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2011 February 7 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • NC Colleges Move To Bar Safety Threats

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s community college board is moving ahead with a rule allowing schools to refuse admission to students who campus officials consider a threat.

The board voted to give schools in the country’s third-largest community college system the ability to bar students who appear to pose an imminent and significant threat.

Disabilities groups and the American Civil Liberties Union say they’ll monitor how the policy is applied. They say they worry people with mental and physical disabilities will be hurt.

Community colleges board member Stuart Fountain says the change is an attempt to balance safety with the open-door nature of the two-year schools.

The state’s 58 campuses already have the authority to suspend or expel students to protect others.

  • 2 St. Louis-Area Colleges Ban All Smoking

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two St. Louis-area college systems are banning smoking, and not just inside their buildings.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis Community College and Harris-Stowe State University have banned smoking anywhere on campus, indoors and out. Both bans took effect last month.

Harris-Stowe’s vice president for academic affairs, Dwayne Smith, says the smoking ban is for the health and well-being of the university community.

The colleges join three others in the St. Louis area that already had smoke-free campuses — Washington University, Fontbonne University and St. Louis Christian College.

  • Wyo. College Mulls Changing Library Policy

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) — Western Wyoming Community College trustees are debating whether to change the school library’s policy on government access to student records.

The existing policy says the library won’t answer to a third party about what a patron is checking out unless there is a court order or subpoena, which must be reviewed.

The Rock Springs Rocket-Miner reports college President Karla Leach has approved proposal to require the library to follow all state and federal laws. That includes the Patriot Act, which expanded FBI authority to access library records. Critics say that challenges privacy rights.

Trustees have started discussions. The matter is scheduled to come up again at a trustees’ meeting Feb. 10.

  • Tax Credits Aid Neb. College Expansion Plans

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Mid-Plains Community College is planning to expand its presence in Ogallala.

The state Department of Economic Development says it has awarded an additional $25,0000 in tax credits to Keith County Area Development toward the project. The nonprofit has gotten a total of almost $246,000 in credits toward a 7,444-square-foot building. The facility will house classrooms, meeting rooms, an online learning center and a space for students to learn small engine repair and diesel mechanics.

  • Iowa Receives $775K in Grants To Help Jobless

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa has received $775,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Labor to help more than 100 workers who lost their jobs at companies in northeast Iowa.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says in a news release that the grants will help provide training and other services to the displaced workers.

The grants were awarded to Iowa Workforce Development and will be administered by Hawkeye Community College and the Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission.

The funds will help provide aid to employees affected by layoffs several companies. The services will include development of re-employment plans and assistance with transportation and childcare.

  • Mo. Colleges Trying To Cap Tuition Hikes

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Leaders of Missouri’s community colleges will try to keep tuition increases below $5 a credit hour next school year.

The Missouri Community College Association said the presidents and chancellors of the colleges have agreed to ask their boards of trustees to abide by the cap.

Gov. Jay Nixon praised the decision during a news conference with community college officials in southwest Missouri.

Nixon has recommended a 7 percent state funding cut for Missouri’s public colleges and universities during the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Hal Higdon, president of Ozarks Technical Community College, said college leaders had anticipated a much larger cut, so they now likely can limit tuition increases to $5 per credit hour.

  • NM Agreement Creates Path to 4-Year Degrees

TUCUMCARI, N.M. (AP) — Mesalands Community College and the University of New Mexico have signed an agreement that will allow the school to offer bachelor’s degrees in business administration and early childhood education.

Officials from both schools say the agreement will help offer access and support to students enrolling in upper-division and graduate level courses at Mesalands.

UNM courses will be delivered online and via interactive television.

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