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2011 February 21 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • NC Bill Aims To Ban Illegal Immigrants from State Colleges

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker is proposing a law barring illegal immigrants from attending North Carolina community colleges and universities.

Rep. George Cleveland filed a bill that would reverse admissions rules in effect for University of North Carolina campuses and the country’s third-largest community college system.

The state community colleges board voted last year to admit illegal immigrants to classrooms if they graduated from a U.S. high school, pay out-of-state tuition and don’t displace a citizen.

The community colleges have changed the illegal immigrant admission policy four times since 2000.

The Pew Hispanic Center says North Carolina had about 275,000 illegal immigrants in 2009, down from about 350,000 in 2008.

  • New Retail School Being Launched by Virginia College

NORFOLK, Va. — Tidewater Community College will launch a new school next fall to teach students to work in the retail industry, a move school officials said is a response to a need expressed by local and regional business leaders.

“The School of Retail will respond to a critical need in our region’s economy — indeed, an important part of each of our daily lives — with the kind of innovative, inclusive partnership TCC has long made its calling card,” said TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce. She said the school will teach all aspects of the retail industry.

Gerald Divaris, chairman of the Divaris Group of Companies, a real estate brokerage and development firm, is working closely with the college to design the school.

“Our vision to work hand-in-hand with Hampton Roads’ business leaders can result in a School of Retail unlike any other in our region and, just perhaps, unlike any other in the Commonwealth, or the nation,” said Divaris.

The school will prepare individuals for careers and advancement in a variety of retail and retail-related enterprises through credit and non-credit programming. Where the school will be located has not been decided, but TCC’s new Portsmouth campus is a top candidate.

The school will serve those interested in retail from entry-level employees to mid- and senior-level management. Types of courses offered likely will address demographics, marketing and customer service; funding; retail management; retail operations and technology; shopping center management; small business/entrepreneurship; store location, design and planning; and supply chain management

TCC’ will work with an advisory board composed of local corporate leaders, some of whom will serve as instructors. Classes and programs can lead to certificates in a range of areas as well as provide internships, continuing education for professionals and opportunities with clubs and organizations.

  • Calif. Board Grants Pay Cut Request from Chancellor

MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) — The chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District is voluntarily taking a 5 percent pay cut and limiting her health benefits as the district prepares for a big drop in funding.

The district governing board agreed to accept Helen Benjamin’s proposal to reduce her annual pay from about $272,000 to about $259,000 and forego her scheduled 5-percent raise this year. The board also agreed to cap the district’s monthly contributions to Benjamin’s health benefits at $500.

Benjamin tells the Contra Costa Times she made the requests because “it’s the right thing to do.”

The community college district, which serves nearly 62,000 students, is facing millions of dollars in state budget cuts.

  • Mass. Biotech Prof Among Those Honored By White House

WELLESLEY, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts Bay Community College professor has received a prestigious award from President Obama.

Bruce Jackson, a biotechnology professor and director of biotechnology programs at Mass Bay, was awarded the “Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.”

Jackson was one of 11 people and four organizations that were honored.

Jackson is known for “The Roots Project” — a project that uses genetics to trace the ancestry of African-Americans to their African roots.

  • Idaho Student Fees Make Up Nearly Half of College’s Budget

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The president of the College of Western Idaho says tuition and fees from students are expected to make up nearly half of his budget for the next fiscal year.

Bert Glandon says at most community colleges, tuition makes up just 18 to 20 percent of the budget.

Students are also paying more to attend Idaho’s newest community college, where the cost per credit has been hiked from $119 to $129 per credit, to help offset declines in state funding.

Glandon says enrollment has doubled since last year to more than 7,000 students.

Idaho’s community colleges are asking lawmakers to increase their overall funding from about $25 million to more than $32 million for next year.

  • UDC Seeks $8M Infusion To Preserve New Two-Year College

WASHINGTON (AP) — The University of the District of Columbia says it needs an immediate cash infusion of $8 million from the city government to avoid painful cuts at its new community college.

UDC launched its community college two years ago and it has been popular, already drawing more than 2,500 students.

But officials say that getting the two-year college off the ground has depleted the university’s reserves. Without money from the city, it says it may have to cut programs that city leaders are counting on to cut the jobless rate.

UDC officials say a new campus location in Ward 8, supported by Mayor Vincent Gray, is contributing to the school’s budget problems.

City leaders are already struggling with a $400 million budget deficit.

  • Nev. Chancellor: New Budget Cuts Would Gut State Colleges

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The head of Nevada’s higher education system says Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget proposal would set back higher education to 2003 funding levels and cut $162 million from the state’s community colleges and universities.

Chancellor Dan Klaich told a legislative committee that making up the shortfall by raising tuition and fees would increase student costs 73 percent and make higher education unaffordable for many.

To close the gap by layoffs would entail getting rid of more than 1,800 employees.

Sandoval has recommended cutting general fund support for higher education by roughly 10 percent.

Klaich said when the loss of federal stimulus dollars are included, the decline is closer to 24 percent.

  • SC Tech Colleges Get Flexibility On Tuition Amid Budget Cuts

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s technical colleges are getting more flexibility on tuition as they deal with state funding cuts.

The Greenville News reported the governing board of the state’s technical college system agreed Tuesday to give the local schools more choices on tuition.

Students have paid a flat rate, even if they took more than the 12 hours each term to be designated as full-time students.

Greenville Technical College President Keith Miller says the school is considering three options.

One option would be to change nothing. The second would add a fee to students who take more than 12 hours. The third plan would charge all students by the number of hours in each course, regardless of the number of courses taken.

The new options would apply starting in the fall term.

  • Mo. Colleges Eliminating 116 Degree Programs In Savings Move

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — More than 100 degree programs will be eliminated at Missouri colleges and universities as part of a cost-savings review ordered by Gov. Jay Nixon.

The state Department of Higher Education issued a report outlining the 116 academic programs slated for deletion at two- and four-year schools because few students pursue degrees in those subjects. Many of the programs are graduate level, and the elimination of a degree program doesn't mean courses will no longer be offered.

The cuts will be phased in to allow students in degree programs faced with elimination to graduate.

The University of Missouri-Columbia, the state's largest university, tops the list with 19 programs on the chopping block, followed by 11 at the University of Central Missouri and nine at Northwest Missouri State University. Truman State and Harris-Stowe were the only two of the state's 13 public universities with no program cuts.

Forty-six degree programs at Missouri's 14 community colleges are no more, led by Metropolitan Community College with 11. Four community colleges were spared cuts.

Hundreds more degree programs were reviewed but spared elimination, with 24 programs reclassified as inactive and 175 flagged for another review in three years.

  • Tenn. Colleges Cutting Classes Under School Reform Measures

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee colleges have put their course offerings under the microscope as higher education reform continues.

Public colleges and universities are looking not only at what courses are popular and necessary, but which ones could be cut, reported The Tennessean.

“It's probably the most disappointing experience you can have,” said George Van Allen, president of Nashville State Community College, which saw its entrepreneurship and sign language interpretation programs terminated last month.

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