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2010 March 8 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Ga. College Plans 3-Year Degree Program

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Perimeter College this fall will begin offering bachelor’s degrees that are designed for students to earn in three years.

College President Anthony Tricoli bills it as the state’s first three-year bachelor of arts degree program.

The degrees will be in accounting and business management and will involve a partnership between Georgia Perimeter, a two-year college with campuses throughout metro Atlanta, and Georgia Southwestern State University, a four-year college in Americus.

Tricoli says students in Georgia Perimeter’s program would take more than the typical 12 to 15 credit hours a semester. They would spend a year and a half with Georgia Perimeter, then finish the program through Georgia Southwestern.

  • Tenn. College Gets Approval For New Degree

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Austin Peay State University cleared the final hurdle needed for accreditation of its new chemical engineering technology associate degree.

The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle reports that the Association of Colleges and Schools recently joined The Tennessee Board of Regents and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to grant approval.

The new degree program was primarily developed by Austin Peay faculty in the wake of Hemlock Semiconductor’s decision to build a $1.2 billion manufacturing plant in Montgomery County.

The plant is projected to begin operations in 2012 and with a workforce of 500-800 people, primarily of highly skilled jobs requiring specialized training.

  • Pa. College OKs Concealed Weapons Group

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pittsburgh-area community college will let a student form a campus chapter of a group that promotes the rights of students to carry concealed weapons.

A Community College of Allegheny County spokesman says Christa Brashier must provide a copy of the group’s revised constitution by March.

Brashier threatened to sue after school officials, at first, refused to let her pass out leaflets advocating concealed carry rights last May. After getting permission, she pressed forward with her efforts to form a local chapter of a Texas-based nonprofit, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

Brashier’s efforts have been backed by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the American Civil Liberties Union.

  • Wis. Colleges Seeking Female Apprentices

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s technical colleges are encouraging more women to join apprenticeship programs, a realm that’s traditionally male-dominated.

For example, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College near Green Bay has 450 student apprentices. Only seven are women.

College program director Todd Kiel said both society and women need to get past the stereotype that females aren’t cut out for jobs like plumbing, carpentry and electrical work. The school is reaching out to women through informational seminars.

Apprenticeships are coordinated through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The program combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction. The state offers about 300 apprenticeships ranging from cosmetology to pipe fitting.

  • Conn. To Adjust Definition of Who’s a Veteran

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Some Connecticut lawmakers say the definition of veteran needs to be changed to make sure members of the military and National Guard benefit from a college tuition waiver program.

Rep. Ted Graziani says there is a policy at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London that allows cadets enrolled for at least 90 days to be considered veterans, eligible for benefits designed to help combat veterans and National Guard members earn degrees.

Graziani says that means a student who leaves school after a few months would be eligible for free tuition at state-run colleges or universities because they’d considered a veteran under Connecticut law. Members of the legislature’s veterans committee say they’re working on a bill that would adjust the current law.

  • Minn. College Gets Grant for Aviation Center

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A college in northwest Minnesota is getting a federal grant of nearly $5 million for a center to train maintenance workers for remotely piloted aircraft and ground control systems.

The unmanned aerial systems maintenance training center at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls is being developed in cooperation with the University of North Dakota and Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Enrollment in Northland’s aviation program two years ago dropped to fewer than 10 students, after a high of 500. Rather than end the program, school administrators decided to revive the aviation school, which boasts an 87,000-square-foot center at the local airport plus nearly 30 aircraft.

  • State Funding To Aid Expansion Of Md. College

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — State funding could help advance construction plans at Hagerstown Community College.

Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed capital budget for fiscal year 2011 calls for $5.8 million to build a science, technology, engineering and math center and another $5.3 million to add on to the Kepler Theater.

The college expects construction on the 65,000 square-foot center to begin in the spring. It’s expected to cost $36.2 million.

The work to the theater will add classrooms and cost nearly $11 million. That project will begin later this year.

College President Guy Altieri says capital projects will help the school keep pace with its fast-growing enrollment, which was up 10 percent this semester.

  • Wyo. College Approves New Alcohol Policy

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) —The Board of Trustees at the Western Wyoming Community College has revised the school’s alcohol- and drug-free policy so that punishments will be more educational and less punitive.

The board adopted the new policy, which is intended to encourage personal growth before students are evicted from housing or suspended from classes.

Vice President for Student Success Jackie Freeze says the school’s “two-strike” policy didn’t provide enough opportunity to educate offenders and was the harshest policy compared to other community colleges in the state.

The new “three-strike policy” puts in place a drug education element. A third offense results in students being evicted from housing or suspended from classes.

  • New Focus Boosts Enrollment at Kentucky College

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — An official with Ashland Community and Technical College says a double-digit enrollment increase may be due in part to a recent focus on dropout prevention.

The Daily Independent of Ashland reports that figures from ACTC show enrollment jumped 14 percent for spring 2010 compared with the same time last year. In the fall, there had already been an increase of 10 percent.

Steve Flouhouse, director of institutional planning, research and effectiveness, says the increase accompanies changes ACTC has made to keep students in school.

He says the school received a $2 million grant to add an adviser, redesign its advising office and find ways to work more closely with students.

According to preliminary figures, spring enrollment is 3,317.

  • Women’s Team Coach, Player Arrested after Game

BRENHAM, Texas (AP) — The women’s basketball coach at an East Texas junior college and one of his players was released on bond after their arrests after a game.

Trinity Valley Community College coach Bill Damuth was freed from Washington County Jail on $1,500 bond a day after Blinn College police arrested him on a charge of resisting arrest. Freed on $2,500 bond was Lesha Dunn, Trinity Valley’s 6-foot-4 freshman post player, who was charged with assault on a police officer.

According to Blinn spokeswoman Cathy Boeker, Damuth angrily charged game officials at the final buzzer of No. 4-ranked Trinity Valley’s 61-55 loss night at Blinn, then struggled with a campus police officer who was trying to restrain him.

Boeker says Dunn came to her coach’s aid, grabbed the arm of the officer trying to restrain Damuth, then struggled from behind with a second officer who was trying to place Damuth in handcuffs.

Both spent the night in the Washington County Jail in Brenham before their arraignments.

Trinity Valley President Glendon Forgey said officials of the school “will take any appropriate disciplinary action necessary” after they finish their investigation of the altercation.

  • La. College Enrollment Up On Upward Path

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Community and Technical College System is reporting record-breaking enrollment for the spring semester.

A system news release says system-wide enrollment is up 16.3 percent, from 58,454 students in the spring of 2009 to 67,862 students in spring 2010.

All of the system’s colleges experienced an increase in enrollment. Officials said Thursday that three colleges’ enrollment increased by more than 30 percent: South Central Technical College, Northshore Technical College, and River Parishes Community College.

  • Ala. Colleges Join To Help Build In Haiti

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s two-year colleges are joining forces to help build houses after last month’s crippling earthquake in Haiti.

The system-wide project announced will raise funds in various campaigns through April and donate the money to Habitat for Humanity Haiti.

Some schools had already been collecting items including soap, first aid kits, small toys, diapers and powered infant formula to send to the country. Others have held pizza sales, hot-dog fundraisers and spare change drives to raise money.

One school is collecting jeans to send to Haiti while another has organized a shoe drive.

Money raised by the system will go toward both transitional shelters and permanent homes. Transitional shelters cost up to $2,500 while permanent structures can cost up to $6,000.

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