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2011 March 7 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Illegal Immigrant Ban Overturned At NJ College


MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — Trustees from the County College of Morris voted to change the school’s admissions policy this week, overturning a provision that had barred illegal immigrants from taking classes.

The board voted to amend the provision, which had been passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

A school spokeswoman told The Daily Record of Parsippany that applicants who are illegal immigrants will be allowed to enroll if they can prove they came to United States before age 16, have been living here for at least five years, and graduated from an American high school or with an equivalency diploma, among other criteria.

Several of New Jersey’s community colleges currently allow illegal immigrants to enroll, or do not ask immigration status on school applications.

The presidents of more than half of the state’s 19 community colleges, in consultation with their boards of trustees, signed a letter in December urging New Jersey’s congressional delegation to help pass the Dream Act. That’s federal legislation that would have allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally before the age of 16 the chance to legalize their status by completing at least two years of college or military service if they satisfied certain criteria.

The bill, which did not pass, would also have granted states the power to decide whether to allow students covered by the Dream Act to pay in-state tuition rates.

  • NH Adjuncts Vote To Form Labor Union

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Adjunct faculty members in New Hampshire’s community college system have formed a labor union.

The Public Employee Labor Relations Board said that a majority of the system’s adjunct professors have voted to have the State Employees’ Association represent their 557 eligible members. The SEA already represents the college system’s full-time professors and other workers.

Mary Lee Sargent, an adjunct professor, who teaches at both New Hampshire Technical Institute and Lakes Region Community College, says unionizing will give adjuncts a greater voice and more respect as educators. She says education suffers when there is high turnover and low morale.

  • Fla. Lottery’s School Funding Hits $22 Billion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Lottery’s contributions to the state’s education system have reached $22 billion.

Lottery officials said the 23-year total, including $1.25 billion in the 2009-10 budget year.

It was the eighth straight year that the lottery’s contribution to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund has topped $1 billion.

The fund provides money for public schools as well as state colleges, community colleges and state universities. It also supports Bright Futures scholarships for college and university students and other student financial aid.

More than 500,000 Bright Futures scholarships have been awarded to date.

  • NM Schools Offering Degree In Agriculture

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Two New Mexico schools have teamed up to allow students to start work on an agriculture degree at one school and finish at another.

Students at Luna Community College in Las Vegas can receive credit during their first two years of study that will meet requirements for a bachelor’s degree in agriculture at New Mexico State University.

The students have 11 courses to choose from.

School officials finalized the agreement earlier this month.

NMSU President Barbara Couture says it’s important to find innovative ways to meet the needs of students across the state.

  • Ivy Tech Grads Offered Tuition Price Break

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College graduates who meet certain academic standards will get a tuition break toward a bachelor’s degree at Indiana Tech.

The two schools have announced a partnership that allows students who complete an associate degree at Ivy Tech with at least a 2.5 GPA to qualify for a merit scholarship equal to a 20 percent discount on Indiana Tech undergraduate tuition.

The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reports the partnership covers for all locations of the two schools.

The dollar value of the merit scholarship varies depending on program but could be worth up to $4,400 a year.

Indiana Tech already has several transfer agreements with Ivy Tech to allow students to progress smoothly into a bachelor’s degree program.

  • Ky. College Sees Surge in Dual Enrollment

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — The first class of Commonwealth Middle College is approaching graduation at the end of this semester from the cooperative program in which students take high school and college courses at the same time.

In fact, Middle College principal Donna Wear told The Paducah Sun that four of those graduating this year will receive not only a high school diploma but also an associate degree.

Wear is enthusiastic about the college’s success, which shows in the fact that applications to enter the program at West Kentucky Community & Technical College in Paducah have more than doubled.

Middle College is a cooperative program with support from WKCTC as well as McCracken County and Marshall County schools. Students take both high school and college courses five days a week at the WKCTC campus in Paducah. Wear says they can earn up to 36 credits toward a college degree, or more if they pay extra.

  • SUNY, CUNY Eye Business Deals, Tuition Hikes

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The chancellors of New York’s public universities are pushing legislators hard for regular, moderate tuition increases and the authority to enter lucrative partnerships with the private sector as they face another round of deep budget cuts

Lawmakers showed concern about reduced funding for the State University of New York and the City University of New York, but made no promises to roll back Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed cuts in continued hard fiscal times.

Cuomo’s budget would cut state support to SUNY, CUNY, their community colleges and state aid to private colleges by 10 percent. It would also end the state’s subsidy for teaching hospitals in Syracuse, New York City and on Long island.

The cuts would come after similar reductions for SUNY and CUNY last year.

  • Bismarck State Has Record Spring Enrollment

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Bismarck State College is reporting a record spring enrollment for the fourth year in a row.

The two-year technical college says 3,985 full- or part-time students are enrolled.

The Bismarck Tribune says BSC Executive Vice President Dave Clark credits in part the school’s energy technology programs, which he says are a good match for the booming energy industry in the state.

  • Idaho Deal Lets Students Transfer Academic Credit

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Officials at the College of Idaho and the College of Southern Idaho are hailing a new deal they say will allow students to transfer credits between the two schools.

College of Idaho President Marv Henberg says the agreement should increase access to higher education for more students.

It enables students who earn a two-year associate degree from CSI in Twin Falls to get junior-year standing at the Caldwell-based C of I.

College of Idaho administrators say the agreement helps expand the reach of its new PEAK curriculum, which combines broad liberal arts studies with more specialized fields.

  • Miss. College Starts Building Services Facility

BOONEVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Northeast Mississippi Community College has started construction on a new student services building on the Booneville campus.

NMCC President Johnny Allen says the $7 million T. Jack Ramsey Student Services Building will bring admission, records, financial aid, business, housing and counseling services together under one roof.

The Banner Independent reports that construction is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

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