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2010 July 27 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Colleges in 26 States Get Job Training Funds

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Labor Department has announced $125 million in grants to 41 community colleges and organizations for job training.

The money will go to programs in 26 states across the nation.

In four years of this grant program, more than $622 million has been awarded to 301 community colleges and other organizations in 49 states, officials said.

Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis says the money is aimed at helping people train for high-demand occupations with the help of the nation’s community college system.

Grants are going to:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

  • NH Colleges Seeking $100M Over 8 Years

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Community College System is seeking a commitment from the state for $100 million over eight years for new buildings and other improvements.

Board Chairman Paul Holloway asked that a $25 million first installment be included in the state’s public works budget for 2012-13 for improvements on the system’s seven campuses.

Gov. John Lynch opened two days of hearings on public works requests by agencies. Lynch said he received 178 proposals totaling $635 million. The projects are competing for about $130 million in borrowing backed by state taxes.

Holloway says the community college system needs classrooms, laboratories and technological improvements to train students for jobs in demand today. He says full-time equivalent enrollment has risen 73% over the decade.

  • More Florida Grads Choose To Skip College

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — High school graduates in Florida are increasingly skipping college.

That’s according to a recent report from the state Department of Education.

Researchers found about 35 percent of Florida’s 2009 graduates had no plans to attend college, two points above the 33 percent recorded in 2008 and worse than the national average of 30 percent.

Some of the department’s survey respondents said they would attend a trade school or enter the military, but most said they had no plans for further education. That’s bothersome to officials trying to increase the population of learned, high-wage workers.

In a recent application for federal funds, the state said it hoped to double by 2015 the percentage of high school graduates who attend at least a year of college.

  • Wyo. Colleges Getting $22M in Stimulus Money

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming is getting $22 million in higher education funding from the federal stimulus package.

The money will pay for maintenance work at the the state’s community colleges and the University of Wyoming. At UW, the work will include roof repairs, HVAC and electrical upgrades and classroom and laboratory renovations.

The $22 million is part of $60 million appropriated to the state government as part of the stimulus act. The federal government withheld the $22 million until the state improved the tracking of student performance and met other benchmarks mostly related to kindergarten through 12th grade schools.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced that Wyoming had met the guidelines last month, freeing up the funding.

  • Del. Officials Praise State Scholarships

NEWARK, Del. (AP) — A four-year-old scholarship program that has cost Delaware $13 million is being praised by education officials.

Officials at Delaware Technical & Community College and the University of Delaware say the Student Excellence Equals Degree scholarship is making college a reality for Delaware students who might not have otherwise enrolled.

James Holloway, associate director of financial services at the University of Delaware, says new admissions to the associate of arts program are up 27 percent since the program began.

Jerry McNesby, vice president for finance at DelTech, says the program helps middle-income families who don’t qualify for federal Pell Grants.

  • Calif. Indian Tribe Hopes To Revive College

DAVIS, Calif. (AP) _ A Capay Valley Indian tribe is consulting with trustees of California’s only tribal college to see if they can help revive the struggling school.

Members of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation say D-Q University could help reverse declining college enrollment and high school graduation rates among the state’s 450,000 Native Americans.

The university, located on the outskirts of Davis, was largely shut down in 2005 after it lost its federal accreditation. A handful of students continued to occupy dorms and hold their own classes for several years before local law enforcement removed them.

D-Q University trustee Susan Reece says she is willing to work with Yocha Dehe, which owns the Cache Creek Casino Resort. But she said it could take several years for the college to be up and running again.

  • Recession Swells Enrollment At Ore. Schools

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — With the recession making it harder to find jobs, many people in Oregon have decided this is a good time to go to college.

The Oregon University System projects enrollment at its seven campuses will climb about 5 percent this fall to a record 96,200 students.

The Oregonian also reports the state’s 17 community colleges all expect to grow. Some project increases as high at 30 percent as displaced workers look for new job skills and some students take that path toward higher degrees.

  • Hawaii Colleges Getting Funds for Campus Repairs

HONOLULU (AP) — Two Big Island college campuses will soon receive a total of $10 million to finance ongoing renovations.

In a statement, Gov. Linda Lingle says she has released an unspecified portion of the money to Hawaii Community College’s Manono Campus in East Hawaii.

The new funds will finance repairs to Hale Aloha, an 18,300-square-foot building. The total cost of that project is $9.3 million.

Another unspecified portion will go toward a 7,000-foot road at the University of Hawaii Center at West Hawaii. The road will connect the new campus with Kaimi Nani Drive. Its total cost is $7.4 million.

  • $4.7M Grant To Assist Training In Health Care

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Community colleges, workforce investment boards and health care providers in western Virginia will share a $4.7 million federal grant to provide job training in health care information technology.

The Western Virginia Health Information Technology Education Initiative is being led by Virginia Highlands Community College in Abingdon.

Regional programs will be created or expanded to train out-of-work or underemployed residents in the health care industry’s transition to electronic medical records.

Training will be provided for about 700 people in 29 localities, including the cities of Blacksburg, Bristol and Roanoke.

  • Md. Colleges Get $5M Grant for Cybersecurity

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Some community colleges in central Maryland are sharing a nearly $5 million federal grant to create a cybersecurity training program.

The Labor Department awarded the grant to the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp. in partnership with community colleges in Anne Arundel, Carroll and Howard counties. Other partners include the University of Maryland University College and more than a dozen private businesses and government agencies.

The Labor Department also awarded $1.8 million to Hagerstown Community College to develop a training program in clean energy technology.

  • W. Va. Colleges Developing Online Campuses

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia University’s Parkersburg campus will develop an online virtual campus for the state’s community and technical colleges.

The selection was approved by the West Virginia Community and Technical College Council. The Parkersburg campus will coordinate the development of online courses for the system’s 19 community colleges.

Officials cite growth of Parkersburg’s online courses as a significant factor in recent record enrollment increases.

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