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News Links | February 26, 2019

February 26, 2019 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Skagit Valley College student honored with Transforming Lives Award

Until recently, Rachelle Himmelman used herself as an example for how she didn’t want her children to be. The 48-year-old mother of four had dropped out of high school two credits shy of graduating, hadn’t pursued higher education and said she wasn’t living the life she wanted. “I’ve had lots of barriers in my life,” Himmelman said. “I wanted to make something of myself for my kids.” In 2017, Himmelman set herself — and her family — up for change when she enrolled at Skagit Valley College. In January, she was honored as one of five community and technical college students statewide to receive an annual Transforming Lives Award.
Skagit Valley Herald, Feb. 25, 2019

Half-price tuition? Seattle Pacific University is offering Seattle Promise students a break

Seattle Pacific University, a private Christian school in north Queen Anne, is offering a tuition break to students who transfer into the university after earning a community-college degree through Seattle’s new, tuition-free community-college program. Beginning in autumn 2020, SPU will give transfer students who earned a two-year degree at one of three community colleges (North Seattle College, Seattle Central College and South Seattle College) in the Seattle Promise program at least 50 percent off tuition, in the form of scholarships and grants that do not need to be paid back.
The Seattle Times, Feb. 23, 2019

Free college in Washington not likely, but many plans would help with the cost

Free college for everyone may not be coming to Washington, but many students could see the cost of their post-secondary education reduced – although by just how much is still up in the air. The Legislature will consider a refined list of bills intended to increase accessibility of higher education, including adding money to scholarship programs and alerting students of cheaper course materials. ... Accreditation standards for programs that provide college classes to high school students would be updated under a pair of bills. One would require community and technical colleges offering concurrent enrollment to be nationally accredited within the decade. “These students should not only have access to college level credit, they should have access to college level classes,” said Ruben Flores, of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
The Spokesman-Review, Feb. 23, 2019

Spokane Community College’s Black Student Union talks Black History, race and identity

As KREM 2’s Black History Month series concludes I sat down with Spokane Community College's Black Student Union to talk about some of the issues the African American community still faces. And we got their perspective on how we can create understanding and acceptance among all of us. We interrupted their regularly scheduled BSU meeting to have an important conversation. These conversations of race, identity and equality are happening all around us, but even more so this time of year when people are faced with their past while trying to navigate their present and looking to their future.
KREM 2, Feb. 22, 2019

LCC four-year degree expected to counter teacher shortage, boost local economy

Lower Columbia College’s first four-year degree will create an employee pipeline for Cowlitz County schools to cope with a statewide teacher shortage, according to local school officials. The bachelor of applied science degree will prepare students for jobs as K-8 teachers, for which a teaching certificate is needed, as well as early learning and preschool positions without certificates. It was inspired by a local need for qualified teachers, said LCC president Chris Bailey.
The Daily News, Feb. 22, 2019

State funding to increase mental- and behavioral-health workforce recruitment proposed

Programs to recruit and train behavioral and mental health professionals could receive $1.1 million in the next fiscal year under proposed legislation. Washington state has two health education centers that recruit students from rural and under-served communities into health professions. These centers are located at Eastern Washington University and Whatcom Community College, and are funded by the state Department of Health and the University of Washington.
Sequim Gazette, Feb. 22, 2019

Food & drink: College cooking class applies pressure

“I have seven pressure cookers,” instructor Edurne Garcia-Andre confessed to a classroom filled with attentive continuing education students at Clark College’s Columbia Tech Center campus on a rainy Thursday night. Why does anyone need that many pressure cookers? This, along with many other pressure cooker- and cooking-related questions, was answered with aplomb by Garcia-Andre as she briskly made her way through a thick booklet of recipes.
The Columbian, Feb. 22, 2019

Centralia College professor helps inmates make connection between math and music

The first part of Dr. Preston Kiekel’s week looks like that of the average professor. It’s the weekend when he marches to the beat of his own drum. Kiekel leads a variety of math-related classes each Monday-Thursday while school is in session at Centralia College ranging from statistics to industrial mathematics. Most Fridays and Saturdays, Kiekel can be found instead at Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Littlerock, teaching inmates there as part of  the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program.
The Daily Chronicle, Feb. 21, 2019

The smallest of details matter the most in EdCC exhibit

From a distance, Naoko Morisawa’s mosaic artwork looks like oil paintings, stained glass or maybe piece quilts. But the details — and effort that went into them — are best examined up close. Using thousands of very small slices of natural and oil-dyed wood chips and cardboard on stained wood panels, the award-winning Seattle artist created abstract patterns with vibrant and contrasting colors. Her work is on display through March 15 at Edmonds Community College’s art gallery.
The Everett Herald, Feb. 21, 2019

From convict to college, Skagit man pays it forward

He was given $40 and a bus ticket when he left the Skagit County jail. Now Kyle Von Stroberg has graduated from community college, found work and is helping other convicted felons achieve the same. While in jail, he met counselors from Skagit Valley College who helped him enter the program that has changed his life. “I went to school and staying busy kept me clean which kept me on the right path,” Stroberg said. Now he’s a graduate of the Marine Technology Center, where he learned to fix boats. Dozens of other former inmates have also gone through the program. The college's 'Student Success Navigator' Aaron Kirk said it has made a profound difference in their lives.
K5 News, Feb. 21, 2019

Trends | Horizons | Education

Next on college completion agenda: Equity

Colleges have been focused for more than a decade on accelerating the completion movement to increase graduation rates and improve student outcomes. Community colleges especially have worked on improving career opportunities for their students, reforming remedial education, encouraging students to attend full-time and offering tuition-free programs. But achievement gaps between black, Hispanic and low-income students and their white and wealthier peers persist even as each group continues to graduate at better rates. Achieving the Dream, the national organization focused on student success, is encouraging colleges to put racial and wealth equity at the center of their efforts to help more students graduate.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 25, 2019

Building a career, one academic step at a time

... “The four-year undergraduate experience is often out of reach for large segments of our population,” said Kemi Jona, associate dean for digital innovation and enterprise learning at Northeastern University in Boston. Moreover, he said, “the idea of getting that one degree and you’re set for life doesn’t really hold water anymore. Then the question becomes, ‘how do we make it easier for working adults and people who need to pick up new kinds of tools and technologies?’” The answer: stackable credits, which Cassandra Horii, director of Caltech’s center for teaching, learning and outreach, defined as “a more bite-sized piece of education that stands on its own and has value in the workplace.” But “if you continue on your educational trajectory, that piece fully counts towards your next educational step.”
The New York Times, Feb. 22, 2019

What single moms need to succeed in college

Community college graduation rates are poor, but they’re even worse for single mothers. Only 8 percent of single mothers enrolled in an associate or bachelor’s degree program graduate within six years, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. A new initiative announced Wednesday by former second lady Jill Biden hopes to improve that rate. Biden, a full-time English professor at Northern Virginia Community College, said the Community College Women Succeed initiative will help colleges learn how to help adult women and single mothers graduate from two-year institutions across the country.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 22, 2019

Politics | Local, State, National

Contract awarded for new student borrower website

The Education Department expects that student borrowers will soon use a single website to manage and make payments on their student loans -- a change its pursued during two different administrations. The Office of Federal Student Aid this week awarded a five-year contract to Accenture Federal Services to handle the new web portal and other customer service functions, including a single intake center for borrowers who call or email with questions about their accounts.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 22, 2019

House committee plans hearings on higher ed

Lawmakers on the House Education and Labor Committee said Thursday that they are planning a series of bipartisan hearings as part of an effort to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The five hearings will focus on the cost of college, accountability for institutions, degree completion, the role of community colleges and minority-serving institutions, and innovation. The bipartisan process is a departure from the previous Congress, in which House Republicans introduced an ambitious proposal to revamp the higher ed law called the PROSPER Act largely focused on GOP priorities. Months before the midterm elections last year, House Democrats introduced their own proposal to update the HEA.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 22, 2019

Simplifying higher ed accountability -- or complicating it?

The rules that hold most colleges accountable for the debt their students leave campus with are widely regarded as broken. A Government Accountability Office report last year found that colleges easily game standards applying to loan default rates. Policy shops and lawmakers, meanwhile, have spent years debating the right approach about the degree to which institutions should be on the hook for poor results on student loans. Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee, this month released the latest gambit to overhaul federal accountability for colleges. He proposed in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute that a single accountability system measuring students’ progress paying back their loans should apply to all colleges and majors.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 22, 2019

Last Modified: 2/26/19 8:45 AM
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