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News Links | December 17, 2019

December 17, 2019 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Tackling equity, diversity and success for all students

... Skagit Valley College (SVC) in Mount Vernon, Washington, addressed inequities in student achievement via a successful fundraising campaign. “We identified barriers, leveraged our creative marketing and people-connecting skills, and helped raise funds to remove those barriers,” said James Walters, SVC director of marketing and communications. He credits SVC President Thomas Keegan with setting the tone and long-term commitment to equity as a whole-systems approach with core themes of equity in access, achievement and community.
Community College Daily, Dec. 16, 2019

Washington experiments with giving women in prison limited access to the internet

Felicia Dixon is 33 years old and has been incarcerated at the Washington Corrections Center for Women since 2004. That’s a long time to not be able to use the internet. Washington prevents people in prison from using the web because of security concerns. Dixon entered prison before social media really took off. “There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, none of that, prior to me coming here. I’ve never texted,” Dixon said. “So it’s a very different world I’m going into, and not only that, I’m going into the tech world on top of it.” Dixon is one of 10 women who graduated on Dec. 10 from a web development certificate program run by Tacoma Community College at the women’s prison. She said she has an internship lined up with a tech company in Seattle for when she gets out on work release in a few months.
KNKX, Dec. 16, 2019

Parent Academy helps parents help students

... Aside from adding languages and an increase in participation numbers, the program this year also grew by partnering with Skagit Valley College to give graduates college credit. Graduates earn one elective credit through the college, said Yadira Rosales, associate vice president of Equity and Inclusion for the college. “Our goal was to begin fostering that sense of belonging,” she said. The program also fits in with the college’s mission of equity, Rosales said. “Many times parents don’t know the school system, they don’t know how to advocate for their children,” she said. “They don’t know the power of their voice.”
Skagit Valley Herald, Dec. 16, 2019

Washington, Idaho colleges bracing for 'enrollment cliff' in 2025

... That’s because the recession didn’t just cost people their homes and jobs. It also prompted many to delay – or forgo – having children, setting off a downturn in birth rates across the country. In just five years, children born during the recession will begin graduating from high school. For higher-education institutions, it will be an immense challenge to recruit and keep up enrollment from that smaller pool of prospective students. “The Enrollment Cliff of 2025. It has one of those ominous titles,” said Greg Stevens, chief strategy officer for the Community Colleges of Spokane.
The Spokesman-Review, Dec. 16, 2019

Tacoma colleges will benefit from $10 million surprise donation from late centenarian

Colleges across Western Washington, including four in Pierce County, will benefit from a $10 million donation from a late 101-year-old woman. Eva Gordon, a Seattle resident who passed away in June 2018, left the donation to 17 colleges. “The gift is one of the largest to community and technical colleges in Washington state, with each college foundation receiving approximately $550,000,” according to a press release from Seattle Colleges Foundation. Donation recipients: Bates Technical CollegeCascadia CollegeClover Park Technical CollegeEdmonds Community CollegeEverett Community College, Grays Harbor CollegeGreen River Community College, Highline Community CollegeLake Washington Institute of TechnologyNorth Seattle CollegePierce College FoundationRenton Technical CollegeSeattle Central CollegeShoreline Community CollegeSkagit Valley CollegeSouth Puget Sound Community CollegeTacoma Community College
The News Tribune, Dec. 13, 2019

Meet Buddy Molina, Associated Students of Pierce College Puyallup President

... When the couple moved from Colorado to Puyallup two years ago, he saw his opportunity to start over and begin working toward his dream career as an educator. “I was so tired of going to work at a job that meant nothing to me,” Molina said. “I was ready to build a career that made me happy and challenged me. It’s so refreshing to be able to say that I’m working toward a career that is meaningful to me.” Molina, 33, currently serves as President of the Associated Students of Pierce College Puyallup.
The Suburban Times, Dec. 13, 2019

SPSCC renames the gallery at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts for retiring trustee Leonor R. Fuller

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) announced this week that the art gallery within the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts will be renamed the “Leonor R. Fuller Gallery” in a dedication event on January 24, 2020. At their December meeting, the SPSCC Board of Trustees passed a resolution to honor the work of retiring trustee Leonor R. Fuller, an advocate for arts and education.
Thurston Talk, Dec. 13, 2019

Edmonds CC faculty picketing for pay raises

Faculty at Edmonds Community College have been gathering weekly at the school's entrance, clad in bright red shirts and hoisting signs protesting what they say are unfair wages. Dec. 10 was the last picket of the year, but Karen Fenner, a full-time instructor at the Lynnwood college, said they will pick up in the new year.
Edmonds Beacon, Dec. 12, 2019

Students celebrate First-Generation College Student Week

Edmonds Community College and Central Washington University-Lynnwood joined Nov. 6-8 to celebrate the second annual First-Generation College Student Week. The event was part of a national celebration that occurs on the anniversary of the Higher Education Act of 1965. "As a community college, we take pride in welcoming all who come to our campus," said Edmonds CC President Amit B. Singh. "We are especially proud of our first-generation students, whose voices and contributions enrich our campus and classrooms."
Edmonds Beacon, Dec. 12, 2019

Washington board awards $2 million to help financially struggling students

The state of Washington awarded $2 million to colleges Wednesday to help students struggling financially. The money is to help those students stay in school and complete their degrees, according to the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, which awarded the money. ... Centralia CollegeClark College, Edmonds Community College, Grays Harbor College, Green River College, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Lower Columbia College, North Seattle CollegePeninsula College, Pierce College District, Seattle Central College, Shoreline Community College, Skagit Valley College, South Puget Sound Community CollegeTacoma Community College, Walla Walla Community College, Whatcom Community College and Yakima Valley College.
KATU 2, Dec. 11, 2019

From MentorLinks mentee to mentor

Louise Petruzzella was an adjunct instructor of construction technology when she was selected for a $20,000 MentorLinks grant in 2014. The two years of mentoring and professional development she received through MentorLinks, she says, changed her career trajectory and have helped Shoreline Community College obtain several federal grants. “So much has opened, just from this tiny little entrée to MentorLinks,” she explained during a recent MentorLinks meeting in Washington, D.C. At that October meeting, Petruzzella met the faculty team from Iowa Lakes Community College that she will mentor for the next two years.
Community College Daily, Dec. 10, 2019

Trends | Horizons | Education

Since 2013, fewer Americans think college is important

According to a new Gallup poll, about half of Americans consider a college education very important, but the percentage of those that agree with the sentiment has decreased since 2013. The poll found that 51 percent of adults in the U.S. believe that a college education is "very important." This is down from 70 percent in 2013. The younger the respondent, the less inclined they were to feel a college education is important, the results show, a change from 2013. For 18- to 29-year-olds, only 41 percent found college important, down from 74 percent in 2013.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 16, 2019

Feds drop experiment on competency-based ed

The U.S. Department of Education has discontinued experiments on the disbursement of federal aid in competency-based education programs and ones that are a hybrid of competency-based and traditional academic programs, several sources said. The department did not respond to a request for comment.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 16, 2019

Textbook spending down

Average student spending on course materials and college textbooks continues to decline, according to new survey data from research firm Student Monitor. Students reported spending an average of $205 on course materials in the fall semester of 2019, down from $265 in 2018. ... The AAP attributed the decline in spending to the increased availability of lower-cost digital textbooks, rental programs, subscription deals and open educational resources.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 16, 2019

Next Gen is now - but is the Department ready?

... The initiative was announced two years ago, but only at the conference did it finally become clearer how Next Gen has taken shape. The most important product of Next Gen is, a single website that consolidates student aid resources and data from four other sources:, a website for students, parents, and borrowers to access information about different financial aid programs,, where applicants create their FSA accounts,, where they can manage their loan and repayment, and, the financial financial aid database, where students can access information about their loan debt. With this one-stop website, students, parents and borrowers can manage all aspects of their experience with federal financial aid, from applying, to tracking, and repaying their loans.
New America, Dec. 16, 2019

Private foundations exempt from FOIA in Virginia, court says

The foundation for the public George Mason University is not covered by the state’s public records laws, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled Thursday. If Virginia’s General Assembly wanted nonprofit foundations that exist to support public colleges and universities to be covered under the state’s Freedom of Information Act, it would have named them as public bodies under the law, the court’s opinion said. But it has not done so. ... The opinion upholds a lower court ruling in Virginia. Courts in states across the country have issued differing rulings on the question of whether private foundations are subject to public records laws, the AP reported.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 13, 2019

Politics | Local, State, National

Washington state inspires federal bill to make it easier to help homeless students and their families

... Traditionally, housing authorities charged with connecting families to safe and affordable housing and the school districts that teach those families’ children don’t often coordinate their work. But pilot projects between housing authorities and school districts in the evergreen state have shown promising signs that those partnerships can make a difference for youth experiencing homelessness — improving both their classroom performance and their living situations. That’s why U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced legislation last week that would incentivize similar partnerships across the country.
The Seattle Times, Dec. 16, 2019

Ruling narrows Title IX obligations

An appellate court’s decision could minimize colleges and universities’ responsibility to provide remedies for victims of sexual misconduct on campus. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that Michigan State University and one of its senior administrators cannot be held liable for student victims’ emotional distress after seeing their alleged perpetrators on campus because the interactions did not lead to further sexual harassment or assault, according to an opinion issued Thursday.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 13, 2019

Free 2-year college proposal in VA

Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia, a Democrat, on Thursday unveiled a budget proposal for $145 million over two years to make community college tuition free for low- and middle-income students who pursue jobs in high-demand fields. Under the plan, eligible students would receive state support to cover tuition, fees and books. The state also would provide "wraparound financial assistance" to help students at the lowest income levels with expenses for food, transportation and childcare.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 13, 2019

Trump signs order on campus anti-Semitism

President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order focused on anti-Semitism on college campuses, drawing praise from some quarters and concerns from others about implications for free speech on campuses. The executive order instructs agencies to "consider" a definition of anti-Semitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in investigating complaints of discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The IHRA definition is controversial in higher education because it encompasses some forms of anti-Israel speech.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 12, 2019

Democratic bill aims to block Title IX rule changes pushed by Trump Administration

A bill introduced in the House Tuesday aims to block Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from implementing changes she's seeking in Title IX rules. Four Democratic congresswomen introduced the legislation, as the Department of Education prepares to revise Title IX rules that govern how colleges and universities that receive federal funding handle sexual assault.
NPR, Dec. 10, 2019

Accessible instructional materials bill reintroduced, again

Legislation promoting equal access to instructional materials for students with disabilities was reintroduced to the U.S. House of Representatives last week by Congressmen Phil Roe, a Tennessee Republican, and Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat. The Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education Act, also known as the AIM HIGH Act, would create a commission to develop voluntary accessibility criteria for instructional materials and educational technology.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 10, 2019

FUTURE Act passes House

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday afternoon that would permanently fund historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, as well as simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and eliminate paperwork for income-driven student loan repayment plans. The so-called FUTURE Act passed the House in September but was amended by the U.S. Senate education committee to include elements beyond its original scope, which was limited to making permanent $255 million in annual funding for HBCUs. This latest attempt at compromise by Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the education committee, quickly passed through the Senate last week.
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 10, 2019

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