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2011 May 16 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • First Wind Power Techs Awarded Degrees From Maine College

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (AP) — Northern Maine Community College says its graduating class includes the first associate degree wind power technology students trained in New England.

A record 274 students will also took part in another first. Due to growing enrollment, the commencement ceremony was held off campus, at the Forum in Presque Isle, for the first time in more than a generation.

Fourteen community college students will become the first to earn an associate degree in wind power technology from a higher education institution in Maine. Program instructor Wayne Kilcollins says companies involved in wind and other alternative energy industries have been recruiting graduates for employment.

  • Driver for Former Ala. Chancellor Goes to Prison

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — One of the men who pleaded guilty in the public corruption scandal in Alabama’s two-year college system has been ordered to prison for violating the conditions of his supervised released.

U.S. District Judge Scott Coogler ruled that Lanier Robert Higgins must serve three and one-half months for using alcohol. The Birmingham News reported that Higgins was sentenced to nine months last year for the same violation.

Higgins was the driver for former two-year college chancellor Roy Johnson, who pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy and is now in federal prison. Higgins pleaded guilty to obstructing a federal investigation and was sentenced to four years on probation starting in 2008.

  • Panel Sets Tuition Ceilings for Ky. Colleges

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — The Council on Postsecondary Education has set maximums for tuition increases at state-funded colleges and universities.

The panel set a maximum tuition and fee increase of 6 percent for the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, 5 percent for comprehensive universities and 4 percent for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

The six comprehensive universities are Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University and Western Kentucky University.

Council officials said in a statement that the tuition increases were necessary to help offset cuts in state funding and expected increases in operating expenses and maintenance.

  • Intel Hiring Grads from Portland CC

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Intel has hired nearly all 15 graduates from this June’s class in a microelectronics program at Portland Community College, and it’s looking for more.

The Oregonian reports Intel is already the largest private employer in the state with 15,000 workers. It plans to add more than 4,000 this year nationwide. And, Intel is building a $3 billion research factory at Hillsboro that will employ 1,000 people when it opens in 2013.

One Intel technician who teaches at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus, Paul Wohr, says there aren’t enough student to meet the need.

Students need a background in math, chemistry and physics to enter the two-year program. They can start out earning $40,000 to $45,000 a year with the prospect of advancing to a six-figure salary.

  • Macomb CC Students Often Repeat Classes

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — State auditors say they discovered another Michigan community college allowing students to repeat classes over and over.

Auditors say allowing students at Warren-based Macomb Community College to repeatedly take the same class isn’t a good use of tax dollars. They found 549 students took the same class four or more times over a two-year period. Many were algebra classes. One student took algebra eight times.

Taking a class more than three times at Macomb Community College requires approval from a dean, adviser or counselor. State auditors didn’t always find appropriate rationale for classes to be repeated.

In response, the school says it will make students aware of services to help them succeed. Auditors in December found a similar trend at Monroe County Community College.

  • Emanuel Keeping Leadership Team At City Colleges

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has decided not to change the leadership team at the City Colleges of Chicago.

Cheryl Hyman will stay on as chancellor and Martin Cabrera will remain as board chairman.

Emanuel said he is sticking with the pair because he supports the “reinvention plan” they have put in place at the institution. However, he did appoint new trustees to the board that oversees the seven community colleges.

  • Conn. College Consolidation in Budget Proposal

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials say a plan to consolidate the management of some of the state’s universities and community colleges is part of a budget deal between Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Democratic legislative leaders.

The plan creates a board of regents to oversee Connecticut’s 12 community colleges, Charter Oak State College and the Connecticut State University System.

Officials say it was included in the budget compromise reached last week, though specifics haven’t been worked out. They estimate Connecticut would save about $4.3 million yearly through the consolidation.

Some lawmakers and others strongly oppose the plan. They question whether the needs of the community colleges and their students might be placed second to Central, Eastern, Western and Southern Connecticut state universities.

The University of Connecticut would still have a separate board of trustees.

  • Ivy Tech Program Facing End of Federal Funding

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — The future of a program that has helped to clean up and rejuvenate crime-prone neighborhoods in Lafayette is in question after funding was eliminated in next year’s federal budget.

Since its beginning in Lafayette in 2007, Weed and Seed has encouraged nonviolent criminal offenders to turn their lives around by helping them enroll at Ivy Tech Community College. The U.S. Department of Justice-sponsored program has also helped place the homeless and victims of domestic violence into longer-term housing.

But the Department of Justice’s Community Capacity Development Office tells The Journal & Courier the program is being eliminated.

Lafayette Weed and Seed coordinator Adam Murphy says funding will last through June 2012, but any grant distributions beyond that are uncertain.

The Lafayette program began with a $1 million grant in 2007.

  • Hawaii Colleges Take Steps To Slash Energy Use

HONOLULU (AP) — Community colleges in Hawaii expect to slash their energy use by nearly one-quarter and save a combined $58 million over the next 20 years due to conservation measures they are adopting.

University of Hawaii Community Colleges said it has signed a contract with Johnson Controls to reduce energy use at its various campuses.

Oahu campuses in the community college system will be installing solar water heaters, retrofitting lighting, and replacing ventilation and air conditioning systems. The steps are expected to cut electricity, water, sewage and gas use.

They’ll also get a full-time energy manager and electrical car charging stations.

  • N.J. College Reverses Illegal Immigrant Policy

RANDOLPH, N.J. (AP) — Illegal immigrants will no longer pay in-county tuition to attend the County College of Morris.

The Board of Trustees reversed a policy it approved in February that ended a 10-year ban on admission imposed after the 9-11 attacks for illegal immigrants who live in Morris County. The board granted said they could pay lower in-county rates.

Freeholders had asked the trustees to reconsider, saying the board didn’t want to supplement illegal immigrants’ tuitions with taxpayer money.

The Daily Record of Parsippany reported the vote to charge out-of-state tuition came after nearly four hours of discussion.

  • W. Va. College Approves Tuition Increase

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Tuition is going up at New River Community and Technical College.

The school said that its Board of Governors has approved an increase of $5.63 per credit hour in the 2011-12 academic year. New River says that works out to $68 per semester for fulltime students. New River only charges for the first 12 credits.

President Ted Spring says the school needs to charge students more because state funding hasn’t kept pace with rising demand for programs and services.

Spring says the school also had to hire more staff and add facilities and equipment when it separated from Bluefield State College.

  • Emergency Alert System Debuts At N.M. College

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Junior College has already used a new emergency alert system to let students, faculty and staff know about delays and closures caused by bad weather this past winter.

The service sends messages to student and faculty’s phones, cell phones, or email addresses in an emergency.

College director of administrative services Bill Morrill says the system is used by the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and other universities.

  • W.Va. Colleges Partner on Accounting Degree

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Graduates of West Virginia Northern Community College now have the option to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program through Mountain State University.

The agreement allows business administration graduates to earn an accounting degree in as little as 23 months. Other graduates and students can enroll in the program as long as they have the proper prerequisites.

Classes would be held on Saturdays at the Wheeling campus, starting in August. The schedule is designed to accommodate students who are job-hunting or working full time.

  • S. Idaho City Rejects Plans For Student Housing

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The College of Southern Idaho’s plans to build a student apartment complex were shot down amid complaints from nearby homeowners.

The Twin Falls City Council decided to ditch the project after residents of a nearby subdivision complained the student housing would increase traffic and create potential noise and light nuisances. Business owners also worried that bringing more college students into the neighborhood would result in vandalism.

Student body president Sheree Haggan said the complaints were based on stereotypes about college students. She was among the few who testified in support of the project, which includes two apartment complexes, each with 40 units.

Haggan told the city council there needed to be more affordable housing within walking distance from the community college.

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