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News Links | February 27, 2018

February 27, 2018 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

LCC team takes home top honors

Members of the Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech and Debate Team took first place in the two-year college team sweepstakes at the Earl Wells Memorial Forensics Tournament held Feb. 17 and 18 at Oregon State University. This was the last major invitational tournament in the region before the national tournaments.
Longview Daily News, Feb. 25, 2018

Japanese college students visit LCC for fourth straight year

On a Friday morning in a Lower Columbia College classroom, a group of students were having a simple conversation in front of their class, nervously giggling the whole time. Despite appearances, they weren’t chatting during a break: They were Japanese college students practicing their English. For the fourth straight year, Atomi College, a prestigious women’s college located in the Tokyo suburb of Niiza, has sent students to LCC to strengthen their English skills and teach them about American culture. This year, Atomi sent 12 students and one chaperone. LCC International Programs Coordinator Keiko Pedersen said it’s crucial for these students, who study many different subjects, to be proficient in English.
Longview Daily News, Feb. 24, 2018

International enrollment falls at Clark College

International enrollment is down at Clark College, and recent national policy and immigration reform might be responsible, according to Clark administrators and students. International student enrollment has declined 7 percent in the United States since last fall, the first decline in years, with a 6 percent loss in Washington from fall 2016-17, according to data provided by Director of International Programs Jane Walster. She said that losing students impacts the campus’s cultural diversity and its budget.
The Columbian, Feb. 24, 2018

Proposals in Olympia would erase gap in aid for state’s low-income college students

For the past eight years, the state’s financial-aid program for low-income college students has run out of money before all the students who qualify received tuition help. This year, Democrats in the House and Senate are aiming to fix that shortfall, with proposals that could gradually eradicate the gap and ensure the money is an entitlement — a permanent guarantee that the state will fully fund the program every year. The fixes are aimed at the State Need Grant, a $300-million-a-year program that gives grants — which do not need to be paid back — to students who attend any of the state’s public colleges, most of its private colleges, and a handful of private career academies. ... Gulf War veteran Shannon Turner, of Bremerton, is receiving State Need Grant money this year. Without it, he says, he wouldn’t be able to go to school this quarter. Turner, who served in the Army, is getting a bachelor’s degree in human services from Western Washington University, and is able to take his classes at Olympic College, close to home.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 23, 2018

Opinion: Education advocates work to increase teacher diversity in Edmonds

The Feb. 8 Edmonds Beacon article titled “Helping to solve the educational diversity gap” highlights the struggle many districts face, including Edmonds, to recruit, retain and support teachers of color. As the article noted, 51 percent of students identify as ethnically diverse, with only 9 percent of teachers reporting as such. In addition, there are 115 languages being spoken at home in the Edmonds School District. Demographics are changing quickly in our district and surrounding communities. Students want to see teachers and curriculum that more closely resemble them, and there is powerful evidence that having teachers of color in the classroom makes a difference in closing the achievement gap. ... The Edmonds School District, in partnership with Edmonds Community College, Hazel Miller Foundation and UW Bothell, began a serious commitment to increase and support more teachers of color.
Edmonds Beacon, Feb. 23, 2018

Capital budget includes $74 million for projects in 19th district

A supplemental budget passed by the state Legislature for the 2017-19 biennium has tabbed almost $74 million for use on community and environmental improvement projects in the 19th District. In total, there were 51 projects that recently received state funding. Those projects range from fish barrier removals to upgrades of high school sports facilities. The total amount of money designated for those projects adds up to $73,968,000. The most expensive project on the list is the renovation of the Naselle Hatchery, which was allocated $8 million, and a renovation of the main building at Lower Columbia College in Longview was awarded $3 million.
Centralia Chronicle, Feb. 23, 2018

Inslee names Leigh to Bellevue College board

Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Richard Leigh to Bellevue College’s board of trustees. The six-member board’s duties include setting the college’s strategic direction, establishing policy for the college and approving budgets. Leigh currently acts as general counsel for SEIU 775 Benefits Group, a nonprofit healthcare entity, serving on their senior leadership team where he oversees all legal matters, including board governance, compliance, litigation and risk management.
Bellevue Reporter, Feb. 23, 2018

Peninsula’s Got Talent winners announced

Chris “Chi” McNulty of Port Angeles captured first place at the third annual Peninsula’s Got Talent show. McNulty performed his original song, “Memories” at the Feb. 9 contest on the Peninsula College Port Angeles campus attended by some 150 people. He won a $500 scholarship and will perform at the Juan de Fuca Festival on Memorial Day Weekend.
Peninsula Daily News, Feb. 23, 2018

Clark College flashes back to the contentious ’60s with ‘Hair’ revival

The movie musical “Hair,” made a full decade after the chaotic period of American history it portrays, tells its tale in a surprisingly straightforward manner. Its themes may be anti-war rebellion and societal upheaval, but its story wraps up tidily. ... Fifty years later, why did Clark College theater director Gene Biby choose “Hair” as Clark College’s winter musical presentation? Because, he said, it remains an amazingly strong, relevant statement about dissent and upheaval in every generation.
The Columbian, Feb. 23, 2018

Meet Christie Sutton, Europa's beloved pastry chef for nearly two decades

There are diners who love Christie Sutton's desserts so much they'll call ahead to make sure their favorite treat is available on the day they plan to stop into Europa Restaurant and Bakery in downtown Spokane. "I don't think there's a night that goes by with a dessert that doesn't have a note on it that says something like, 'Save for Becky at table X,'" says Europa owner Aja Engels. From slices of rich and creamy, layered chocolate mousse cake to the overwhelming customer favorite, a raspberry white chocolate cheesecake, and plenty of orders for custom cakes and other sweets each week, Europa's longtime pastry chef has established a notable following. Sutton has been baking for the downtown eatery for nearly two decades, since 1999, just a handful of years after graduating from Spokane Community College's baking program.
The Inlander, Feb. 22, 2018

How we learned to stop worrying and love the side hustle

When someone asks Katherine Peik that age-old question, “So, what do you do?” Peik doesn’t have a simple answer. Peik has two actual jobs — substitute teaching and waiting tables. To make extra money, she also sells handmade resin baubles on Etsy. It’s her “side hustle.” Peik doesn’t like to admit it, but she sometimes needs the income from that side hustle to buy groceries. At 30 years old, Peik expected at this point in her life to have a predictable stream of grocery money. As people like Peik rely on side hustles to get by, long-term stable jobs with benefits like a pension and robust health care are becoming harder to come by. At the same time this kind of employment is disappearing, we’re being encouraged to embrace the hustle by everyone from gig companies like Lyft and Uber to pop culture figures like Jay-Z and media organizations like Forbes. ... Since the early ’90s, hustling to survive has been a big theme in hip-hop culture. It appears in songs by Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Lil Wayne, 50 Cent and others. Rappers have reclaimed the hustle, and they are celebrating it, said Eric Davis, a sociologist at Bellevue College.
KQED, Feb. 20, 2018

Trends | Horizons | Education

Opinion: Creating an inclusive classroom

It’s a new semester, and you are gearing up for the first session of one of your courses. You have syllabus in hand, copies of course readings, information loaded into the online course management system and emails detailing student accommodation needs from the disability services office on your campus. One student has accommodations for double time on exams, one student gets a copy of class notes and one student will have a sign language interpreter. What is your responsibility with those accommodations? Typically, faculty members aren’t asked to do much; students manage such requests. They register with the disability services office, collect paperwork documenting their individual needs and get approval, and then the DSO shares those needs with you via official correspondence. You allow for such accommodations to happen and proceed to teach the course.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 27, 2018

Words matter in gauging public confidence

College and university leaders have been consumed since last summer with trying to understand public attitudes about them, as surveys and studies — like this and this and this and this — have delivered evidence of growing skepticism and doubts about the value of what consumers and society get from higher education. Gallup injected yet more data into the mix Friday, with a new survey that both reinforces the idea that higher education has seriously alienated white male Americans without a degree and underscores that people think very differently about the topic depending on the words you use.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 26, 2018

Seattle University to overlook high-school suspensions for peaceful activism

Seattle University has a message for any high-school students who worry that walking out of school in protest could result in a suspension — an action that, under normal circumstances, might jeopardize their chances of admission. The Jesuit university’s message: Don’t worry about it. Seattle U’s admission office made that explicit in a tweet Thursday. It was prompted by news that a Houston-area school district will suspend any student who walks out as part of planned protests against gun violence after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 24, 2018

Overconfident students, dubious employers

College students may believe they’re ready for a job, but employers think otherwise. At least, that’s according to data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which surveyed graduating college seniors and employers and found a significant difference in the groups' perceptions. The association surveyed 4,213 graduating seniors and 201 employers on eight “competencies” that it considers necessary to be prepared to enter the workplace. This information comes from the association’s 2018 Job Outlook Survey. For the most part, a high percentage of students indicated in almost every category they thought they were proficient. Employers disagreed.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 23, 2018

Politics | Local, State, National

Reports: Trump Administration to declare loan servicers 'off-limits' to state regulators

The Department of Education is planning to issue a statement that only federal agencies, and not state regulators, have oversight authority over student loan servicing entities, according to separate reports. Loan servicers have sought such a declaration from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos since last year. But that demand received strong pushback from state attorneys general, including several Republican officials. Bloomberg and Politico first reported this week that the department plans to block state regulation of servicers, which handle borrowers' payment of student loan debt and provide advice on options like repayment plans.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 27, 2018

Supreme Court declines to enter DACA controversy, effectively blocking March 5 end of program

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to enter the national controversy over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), turning down the Trump administration’s request to immediately review lower court decisions that keep in place the program that protects undocumented immigrants brought here as children from deportation. President Donald Trump announced in September that he would let the program expire in March, unless Congress acted. Efforts on Capitol Hill to revive DACA as part of a broader deal on immigration policy have failed. Federal district judges in California and New York have issued nationwide injunctions against ending the program, siding with states and organizations challenging the administration’s rescission. The court orders effectively block the Trump administration from ending the program on March 5, as planned.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 26, 2018

Bill would let Washington educators give Narcan for drug overdoses

Two years ago, more than 3,600 high-school seniors reported that they’d tried heroin at least once in their lifetimes, and more than 4,500 said they used pain killers to get high. During the four years leading up to that state Healthy Youth Survey, about 300 young people aged 15 to 24 died of heroin- or opioid-related overdoses. Despite these numbers, a group of vocal parents says Washington schools have not taken significant action on the prevention, or intervention, of opioid addiction. At a legislative hearing in Olympia last month, several from the Northshore School District sought to change that by testifying in favor of a bill that would allow public schools and college dorms to stock and administer the anti-overdose medication Narcan.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 26, 2018

H-1B visas getting new level of scrutiny

The Trump administration is bringing a new level of scrutiny to a temporary work visa popular among technology firms, costing employers more time and money as they seek to bring foreign workers to the United States. From January to August 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent 85,265 requests for evidence in response to H-1B visa applications, a 45 percent increase compared to the same period a year earlier, agency data show. Immigration lawyers say these requests — made when an application is missing required documents or the agency determines it needs more proof to decide if a worker is eligible for the visa — could even discourage companies and individuals from seeking an H-1B visa in the first place.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 24, 2018

State lawmakers advance legislation to encourage schools to make better use of student data

School districts in Washington state collect a lot of data about their students. From attendance and advanced-course participation to discipline and graduation rates, each of the state’s 295 school districts funnel a dizzying amount of information about each student into a central hub known as CEDARS, or the Comprehensive Education Data and Research System. ... The state in turn uses that information for its school accountability system, with new ratings set for release in March. But state lawmakers now want schools to use some of that data preemptively, both to help students on the verge of dropping out get back on track and to encourage more students to take classes that can earn them college credits while still in high school.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 23, 2018

Opinion: State budget must ensure improved school outcomes

Democrats narrowly control both chambers of Washington’s Legislature right now, yet they have released starkly different visions for how to spend the state’s money. The rival budget proposals from the House and Senate Democratic caucuses each have good aspects, but neither goes far enough. Leaders will need to collaborate with each other as well as minority Republicans.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 23, 2018

Tuition-free, with strings

For years, many states — believing that a postsecondary credential is a necessity to succeed in the economy — have moved toward making the first two years of college tuition free. But a growing number are attaching requirements and conditions to tuition-free plans that worry advocates for low-income students. Minimum grade point average requirements are common. And several free-college programs now mandate that students major in certain subjects, take drug tests or enroll full-time to be eligible.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 23, 2018

State colleges could also ‘ban the box’

Washington’s public colleges and universities would have to “ban the box” on their initial student application under a bill considered by a House panel Wednesday. The schools could still deny a student with certain criminal convictions or limit access to certain facilities or housing based on individual circumstances. But a prospective student would not be immediately disqualified when applying.
The Spokesman-Review, Feb. 22, 2018

Opinion: DreamAhead 529 is a better college-savings plan than GET

Last week, The Seattle Times published an editorial titled “Leave state’s prepaid-tuition program alone” [Feb. 15, Opinion]. While I agree with its admiration of the Guaranteed Education Trust (GET) program, the Legislature has a unique opportunity to help middle-class families in our state send their kids to college. In this case, inaction does more harm than good for Washington state and those who invested in the program.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 22, 2018

Last Modified: 2/27/18 10:51 AM
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