- NC Colleges Get OK To Opt Out of Fed Loan Program
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation approved by the state House allows North Carolina community colleges to opt out of offering low-interest federal loans to students, only a year after the General Assembly mandated all campuses participate in the program.
Republican-backed legislation approved by the state House eliminates the requirement that colleges join the program starting in July, and instead allows colleges to decide the issue. Currently, more than half of the 58 campuses don’t participate.
Primary sponsor Rep. Dan Ingle said many campuses are concerned about high debt for students and sanctions for large numbers of unpaid student loans. Opponents contend that ending the requirement would discriminate against adults who are returning to community college during bad economic times and hurt families that can’t afford a four-year school.
The chamber rejected several amendments. The measure now goes to the state Senate.
- Man Admits Using College Computer To Download Porn
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois man faces up to two decades in federal prison after admitting he downloaded several hundred images of child pornography using a community college library’s computer.
Twenty-seven-year-old Thomas Smith pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to receiving child pornography.
Federal prosecutors say a public safety officer at Southwestern Illinois College caught Smith viewing child porn last October on a public computer in the school’s library, and that Smith tried to close the web page and unplugged MP3 players onto which he was downloading the images.
Authorities say Smith admits downloading a couple hundred photos of girls between 10 and 15 years old. Sentencing is scheduled for June 27.
- Ky. Colleges Agree on Plan for Dual Admission
HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Students can now be jointly admitted to Hopkinsville Community College and Western Kentucky University, thanks to an agreement signed by the presidents of both schools.
The joint admissions program will help students completing an associate degree program at HCC move seamlessly into a bachelor’s degree program at Western.
Qualifying students will be admitted to both schools and will have access to student services at both, including academic advising.
The agreement was signed in Hopkinsville by HCC President James Selbe and WKU President Gary Ransdell.
Ransdell says the agreement will help better serve students at both schools and will enhance educational opportunities.
Western has more than 200 students jointly admitted through similar agreements with Owensboro Community and Technical College, Madisonville Community College and Henderson Community College.
- Plan To Merge Conn. Boards Raises Concern
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A proposal to reorganize the oversight of some Connecticut state universities and its community colleges is prompting concern from students and some lawmakers.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposes creating a single board of regents to oversee Connecticut’s community colleges, Charter Oak State College and the Connecticut State University System. The University of Connecticut would still have a separate board of trustees.
Several people spoke out against the proposal at a recent legislative hearing.
Some said they worry about cuts in college budgets and larger class sizes. Others questioned whether a single board could operate effectively, since the focus of the 12 community colleges is so different from the four-year institutions.
Higher Education Commissioner Michael Meotti said the state would save about $4.3 million yearly through the consolidation.
- Proposed Rule On Barring Risky Students Delayed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A rule that would let North Carolina community colleges bar admission to students who appear to pose a threat likely will not take effect until next year.
The state’s Rules Review Commission acknowledged that it received at least 10 letters objecting to the community college board’s vote shortly after an Arizona congresswoman was wounded and six others killed. The suspect had been suspended from his community college for bizarre behavior.
The country’s third-largest community college system admits everyone but wanted an exception to exclude those who appear to pose an “imminent and significant threat.”
Disabilities advocates and the ACLU worried how community college campuses would decide who fits the description.
The rule now won’t take effect until July 2012 unless the governor or General Assembly orders otherwise.
- Kan. College President Takes Helm Early
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — The new president of Garden City Community College has taken over three months earlier than planned.
The college’s board of trustees voted to allow Herbert J. Swender to begin work as president on April 1, rather than on July 1 as previously planned. Interim president Joseph W. Emmons left early to return to home to Lawrence.
Emmons served as interim president since last August, replacing Carol Ballantyne after she retired after 10 years as president.
- Forsyth Tech Gets $40 Million Software Grant
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Forsyth Technical Community College has received $40.2 million worth of software for training students in product design, development and manufacturing.
School officials say the gift from Siemens PLM Software is the largest in-kind grant the college has ever received.
The software will introduce students to product design, development and manufacturing processes and will be used in the college’s mechanical engineering and machining technology programs. It will also be used to train employees at Caterpillar’s new local plant.
- W. Va. College Offers Courses For Gas Industry
WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Northern Community College will soon offer training for people eager to land jobs in the rapidly growing gas drilling industry.
J. Michael Koon, vice president for workforce development, says courses at the New Martinsville campus will target potential deck hands, roustabouts, welders and truck drivers.
Koon tells The Intelligencer newspaper that the school wants to help entry-level workers get into the industry so they can gain some experience.
Some gas industry executives have complained about problems finding skilled workers in West Virginia, and local union leaders and legislators have pushed them to hire locally.
Gas drillers are flocking to Pennsylvania and West Virginia to tap the Marcellus shale gas reserves underlying parts of Appalachia.
- 2 Defendants Dropped from Gang-Rape Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Two defendants have been dropped from a lawsuit filed by a teen girl who says she was gang-raped by members of the De Anza College baseball team.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that plaintiff’s attorneys have decided not to pursue negligence allegations against Ryan Kanzaki and Spencer Maltbie. The two were dropped from the case, leaving seven defendants still on trial.
Kanzaki’s attorney, James Kellenberger, says his client witnessed the attack but didn’t participate.
The alleged victim says she was assaulted by baseball players from the Cupertino-based community college on March 3, 2007, during a birthday party. She was 17 at the time.
The lawsuit was filed after prosecutors declined to file criminal charges. The California Attorney General’s Office has said witnesses were too drunk to remember what happened.
- Program Raises $42,000 for Ark. Scholarships
SPARKMAN, Ark. (AP) — Leaders in a southern Arkansas community of about 500 have raised more than $42,000 for a scholarship program that will pay college tuition for the town’s high school graduates.
Officials announced they had received $42,088 in donations for the Sparkman Promise. Leaders said last month they could establish the program with $27,000.
Glenda Bordelon told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that she and other organizers are astonished by donors’ generosity, and that fundraising efforts had just begun.