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News Links | July 3, 2018

July 03, 2018 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Grant will help Skagit Valley College continue to work on diversity

As a first-generation college student from his family, Jareth Rodriguez had a difficult time adjusting to college life. During his first year at Skagit Valley College, the 20-year-old struggled to find a role model, mentor or someone to look up to. “Someone who looked like me,” Rodriguez said. Thanks to a grant recently awarded to Skagit Valley College for its work to support diversity, this summer Rodriguez will have the opportunity to be that person for other teens as they prepare for college.
Skagit Valley Herald, July 2, 2018

Science is hard but always exciting for this WSU-bound teen

Samantha Coughlan, 18, graduated this spring from Everett High School and earned an associate degree from Everett Community College. Question: Where are you headed next? Answer: Wazzu (Washington State University). I just got back from orientation. Q: What do you plan on studying there? A: Biochemistry, molecular biology and pre-pharmacy.
Everett Herald, July 2, 2018

Two Seattle tech-training programs — why did one succeed, one fail?

Last year, Seattle Central College began offering free, federally funded coding classes with a lofty goal — to teach tech skills to the unemployed, giving them a foot in the door at booming firms across the region. The program, run in partnership with a St. Louis nonprofit, aimed to reach 700 people over four years, placing students in paid apprenticeships in Seattle tech companies — companies that often say they have more openings than people to fill them. ... Meanwhile, another tech-training program, Apprenti, which began around the same time and was also awarded a multimillion dollar federal grant, has been so successful that it has expanded to other states. Why did one fail, and the other succeed? LaunchCode says it came to realize that prospective tech employees in Seattle needed a much higher level of training than the nonprofit could provide.
The Seattle Times, July 2, 2018

Front & Center: Childhood development interest started early for Spokane Head Start director

Patty Allen’s parents didn’t go to college. Her grandparents left school after eighth grade. Yet Allen learned her family’s version of “the three R’s”: respect education, work really hard and choose a rewarding career. Allen set her sights on teaching kindergarten – a job that didn’t even exist in the nearby town of Moore, Montana (pop. 193). After high school, she earned a degree in home economics child development from the University of Montana and a master’s from Eastern Washington University, and has devoted four decades to helping disadvantaged prekindergarten youngsters succeed. For the past 10 years, Allen has been district director of Head Start, a federal program administered through Community Colleges of Spokane that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition and parenting services to low-income children and their families. The Washington State Association of College Trustees recently presented her with its 2018 Professional Staff Member Award, given to only one person at the state’s 34 community and technical colleges.
The Spokesman-Review, July 1, 2018

Protest held on immigration policy

Rain and cloudy skies didn’t stop about 200 community members from gathering Saturday at a Keep Families Together rally in downtown Mount Vernon. The rally was one of many nationwide to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the southern border. U.S. representatives Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., and Rick Larsen, D-Wash., spoke to the crowd on the steps of the Skagit County Courthouse at noon before taking to Kincaid Street to wave at passing vehicles. ... Flor Zamorano, co-organizer and a former member of the Skagit Valley College Dreamer’s Club, said the event was organized by the Dreamer’s Club, Indivisible Skagit and other groups.
Skagit Valley Herald, July 1, 2018

CBC wants a culinary school in Kennewick. An internal report is giving it pause

Columbia Basin College wants to flesh out its plan for a culinary school in Kennewick after a feasibility study found skepticism for the idea. The Pasco college's board of trustees confirmed its support for the project at a special meeting Wednesday, even as it wrestled with negative comments in a study for a potential fund-raising campaign. The study was commissioned by the CBC Foundation and has been presented to trustees and some staff. ... It has to prove the need for the school, develop a curriculum, identify funding sources and get accreditation from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
The Tri-City Herald, June 29, 2018

Paddling for gold: Seattle’s Devon Adelman goes from White House to Special Olympics ambassador

When Seattle’s Devon Adelman gets on her paddle board during the Special Olympics USA Games on Monday, you can bet she will be nervous. But the 21-year-old has long been rising to the occasion, most notably when, at 18, she gave the keynote speech at the World Down Syndrome Day event at the United Nations in New York, then went to the White House representing the Global Down Syndrome Foundation during an address by President Barack Obama. That is pretty heady stuff for Adelman, who was a cheerleader at Nathan Hale High School, graduated from Highline College’s Achieve program, works as a lab aide at Universal Cells and dreams of being a marine biologist.
The Seattle Times, June 29, 2018

Glimpsing the future of American manufacturing

Clover Park Technical College’s Mechatronics program was highlighted at the 2018 Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound Conference earlier this month. The college sent nearly 20 representatives of the program to the event, and C2E Instructional Designer & Data Specialist Richard Hines came away with some thoughts and three takeaways about the future of manufacturing and the role CPTC and other technical colleges can play.
The Suburban Times, June 29, 2018

Moses Lake School District, Big Bend team up for new Open Doors program

The Moses Lake School District and Big Bend Community College are teaming up to operate a new “Open Doors” program. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has approved the youth re-engagement initiative set to begin Sept. 1. The Open Doors program assists school districts in providing individualized and flexible educational opportunities for those ages 16 to 21 that have faced challenges in traditional school environments.
iFiber One News, June 28, 2018

TheLab@Everett: Incubator space for inventors, entrepreneurs

After a year-long search, the nonprofit Northwest Innovation Resource Center has found a home for its planned innovation lab for inventors and entrepreneurs launching a product or business. TheLab@Everett, expected to open this fall, will be at 1001 N. Broadway in Everett, a stone’s throw from Washington State University Everett and Everett Community College, said Diane Kamionka, the Innovation Resource Center’s interim executive director.
Everett Herald, June 28, 2018

Kent’s Kachmarik among award winners at Highline College

Kent’s Katy Kachmarik and six of her Highline College colleagues have earned a wide range of awards for their professional excellence and achievements. The honors reflect their contributions to their communities and students at the college. In addition to Kachmarik, those honored during the 2017-18 academic year include Toni Castro, Karin Hirschfeld, Christie Knighton, Rickitia Reid, Sili Savusa and Dave Weber.
Kent Reporter, June 28, 2018

Mountlake Terrace flag once flew at Iwo Jima and Okinawa

This time of year, you see red, white and blue just about everywhere — picnic supplies, T-shirts and, of course, American flags. One very special flag has found a home on a humble wall of the Mountlake Terrace American Legion Post 234. Its ragged remnants lie flat behind a pane of glass, but the flag once waved over the noise and chaos of war, the shouts of men. It is a silent witness to the Battle of Iwo Jima and much more. ... Post Commander, retired Navy Seabee and Edmonds Community College Veterans Resource Center Director Chris Szarek was there when the flag was donated in 2015. 
My Edmonds News, June 28, 2018 

Trends | Horizons | Education

Bye, bye, chili pepper

RIP, chili pepper. confirmed last week that it is doing away with its most controversial teaching “quality” metric — “hotness,” as indicted by chili pepper icons — following a social media campaign against it. Professors have long argued that Rate My Professors is less than scientific, pointing to the hotness rating as exhibit A. Numerous studies support that assertion. A 2017 analysis of millions of online ratings of professors found, for example, that scores varied with instructor gender, discipline and perceived “easiness,” and that professors rated as attractive had higher overall teaching scores.
Inside Higher Ed, July 2, 2018

From egg freezing to tuition reimbursement, company perks are up in tight labor market

Truck drivers can get a $5,000 signing bonus to drive for Walmart. Kroger grocery baggers can get tuition reimbursed. New-mother baristas at Starbucks now can get their full salary for up to six weeks of maternity leave. And traveling Goldman Sachs bankers can ship their breast milk home for free. These new job perks are just a few signs of the hot and competitive labor market. The U.S. unemployment rate is the lowest its been in decades. That means companies from restaurants to engineering firms are being forced to find new and creative ways to lure workers. But with companies still showing signs of reluctance to raise wages too much, the competition for workers is playing out with lavish benefits. Indeed, a recent ManpowerGroup survey of companies found that 32 percent of companies are offering additional perks and benefits to overcome shortages in "talent."
NPR, July 2, 2018

More states opting to 'robo-grade' student essays by computer

Here's a little pop quiz. Multiple-choice tests are useful because: A: They're cheap to score. B: They can be scored quickly. C: They score without human bias. D: All of the above. It would take a computer about a nano-second to mark "D" as the correct answer. That's easy. But now, machines are also grading students' essays. Computers are scoring long form answers on anything from the fall of the Roman Empire, to the pros and cons of government regulations. Developers of so-called "robo-graders" say they understand why many students and teachers would be skeptical of the idea. But they insist, with computers already doing jobs as complicated and as fraught as driving cars, detecting cancer, and carrying on conversations, they can certainly handle grading students' essays.
NPR, June 30, 2018

Survey on campus supports for student veterans

More than 70 percent of college faculty and staff members do not feel that they are adequately prepared to recognize when a student veteran exhibits signs of psychological distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder. That figure was among the findings of a survey of 14,673 faculty and staff members from 20 geographically dispersed U.S. colleges and universities. Kognito, which creates mental health simulations, and the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah produced the survey and accompanying study.
Inside Higher Ed, June 29, 2018

Study: Student mental health clubs decrease stigma

Student-run mental health clubs emerging at colleges and universities seem to be helping campuses, according to a new study. Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 students at 12 California colleges three times during the 2016-17 academic year. The students were asked about their familiarity with Active Minds, a national organization that supports student mental health groups, as well as their thoughts and attitudes on mental health. The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ranked students' engagement with Active Minds on their campus — low, medium or high. At the end of the academic year, students who were in the low- and medium-engagement groups and became more involved with Active Minds had better knowledge of mental health issues and were less likely to believe stigmas about them, and they were more likely to help other students who were experiencing a mental health crisis.
Inside Higher Ed, June 29, 2018

White-supremacist propaganda on campuses rose 77% last year

White-supremacist propaganda on college campuses is rising sharply, according to data released on Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League. During the 2017-18 academic year, the ADL’s research arm, the Center on Extremism, recorded 292 instances of white-supremacist propaganda on campuses. That’s a 77-percent increase from the 165 cases it documented in the 2016-17 academic year.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 28, 2018

Should America’s universities stop taking so many international students?

The University of California at Berkeley fields more than 85,000 freshman applications every year. About 15,500 of those applicants are accepted, including 4,500 or so students who aren’t from California; roughly 9 percent of those offered admission aren’t from the United States. Global diversity has inherent value in a college setting, but at Berkeley — a public institution that receives substantial support from taxpayer dollars — some argue it can come into conflict with its founding values as a “land-grant” university established in the mid-1800s largely to serve the children of farmers and factory workers. And as panelists acknowledged in a discussion Wednesday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, some even find international-student recruitment at private universities problematic at a time when a four-year degree remains out of reach for so many Americans.
The Atlantic, June 28, 2018

Study: UW’s transfer student initiatives a model for other schools

Every year, 80 percent of community college students say they intend to transfer to a four-year college and earn a bachelor’s degree. But studies show that six years after they entered community college, only 14 percent of those students have gotten a four-year degree. That’s a missed opportunity, according to a new report by the American Talent Initiative, a partnership of some of the nation’s top public and private universities, including the University of Washington. The partnership is working to increase the number of  talented, low-income students who go to college. The initiative released a report this week that describes how fixing this “blind spot” could greatly increase the number of low-income, first generation students and students of color who earn a bachelor’s. It offers seven case studies that show ways to get more community college students to transfer, and finish, at four-year schools. Two of those case studies featured work being done at the UW.
The Seattle Times, June 28, 2018

Politics | Local, State, National

85 colleges kept aid after DeVos restored accreditor

Eighty-five colleges overseen by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools would likely have lost access to federal student aid — and most of their revenue — if Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had not opted to temporarily reinstate the accreditor earlier this year. An analysis from the Center for American Progress, out today, finds that those institutions had failed to get approval from another accrediting agency by a June 12 deadline in place since the Obama administration withdrew recognition from ACICS 18 months before. Another 61 colleges formerly approved by ACICS have closed and 111 have received recognition from a different accrediting body.
Inside Higher Ed, July 3, 2018

College transparency act builds momentum

Senator John Cornyn last week quietly signed on to a bill that would overturn the ban on a federal postsecondary student-level data system. Advocates for the College Transparency Act say the Texas Republican’s support doesn’t just mean one more co-sponsor for the legislation. The decision by Cornyn, the second-ranking GOP senator, also suggests the kind of bipartisan support that could make stronger federal data inevitable.
Inside Higher Ed, July 2, 2018

Education Department watchdog criticizes oversight of accreditors

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General last week released the results of an audit on the department's recognition processes for accrediting agencies, which serve as the gatekeepers for federal financial aid. The audit found several weaknesses, with concerns that revolved around inadequate supporting documents accreditors present to the department — a process the inspector general said is subject to "cherry-picking" by the agencies.
Inside Higher Ed, July 2, 2018

DeVos delays state authorization rules

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos confirmed last week that an expected two-year delay of state authorization rules will go ahead. The rules, which would require online colleges to tell students whether their academic programs meet state licensing requirements, will now not come into effect until July 2020. In a notice published in the Federal Register Friday, DeVos said the rule was being delayed to allow the department to "hear from the regulated community" about their concerns regarding the rules. Some university groups had described the rules as confusing and difficult to implement.
Inside Higher Ed, July 2, 2018

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Last Modified: 7/3/18 9:23 AM
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