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News Links | April 30, 2019

April 30, 2019 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Education focus: Skagit Valley College makes path for developmentally disabled students

When Jessica Lonergan was born 20 years ago with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and scoliosis, her mother Joy Caldwell was told she would never walk or talk. Now, Caldwell’s “miracle girl” is not only walking, talking and performing in school plays, she’ll also be graduating from Skagit Valley College. “It was really important to her that she was able to attend a college like her sisters,” Caldwell said. Lonergan is a student in the college’s Individualized, Next Step, Vocational Education and Social Skills Training (INVEST) program, which allows developmentally delayed students the opportunity to go to college and learn skills that will help them lead more independent lives.
Skagit Valley Herald, April 29, 2019

Free, confidential counseling at Pierce College helps students thrive

Going to college can be challenging enough. When you add in struggles with depression, anxiety, finances or other issues, students can easily become overwhelmed — putting at risk their ability to succeed in school. That’s why Pierce College offers free, confidential mental health counseling for students at both campuses. “Being human is hard,” said Megan Irby, a licensed mental health counselor based at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom (her title is faculty counselor). “We all need help from time to time. There should be no guilt or shame about seeking help.”  “We’re here to help students succeed and to provide whatever support they need,” added Jennifer Wright, faculty counselor at Pierce College Puyallup. “We meet them where they are.”
The Suburban Times, April 29, 2019

Commentary: Widening path to success for county’s youths

If you care about the future, having a path forward makes obvious sense. What does not make sense is that young people — who are our future — all too often cannot see a path forward to continue their education and to become engaged, contributing members of our community. To help K-12 students in the North Puget Sound imagine the possibilities of their own futures — and our collective future — educational leaders have banded together across institutional barriers to create an innovative collaborative called Diversifying Pathways. Designed to make access to higher education possible for students who have been underserved and underrepresented in the fields of teaching and health care, the collaborative is a consortium between University of Washington Bothell, Everett Community College and the Everett and Marysville school districts. 
Everett Herald, April 28, 2019

Foundation scholarship dinner honors donors and students

More than 150 guests gathered in Clover Park Technical College’s McGavick Conference Center last week for the 13th Annual Scholarship Celebration Dinner, as scholarship recipients and donors shared their stories and raised $50,000 to help support CPTC students in the future. The CPTC Foundation hosts a scholarship banquet each year, inviting donors to campus to meet with the students whose lives have been changed by scholarships. Guests enjoyed a dinner catered by CPTC’s Culinary Arts program and had a chance to hear from one of the event sponsors, a scholarship recipient and donor, and a college alum.
The Suburban Times, April 28, 2019

Are you looking for a career? Tri-Cities restaurants and hotels are ready to hire

Jessica Ham wants to be a pastry chef, but when she finished school she didn’t have a job lined up. When she learned about the hospitality program at Columbia Basin College, she decided the training could come in handy. So, after taking a couple of courses, and with the help of WorkSource, she landed a job at Yoke’s Bakery and plans to continue to pursue her dream. Ham’s story is just one example of how the college is working with local employers to develop a larger labor force that has training.
Tri-City Herald, April 27, 2019

Fighting Smelt take home awards from national tournament

Members of the Lower Columbia College Fighting Smelt Speech and Debate Team received several awards and honors at the Phi Rho Pi Nationals held April 8-13 in Reno, Nev. Phi Rho Pi is the national association representing two-year colleges. The week-long national tournament is considered the premier end-of the-season speech and debate competition for community colleges, according to information in a press release. Five LCC students competed in seven speech and debate categories.
The Daily News, April 27, 2019

Pierce College hires new vice president for strategic advancement

Pierce College is proud to announce the hiring of our new Vice President for Strategic Advancement, Michael Wark. Wark comes to us with 30 years of experience in higher education, most recently serving as Assistant Vice Chancellor for External Relations at University of Washington Tacoma. He holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Central Washington University. Wark began his career as an Information Specialist in College Relations at South Puget Sound Community College.
The Suburban Times, April 27, 2019

Editorial: Smart planning and teamwork is a must to ensure Tri-Cities’ booming growth is managed correctly

... On the bright side, though, we also have seen some good signs of cooperation. The collaborative spirit between Washington State University Tri-Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes and Columbia Basin College President Rebekah Woods is a good example. The two leaders were hired about the same time a little over a year ago, and meet regularly, putting the needs of the community above protecting their own turfs.
Tri-City Herald, April 27, 2019

Mark Lewis, Jones Trio to headline college jazz concert

Jazz saxophonist and flutist Mark Lewis will appear in concert with the David Jones Trio at 7 p.m. Saturday in Maier Performance Hall at Peninsula College. ... “He is an internationally acclaimed jazz artist who combines extraordinary technical virtuosity with unsurpassed integrity and personal expression,” organizers said. ... David Jones (piano/keyboards) has been the director of the Peninsula College Jazz Ensemble for a decade. 
Peninsula Daily News, April 26, 2019

‘Every tool I need to succeed’: First four men earn college degrees while incarcerated at Airway Heights

... On Thursday, Hall completed a significant first step toward his goals. During a commencement ceremony at the prison, dressed in blue caps and gowns, he and three other men became the first Airway Heights prisoners to receive two-year associate degrees from Spokane Community College. ... Christine Johnson, chancellor of the Community Colleges of Spokane, the district that includes SCC, said lawmakers were finally persuaded, after years of lobbying, that college degrees are a valuable investment for state prisoners. “We’ve got to give skills to people who are incarcerated, because when they get out, we want them to be productive and join the workforce,” Johnson said, noting that gainful employment is a key factor in reducing recidivism.
The Spokesman-Review, April 26, 2019

War cartoonist-journalist Peninsula College’s writer in residence

Joe Sacco, hailed as the creator of war reportage comics, is Peninsula College’s 2019 Writer in Residence. The cartoonist and journalist will be the featured guest at multiple events — including keynote speeches, forums and a live radio interview — from Tuesday through Thursday. ... Said Rich Riski, coordinator for the Writer in Residence Program and journalism professor: “It is an honor to have the Portland-based journalist share his skills as the 2019 Writer in Residence at Peninsula College.”
Peninsula Daily News, April 26, 2019

How students at online schools in Washington disappear from district graduation rates

... Jones, the young woman from Lakewood, said that after she dropped out of Insight School in 2014, she fell too far behind to complete her high school diploma. So she earned a GED instead. From there, she enrolled in a dropout re-engagement program called Fresh Start at Tacoma Community College and earned her associate degree. She now works for Fresh Start and hopes to enroll in a four-year bachelor’s program to pursue a career as a museum curator.
KNKX, April 24, 2019

Trends | Horizons | Education

Discrepancies in estimates on food insecurity

... “The main reason we are concerned about accuracy with these surveys is so we can effectively implement and assess the solutions,” Nikolaus said. “These surveys are commonly used to assess need on campus, screen students for services and to evaluate the impact of interventions. If the surveys aren’t accurate, then the endeavors to address college food insecurity are potentially being compromised at each of these steps.”
Inside Higher Ed, April 30, 2019

Initiative aims to boost the number of Tacoma students enrolling in and completing college

... The percentage of Tacoma public-school graduates who enrolled in a two- or four-year post-secondary program declined from 58 percent in 2010 to 49 percent in 2017. About half of the students who enrolled stuck with it through completion. Those statistics come from a new report published by the Foundation for Tacoma Students, which coordinates a community network called Graduate Tacoma focused on improving outcomes for the city’s youth.
KNKX, April, 29, 2019

Foster youth face extreme barriers to college. Here's one program that's helping.

Young people leaving foster care and trying to break out of poverty have the odds stacked against them. They’ve witnessed or experienced traumatic events, and often moved among multiple homes and schools. Every year, some 20,000 of the nation’s nearly 450,000 foster kids age out of the system, encountering an abrupt end to support at a time when many of their peers are enrolled in college. Their financial challenges, and often a lack of life skills, are compounded by the absence of a family or network to encourage them to enroll. 
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 26, 2019

Reinvesting in community colleges

Community colleges enroll large numbers of low-income students, who increasingly are students of color. And policy makers are challenging two-year colleges to increase socioeconomic mobility for those students. Yet a new report, backed by a broad range of experts, says community colleges are not being adequately funded. The report released Thursday by the Century Foundation, a nonpartisan progressive think tank, calls for greater investment in the country’s community colleges by building federal-state partnerships that incentivize states to reinvest.
Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2019

Students fall for misinformation online. Is teaching them to read like fact checkers the solution?

Traditional-age students are digital natives. Professors are trained researchers. Neither of those qualities, though, prevents people from falling for misinformation online. ... Where the scholars and students stumbled, the fact checkers succeeded. They took a very different approach, leaving the site in question to find out what the rest of the internet had to say. The researchers call this “lateral reading,” because, instead of scrolling up and down a page, the fact-checkers opened up a bunch of tabs. This, the researchers wrote at the end of the paper, “is what we should be teaching students to do as well.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2019

Graduation guides promise high schoolers a clearer path to success

... Twice a year through the fall semester of senior year, high schoolers in D.C. will now receive a document that tracks their progress towards graduation requirements and gives them information about college and career options. The district is calling it a "Guide to Graduation, College, and Career," and it's a PDF personalized for each student. The guides, which will be mailed and available online, are part of the district's efforts to boost college and career readiness among its students — and part of a larger movement across the country to make education data more available and accessible.
NPR, April 25, 2019

Politics | Local, State, National

Beyond the fight for money: a guide to what else the Washington Legislature passed for education

In the end, it wasn’t all about money. School districts, the powerful state teachers union and education advocacy groups in Washington worked until the final hours of this year’s legislative session to influence the state’s K-12 budget. But before lawmakers approved their 2019-21 spending plan Sunday and packed their bags to head home, they also spent the last few months working on significant policy changes to early learning programs, public schools in general and higher education.
The Seattle Times, April 30, 2019

Lawmakers debate future of loan relief for public workers

In 2007, the U.S. government made a promise to public service workers: Make 10 years of payments on their federal student loans and any remaining debt would be erased. But officials have largely failed to deliver. And that’s left lawmakers questioning whether to end the program or try to fix it. The Trump administration and some Republican legislators see it as a lost cause, arguing that the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is misguided and has proved too complicated for borrowers to navigate. But a group of Democrats is pushing to salvage the program, blaming its failure on poor management by the Education Department. The group, which includes six 2020 presidential contenders, proposed a new bill this month that would simplify the rules and expand the offer to a wider swath of borrowers.
PBS NewsHour, April 29, 2019

New law may make it easier for people to become teachers in Washington state

Responding to concerns that admissions tests help keep teachers of color out of the classroom, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law Wednesday to ease requirements for teacher preparation programs. State officials hope the move will grow and diversify the pool of public-school educators in Washington. Starting this summer, students aspiring to enroll in teacher-preparation programs — which are hosted through community colleges and universities — will no longer have to earn a minimum score on the state’s mandatory basic skills exam called the WEST-B.
The Seattle Times, April 28, 2019

Democrats running for president are staking out ground on free college. Here's where they stand.

In the well-populated field of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, proposals for free college are central to the party’s platform. Plans to unburden students from deep debt, which gained support during the run-up to the 2016 election, held broad appeal among many constituencies concerned about the rising cost of college — younger voters, indebted working adults, and middle-class parents.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 25, 2019

Last Modified: 1/23/20 2:51 PM
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