2018 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Brunell: Military leaders prove they can transform education

Do good military commanders make good education leaders? That is a question that Montana’s Higher Education Commission will answer in the coming years. However, if the new University of Montana president follows the pattern set by former Seattle Public School Superintendent John Stanford and Clark College President Bob Knight, the answer will be a resounding yes.
The Columbian, Feb. 20, 2018

Clark College hopes to fill counseling void with new degree

Recovering from substance abuse is enough of a challenge on its own without struggling to find a qualified provider. But Clark County employers say there’s a shortage of local counselors who can help patients with drug and alcohol addiction, as well as the mental health problems that can underscore those addictions. In an effort to ease that gap, Clark College is on its way to offering a bachelor’s degree of applied sciences in human services. The program will expand on the college’s addiction counseling education department, where students can already earn a two-year degree allowing them to become chemical dependency counselors in Washington. ... The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges approved the degree program, with approval still pending from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The program is slated to launch next for the fall quarter.
The Columbian, Feb. 19, 2018

Pierce College alum and Washington Teacher of the Year makes a difference in and out of the classroom

Nathan Gibbs-Bowling has unapologetically high standards for each one of his Lincoln High School students. The 2015 Pierce College Distinguished Alum makes it his own personal mission to create what he calls a ‘nerd culture’ in his government classes, where becoming an informed citizen is the norm. As a result of his unique teaching style and classroom culture, he has earned the respect and admiration of countless students and educators around the country.
The Suburban Times, Feb. 18, 2018

After 911 calls and a lockdown at Highline College, police find ‘zero evidence’ of a shooting

After a search of Highline College, police say there is no indication of a shooting on campus despite earlier reports and a massive police response. “We have zero evidence of a shooting,” said Assistant Chief Rafael Padilla of the Kent Police Department. “We have physically walked the entire campus.” The Des Moines college was placed under lockdown about 9 a.m. Friday after reports of possible gunshots. Students and staff were alerted in Facebook posts: “This is not a drill. Close doors, close windows. Police are responding to campus. Do not come to campus if you are on your way. More details to come.” The report drew dozens of law-enforcement officers from agencies throughout the area to the college. They immediately searched the campus for signs of a shooting. No injuries were reported, but two students were treated for asthma-related conditions, police said. The campus, which hosts about 5,000 people on a typical weekday, was on lockdown for around two hours, as police went building to building searching for possible victims and a suspect. Ultimately they found none, and found no shell casings or any other evidence that shots had been fired. The rest of Friday’s classes were canceled.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 16, 2018

Honor society inducts new members at Big Bend CC

The Big Bend Community College inducted 19 students into its Phi Theta Kappa chapter Tuesday evening. Phi Theta Kappa is the community college honor society. Students must have at least a 3.4 grade point average to qualify for Phi Theta Kappa. Students must have completed a minimum of 12 quarter hours at BBCC and must be enrolled for at least three quarter hours in the current semester. Phi Theta Kappa member Melinda Dourte was the guest speaker. Dourte is a BBCC graduate and works as the executive assistant to BBCC president Terry Leas.
Columbia Basin Herald, Feb. 16, 2018

Walla Walla Community College: Unlocking college for poor students

Walla Walla Community College is leading the way when it comes to helping students in need. That’s according to a report released Wednesday by Working Student Success Network, which found the community college to be one of a cluster of colleges excelling at serving low-income students. Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake was also flagged for finding innovative ways to foster post-college financial and job success.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Feb. 15, 2018

The secret to a family’s business success? They’ve been cutting hair at the same location for 50 years.

When it comes to businesses, much has changed in downtown Puyallup. But one barber shop has prided itself on staying the same. Valley Barber Shop turns 50 this year, operating out of the same location at 119 E Main Ave. Its owners celebrated with a 50th anniversary sign on its front doors. “It’s always just been here as long as I can remember,” said Kenny Cockle, owner of the shop. Valley Barber Shop was originally opened by Kenny’s father, Ken Cockle Sr., in October 1968. He always knew he wanted to be a barber, he said. ... His son, Kenny Cockle, took over ownership of Valley Barber Shop. Before that, Kenny worked at Edgewood Barber Shop for six years and trained in the barber program at Bates Technical College in Tacoma.
The News Tribune, Feb. 15, 2018

Seattle job futures looking brighter for low-wage workers

Finding a new job in the King County area might be easier for job seekers in 2018. Puget Sound regional economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said the local job market is tightening and as a result, wages are rising. ... Things are looking up for people such as Rodolfo Turla, who has struggled for years to find long-term work and financial stability, after leaving the Army in 2007. “When I got out, I was homeless,” Turla said. “I was living out of my car.” Turla has a four-year college degree. At one point, he worked three jobs, 72 hours a week, just to survive. “I barely broke $30,000,” Turla said. Eventually he discovered a new passion thanks to the biomedical engineering program at North Seattle College. “I discovered this was for me,” Turla said. “I like it. I tinker around with equipment. And it helps people.” Last year, he started working at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
KIRO 7, Feb. 15, 2018

Trends | Horizons | Education

Independent students as the new majority

Many studies have shown that traditional-age, residential college students are no longer the norm in higher education. A study being released today builds on that by arguing that independent students (those without parental support) are the new majority. (Traditionally discussion of independent status has focused on those of traditional college age.)
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 20, 2018

I know how you felt this semester

How's everyone doing so far? Am I being clear? Anyone confused? Professors might ask these questions midway through a lecture to get a sense of students’ moods. The scattered answers often aren’t very helpful, if they’re even accurate. With sentiment analysis software, set for trial use later this semester in a classroom at the University of St. Thomas, in Minnesota, instructors don’t need to ask. Instead, they can glance at their computer screen at a particular point or stretch of time in the session and observe an aggregate of the emotions students are displaying on their faces: happiness, anger, contempt, disgust, fear, neutrality, sadness and surprise. The project team hopes the software will help instructors tailor their teaching approaches to levels of student interest, and to address areas of concern, confusion and apathy from students. If most students drift into negative emotions midway through the session, an instructor could enliven that section with an active assignment. If half the students are happy and the other half aren’t, the latter group might be getting left behind.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 20, 2018

Borrowers with high debt levels struggle to repay loans

The share of borrowers graduating with high student loan debt balances has shot up in recent years. And, increasingly, those borrowers are struggling to pay back those loans, according to a Brookings Institution paper released last week. The paper's authors, Adam Looney and Constantine Yannelis, find that between 2000 and 2014, the share of those borrowers graduating with $50,000 in student loans more than tripled, from 5 percent to 17 percent. Those borrowers now hold the majority of outstanding student loan debt. The profile of those borrowers has also changed. Before, large-balance borrowers typically attended graduate or professional schools and saw strong salary returns. But today, those borrowers are often parents or independent undergraduate students and see a much higher share of their income go to loan payments.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 19, 2018

Is econ STEM?

Some economics departments are changing the formal classification of their programs so that international students have more opportunities to work in the U.S. after they graduate. It may seem like the most bureaucratic of changes, but changing the formal classification — what’s known as the federal CIP code — for an economics program from the one for “economics, general” to the one for “econometrics and quantitative economics” means that international graduates of those programs can work in the U.S. for two extra years after they graduate while staying on their student visas. That’s because the Department of Homeland Security considers econometrics and quantitative economics — but not general economics — to be a STEM field. International graduates of designated STEM programs are eligible for what’s known as the STEM OPT extension, which enables them to work in their field for a total of three years in the U.S. while staying on their universities’ sponsorship. By contrast, students with degrees in non-STEM fields are only eligible for one year of OPT, which stands for optional practical training.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 19, 2018

With work permits in limbo, spouses of H-1B visa holders worry they’ll lose jobs

Spouses of tech workers with H-1B visas can work in the U.S. with special work permits. But they are now in limbo since the Trump administration indicated it plans to end the work-authorization program this year.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 17, 2018

After 2016 election, campus hate crimes seemed to jump. Here’s what the data tell us.

In the charged weeks after the election of Donald J. Trump, analysts and advocacy groups noted a rise in reports of hate crimes. Colleges seemed to be seeing that rise as much as any public spaces. Anecdotal evidence suggested that acts of campus harassment and violence were on the upswing. (The Chronicle collected much of that evidence in a running roundup.) There was a grim logic behind the anecdotes: As spaces often populated by the religious and ethnic minority groups Trump pilloried during his bruising campaign, college campuses were natural incubators for conflict. Many campus incidents, in fact, involved references to the president-elect. But was there really a surge in hate-motivated episodes across public and private colleges and universities? That was hard to say until recently, when government data began to shed light on campus crime in 2016. According to new information from the U.S. Department of Education, the number of reported campus hate crimes increased by 25 percent from 2015 to 2016. Meanwhile, additional college-specific data, collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, suggests the election itself played a role in the surge of reported cases.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 16, 2018

Fault lines on display

The splay of fault lines running through nearly every facet of higher education widens in sometimes unexpected places. Yes, there are the stalwart tensions: liberal arts versus job training, free speech versus inclusive campuses, public institutions versus privates, colleges versus regulation. Then there are the less obvious, yet still very real divides: educating adult students versus traditional 18- to 22-year-olds, giving colleges more public funding versus demanding they control costs. Underneath it all are the esoteric issues, like the gulf between the high-quality education colleges and universities believe they are imparting to students and what many companies' chief executive officers think are poorly prepared graduates entering the work force. Issues like the hazy gulf between higher education's perception of itself and reality.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 16, 2018

Who's missing from America's colleges? Rural high school graduates

When Dustin Gordon's high school invited juniors and seniors to meet with recruiters from colleges and universities, a handful of students showed up. A few were serious about the prospect of continuing their educations, he said, "But I think some of them went just to get out of class." In his sparsely settled community in the agricultural countryside of southern Iowa, "there's just no motivation for people to go" to college, says Gordon, who's now a senior at the University of Iowa. ... Variations of this mindset, among many other reasons, have given rise to a reality that has gotten lost in the impassioned debate over who gets to go to college, which often focuses on racial and ethnic minorities and students from low-income families: The high school graduates who head off to campus in the lowest proportions in America are the ones from rural places.
NPR, Feb. 15, 2018

A college designed for adults

At College Unbound, a new institution in Rhode Island, the curriculum and services reflect the life and work experiences of older students. “We’ve tried to become what they needed,” says Adam Bush, its provost.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 15, 2018

School shootings now unfold on social media. Here's what educators need to know.

As a heavily armed teenager opened fire on his former classmates Wednesday, killing at least 17 people, the reactions of terrified students and a shell-shocked nation unfolded in real time on Twitter and Snapchat. ... That new reality means new responsibilities and opportunities for schools and educators, said Lenhart and other experts reached by Education Week in the hours after the shooting. It's still too early in the technology's history for much solid research about how school shootings and social media interact, they said. What is clear, though, is that these platforms are interwoven with the fabric of many young people's lives, in ways that many adults struggle to grasp.
Education Week, Feb. 15, 2018

Politics | Local, State, National

Education Focus: Bill would extend reach of scholarship program

Last May, 42 Skagit County high school seniors received nearly $1 million in scholarships to help them pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. ... The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, founded in 2011, has provided scholarships of up to $22,500 each for about 6,700 students pursuing degrees at in-state universities in the STEM and health care fields — growing industries that have had difficulty recruiting employees. However, a bill moving through the state Legislature would increase the number of students eligible for the scholarships by making them available to students seeking certifications and degrees from two-year and technical colleges.
Skagit Valley Herald, Feb. 19, 2018

Restructuring the Education Department

A Department of Education reorganization plan whose broad themes were shared with employees last week would collapse multiple units with higher ed functions into one office whose leader would answer directly to the secretary. The plan also calls for eliminating the office of the under secretary, which has played a key role in shaping higher education policy during the previous two presidential administrations. Those moves would be part of a larger shake-up of the department that officials say is intended to make lines of decision making more clear, improve policy coordination and reduce the total number of political appointees. It would also be Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's clearest imprint yet on the agency after spending much of the last year reversing Obama administration initiatives.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 19, 2018

Failure of immigration bills leaves DACA in doubt

Leaders in the U.S. Senate brought four immigration bills to the floor for a vote Thursday, each needing 60 votes to advance. All four failed, leaving a solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in serious doubt. The DACA program, an initiative of the Obama administration, provided temporary protection against deportation as well as work authorization to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants — including many college-age recipients — who were brought to the U.S. as children without documentation. DACA recipients, often referred to as Dreamers, have faced uncertainty over their status since President Trump announced in September that he would wind down the program.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 16, 2018

Scramble for aid money in budget deal

Tucked into last week's U.S. Senate budget deal was $4 billion for student-centered programs that aid "college completion and affordability." Congressional leaders who struck the deal kept that language vague to avoid another prolonged government shutdown. As result, it's up to House and Senate appropriators to determine the specific uses for that money. A summary document describing the funding — it mentions steering the money toward programs "that help police officers, teachers and firefighters" — hints that one specific intended purpose could be a fix for eligibility issues encountered by borrowers expecting to get Public Service Loan Forgiveness. But the amount needed to make that fix is unclear, and various higher education groups are offering their own ideas for how the funds should be spent.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 16, 2018

After borrower defense negotiation fails, department to craft new rule

Negotiators failed to reach consensus Thursday on new language for borrower-defense regulations, clearing the way for the U.S. Department of Education to craft its own version of regulations designed to protect defrauded student borrowers. The Obama administration crafted the borrower-defense rule to establish a national standard for student fraud claims after the collapse of Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech led to a flood of loan-relief claims. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos blocked the rule from going into effect last year and said she would rewrite the regulations to better balance the concerns of students, taxpayers and institutions.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 16, 2018

Bill would give parents incentive — more money — to switch to new investment

People with money invested in the state’s prepaid college tuition program might reap a small windfall of extra money under a new bill that passed in the state Senate. But they’d have to be willing to move their money into a new fund — the state’s soon-to-be-created college savings plan. Earlier this week, the state Senate passed a bill that would give people who own Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) units about $40 more per unit — that’s about 38 percent more than GET units are now worth — if they transferred the money to the DreamAhead College Investment Plan, which is expected to open later this year. GET has a surplus of nearly $600 million, money that has grown in the investment fund, in part, because tuition is rising more slowly than expected and, in part, because of gains in the stock market.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 15, 2018

Bill would hold college presidents accountable for sexual abuse by employees

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has introduced legislation to hold campus leaders accountable for sexual abuse that happens on their watch. The bill, the Accountability of Leaders in Education to Report Title IX Investigations Act, or the Alert Act for short, was introduced on Thursday. It would require college and university presidents to certify annually that they have reviewed all incidents of sexual misconduct reported to their campus Title IX coordinator, and that they have not interfered with investigations of those incidents.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 15, 2018

Last Modified: 2/20/18 11:36 AM
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