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2010 November 15 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Budget Problems Delay Miss. College Health Center Plans

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A shortage of public funds has put on hold East Mississippi Community College’s planned nursing, health and wellness center in Lowndes County.

Counties in the region that provide funding to EMCC are struggling with their own budget problems.

EMCC President Rick Young tells The Commercial Dispatch that he hasn’t put a timeline on completion of the project. He says the school has applied for grants and made corporate presentations to solicit donations.

Four counties had agreed to financially support the project but others could not.

Current plans are for a $29.9 million center with four floors and 128,000 square feet. The center would house a fitness center and the school’s nursing and various other health-related programs.

  • Pick, Grin and Study: School Offers Bluegrass Classes

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — Officials at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin are working to develop classes on bluegrass music.

As a prelude to the classes, the college is sponsoring a series of bluegrass jam sessions.

According to a news release from the school, the classes would deal with the history of bluegrass, music theory and career opportunities.

Other jam sessions are scheduled for later this month.

  • Report Says Many CCRI Students Need Remediation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A report says nearly two-thirds of the Rhode Island high school graduates who enroll at the Community College of Rhode Island need remedial classes when they get there.

Education officials say the report commissioned by the Board of Governors for Higher Education reflects poorly on the state’s public school system and places a burden the college.

The report says the problem affects urban and suburban districts, and even some private schools.

About 60 percent of students who graduated from public and private schools in 2005 and 2006 and enrolled at CCRI needed remediation in reading, writing or math.

The percentage in 2007 was 63 percent.

CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale tells The Providence Journal the state’s schools and higher education system must work together to fix the system.

  • Japanese WWII Internees Get Honorary Degrees

COMPTON, Calif. (AP) — Nearly 70 years after their studies were interrupted by World War II, dozens of Japanese Americans forced into relocation camps now have California college degrees.

The Compton Community College District presented honorary associate in arts degrees to the internees.

One of them was 87-year-old Lawson Sakai, who was awarded a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars during World War II. His studies at the former Compton Junior College were suspended in 1942 when the government forcibly relocated about 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry to internment camps.

Sakai says he has four children and seven grandchildren and he was the only one without a degree.

The Los Angeles Times says 78 second-generation Japanese Americans were qualified for honorary degrees and 46 of them planned to be on hand to claim diplomas in person.

  • Okla. Report Shows Rise In College Enrollments

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Preliminary enrollment figures for the current school year indicate the number of students at Oklahoma’s colleges and university continues to rise.

The report released by state higher education regents indicate that overall enrollment at Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities has increased by 3.3 percent from a year ago to 193,462.

Community colleges showed a 4.9 percent increase to 79,938 students. Two such schools, Connors State College in Warner and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami, experienced double-digit percentage increases.

The report noted that 22,192 students are enrolled at private colleges and universities, an increase of 1.2 percent.

Total enrollment at all levels is more than 215,000.

Chancellor Glen Johnson says the enrollment increases show the value Oklahomans place on earning a college degree.

  • Ala. Targets Dropouts By Waiving $50 Fee for GED

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The state’s Department of Postsecondary Education is waiving the $50 fee for those looking to earn their GED certificate.

To qualify, the agency is requiring people score at least 500 in reading, writing, math, social studies and science on the general education development test. Students must also been enrolled in 30 hours of adult education classes.

The department estimates that almost 900,000 people in Alabama ages 16 and older never finished high school. The education department started waiving the fee on Oct. 1.

Directors of adult education programs at area community colleges say making the GED free encourages more dropouts to take the test. Students who pass the GED are also eligible for up to three semester hours of course work as long as they attend one of Alabama’s community colleges.

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