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2011 September 19 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Fall Enrollment at Ivy Tech Tops 113K

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College says it has set a fall semester enrollment record with more than 113,000 students taking classes at its campuses across Indiana.

That gives Ivy Tech a 1.6 percent increase from the 111,452 students it reported last fall. School officials say they expect to have even more students since people can still sign up for 12-week and eight-week classes that start later this fall.

Ivy Tech has seen the number of students at its system explode in recent years, with this fall’s enrollment up 73 percent since 2005.

School President Thomas Snyder says it is starting to face trouble having enough faculty and student service staff, along with space constraints at some campuses.

  • Head of KC College Honored by ATF

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The chancellor of a Kansas City community college has received a national award for his actions during a stabbing at the school last fall.

Chancellor Mark James received a citizenship award from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives during a ceremony in Washington D.C.

The Kansas City Star reports that James was honored for his response in September 2010, when a dean was stabbed at Penn Valley campus of Metropolitan Community College.

James tackled student Casey Brezik after he stabbed dean Al Dimmit Jr. The dean underwent surgery but has recovered. The stabbing occurred as officials were awaiting the arrival of Gov. Jay Nixon, who had a meeting scheduled at the campus.

A judge ruled in March that Brezik wasn’t competent to stand trial.

  • La. Colleges Ink Articulation Agreement

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) — Six Bossier Parish Community College programs will be directly transferable to a four-year degree to Northwestern State University.

The college and university recently signed articulation agreements allowing students who graduate from the six programs to easily transfer to NSU to finish their degree.

“What we signed today is more than an agreement,” BPCC Chancellor Jim Henderson said. “We lay the groundwork for educational attainment and increasing the quality of life for the area.”

The programs are early childhood education, psychology, communications, entertainment tech, business and electronic engineering technology and industrial engineering technology.

The Times reports the schools also signed was a reverse degree completion agreement that allows BPCC students to transfer to NSU before finishing their associate degree.

“We are grateful to offer BPCC students the opportunity to take classes with us either here, at the NSU campus or in one of the various online programs,” said Randall Webb, NSU president.

  • Mo. Offers Bare Minimum In Scholarships

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Students receiving certain scholarships at Missouri colleges and universities this year will be getting near the bare minimum allowed under state law.

The Department of Higher Education says it expects about 60,000 students to receive Access Missouri scholarships this year.

Those at public universities will receive $1,000, which is the minimum amount set in state law. Students at private universities will be able to get $2,070. And those at community colleges will receive scholarships of $300 to $450 a year.

Because of a tight state budget, the scholarship levels are all well below the maximum allowed under state law.

More than 7,000 students will get merit-based Bright Flight scholarships. But their amount of $1,750 will only be slightly more than half the maximum of $3,000 allowed by Missouri law.

  • Transfers from Tenn. Colleges Getting Easier

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Students will be able to more easily transfer their credits from two-year to four-year schools under a recently-announced plan.

The Tennessee Board of Regents and the University of Tennessee said they have created 50 guaranteed transfer paths, effective for this fall semester. More than 4,500 students could transfer annually under the policy.

Every student entering a community college in the state can now select one of 50 majors with accompanying transfer paths, complete required courses, earn an associate degree and transfer as a junior at a Tennessee public university.

All earned credit hours will apply toward a bachelor’s degree in the same discipline. The paths guarantee admission to all public universities in the state except for UT, required by law “to remain competitive.”

The policy falls under the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010, which outlined the model.

“This is among the most important achievements in recent years to increase the number of Tennesseans with four-year degrees,” UT President Joe DiPietro said in a statement.

The pathway programs including majors such as business administration, engineering, nursing, agriculture and criminal justice.

  • Former Maine Prez To Lead Conn. Board

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The former president of the University of Maine has been nominated to lead the board that will manage Connecticut’s four regional state universities and 12 community colleges.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy named Robert Kennedy as his choice for president of the newly formed Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education.

Kennedy was president of the University of Maine from 2004 through June, and starts in the Connecticut position next month. His salary will be $340,000 annually.

The regents’ board eventually will replace boards governing Connecticut’s community colleges, the online Charter Oak State College and the board governing Eastern, Western, Central and Southern Connecticut state universities.

Kennedy’s appointment is technically on an interim basis until the regents’ board and General Assembly approve him as Malloy’s choice.

  • Maricopa Colleges Using More Adjuncts

PHOENIX (AP) — The chances are very good that students taking classes at Maricopa Community Colleges this fall will be taught by a part-time teacher rather than a full-time professor.

District officials tell The Arizona Republic the proportion of part-time, or adjunct, faculty in the district has increased steadily over the last five years.

The district says this semester it will likely surpass the 82 percent reached in the 2010-11 school year. In 2006-07, part-time teachers made up 73 percent of the total.

The 6,236 adjuncts taught about two-thirds of the courses offered at the 10 colleges last year. There were 1,340 full-time teachers, or residential faculty.

The college district has turned to part-time faculty because it costs less and because of decreases in state funding and double-digit increases in enrollment the last two years means less money for full-time faculty.

  • New Mexico College Looks at Dormitories

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — San Juan College is looking to provide a home life for its students. College interim president Michael Tacha says the school is moving ahead with discussions to build a residential development on campus.

Tacha tells The Daily Times it’s only preliminary and no action has been taken.

The community college years ago identified a need for on-campus housing and it’s been in the college’s master plan since about 2002.

A consulting company evaluated the college’s housing needs and found the college could use about 600 beds of residential construction.

At a San Juan Economic Development Service meeting Aug. 10, the vice president for student services said a capital construction group looking to build a $20 million, 600-unit project would visit the campus.

  • Study: South Must Boost Middle Skills

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The South has a shortage of workers to fill middle-skills jobs such as medical technicians and computer support workers, even as many four-year graduates struggle to repay student loans, according to a recent study.

The report released by the National Skills Coalition during the Southern Governors Association meeting in Asheville shows that 51 percent of all jobs in the American South fall into the “middle-skills” category, requiring education and training beyond high school but less than a four-year degree. Highly skilled jobs make up 29 percent of the job market; low-skill occupations make up 20 percent.

“What we are calling middle skills can actually be high-level skills, with some jobs paying $50 an hour,” North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue said. “That's why I prefer to call them career-skill sets.”

In North Carolina, 51 percent of available jobs fall into the middle-skills category. The study says 43 percent of job seekers are able to meet those qualifications.

The study looked at 16 southern states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It shows that 52 percent of employers in 2011 reported difficulty filling specific jobs within their operations, compared with 14 percent just a year earlier. Middle-skill level occupations were named frequently among the top 10 hardest-to-fill jobs.

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