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2010 August 25 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Conn. Colleges Feeling Strain of Increase in Enrollment

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials say they’re concerned about pressures being put on the state’s community colleges as enrollments hit record highs and funding remains flat.

Community college officials say the 12 campuses struggled the past academic year to handle a record total enrollment of more than 55,000 students. Enrollment will hit more than 60,000 students this fall, a 10 percent increase, if student population trends continue.

Total funding for the colleges, meanwhile, has been kept at about $158 million since the 2008-09 year.

Many popular classes at the colleges are already full for the fall, and students are being turned away.

Many students have been turning to community colleges for their lower costs in the tough economy.

  • Distance Ed Fueling Growth At E. Wyoming College

TORRINGTON, Wyo. (AP) — Student enrollment at Eastern Wyoming College grew nearly 8 percent last school year.

The community college has released figures showing that about 3,690 students enrolled in the 2009-10 school year, up 268 students from the 2008-09 school year.

The school says 35 percent of its enrollment is outreach students who take distance learning classes from satellite campuses in eastern Wyoming.

 Programs with the largest enrollments were interdisciplinary studies, welding and joining technology, pre-nursing and veterinary technology.

College Vice President for Learning Dee Ludwig says enrollment has grown for four straight years, and preregistration this summer is up from last year.

  • Tuition On the Way Up at        La.  Colleges

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — When students return to Louisiana’s public colleges this month, they’ll be slapped with larger bills.

Tuition is going up between 8 percent and 10 percent at all four-year campuses and two-year community colleges, under a newly passed law that allows the hikes in exchange for promises of improved performance.

College leaders say the tuition increases are needed to help offset cuts that have stripped state funding from the campuses in the last two years and to cope with reductions expected to be levied upon them in a year.

Students say they are paying more but getting less as colleges cut offerings, reduce services and lay off teachers.

With the passage of the Louisiana GRAD Act, the tuition increases will raise more than $60 million for schools this year.

  • Kansas Schools Form New Partnership

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — Students at Garden City Community College will be able to earn bachelor’s degrees in certain fields from Fort Hays State University without traveling to northwest Kansas.

The schools have formed a partnership that takes effect this fall through the university’s virtual college program, which uses electronic distance learning technology.

The partnership will offer bachelor of business administration degrees in marketing, management, tourism and hospitality management and human resource management.

The degree program will be made up of two years of community college courses following by two years of Fort Hays State instruction.

  • Community College of Vt. Expanding 

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Community College of Vermont is planning a $4 million expansion of its Montpelier headquarters.

The project will include 12,000-square-feet of classroom space in the former Woodbury College campus on Elm Street north of downtown.

The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus says CCV currently leases classroom in space in Montpelier from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Those leases expire in 2013.

State Colleges Chancellor Tim Donovan says in the long-term consolidating operations at the Montpelier location will save money.

  • Ky. Panel Approves Tuition Increases

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Council on Postsecondary Education has approved tuition hikes for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Kentucky State University and Western Kentucky University.

Students at Kentucky State and Western will see tuition rise 5 percent while students at Kentucky Tech will pay an additional 4 percent. The council set tuition for all other public universities in May.

  • Enterprise State Fires Person as Hoops Coach

ENTERPRISE, Ala. (AP) — Wesley Person has been fired as Enterprise State Community College’s men’s basketball coach after one season.

The former Auburn and NBA player said athletic director Jeffrey Coats did not give him a reason for the dismissal. Coats cited college policies for declining to discuss the decision when reached by The Associated Press.

“The college does not discuss personnel issues outside of anyone who’s involved with the matter,” Coats said.

Enterprise State went 8-21 in Person’s lone season. He spent one season as an assistant women’s coach before taking over the men’s program.

Person said he called the meeting with Coats to discuss his plans for the program after all 15 of his signees had arrived on campus.

“Before I said anything, he said, ‘As of now, your duties are no longer needed,’” Person told The Dothan Eagle. “I have no reason why he felt that way. I asked and was given no explanation. I know I’ve done everything by the book. ``I don’t know what happened to get to this point.”

Person said he took his players off campus to tell them he had been fired.

  • Grant To Fund New ‘Green’ Degree in Ky. 

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky community college and Austin Peay State University have received a $1.2 million grant to assist the two schools in creating a chemical engineering technology degree program focusing on green industries.

The Kentucky New Era reports that the money comes from the Kentucky Work Force Development Board. As part of the grant program, the two colleges signed a dual admissions agreement intended to provide a structured approach for HCC students who wish to transfer to the Tennessee school.

The newly developed degree will allow Hopkinsville Community College students to take 33 credit hours one year and 30 credit hours the next at Austin Peay.

Austin Peay recently completed a new $6.4 million facility developed for the program. The first classes at the new facility will take place this fall.

  • Arkansas Board Extends College Moratorium 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ Higher Education Coordination Board has extended a moratorium on new college campuses by 10 years.

The board met in Little Rock and approved the moratorium because of concerns that state funding doesn’t adequately meet the needs of existing four- and two-year colleges.

The state has 11 four-year and 22 two-year institutions.

State higher education deputy director Stanley Williams says banning new colleges or the conversion of satellite campuses to stand-alone colleges will prevent dilution of state funding to existing institutions.

  • College Billboard Near Obama Sign  Being Removed 

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A community college in western Kansas has decided to take down a promotional billboard because it is too close to a billboard that criticizes President Barack Obama.

Barton County Community College president Carl Heilman told the college’s board of trustees that the college did not want to be associated with a billboard that calls Obama a fraud and demands his resignation.

The two billboards are on Interstate 70 near the college’s campus at Fort Riley.

Heilman says the college was unaware that the political billboard would be installed above the college’s billboard. The college’s sign will come down and a new one will be installed at a different location.  

  • NM Voters Approve Bond for Higher Education

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Voters have approved a $35 million bond that will give community college students a chance to complete their education in Santa Fe.

About one-third of the funding will be used for a new higher education center. Administrators with Santa Fe Community College say he center is expected to be ready for classes by the fall of 2012.

The center will focus on degrees such as business, public administration, education and social work.

Santa Fe Community College President Sheila Ortego says the school plans to request proposals from other colleges that have expressed interest in the center for programs that will lead to bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

  • College Prep Classes Offered To Immigrants

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit area Arab social services agency is working with a community college to bring a college preparatory class to low-income, immigrant residents.

The for-credit class is offered by Henry Ford Community College and the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, known as ACCESS.
It will be offered at the ACCESS Youth & Family Center in Dearborn.

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