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2010 February 22 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • City College of SF Scraps Most Summer Classes

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Students at City College of San Francisco are angry over the school’s decision to cancel nearly all its summer classes.

The community college is gutting its $4 million summer session to help close a budget shortfall that’s expected to surpass $12 million.

The move derails the plans of thousands of students who had hoped to make up missed courses or advance their education this summer.

Many students are upset because City College previously cut hundreds of courses during the fall and spring semesters.

Other San Francisco Bay Area community colleges say they have no plans to cancel their summer sessions, but there will be competition to get classes because they have been forced to cut courses, too.

“It’s insulting, offensive and frustrating,” said Alisa Vinokurova, 19, who wants to teach high school English and quit a full-time cafe job to work on her degree. “What am I supposed to do?”

California’s 110 community colleges, which have nearly 3 million students, lost 8 percent of their budget this year, or $520 million, according to the state office of community colleges.

The budget cuts have prompted colleges to reduce course offerings year-round or cancel entire sessions in the summer or winter, said Scott Lay, president of the Community College League of California, an advocacy group.

“Virtually every district is curtailing enrollment somehow,” Lay said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

  • Conn. Breaks Ground on $198M Campus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Construction has started on a new $198 million college campus in downtown New Haven to help address the enrollment boom at Gateway Community College.

Connecticut officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new campus on Church Street. It’s expected to be completed by September 2012.

It will include 90 classrooms, 22 computer labs, a library, a cafeteria and bookstore, and other features.

Gateway, which has more than 11,000 students, is one of Connecticut’s fastest-growing community colleges. It has campuses in New Haven and North Haven, and the new campus will allow it to increase its enrollment capacity by 50 percent.

  • Ga. Sees Spike In Tech College Enrollment

ATLANTA (AP) — Enrollment in Georgia’s technical colleges has grown 26 percent over this time last year.

About 22,000 more students are taking classes at the state’s 28 technical college campuses this winter, with enrollment hitting 109,500. That just shy of the all-time record of 110,940 students.

Technical college Commissioner Ron Jackson said much of the increase is from laid-off workers looking to train in another field or improve their skills. The number of students over the age of 40 increased 43 percent — or 18,700 — since this time last year.

  • Wayne State Dedicates New Education Center

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Wayne State University has unveiled its new Macomb Education Center, where the Detroit school will start offering classes this spring.

Wayne State held a dedication ceremony for the center. It’s in the former Macomb County Library building in Clinton Township, about 20 miles northeast of Detroit.

The 29,000-square-foot center houses computer labs, classrooms, lounges, seminar and conference rooms.

Besides the Wayne State operations, the building will house the Macomb County Reference and Research Center, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and the Macomb Literacy Partners operation.

Wayne State already has its Advanced Technology and Education Center at Macomb Community College in nearby Warren.

  • Tuition Frozen, Fees Rise at Wyoming College

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) — Tuition at Central Wyoming College will remain the same for the 2010-11 school year, but fees for housing and food services will be higher.

The Wyoming Community College Commission, which sets tuition, froze tuition for next year to comply with a state mandate barring schools that take federal stimulus funds from raising tuition.

The Central Wyoming College board of trustees recently agreed to maintain tuition at $68 per credit for state residents, which works out to $816 per semester for a full-time student.

The board also voted to increase housing and food services by 10 percent at the Riverton school starting this fall. Full meal plans will cost $1,050 per semester and housing fees will start at $880 per semester.

  • Foundation Gives $2.25M in Grants To Six Colleges

HOUMA, La. (AP) — Six Louisiana colleges and universities will share in $2.25 million in grants from the BP Foundation.

The grants, announced at BP’s oilfield facilities near Houma, will support math and science enrichment programs, as well as scholarships and curriculum enhancement for technical programs that provide training for jobs in the oil and gas industry.

BP America chairman and president Lamar McKay says their investment will give students the skills necessary to enter and succeed in the work force.

Schools receiving the grants, which range from $50,000 to $275,000 per year, are: Delgado Community College; Southern University at Baton Rouge; Dillard University; Fletcher Technical Community College; Sowela Technical Community College; and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Southern, Dillard and Xavier will use the grants to conduct intensive science and math summer enrichment camps for high-school students.

  • Miss. College Seeks Help in Deterring Theft

BOONEVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Northeast Mississippi Community College wants help in dealing with the growing problem of textbook theft.

Campus police chief Dean Bearden tells the Daily Corinthian that the school wants to deter people stealing textbooks and reselling them.

Bearden has asked the cities of Booneville and Corinth to consider ordinances to require any store dealing in used textbooks to see a photo identification and record the name of anyone selling a used textbook.

He says the sale of textbooks in Corinth is likely to increase as Northeast at Corinth expands its programs and opens a bookstore. He also believes efforts to curtail textbook theft in Booneville could push some of the activity to surrounding areas.

No action has been taken by either city on the proposed ordinance.

  • Mass. College Launches Solar Power Project

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Berkshire Community College is going solar.

Officials at the Pittsfield school say work is expected to start soon on a $3.5 million project to install more than 1,800 solar panels on six campus buildings, making it the largest roof-mounted installation of its kind at a Massachusetts educational institution.

College President Paul Raverta tells The Berkshire Eagle that the panels are expected to generate more than 400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, or roughly 25 percent of the school’s total electricity. It is expected to save more than $2 million in utility costs over 20 years. The project is being paid for with federal stimulus funds.

  • Partnership Mulled To Save Seafood School

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The shuttered Seafood School in Astoria could be getting a second chance.

Leaders at the Duncan Law Seafood Consumer Center are looking into a partnership with Clatsop Community College that could revive the school that closed last November for financial reasons.

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