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2012 March 5 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Job Seekers Find Work in W.Va. Oilfields

NEW MARTINSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Northern Community College says at least one-third of the students who took December training classes are now working in the oil and gas industry.

New Martinsville Campus Dean Larry Tackett says another rig hand class and a welding class are in the works.

The Intelligencer says about 25 students turned out this week for a free class on general safety, first aid, CPR, an overview of the drilling process and career opportunities in the field.

Iraq War veteran Greg Starkey says he hopes the classes he’s been taking will help him get a foot in the door.

The Sistersville, Ohio, resident says the rush to tap the Marcellus shale reserves has created a lot of opportunities for people who need jobs.

  • Miss. College Sees 6 Percent Enrollment Dip

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — The Natchez campus of Copiah-Lincoln Community College has experienced a decline in enrollment of approximately 6 percent in the last year. However, school administrators say the situation isn’t that bad.

Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles tells The Natchez Democrat the Natchez campus’ audited spring numbers for 2012 total enrollment are at 781, down from 830 for the spring of 2011. Nettles said he expects that after the audited numbers are completed, the total will likely be between 760 and 770.

Nettles says the drop in enrollment is one that is being observed in post-secondary education in general.

  • Idaho College Aiming for Accreditation

NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — Officials at the College of Western Idaho say the school is moving forward in becoming accredited.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities placed the southwestern Idaho community college in Nampa on accreditation candidacy status.

The commission says the candidacy status started Jan. 11 and goes through 2017.

The school had been offering degrees and college credits through a memorandum of understanding with the College of Southern Idaho.

  • LA Tech College Foundation Investigated

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A foundation created to help needy students at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College is under investigation amid reports that pay and expenses for its director dwarfed the money it gave out for scholarships.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is trying to determine whether the Trade-Tech Foundation misappropriated funds.

The Los Angeles Times says Executive Director Rhea Chung received tens of thousands of dollars in bonuses. The foundation also paid more than $15,000 for Chung’s membership fees for various groups and more than $10,000 for her golf outings.

The college district placed Chung on administrative leave last month.

She denies any wrongdoing and tells the Times all her expenses were approved.

  • Ohio Colleges Pitch Campus Building Projects

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s public colleges and universities have presented the state with a $350 million proposal for construction projects, representing the top priorities for the institutions as determined by a higher education committee.

The Higher Education Capital Funding Commission was created last year at the urging of Gov. John Kasich to deal with tight state funding.

The commission, chaired by Ohio State President Gordon Gee, announced its priorities for all 37 schools, including four-year colleges and two-year community colleges.

The requests include $15 million for projects that enhance business partnerships, $30 million for workforce development, $97 million for projects linking engineering and science and $208 million for long-term maintenance projects.

Kasich wanted the schools to work together on priorities rather than compete for construction money as they currently do.

  • Expansion at La. College On Pace For Fall Opening

SCHRIEVER, La. (AP) _ Officials say they expect that a $9.1 million expansion at Fletcher Technical Community College in Schriever will be finished for the fall semester.

Once complete, the 90,000-square-foot building will almost double the college’s current classroom space, according to The Courier of Houma.

Enrollment at Fletcher has grown over the past decade from a few hundred students to more than 2,500 this fall. School officials and Gov. Bobby Jindal broke ground for the expansion project in a ceremony in January 2011.

  • Calif. College Warned on Accreditation

EUREKA, Calif. (AP) — College of the Redwoods administrators are trying to reassure students and faculty members following a warning that the school could lose its accreditation.

The North Coast community college was notified last month that it had been placed on probationary status by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

The agency told the 7,000-student college that its institutional planning and student learning outcomes documentation is not in compliance with the commission’s standards.

Interim CR President Utpal Goswami told the Del Norte Triplicate the college would be forced to close if it lost its accreditation but he believes it can quickly address the issues raised by the commission.

School officials have until October to fix those problems.

The college has been warned about its accreditation status multiple times in recent years.

  • Del Tech Head Asks Lawmakers For More Money

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The head of Delaware Technical Community College is asking lawmakers to restore funding for an environmental training center in Sussex County.

The money for the center, which trains water and wastewater operators, is not included in Gov. Jack Markell’s budget proposal.

Del Tech president Lonnie George asked lawmakers to restore the $250,000 for the training center. He also wants more than $600,000 to hire more staff, including four workers to help guide students through the financial aid process.

Funding for those additional staff positions also is not included in Markell’s proposal, although Markell’s plan does call for 20 other new positions at Delaware Tech, including eight science instructors and 10 public safety instructors.

  • Tenn. Professor Honored by Space Group

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A professor at Motlow State Community College has been selected as one of three teacher liaisons across the U.S. by the Space Foundation.

Billy Hix of Shelbyville will be recognized in April for the honor at the Space Foundation conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., according to the Shelbyville Times-Gazette.

Hix was honored in November as the state’s college science teacher of the year by the Tennessee Science Teacher Association. He recently completed a series of science videos for the Tennessee Department of Education.

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