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2011 January 10 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Ivy Tech Takes Over 13-Story Hotel Building

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ivy Tech State College plans to buy and renovate a 13-story former hotel near its main Indianapolis campus.

Ivy Tech officials said the project is being paid for with a $22.9 million grant from the Lilly Endowment. The grant is the largest in the school’s history.

The former Stouffer’s Hotel will be named the Indiana Center for Workforce Solutions and will house the college’s workforce development operations, the culinary program, distance learning education and administrative offices.

Lilly Endowment vice president Sara Cobb says the new space should help Ivy Tech meet the needs of its dramatic growth. The school’s Indianapolis enrollment has nearly doubled to about 22,000 students since 2005.

The school says a timeline for renovating and opening the building north of the city’s downtown is still being developed.

  • Conn. College Transfers Hit New Record

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Officials say a record number of community college students are transferring into Central, Southern, Eastern and Western Connecticut state universities.

Almost 1,600 students from Connecticut’s 12 community colleges transferred this fall to the four schools, which comprise the Connecticut State University System. That’s a jump of 43 percent since 2005.

Officials credit recent changes to make transferring credits easier, including a program geared toward associate degree students who decide early in their college career that they’ll eventually transfer to a CSUS college.

The Connecticut State University System has about 36,000 students and 180,000 alumni.

  • Mich. Students Repeat Classes, Audit Finds

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — Some students at a Michigan community college don’t give up.

State of Michigan auditors have raised concerns after finding nearly 700 students had repeated many classes at Monroe County Community College.

Auditors said they found 186 students took an English class at least three times and some enrolled eight times. Some 250 students repeated political science or algebra or basic math at least three times.

Auditors looked at records of students who were enrolled from fall 2007 through spring 2009. They say allowing students to repeatedly enroll in the same class is not a wise use of tax dollars.

The college says it will study the issue. It says students sometimes are advised to take a class again to improve their grade-point average.

  • Biotech Leaders Laud Programs At Mass. Schools

BOSTON (AP) — The life sciences industry in Massachusetts is putting its seal of approval on a biotechnology degree or certificate programs at eight state community colleges.

The Massachusetts Life Science Education Consortium has endorsed the programs, saying they are successfully training students to work in biotechnology companies and allowing the state to keep a competitive edge.

The consortium has worked directly with the colleges to define the skills that students will need as they enter the workforce.

Massachusetts Biotechnology Council President Robert Coughlin says companies that choose to locate or expand in the Bay State rely on a talented employee base.

The eight community colleges are Berkshire, Bunker Hill, Middlesex, Mount Wachusett, Northern Essex, Quinsigamond, Roxbury and Springfield Technical.

  • Capps Named President at Central Va. CC

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Western Community College administrator has been named president of Central Virginia Community College.

John S. Capps will succeed Darrell Staat, who was named chancellor of South Carolina’s community and technical college system earlier this year.

Virginia Community Colleges Chancellor Glenn DuBois announced Capps’ selection in a news release.

Capps’ appointment is effective March 1, 2011. Cynthia Bambara will continue to serve as interim president until then.

Capps has served in several positions at Virginia Western since 1978 and currently is vice president of academic and student affairs.

  • Ky. Official Resigns To Take Maricopa Job

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — State Personnel Secretary Nikki Jackson is stepping down to accept a position as vice chancellor for human resources with the Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona.

Jackson’s last day as head of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet was Jan. 7.

Deputy Secretary Tim Longmeyer is being promoted to replace Jackson. Longmeyer has been second in command at the Personnel Cabinet for the past three years.

Beshear praised Jackson’s work at personnel secretary, saying under her leadership the cabinet has improved efficiencies and promoted workplace innovation. He also touted Longmeyer as ``a valuable member’’ of the leadership team.

  • Interim President Gets Permanent Job in Nebraska

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — Western Nebraska Community College no longer has an interim president.

The college board decided that Todd Holcomb has earned the job, so members voted to remove the adjective and make him president of the school.

Board President Jane Wisniewski told Scottsbluff radio station KNEB that Holcomb all the strengths necessary to be a great college president.

Holcomb took over in June for Eileen Ely, who left to become president of Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash.

Holcomb had been vice president of student services since September 2009.

  • Ala. Court Won’t Revisit Ban on Double-Dipping

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its decision upholding the ban on two-year college employees serving in the Legislature.

The Alabama Education Association had asked the state's highest court to reconsider its October decision upholding the double-dipping ban, but the court refused 8-0.

Former Gov. Bob Riley pushed for the ban when it was enacted by the State Board of Education. He said the court's decision ends the litigation.

The Legislature placed the double dipping ban into state law during its special session on ethics, but it extended the deadline for legislators to make a choice from 2011 to 2014.

  • Study Says More Utah Students Need To Finish

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — State education administrators are setting their sights on having more university students graduate within six years.

The effort is being called the “Big Goal.”

The Deseret News reports the Utah State Board of Regents retention and graduation effort follows a recent Georgetown University finding that by 2018, two-thirds of all jobs in Utah will need employees with a higher education degree or certificate.

The Georgetown report finds that only only 40 percent full-time Utah community college students earn associate degrees within three years.

  • Neb. College Program Wins National Award

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Southeast Community College’s Entrepreneurship Center has won an award in the 2010 Exemplary Initiatives Competition, sponsored by the National Council of Instructional Administrators.

SCC’s center won the Community and Workforce Needs category with its entry: “Educating, Enhancing and Empowering Entrepreneurs: Igniting the Entrepreneurial Spirit.”

The center serves as a resource for anyone needing entrepreneurial help.

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