Community and technical college board to weigh capital budget priorities, student success initiatives
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges will convene its regular business meeting in Pasco Thursday, May 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.
The board will act on a resolution establishing system priorities for the 2015-2017 capital budget request, which will be submitted to the Office of Financial Management for consideration by the Governor and the Legislature.
The board will also discuss recommendations for creating competency-based associate degrees, in which students advance based on their proven mastery of a subject rather than classroom time. The first proposed degree is a business transfer degree that would be offered by a group of collaborating colleges. The competency approach is already used in many pre-college (aka remedial) courses, but the proposal calls for creating an entire competency-based associate degree, the first for Washington’s community and technical college system.
The board will also discuss a proposed strategic plan to improve student outcomes in pre-college and college-level math education. The plan would expand, on a statewide scale, innovative strategies that have already proven effective at individual colleges. These include partnerships with high schools to avoid remediation in colleges and universities to ensure transferability of college-level math courses. The plan would include checkpoints to measure the programs’ success.
Board members will additionally review Project I-DEA, an in-class and online program designed to help students learn English language, job and college skills. In the nine-month old program, pilot colleges partner with community-based organizations to teach students practical life skills. Currently at work in nine colleges, the goal is for all Washington’s community and technical colleges to offer Project I-DEA by the 2015-2016 school year.
Prior to its regular business meeting, the board will hold a study session on Wednesday, May 7 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. to review proposals for new applied baccalaureate degree programs at Green River Community College in Aeronautical Science and a joint Grays Harbor College and Green River Community College degree in Forest Resource Management. The board will also discuss development of the system’s 2015-2017 operating budget request.
Both meetings are open to the public and will be held at Columbia Basin College, 2600 N. 20th Ave. in Pasco.