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2012 February 6 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • La. Colleges Offer Free Workforce Training

MONROE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Delta Community College and Northeast Louisiana Technical College are offering free industrial training in collaboration with Northeast Louisiana Workforce Centers, Inc.

This will be the last semester people can take the Certified Manufacturing Specialist training at no cost. Bob Hammack, director of workforce development at Delta, said the program has been offered for free over the past three years because of a Community-based Job Training Grant awarded to Northeast Louisiana Workforce Centers. The grant is about to run out.

“The intent was to create a quality work force for industry in the manufacturing sector,” he said. “The result of that grant has been outstanding.”

Hammack told The News-Star that more than 250 people have been trained in the CMS program.

“This is an incredible opportunity. CMS has been identified by a number of manufacturing businesses in the area as a key component to provide quality workers,” Hammack said. “Companies recognize our completers left and right, so it gives them an edge in getting a job.”

Anyone with a high school degree or GED is eligible, he said.

  • Ohio Leader Wants To Embed Benchmarks

CLEVELAND (AP) — The overseer of Ohio’s higher education system is proposing that students should get a career-readiness certificate after one year of college and an associate degree after two years, even if they’re working toward a four-year degree.

Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro’s priorities include retaining more students and helping more to graduate, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported.

“Clearly there has to be a motivational weakness that causes a student to start college and not finish,” Petro said. “The notion is to give recognition at every stage of the program.”

Petro recently told the board he wants to implement a number of programs this year, even if university officials are opposed. He said he’ll start with pilot programs at Central State University and Shawnee State University, which have low graduation rates.

  • Alternative Paths For Fla. Teachers Called Success

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A new report concludes Florida’s alternative teacher preparation programs are succeeding.

A survey of principals and teachers found few differences in preparedness between teachers with education degrees and those who went through the alternative programs in 2009-10.

Florida State University researchers surveyed 854 teachers and 476 principals.

The alternative programs for those with non-education degrees are offered by school districts, Florida’s 28 state and community colleges, four state universities and one private university.

The survey found higher percentages of men and people over 30 years old completed the alternative programs.

The alternative programs also produced higher percentages of teachers in critical need areas such as math and science than did the traditional teacher preparation programs.

  • Minn. College Campuses Form New Alliance

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — About 20 colleges and universities in northern Minnesota have formed an alliance to better meet needs in that part of the state.

Presidents of the institutions have begun discussions on how to do more collaborating and less competing. Minnesota State University Moorhead President Edna Syzmanski says talks will focus on their regional economy and how to better serve their students.

Northland Community and Technical College President Anne Temte says two-year colleges want to bring the opportunity for four-year degrees to their communities. Minnesota State Community and Technical College Interim President Peggy Kennedy says establishing university centers on two-year campuses is a possibility.

The Bemidji Pioneer says community college students could go to those centers to get information about bachelor’s degrees and take some four-year classes.

  • New Men’s Dorm Approved at Miss. College

Summit, Miss. (AP) — College trustees have approved a new men’s dormitory at Southwest Mississippi Community College.

The Enterprise-Journal reports trustees approved architectural plans for a four-story, $11 million dormitory from Tupelo’s Architecture South.

The school has yet to field bids for any of the work, and college officials said it could be another year before construction begins.

The dorm would be completed in two phases.

The first includes building a 110-bed facility at an estimated cost of $6.4 million. The second phase includes adding space for another 108 beds at an estimated cost of $4.4 million. .

  • Chicago Colleges Ban Tobacco On All Campuses

CHICAGO (AP) — Campuses of the City Colleges of Chicago will be tobacco-free zones starting March 1.

The City Colleges’ Board of Trustees recently a new policy prohibiting tobacco use on all college property. The ban includes smokeless tobacco products, and affects more than 120,000 students and 5,800 faculty and staff.

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