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2010 November 1 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Conn. College Enrollment Hits All-Time Record High

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Education officials say enrollment at Connecticut’s public state colleges and universities has reached an all-time high.

The Connecticut Department of Higher Education says almost 127,200 students are enrolled this fall in the schools, an increase of 3 percent over last year. Most of the growth occurred in the state’s 12 community colleges, which account for almost 58,300 students.

The University of Connecticut’s main campus at Storrs has the largest single concentration of students: just under 25,000, of whom about 21,000 are enrolled full time.

The largest two-year school is Manchester Community College, which had more than 7,500 students enrolled this fall.

  • Education Gap In DC Getting Wider, New Study Shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study shows that for the first time in 30 years, more than half of D.C. residents with only a high school education were unemployed last year.

The study, released by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, shows only 21 percent of black residents over age 25 have college degrees. Among white residents, 80 percent have college degrees.

The study also examined wages over the past decade. It found white residents were earning 77 percent more than black residents.

Advocates are applauding Democratic mayoral nominee Vincent Gray’s pledge to boost job training and community college programs.

  • Student Project Blamed for Evacuation

STOCK ISLAND, Fla. (AP) — The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says a device that triggered the evacuation of Florida Key Community College was an extra credit chemistry project.

Chemistry professor Bruce Gragg found the device in his mail at the college. He placed it in a garbage can and the sheriff’s office was called to the scene.

Investigators determined the device was not dangerous.

Meanwhile, 56-year-old Gary Moes of Key West called detectives to say the device was his. Moes said he was enrolled in Gragg’s online chemistry class, where they were studying chemical reactions.

Moes said he’d constructed the device as an extra credit project.

Detectives are conferring with the state attorney’s office to determine if any charges will be filed.

  • Omaha Instructor Recognized for Teaching Talent

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Metropolitan Community College instructor has been recognized for ability to make history classes interesting and engaging.

The Nebraska Community College Association recently gave Amy Forss its annual excellence in teaching award.

Forss has a reputation as a creative, challenging instructor. She has developed several online courses for Metro, including black history and black women in America.

Forss expects to receive her doctorate in African-American history from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this December.

  • Minn. Enrollment Keeps Climbing, Tops 200,000

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Enrollment topped 200,000 this fall in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, making it the fifth straight year of increases and setting a new record.

The system announced that there were 203,756 students in its 32 colleges and universities, a 2.7 percent increase over last fall.

Community colleges around the country have been booming as adults go back to school to upgrade their skills in a tight job market, and MnSCU was no exception.

Enrollment growth among the system’s 25 community and technical colleges averaged more than 3 percent. Enrollment grew nearly 8 percent among those 25 to 34 years old and nearly 6 percent among 35- to 44-year-old students.

  • Missouri College Students Make Booklet for USDA

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Two students at a community college in southwest Missouri have created a new children’s booklet about water conservation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Debbie Hunter and Alicia Michael, students at Ozarks Technical Community College, made the booklet called “Skeeter’s Awesome Adventure.” Hunter wrote the story, and Michael did the illustrations.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the booklet is for children in preschool through third grade. In the story, Skeeter the mouse is playing in his sandbox when a water drop takes him on a journey through the water cycle.

The booklet will be distributed through USDA service centers. About 15,000 copies will be printed.

  • Neb. Colleges Reach Accord On Funding Deal

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s six community colleges have reached an agreement on a new funding formula.

Nebraska Community College Association director Dennis Baack told Scottsbluff radio station KNEB he can’t discuss details of the agreement until it is approved by each of the community colleges’ boards, expected to happen over the next two months. The plan would then need to go to the Legislature, charged with setting the state’s two-year budget starting in July.

The colleges had long battled over funding when the issue came to a head last year. Omaha-based Metro Community College dropped out of the association and sued the other colleges.

Metro dropped that lawsuit after the colleges agreed last spring to give Metro an additional $1.8 million.

  • Ivy Tech Eyes Easier Process For Transfers

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College says it’s trying to make it easier for its students to transfer to four-year colleges.

Ivy Tech says it has assigned “transfer advocates” at each of the community college’s 14 regions around the state.

The advocates can answer questions from students and help them understand the transfer process.

Ivy Tech also is touting one statewide phone number as a first point of contact for students with questions about transferring credits.

The school also is making sure curriculums posted online for students are accurate.

Ivy Tech president Thomas Snyder says the goal is to provide a seamless transfer process.

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