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2010 December 1 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Soldiers Being Trained for Construction Projects

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — Dozens of soldiers from Fort Knox are going to learn about carpentry, plumbing and electricity before heading off to Afghanistan.

A five-week program at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College was designed specifically for the 50 soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

Lt. Col. Dave Brown, who is commander of the 201st Brigade Support Battalion, says the goal is to have two soldiers per company able to build structures they need to improve their living conditions. Brown says the soldiers will also be able to help Afghan partners learn to rebuild their country and to inspect projects built to meet civilians’ emergency needs.

College President and CEO Thelma J. White says the school was able to develop a customized program quickly that will help the soldiers during their Army stints and beyond.

  • Ky. Colleges Collaborate On Training Program

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky community college is working with Austin Peay State University to train potential employees for Hemlock Semiconductor in Clarksville, Tenn.

Hopkinsville Community College’s Chemical Engineering Technology program and Austin Peay are splitting a $1.2 million State Energy Sector Partnership grant to create training centers for jobs like those to be offered at Hemlock.

Hopkinsville Community College plans to hold informational sessions on enrolling in the program.

The Kentucky New Era reports that Hemlock will manufacture polysilicon, which is a key component in solar panels. Production is expected to begin in late 2012.

Students may immediately enroll at APSU, or take part in the one-plus-one program between HCC and Austin Peay, which allows students to take 33 of the required credit hours at the community college before taking the remaining 27 hours at Austin Peay.

  • Judge Orders College To Pay Damages to Former Professor

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Hinds Community College must pay a former professor $345,020 after a federal jury found she had been the victim of workplace retaliation.

Renee Summers-Akers, who taught at Hinds from 1982 until her retirement this spring, alleged she was passed over for a promotion in 2006 because she had aided a colleague who was accusing the college of racial discrimination.

The Clarion-Ledger reported that Summers-Akers also alleged she was discriminated against because of her gender. The person selected over her to chair the college’s business administration department was a man with less experience.

According to the verdict, Summers-Akers was not the victim of gender discrimination.

For her workplace retaliation claim, she was awarded compensatory damages, as well as back pay she would have earned as the department chairwoman and interest.

  • College Board Trustees Headed By Okla. City CC President

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The president of Oklahoma City Community College now is the chairman of the College Board’s Board of Trustees.

OCCC’s Paul Sechrist is only the second community college president to serve in that role during the 110-year history of the College Board, which offers services and programs to annually help millions of students prepare for college.

Sechrist will serve a two-year term as the board chairman. In that role, he will help the College Board establish policies, assist with legal decisions, develop its mission and advise its management.

He told The Oklahoman his selection shows the key role community colleges play in reaching national degree-completion goals and boosting the economy.

  • Referendum To Upgrade Wis. College Wins Voter Approval

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Voters in 12 counties have approved a $133 million referendum to pay for upgrades at Madison Area Technical College.

The proposal received nearly 60 percent of the vote. It will cost homeowners in the 12 counties served by the college about $33 a year for 20 years.

That cost estimate is based on an average home price of $245,000.

Among other things, the referendum will pay for construction of a new $43 million health services building.

Voters across the nation have been willing to raise taxes to pay for education and community services. A recent analysis of nearly 2,400 local revenue measures by The Associated Press found voters in 19 states passed 50 percent or more of the initiatives that came before them this year.

  • La. Chancellor Announces Plans To Retire After 8-Year Tenure

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Jan Brobst, the second chancellor of South Louisiana Community College, has announced her retirement.

Brobst, who has been at the college for eight years, will step down Dec. 31.

Brobst, whose contract was recently renewed, says her decision to retire is strictly personal and that she would like to spend more time with her family and grandchildren. She plans to relocate to the Dallas area to be closer to her family.

Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Joe D. May and the Board of Supervisors will develop the process to identify the college’s next leader.

The college offers eight degree programs at three locations — Lafayette, New Iberia and Franklin Site — and enrolls more than 4,200 students each semester.

  • N. Idaho College Moves Toward Banning Smoking On Campus

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Student government leaders at North Idaho College say a smoking ban will likely be proposed for the community college campus.

Shelby Gonzales is a senator for the Associated Students of North Idaho College.

Gonzales tells the Coeur d’Alene Press that a smoking policy committee has been set up with the goal of making the campus a better environment for all students.

Gonzales says students and faculty have complained about second-hand smoke.

Elsewhere in the state, the College of Southern Idaho and Boise State University already have smoking bans in place.

  • Oregon Colleges Establish New Records for Enrollment

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Preliminary figures for enrollment increases at the University of Oregon and Lane Community College have set records.

The Register-Guard reports the university enrolled about 23,300 students for fall term, an increase of about 4 percent over the 22,286 in 2009. It is the third straight year the Eugene campus has set a record.

At Lane Community College, total enrollment is up almost 4 percent, to 16,829 from 16,225 students last fall.

The increase was 5 percent for full-time equivalent students.

Lane had double-digit full-time equivalent growth in each of the two previous years, growing a total of 35 percent between 2007 and 2009.

  • 3 ND Colleges Collaborate on New Bismarck Cultural Institute

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Three Bismarck-area schools are planning to work together on a cultural institute.

Bismarck State College, United Tribes Technical College and the University of Mary plan to partner on an Institute for Culture and Public Service.

Officials tell The Bismarck Tribune it would be a way to connect students and other members of the community with the culture of the area and the various levels of government.

  • Tenn. University Plans To Offer Business Classes On Miss. Campus

CORINTH, Miss. (AP) — Freed-Hardeman University, a liberal arts college in Henderson, Tenn., will being offering business management classes in January at the Corinth, Miss., branch of Northeast Mississippi Community College.

Officials say an undergraduate student or graduate of NEMCC can take courses offered by FHU at the Corinth campus and after completing the academic requirements of both institutions, the student can earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Freed-Hardeman.

NEMCC President Johnny Allen says the goal is to enable students to be enrolled concurrently at both schools so Northeast graduates can be admitted into FHU. He says the partnership also will expand student options for college-level services.

  • Ky. College Getting 5-Year Grant for Health Care Training

EDGEWOOD, Ky. (AP) — Officials at Gateway Community and Technical College
in northern Kentucky are expecting a federal grant of at least $8.5 million over a five-year period to help low-income students earn degrees in health care.

Gateway President and CEO G. Edwards Hughes says it would be the largest single federal competitive grant Gateway has ever received.

The grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families will provide nearly $1.8 million in the first year.

The funds will be used to provide support services and resources to help low-income students earn their degrees.

Hughes says it’s expected the grant will particularly benefit urban students with some of the funded programs probably being placed at the Urban Center in downtown Covington.

  • Ivy Tech Videos Aim To Answer Questions on Financial Aid

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College is hoping an online video service can help answer financial aid questions from students looking for help.

The online counseling service called Financial Aid TV includes answers to nearly 150 frequently asked questions about financial aid and money topics such as loan programs, grants and scholarships.

Chief student financial resources officer Ben Burton says many Ivy Tech students rely on financial aid to attend college, and the online videos will help them better understand the process.

The short clips are available online at: http://ivytech.financialaidtv.com/

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