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2010 March 22 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Mich. College Bans Convicted Sex Offenders

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A community college based in Benton Harbor is banning people convicted of sex crimes against children from attending classes on its four campuses.

The Herald-Palladium newspaper in St. Joseph reports that Lake Michigan College officials made the decision in February after a registered sex offender tried signing up for classes.

The school says three students have been suspended under the new policy. They and other sex offenders will be allowed to take online courses.

U.S. Department of Education officials say they don’t know if other colleges or universities have similar rules.

An attorney with Legal Aid of Western Michigan says the Lake Michigan College policy is too broad and could punish people who pose no threat to children.

  • Mo. Colleges Report Jump In Enrollment

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s 12 community colleges are busier than ever.

The Missouri Community College Association says every community college in the state had increased enrollment this spring. The overall average increase was 13.1 percent when compared with last spring’s enrollment.

The association says 100,453 students are attending the state’s community colleges this spring — 11,638 more than in last spring.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the largest percentage increase was at Crowder College in Neosho, where enrollment was up 22.3 percent. Close behind was Moberly Area Community College, with an increase of 22.2 percent.

Association president Jim Kellerman says more people are attending the colleges because of difficult economic times.

  • JoCo College Considers New Culinary Building

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Increasing interest in food, cooking and hospitality careers is prompting Johnson County Community College to consider building a new center for such academic programs.

The college wants to raise
$3 million to help pay for a new center for expanded culinary and hospitality programs.

The Kansas City Star reports that the college doesn’t currently have the space to meet demand for such courses.

Business Dean Lindy Robinson says a new building would allow for both professional level courses, and courses and seminars for non-professional.

The college’s board of trustees agreed last week that if the college’s foundation can raise the money within 18 months, the board will approve the $10 million construction project.

  • Ex-Cop Tied to Shakedown of Pa. College.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Authorities say an ex-police officer threatened to expose alleged criminal activity at a Philadelphia-area junior college unless the school waived his son’s housing bill.

Prosecutors charged 55-year-old Vincent Gaudini of Philadelphia with extortion and other offenses for allegedly sending
a threatening e-mail to Harcum College in Bryn Mawr.

The message said Gaudini would tell authorities about alleged drugs and guns on campus unless it dropped a $3,000 dorm fee.

Montgomery County authorities say they found no truth in Gaudini’s allegations.

Gaudini left the Philadelphia police force in 1985 on a disability.

A spokesman for Harcum declined comment.

  • Tuition Plan for Wis. Vets Would Cost and Help

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislative Fiscal Bureau says a plan to restore a cut in benefits provided under the Wisconsin G.I. Bill could cost $14.6 million over six years.

Its analysis says the plan by Rep. Steve Hilgenberg would eventually allow an additional 447 veterans to attend technical colleges and universities tuition-free every year. Most of the students would be working on graduate degrees.

The fiscal bureau cautioned its analysis was an estimate, and actual cost and enrollment could vary significantly.

Lawmakers last year decided to require veterans to exhaust a new federal education benefit before tapping the Wisconsin G.I. Bill. Hilgenberg’s plan would grant veterans as much as 64 credit hours of additional tuition for free.

  • Lawmaker Named Head Of Ark. College

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — State Rep. Steve Cole of Lockesburg has been approved as chancellor of Cossatot Community College in De Queen.

The University of Arkansas board of trustees voted 9-0 Wednesday to approve Cole on the recommendation of UA System President B. Allen Sugg. Cole will replace retiring Chancellor Frank Adams. Cole has been at Cossatot for 13 years — both as a faculty member and an administrator. He is currently the vice chancellor and dean of academics.

He is serving his first term as a member of the state House of Representatives. He says he will resign from the House when he takes over as chancellor on July 1.

  • Ivy Tech Strikes Deal With Online University

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s Ivy Tech Community College has reached a deal with an online university that could make it more affordable for students to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Ivy Tech graduates who have finished their associate degrees are eligible for an application fee waiver to Salt Lake City-based Western Governors University.

Ivy Tech grads can also get a 5 percent discount on WGU’s tuition.

WGU also is earmarking 10 scholarships valued at up to $2,000 for qualified Ivy Tech grads.

Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit university designed for working adults trying to advance their careers by completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. It says its online approach is both flexible and challenging.

  • Iowa College Foresees Record Enrollment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Enrollment is expected to be at a record levels this spring at Des Moines Area Community College.

Laurie Wolf is executive dean of students services and she says enrollment at the school’s six campuses “is at all-time highs.”

She attributes the increases to older Iowans seeking new careers, more traditional age students and more veterans.

School officials say it will be the 10th straight year for record spring enrollment.

They say they expect a 17 percent increase over the same time last year at the six campuses and two learning centers.

  • Regents Give a New Name to Maui College

HONOLULU (AP) — Maui Community College has a new name.

It was changed to the University of Hawaii Maui College by the UH Board of Regents.

The university says the name change was proposed to accurately represent the college’s programs and services that now include 15 associate and two four-year baccalaureate degrees.

The school was the first UH community college to grant a four-year degree when the bachelor of applied science in applied business and information technology was approved in 2005.

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