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2011 July 25 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Va. Defrauded Ex-Students, Jury Rules

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A Roanoke County jury has sided with 16 former Virginia Western Community College nursing students who claimed they were misled after the school didn’t inform them that it lost its national nursing accreditation.

They’re among 75 plaintiffs who were in the nursing program between 2005 and 2007 who have argued that the state — through VWCC — defrauded them and breached a contract for their education, harming their prospects for employment or for pursuing advanced degrees. The college was removed as a plaintiff in 2008.

The seven-person jury awarded each of the former students $47,000 on the fraud allegation. It also awarded 15 students $6,800 and $11,500 to the remaining student for breach of contract.

The Roanoke Times reports that another group’s trial is scheduled for February.

  • Oregon College Sued Over Pothole in Lot

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A former Lane Community College student has filed a lawsuit against the college over a parking lot pothole.

Carla Redding is disabled with a bone disease and had a handicapped parking space. She says she was walking next to her car in July 2009 when she tripped on a pothole about 6-inches wide and 1-inch deep.

The Register Guard reports she suffered a concussion and other injuries that cost her nearly $14,000 in medical bills. The lawsuit seeks compensation and damages totaling more than $375,000.

  • W. Va. Colleges Mark 40th Anniversary

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Two West Virginia community colleges are celebrating 40 years since legislation allowed the development of the state’s community college system.

The legislation that became effective July 1, 1971, enabled the Parkersburg branch of West Virginia University to become Parkersburg Community College, while the Williamson and Logan branches of Marshall University became the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.

Parkersburg Community College was designated a regional campus of West Virginia University in 1989 and now offers more than 40 programs of study.

The technical college now has campuses in Boone, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties.

  • College Sells Just 70 copies of Fla. Official’s Book

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos is known as a dealmaker, but he’s not proving to be a bestseller.

An official at Brevard Community College said that a book titled “Florida Legislative History and Processes” that Haridopolos wrote several years ago has sold a grand total of 70 copies.

The school paid the lawmaker $152,000 for the book in a deal where it would receive 70 percent of the profit — a total of $487.90 to date.

The book is available only in electronic form. Haridopolos formerly taught history at the Melbourne-based school.

Haridopolos is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. He also receives $75,000 from the University of Florida for leading an internship program.

  • La. Student Joins State Community College Board

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — South Louisiana Community College student Warren Gachassin has been sworn in as a student member of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System’s Board of Supervisors.

For the next year, LCTCS students will be represented by Gachassin and Dennis Raether, a student of the Northshore Technical College Sullivan campus.

Both students also serve as presidents of their campus Student Government Associations.

  • Maine College Aims To Produce More Engineers

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Southern Maine Community College says it will offer an associate degree program in pre-engineering starting in the fall at both the South Portland campus and its new Midcoast Campus at Brunswick Landing.

The college says this program creates a seamless opportunity for students to sign on to associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in engineering in collaboration with the University of Maine.

Southern Maine Community College President James Ortiz says Maine has the lowest number of engineering graduates in the country, and SMCC is doing its part to change that.

  • 2 Ga. Colleges Merge To Reduce Costs, Spending

SANDERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Two Georgia technical colleges are merging into one institution.

Sandersville Technical College and Heart of Georgia Technical College in Dublin officially became Oconee Fall Line Technical College. The merger is part of a statewide plan to reduce costs in the Technical College System of Georgia.

The two campuses will continue to function as usual. No buildings will close, but the administration has been consolidated to cut spending.

Sandersville President Lloyd Horadan will lead the new college. The colleges have a combined enrollment of about 4,700.

Statewide, 15 technical colleges have been merged into seven. State officials say the mergers will save about $6.5 million annually.

  • Md. College Doubles Fees for Senior Citizens

ARNOLD, Md. (AP) — Senior citizens taking non-credit courses at Anne Arundel Community College this fall can expect to see their fees double.

College spokesman Dan Baum says the school’s Board of Trustees has voted to raise the fee for seniors to enroll in the courses from $40 to $80 per semester. Under state law, tuition for seniors is waived.

The Capital of Annapolis reports the increase is projected to raise some $300,000, and is part of an effort to absorb a $5 million cut in county funding.

The school is also considering increases to parking fines and fees for community organizations using college facilities.

  • CCRI Gets Grant To Reduce Dropout Rates

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — The Community College of Rhode Island is being awarded nearly $477,000 in federal funding for a program that helps middle and high school students stay in school and pursue post-secondary education.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed announced the grant, which is being awarded under the U.S. Education Department’s Talent Search Program.

His office says the program targets students from low-income families where neither parent has earned a college degree. It helps them with study skills, college entrance exam preparation and applying for financial aid.

CCRI will use the money to serve students in grades six through 12 at 11 middle and high schools in Providence, East Providence, Central Falls and Woonsocket.

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