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2010 September 20 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Calif. Colleges Cancel Online Deal with Kaplan

California’s community college system has dropped a controversial plan that would have allowed students to take some courses at the online Kaplan University and make it easier to transfer to Kaplan for a bachelor’s degree.

State community college officials said they canceled a 2009 agreement with the for-profit college because the University of California and California State University systems had not agreed to accept Kaplan courses for transfer credits. Without the transfer agreements, the plan could have harmed students seeking to continue their educations, officials said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In a statement, Kaplan officials said they were disappointed by the decision but pledged to continue to work with state community colleges and “look for innovative ways to help students meet their academic and career goals.”

The plan was intended to offer students at the state’s 112 community colleges a way to take courses that might have been canceled or overcrowded because of state budget cuts. But faculty expressed concern about working with a proprietary school and critics complained Kaplan was charging too much. Kaplan planned to charge students $646 for a three-credit class, compared with $78 at a community college.

  • Judge Rules for Fired Ala. College President

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A judge in Montgomery has ruled the State Board of Education improperly fired Susan Salatto as president of Southern Union State Community College in Wadley.

Circuit Judge William Shashy released an order upholding a ruling by an administrative law judge that said Salatto’s firing by the State Board of Education in 2008 violated the state’s Fair Dismissal Act.

The board fired Salatto after an internal investigation found problems at the school, including nepotism. Salatto challenged the firing, saying she was entitled to notice and a hearing before her termination.

The vice president of the school board, Randy McKinney, says he expects the board to appeal because the decision appears to give tenure to school presidents rather than having them serve at the pleasure of the school board and the chancellor of two-year colleges.

  • Ivy Tech Enrollment Dips After Record Rise

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College says its number of full-time students is up 10 percent for this fall semester, although it has fewer students than last spring.

Ivy Tech announced it has counted 111,452 students statewide. That is up about 4 percent from a year ago, but down from the nearly 120,000 students the college had for the spring semester.

College president Thomas Snyder says the increase in full-time students showed that more of those enrolled are looking to complete a degree or certificate at a faster pace.

Ivy Tech has seen the number of students at its 23-campus system explode over the past couple years, with this fall’s enrollment up 29 percent from the fall 2008 semester.

  • Enrollment Surges 7% at Hawaii Colleges

HONOLULU (AP) —Enrollment at the University of Hawaii’s seven community colleges is up 7 percent while the number of students attending the system’s flagship Manoa campus remains flat.

A total of nearly 34,000 students were enrolled at the community colleges, compared to about 19,000 at the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus.

University of Hawaii system Vice President for Academic Planning and Policy Linda Johnsrud says the sluggish economy is leading more high school graduates to turn to community colleges.

In all, enrollment across the university system is up by 2,200 students compared to last year.

  • Formerly Jailed Board Member Resigns Seat

PHOENIX (AP) — A Maricopa Community College district board member who spent a month in jail on a DUI charge last year has resigned.

Colleen Clark made no reference to the conviction in her single-page resignation letter.

Authorities say the 27-year-old Gilbert woman was arrested in Scottsdale last July with a blood-alcohol level of 0.204 percent, more than double the legal limit. She pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of DUI and spent 30 days in jail.

Clark’s term on the board was scheduled to expire in 2012. Don Covey, the Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools, will be conducting the search for Clark’s replacement.

  • Tribal College in ND Expanding In Phases

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. (AP) — Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten is expanding, in phases.

Enrollment at the tribal college has grown from 130 students a few years ago to an anticipated 250 this fall.

Facilities director Phillip Lewis says the campus is expanding to keep up, going from 30,000 square feet years ago to 80,000 square feet now. It is expected to be 120,000 square feet by next spring.

Expansion includes an early childhood learning center, a multipurpose complex and a student union. The estimated cost of $8 million is being paid mostly through federal grants.

  • $1M Grant Will Aid Students at NM College

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The federal government has awarded a total of $1 million over five years to Santa Fe Community College to help low-income and first-generation students and students with disabilities finish their education.

The U.S. Department of Education recently notified the college about a $238,496 installment.

More than 160 students participate in a student services support program, receiving help in areas such as tutoring, counseling, college success skills and financial literacy.

The program was first funded in 2005 under a similar grant.

College President Sheila Ortego says the latest grant will enable the school to continue providing support to students who need it most.

Santa Fe Community College was one of 905 programs to receive a grant.

  • Miss. College Enrollment Jumps by 22%

SENATOBIA, Miss. (AP) — Northwest Mississippi Community College reports a 22 percent enrollment surge over the past two years, a trend officials believe is largely the result of people looking for affordable higher education.

The rise includes an enrollment increase of 392 students this fall.

Enrollment totals after the last day of late registration include 3,711 students at the Senatobia-based college’s DeSoto County campus at DeSoto Center in Southaven, followed by 3,497 at the main Senatobia campus. The school also enrolled 1,548 at its Lafayette-Yalobusha Technical Center campus in Oxford for a total enrollment of 8,756.

Chuck Strong, vice president of education affairs, tells The Commerical Appeal that nine new faculty positions were added this fall to accommodate the growing enrollment.

  • Ky. Judge Backs Newspaper in Records Request

VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) — A judge has ruled that the Kentucky Community and Technical College System must turn over documents related to the removal of a college president to a newspaper.

Woodford Circuit Judge Paul F. Isaacs ruled in favor of The Messenger-Inquirer newspaper of Owensboro, which had sought performance evaluations from Owensboro Community and Technical College.

The court found that KCTCS violated the Open Records Act. Among the records the newspaper was seeking was the 2007-08 evaluation of Paula Gastenveld, the former president at the Owensboro school.

KCTCS President Mike McCall transferred Gastenveld to the central office in Versailles last year. Gastenveld has filed a lawsuit against 10 people, including McCall.

KCTCS claimed the records should be exempt from disclosure, citing privacy concerns.

  • Leeward College Auto Program Wins Certification

HONOLULU (AP) —The automotive technology program at Leeward Community College in Pearl City has won certification by two national groups.

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certified the program in a number of areas, including the service and repair of automatic transmissions and transaxles, brakes, electrical systems and suspensions.

Program Coordinator Jake Darakjian says in a press release that certification provides perspective employers with the assurance that graduates will be adequately trained.

  • Ivy Tech Dual Credit Classes Growing Fast

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — More than 21,000 Indiana high school students earned college credits through Ivy Tech Community College last year, marking a growing trend officials say saved parents more than $10 million in tuition bills.

Ivy Tech enrolled 21,126 dual enrollment students during the 2009-10 school year, up 27 percent from about 16,500 students the previous year. The dual credit courses are typically taught in high schools.

Ivy Tech says high school students earned more than 100,000 credit hours in the last academic year, or the equivalent of more than $10 million in tuition.

  • Miss. 2-Year Schools Embrace Online Program

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi University for Women says nine of the state’s community colleges have signed up with the school’s new online college.

The V3 College program, which is part of MUW, allows students in career-technical fields to pursue a bachelor’s degree by taking courses online.

The courses will offer students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree from home in as few as 18 months.

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