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2011 November 14 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Enrollment in Mass. Colleges Sets Record

BOSTON (AP) — Enrollment in state colleges and universities in Massachusetts has hit an all-time high as more students look for an affordable diploma.

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education officials said that there’s been a 23 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment at the state’s community colleges, state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses between 2001 and 2011.

In 2001, about 160,000 students enrolled in public colleges and universities compared with nearly 196,000 in 2011.

The report also shows that some colleges and universities have seen particularly dramatic increases in the past year. Framingham State University’s enrollment jumped by 15 percent, while Worcester State University’s grew by 9 percent.

The enrollment growth of 18 percent between 2006 and 2010 was more than double that of the 7 percent growth at private colleges and universities in Massachusetts.

  • Ivy Tech Starts Construction of New Building

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Construction is starting on a new Ivy Tech Community College classroom building in a central Indiana city’s business park.

School and local officials took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new building near the Interstate 74 and U.S. 231 interchange in Crawfordsville.

Montgomery County Commissioner Phil Bane tells the Journal Review that cooperation between school and local leaders on the project was important since Ivy Tech has outgrown its current site.

Crawfordsville redevelopment commission president Steve Golliher tells the Journal & Courier that the expansion is expected to help recruit businesses to the park.

The city is spending about $4 million to construct the building, which Ivy Tech will lease. The new site is expected to open for classes in early 2013 with space for 1,200 students.

Colo. Colleges Helping To Track Space Junk

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — Colleges in Chile and Colorado are part of a network that is helping to track space junk that could slam into the International Space Station or satellites.

The Falcon Telescope Network will identify, track and study natural and man made objects that revolve around the Earth.

The project will be led by the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Center for Space Situational Awareness Research, which will provide telescopes and detection technology. The other institutions in the network will provide land, electricity and an Internet connection.

In Colorado, the network includes Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Otero Junior College in La Junta and Northeast Junior College in Sterling. The University of La Serena and the Mamalluca Observatory in Chile also are participating.

  • Maricopa County Colleges Ban All Tobacco Use


MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Beginning in July, smoking and other tobacco use will be banned at the 10 colleges that make up the Maricopa County Community College District.

The East Valley Tribune reports that the district hopes to give students plenty of time to prepare for the change by announcing the policy change well in advance.

College officials say people who wish to smoke after the ban takes effect will have to leave district-owned property and most likely will go to the public sidewalk.

Many students weren’t happy with the announcement, but the district says it played host to a number of student forums that were held as early as three to four years ago.

  • Wyo. Officials Delay College Building Plan

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A proposal to spend $9 million on 14 construction projects at Wyoming community colleges is on hold.

The State Building Commission, made up of the state’s top elected officials, voted to table the proposal because it came in too late for their consideration. The commission, which includes Gov. Matt Mead, voted to let the governor’s office and legislative appropriations committee handle it.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported that the community college commission originally wanted $75 million in state funding. The commission then lowered its request after getting funding from other sources, including a mill levy.

At the top of the project list is a joint higher education and community learning center for the University of Wyoming and Laramie County Community College.

  • Colleges in La. And Texas Sign Agreement

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) — Northwestern State University and Texarkana College have entered into an agreement to create a seamless transition into fast-growing programs.

The Times reports the schools created an articulation agreement for the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counseling and Addiction Studies degree.

Texarkana College students who earn an associate degree can transfer to NSU to continue their students.

“The agreement in addiction studies will allow Texarkana College associate degree students a seamless transfer to the bachelor’s degree track at Northwestern State,” said Joseph D. Biscoe, coordinator for the Addiction Studies degree program and an associate professor of Psychology and Addiction Studies at Northwestern State.

Graduates of the program will be able to take the test to become a certified substance abuse counselor in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas. The agreement will allow students from Texarkana to take NSU classes in person or online. Weekend, evenings, weekly and video classes are also available to them.

“The students can plan a course of study while at the community college without fear of losing credits when transferring to Northwestern State,” said Vernon Wilder, division chair of social sciences at Texarkana College.

  • Ill. College Enrollment Hits 10-Year High

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Rockford College enrollment hit a 10-year high this fall, and officials say a tough job market and enrollment increases at the city’s community college could be behind the increase.

There are 810 full-time undergraduate students at the private, liberal arts college this year, up more than 5 percent.

Part-time enrollment is up 18 percent over last year, to 328 students.

Barrett Bell is vice president for enrollment management.

He tells the Rockford Register Star that the tough job market could be pushing more students to pursue both two- and four-year programs.

  • Maine College Throws Switch On Wind Turbine


FAIRFIELD, Maine (AP) — A wind-power turbine is now generating power for a Maine community college building.

Officials at Kennebec County Community College threw the switch on the 5-kilowatt windmill, which will generate power for one of the buildings on the Fairfield campus and serve as an educational tool for students. The turbine sits atop an 80-foot tower.

The Morning Sentinel of Waterville says a photovoltaic array is also planned to generate solar power on the campus.

  • Report Says $4.3M Spent on Wyo. Dropouts

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A new report says Wyoming spends $4.3 million a year on first-year community college students who then drop out of school.

The report out from the American Institutes of Research says that from 2004 to 2009, about $21 million in state appropriations and grants were spent on community college students who dropped out after their first year.

The study was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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