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News Links | February 28, 2019

February 28, 2019 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

State community college faculty salaries fall behind peer states, K-12

When it comes to salaries, Washington community college faculty are falling behind their peers in other states and the K-12 public school system. But raising salaries to catch up would likely bring financial hardship for these colleges — unless the Legislature steps in. “All the faculty agree we want raises, but not at the risk of closing down the college, because then we lose our jobs,” said Brad Benjamin, president of the Lower Columbia College faculty union. ... A pay gap is also present between community college faculty and K-12 teachers, making it harder to compete for quality instructors, said John Boesenberg, executive deputy director of business operations for the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.
The Daily News, Feb. 27, 2019

Does higher ed need to rediscover generosity?

... Goldie has been absent from this newsletter for a few weeks while she works on a project related to skills gaps. For a peek at some of her findings (and, if she's being honest, her last-minute reporting), tune in Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m., when she moderates a Capitol Hill policy briefing that will discuss how colleges and employers can better tailor their programs to meet the needs of today's students and today's economy. The discussion will feature Jan Yoshiwara, executive director of the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, Scot McLemore, manager of talent acquisition at Honda North America, and Sydney Mantell, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is sponsored by Higher Learning Advocates, which will host a livestream via its Facebook page.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 26, 2019

Big Bend CC inducts honor society students

Big Bend Community College’s honor society chapter inducted 10 new members in a ceremony Feb. 19. Rho Zeta chapter leaders also introduced new advisor David Mayhugh. Lindsay Groce, BBCC chemistry instructor, was the guest speaker. ... “Don’t be afraid to have goals and start on a path,” Groce said. “But it’s important to diverge when needed, to take advantage of opportunities along the way.”
Columbia Basin Herald, Feb. 25, 2019

TCC offers new Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management degree

Graduates of professional-technical degrees programs (also known as Associate of Applied Science degrees) now have access to bachelor-level education with the new Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree in Applied Management at Tacoma Community College (TCC). This new degree is the latest and third bachelor’s degree offered by TCC and the first Applied Management degree in Pierce County. The Applied Management degree launches in the fall of 2019. TCC is now accepting applications. 
The Suburban Times, Feb. 25, 2019

Peninsula College students at work on production tackling opioid epidemic

Peninsula College drama students are preparing a student-written production that highlights the opioid epidemic on the Olympic Peninsula in an effort to spread a message of hope for those struggling with addiction. As students rehearsed “OPioids” on Wednesday, which is modeled after a 12-step meeting, recovering heroin addict Leif Ellis was there to provide tips to make the play as realistic possible.
Peninsula Daily News, Feb. 25, 2019

Trends | Horizons | Education

Poll: Voters support funding for skills training

A national survey of 1,000 likely voters in the 2020 general election found that 93 percent of respondents supported increasing investment in skills and technical training. ALG, a polling firm, conducted the survey for the National Skills Coalition, a nonprofit group that backs increased federal spending on short-term postsecondary training.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 28, 2019

Changing of the guard

Community colleges have evolved over the past few decades from institutions that rarely focused on their relationships to local economies to being seen as economic engines capable of producing new generations of skilled workers to meet the demands of local and regional labor markets. Two nationally known community college presidents, one in Miami and the other in New York, have been at the forefront of that change by calling for a higher education system that, among other things, is more racially equitable, that closes achievement gaps and is more affordable and accessible to low-income students. Now, after more than five decades between them of leading the way, they are both stepping down.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 28, 2019

Court rules against U.S. in loan-forgiveness suit

A federal district judge last week said the Education Department must reconsider the cases of three lawyers who sued in 2016 over their eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The American Bar Association sued the department on behalf of the three plaintiffs and a fourth lawyer who said they were previously led to believe they qualified for the benefit based on employment certification forms issued by their loan servicer, Fed Loan Servicing, until an apparent change in policy on qualifying employers. Congress enacted Public Service Loan Forgiveness in 2007 to allow borrowers of federal loans working in public sector or for certain employers in the nonprofit sector to have the remainder of their loans forgiven after making 120 qualifying monthly payments in an income-based repayment plan.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 26, 2019

Editorial: Higher education is a promise worth keeping

Past editorial boards have written in support of the investment made by our state in higher education, and more recently we’ve expressed optimism in an Olympic College Foundation project to guarantee college tuition for any local student. Now comes an idea at the state level cut from the same philosophy, which would solidify an existing state program to further ensure that Washington students are able to afford the post-secondary education — whether university, trades or certification program — that is necessary for success. We reference a bill, HB 1340, that hasn’t passed out of a committee or been up for a vote, sponsored in part by the 23rd District's Rep. Drew Hansen, a fierce advocate for local education and chairman of the Legislature's College and Workforce Development Committee. The legislation would create the Washington Promise Scholarship, which would essentially replace the old state need grants that provided financial aid to students from families making 70 percent or less of the state’s median income.
The Kitsap Sun, Feb. 25, 2019

Politics | Local, State, National

New twist in federal funding for OER

... Durbin and Murray on Monday sent another letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos expressing “extreme disappointment” at the department’s approach to the OER grant funding. They called the department’s decision to fund two projects from last year’s competition “a flagrant violation” of their directives. They alleged that the department “intentionally ignored Congress” and neglected transparency. And they requested that the department clarify its rationale and turn over unfunded applications and communications about the grant program to Congress in the next month and a half.
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 26, 2019

The college-affordability crisis is uniting the 2020 Democratic candidates

Bernie Sanders has called for tuition-free college. Julián Castro has signaled support for it as well. Elizabeth Warren has pushed, for years, for “debt-free” college. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand have signed on to legislation that could make college debt-free. Even Amy Klobuchar, who notably shirked “free college for all” during a CNN town hall in February, signed on to a metered free-college proposal last year. All together, the field seems to have converged on a consensus: A free-college proposal—or an answer about why they don’t have one—is something of a prerequisite for Democratic candidates hoping to challenge Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
The Atlantic, Feb. 26, 2019

Last Modified: 1/23/20 2:49 PM
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