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News Links | December 10, 2019

December 10, 2019 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Peninsula College establishes scholarship honoring Jamye Wisecup

To honor the memory of a fixture in local and regional emergency preparedness efforts, Peninsula College has established a fund and scholarships for those interested in the field. College officials announced last week the establishment of the Jamye Wisecup Memorial Scholarship/Program Endowment that will provide scholarships for the Homeland Security Emergency Management (HSEM) Certificate or Associates Degree program at the school.
Peninsula Daily News, Dec. 9, 2019

Guest musicians join Peninsula College’s Jingle Jazz lineup

A new twist is in store for a holiday musical favorite. Some of the area’s most popular performers will join in on Peninsula College’s annual Jingle Jazz concert set for 7 p.m. Thursday in the college’s Little Theater, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles. “There’s always great singing, but this year is different,” said college vocal jazz instructor Elaine Gardner-Morales, referring to a lineup of guest performers Sarah Shea, Dawn Martin and Buck Ellard who will join Peninsula College’s vocal jazz students on stage.
Peninsula Daily News, Dec. 9, 2019

Dona Ponepinto appointed to TCC Board of Trustees

Dona Ponepinto, President and CEO of United Way of Pierce County (UWPC), has been appointed to the Tacoma Community College Board of Trustees by Gov. Jay Inslee. She replaces board member and TCC alumni James Curtis, whose term expired earlier this year. ... “I am of the belief that having access to higher education, be it four year institution, technical school or community colleges, is key to opening doors and opportunities for all,” Ponepinto said. “Tacoma Community College has a solid reputation for providing quality educational programs to students of all ages. I have been impressed with the variety of programs and resources to assist students.
The Suburban Times, Dec. 9, 2019

Whatcom Community Education classes make the perfect gift

There’s something for everyone on your holiday list in Whatcom Community College’s Community & Continuing Education winter schedule. The winter schedule is packed with over 60 new classes and many long-standing favorites. From tantalizing food and wine classes and inspiring art classes to exciting travel courses and unforgettable road trips, the gift of lifelong learning is the gift that keeps on giving.
Whatcom Talk, Dec. 9, 2019

Bellevue College lands pair of federal grants

Bellevue College has announced receipt of two federal grants: One, a nearly $2.1 million award to improve retention, completion, and transfer rates of students while closing achievement gaps experienced by underserved populations; and another of nearly $2 million to help community and technical college educators nationwide with industry partnerships that improve students’ work-ready skills. Bellevue College will receive the Title III, Strengthening Institution Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a total of approximately $2.1 million over five years. The grant will fund about 66 percent of the planned student support improvement efforts in the first year of the grant. Bellevue College and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges have allocated an additional $222,000.
425 Business, Dec. 9, 2019

Clark College Trustees vote to give interim president authority to act on faculty strike

The Clark College Board of Trustees on Monday gave its interim president the authority to ask a Clark County Superior Court judge to intervene in its faculty union’s proposed strike. The Association for Higher Education voted unanimously on Saturday to allow its executive committee to call a strike at any time. The union represents about 400 full-time and part-time faculty, more than 300 of whom were at the weekend meeting. But whether faculty actually do walk out, and whether Interim President Sandra Fowler-Hill does file for an injunction, remains to be seen.
The Columbian, Dec. 9, 2019

Foundation director’s one word to describe EvCC: ‘Opportunity’

In college, books can be expensive. Araceli Daza knew that when she enrolled at Everett Community College. But the sticker shock is still real, she said. Since last year, she’s had to buy 17 books, adding up to hundreds of dollars, she said. She’s going to community college to save money. She doesn’t want to worry about loans, and doesn’t want to worry her parents — even though they’re more than supportive of her academic career. Luckily, a scholarship from the Everett Community College Foundation erased those worries. Thanks to the fund, Daza said she’s able to buy books and pay some of her tuition. And now she can focus on her academics.
Everett Herald, Dec. 8, 2019

Edmonds CC awarded more than $230,000 in grants to address student homelessness, emergency needs

Edmonds Community College was recently awarded two grants totaling more than $230,000 by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to support students experiencing homelessness and those in need of emergency assistance. “Too often we look at education success beginning and ending with academics, but it’s so much more,” said Edmonds CC President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “Many factors are involved, and these need to be addressed as part of a more holistic approach.
My Edmonds News, Dec. 7, 2019

Bates Technical College’s welding program brings Old Man Winter to life at Fantasy Lights

Thousands of twinkling lights will illuminate a frosted face at this year’s Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park. Bates Technical College welding students crafted an enormous Old Man Winter as part of the college’s contribution to the holiday drive-through gift of lights. The 14-foot tall creation will blow sparkles of snowflakes through the wintery landscape. The planning for the college’s display begins much earlier than you might guess and takes students from several programs to contribute to the shimmering sights and jolly sounds of this Northwest tradition. 
The Suburban Times, Dec. 7, 2019

Facing budget shortfall, Wenatchee Valley College will be laying off 20 employees

Facing a $1 million budget shortfall, Wenatchee Valley College announced Thursday it’s laying off 20 employees beginning Jan. 31. In a news release late yesterday afternoon, WVC President Jim Richardson said “I understand this is a painful time for our campus and in no way do these layoffs reflect the quality and dedication of the employees who are affected.”
NCW Life, Dec. 6, 2019

Brian Mittge commentary: From Newaukum Hill to the White House

Laura Dowling went from a childhood in a lush garden overlooking Chehalis to a career of “floral diplomacy” as the official White House florist for six years of the Obama administration. It was a delight to talk with her recently about the new Christmas wreath postage stamps she designed. ... After graduating from W.F. West in 1977, she attended Centralia College (which named her its Distinguished Alumnus in 2013.)
The Daily Chronicle, Dec. 6, 2019

Drone school: A bird's eye view of Yakima

... For newcomers, currently enrolled college-age students, or even folks already in the field, Yakima Valley College offers a UAS course aimed at awarding certification in the subject. The new course started this fall and currently has a small enrollment. YVC Agriculture Department chairman Trent Ball expects that number to grow given the increased use of drones in areas such as agriculture, real estate, law enforcement, sales and advertising, and manufacturing. “Our advisory board has been discussing this program for quite some time,” Ball said. “The timing was just right to launch it now.” That timing included a partnership with Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake that made the UAS classes possible. BBCC was awarded a National Science Foundation grant and required to identify partners across the state. Through that grant, YVC is able to offer online courses that are taught primarily by BBCC staff.
Yakima Herald, Dec. 5, 2019

WWCC's squeezes 'Romeo & Juliet' for comedy

‘Romeo and Juliet’ a comedy? The Walla Walla Community College production of William Shakespeare's “Romeo & Juliet,” promises to be funny. “This will not be your average tale of star-crossed lovers ‘filled with woe.’ The fact is William Shakespeare wrote far more comedy into this play than is usually squeezed out in production,” according to a release. “Without disturbing its text, we are going to squeeze this one for all the laughs we can find. We promise, this will be the funniest ‘tragedy’ you’ve experienced in some time. We think Will would approve.”
Union-Bulletin, Dec. 5, 2019

Chamber awards banquet brings tears, memories

Wednesday night’s Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce 137th Annual Awards Banquet was full of grateful recipients, fond memories of the Walla Walla Valley and its people, and perhaps more tears than expected. ... Tony McGuire received the Walla Walla Community College award for his work as an educator for inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary. McGuire is a national speaker specializing in education for those with adverse backgrounds, and he’s also a volunteer firefighter.
Union-Bulletin, Dec. 5, 2019

WVC music concert features world renowned musicians

Wenatchee Valley College music department and the WVC Foundation are partnering up to produce a concert in the Grove Recital Hall in the Music and Arts Center (MAC) on Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m. The event is coordinated with Learn from the Masters Music Outreach (LMMO). “We would love to see more music in our community and more music in the Grove Recital Hall which is a beautiful space in one of our newer buildings, the MAC,” said Rhia Foster, program director. “We’re really excited to be hosting more and more things to invite the community in to enjoy music but also to see some of the beauty of this building.”
560 KPQ, Dec. 5, 2019

Trends | Horizons | Education

Hitting 40% completion

The completion rate of public two-year college students has reached 40 percent for the first time since the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center started tracking such data. The six-year completion rate of students who entered two-year colleges in 2013 hit 40.8 percent, according to a new report from the center. The six-year rates for the previous years’ cohort were 39.2 percent (2012 cohort) and 37.5 percent (2011 cohort).
Community College Daily, Dec. 10, 2019

Blackboard behind bars

The United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation. About 2.3 million Americans are in prison or jail, over half of them in state prison. For some reform advocates, bringing higher education to prison is, though short of an antidote to mass incarceration, a salve on its wounds. That education increasingly includes online models. ... In some states, corrections departments and colleges that want to add postsecondary education programs behind bars are turning to online instruction. Though digital programs may be easier to scale, challenges inherent to prison ed, as well concerns about quality, still remain.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 10, 2019

Student loans a lot like the subprime mortgage debacle, watchdog says

... Now he's watching student loans, "and there are a lot of similarities," he says. "You've had an absolutely explosive growth in the amount of student debt. In 15 years it's gone from about $300 billion to now $1.6 trillion." Calhoun's the president of the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending. For decades he's been keeping watch to protect people from reckless lending. He says that with student loans, just like with the housing crisis, there's no consideration about whether the person getting the loan will be able to repay it.
NPR, Dec. 9, 2019

A look at Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islander students

The total number of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) in U.S. higher education has steadily dropped this decade, especially in two-year institutions, according to a new report. In the 2016-17 academic year, total NHPI enrollment was 67,845 — a 17 percent decline compared to 2012-13 when the number was 81,956. Among two-year colleges, there was a 30 percent drop over the same period, from 41,210 to 28,870, said the report, which was a collaboration between the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholars and the Institute for Immigration, Globalization and Education at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Community College Daily, Dec. 6, 2019

Politics | Local, State, National

Eyeing populist challenge from the left, Trump seeks plan to tackle student debt

President Trump is demanding aides present a plan to tackle student debt and the rising cost of a college education, worried that he has no response to expansive plans from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats he may face on the ballot next year, several administration officials said.
But a battle is underway inside the administration over what to propose, with little appetite for the big spending that Democrats want and no success identifying a more modest plan that will satisfy the president, aides said.
The Washington Post, Dec. 9, 2019

Using retirement savings to pay down loans

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, is proposing that Americans be able to use retirement funds to pay off student loan debt. The Higher Education Loan Payment and Enhanced Retirement, or HELPER, Act, would let people take up to $5,250 from a 401(k) or IRA plan to pay off student loans, as well as pay tuition and expenses for a spouse or dependent, according to a news release. The withdrawals would be tax- and penalty-free under Paul's plan.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 6, 2019

Who should get free college? Buttigieg ad inflames key divide among democrats

The divide among Democrats over "Medicare for All" has dominated the policy conversation in the 2020 Democratic primary. But another rift has opened among Democrats, this one about college affordability. The question: Who should get to go to college for free? South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg jabbed at his more liberal opponents in a new ad airing in Iowa. It doesn't name other candidates, but it's clear he's taking aim at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who have pitched plans making free public college available to all.
NPR, Dec. 6, 2019

Sen. Patty Murray aims to help students experiencing homelessness with new bill

There's been a steep increase in the number of students experiencing homelessness in Washington in the past decade, and research shows that students without stable housing often struggle in school. Now, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray said she plans to introduce a bill aimed at helping these students. More than 40,000 students experienced homelessness in the 2017-18 school year in Washington.
KNKX, Dec. 6, 2019

Last Modified: 1/23/20 2:50 PM
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