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News Links | January 17, 2019

January 17, 2019 by SBCTC Communications

System News | Opinion

Responding to a call for help

A family of five with its belongings packed into a car arrives in the parking lot. A woman in a tattered coat, clutching an apple, maneuvers in line to shop for donated shoes. A man in a weathered, heavy jacket, carrying a bag of new-found necessities, mumbles as he sips a cup of coffee, waiting to seek advice for shelter services. Just a sample of scenes last Saturday from Green River College’s Mel Lindbloom Student Union Building, a hub of activity and hope for the many of the area’s homeless who came by car, bus and foot to find help. The United Way Family Resource Exchange on the Auburn campus provided respite and answers to those who are homeless or on the cusp of it.
Tukwila Reporter, Jan. 16, 2019

Training and higher ed is a sound investment for our state

The 2019 legislative session will be challenging for legislators who must weigh many competing and important priorities, while drafting the next, two-year state budget. One thing that most everyone can agree on is the need for good, family-wage jobs, most of which require training and education beyond high school. This is true here in Kitsap County and across the state. ... At Olympic College, we have robust programs in advanced manufacturing fields like composites technology, which is used to manufacture airplane wings, prosthetics, boat hulls and much more. Tried and true programs like welding are filling a need for workers at the region’s largest employer, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, and private industry as well.
Kitsap Sun, Jan. 15, 2019

Skagit Valley College celebrates new diversity center

Skagit Valley College celebrated Monday the opening of its new diversity center, which President Tom Keegan called a symbol of the college’s future. “It’s a space that is a statement about our values of equity and diversity,” Keegan said. “I think it’s just a small seed. It’s the beginning of something greater.” Located in the Gary Knutzen Cardinal Center, the diversity center is designed to be a safe space for the college’s diverse student body. 
Skagit Valley Herald, Jan. 15, 2019

Op-Ed: It’s time for the Legislature to invest in training and education beyond high school

... Fortunately, there is one thing on which everyone can agree: people need good, well-paying jobs, and the majority of those jobs require training and education beyond high school. This is true across the state, whether legislators represent urban or rural areas and whether they are Democrats or Republicans. ... At Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College, and Western Washington University, between 33-36 percent of our students are the first generation in their family to attend college, and that experience will change the trajectory of not only the lives of those students, but the lives of their families and the ways they can contribute to the communities around them.
The Bellingham Business Journal, Jan. 15, 2019

1st District state legislators preview upcoming session

Cascadia College hosted a question-and-answer session with State 1st District legislators on Jan. 9, giving lawmakers an opportunity to preview some of the work they hope to accomplish in the new year. Eric Murphy, president of Bothell-based Cascadia College, served as moderator for the event. The 1st District includes Bothell, part of Mountlake Terrace and Kirkland. State Sen. Guy Palumbo, Rep. Shelley Kloba and Rep. Derek Stanford — all Democrats –were part of a panel covering topics that included education funding, transportation and environmental concerns.
MLTnews, Jan. 12, 2019

Trends | Horizons | Education

Survey: Employers want 'soft skills' from graduates

Employers want college graduates who have “soft skills,” such as being a good listener or thinking critically, but they have difficulty finding such candidates, according to a new report. The survey was conducted online in September by Morning Consult for Cengage, an educational technology and services company, among more than 500 hiring managers and 150 more human resources professionals. More than 1,500 current and former college students from two- and four-year institutions were also surveyed. The companies found that the most in-demand talent among employers was listening skills -- 74 percent of employers indicated this was a skill they valued. This was followed by attention to detail (70 percent) and effective communication (69 percent).
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 17, 2019

Ending ban on pell grants for prisoners is said to yield 'cascade' of benefits

For 25 years, almost no pathway has existed for incarcerated Americans to receive Pell Grants, the most widely used form of financial aid for low-income students. Reopening that pathway, a new report says, would allow hundreds of thousands of people to take college courses, creating “a cascade of economic benefits.” The report, published on Wednesday by the Georgetown Law School’s Center on Poverty and Inequality and the Vera Institute of Justice, describes a domino effect: With access to Pell Grants, it says, more incarcerated people could afford to take college classes while in prison. When they are released, they’d be less likely to reoffend and more likely to look for work. Businesses would have a larger pool of potential job applicants, the report says, and more former prisoners would get better-paying jobs.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 16, 2019

Takedown of online education

Online education has not lived up to its potential, according to a new report, which said fully online course work contributes to socioeconomic and racial achievement gaps while failing to be more affordable than traditional courses. The report aims to make a research-driven case discouraging federal policy makers from pulling back on consumer protections in the name of educational innovation. ... However, several experts who read the report said it relied mostly on old data and was overly broad in its conclusions. The paper indiscriminately trashes online education, said Fiona Hollands, associate director and senior researcher at the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. “It's almost all old data, old news and not very even-handed,” she said via email, adding that the report “reads as advocacy more than research and conveniently skips out on some of the more recent and positive stories for students in online learning.”
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 16, 2019

Politics | Local, State, National

Roiled over rules on regional accreditors

Trump administration officials say that the rules governing college accreditors have become too prescriptive and too limiting of innovation in higher ed -- a problem they’re trying to tackle by overhauling the regulations for the higher ed watchdogs. But a proposal offered as part of a regulatory rollback by the Education Department could create huge disruptions for the regional accreditors that oversee more than 3,000 colleges across the country. The department wants to require that regional accreditors operate in no fewer than three but no more than nine contiguous states, a standard multiple organizations would fail to meet. The issue is among a number of disputed ideas up for consideration during a negotiated rule-making process that has gotten off to a contentious start at the Education Department this week and will continue for the next two months.
Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 17, 2019

Last Modified: 1/17/19 11:07 AM
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