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2012 July 9 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • HOPE Cuts Trigger Decline In Trucking Ed

ATLANTA (AP) — The state’s overhaul of the HOPE scholarship has hurt enrollment in the Technical College System of Georgia’s trucking program.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports enrollment in the program dropped by 39 percent after the cost to earn the trucking program certificate more than doubled this past fall. The decline comes amid a state and national driver shortage.

The situation could worsen next year. Lawmakers didn’t renew the $4.5 million to subsidize the program and lower student costs for the upcoming fiscal year.

College officials and trucking managers say program graduates are essential to securing Georgia’s position as a logistics hub in the region. Nearly all participants in the commercial trucking program receive HOPE scholarships, and students cite cost and the length of the program for why they decided not to enroll or dropped out.

  • Ky. Community, Tech College Tuition To Rise

VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) — Community and technical college students from Kentucky will pay 3.7 percent more in tuition and full-time faculty and staff will receive a 2.5 percent raise under a $921 million budget that the Kentucky Community and Technical College System board of regents has approved.

The board said the salary increase will apply to regular full-time faculty and staff members who meet or exceed job requirements on performance evaluations.

The tuition increase raises the in-state rate for the 2012-13 academic year from $135 per credit hour to $140. Out-of-state tuition rates approved include a $280 rate per credit hour for students from counties contiguous to Kentucky and $490 for all others. The increase follows Council for Postsecondary Education parameters.

  • Ala. Extends Deadline for Chancellor

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The deadline for applying to be Alabama’s two-year college chancellor has been extended to July 13.

The State Board of Education voted to push back the deadline by two weeks at the request of a consultant who is helping with the search for a chancellor. The vice president of the Association of Community College Trustees, Narcisa Polonio, said the June 29 deadline didn’t provide enough time to advertise the position in some publications. Polonio said she has been in contact with people in Alabama and across the nation about the opening.

The school board is looking for a replacement for Freida Hill, who stepped down in March.

  • Ryan Named Delta’s Interim Chancellor

MONROE, La. (AP) — Jerry Ryan, senior vice president for The Louisiana Community and Technical College System, has two new jobs.

The News-Star reports Ryan has been named interim chancellor of Louisiana Delta Community College and interim regional director for Northeast Louisiana Technical College.

The LCTCS Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to have Ryan fill both roles at its meeting in Baton Rouge. Ryan was the system’s senior vice president for workforce, career and technical education.

Ryan fills the vacancy created by Delta Chancellor Luke Robins, who recently accepted the position of chancellor at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash. Robins has been Delta’s chancellor since 2006 and has served as interim regional director of Northeast Louisiana Technical College since 2011.

  • Ga. Colleges Sign Agreement With Saudis

ATLANTA (AP) — The Technical College System of Georgia has signed an $8.2 million agreement with Saudi Arabia to help create a community college in the city of Abqaiq and expand workforce development in the country.

System officials will help hire faculty and staff, establish curriculum and obtain accreditation to open the King Faisal University Community College. The agreement comes after a group from King Faisal University visited Georgia’s Athens Tech, Atlanta Tech and Georgia Northwestern Tech in January.

Those three campuses will play prominent roles in the new partnership, including awarding joint degrees with the Saudi Arabian institution. Officials from Georgia and Saudi Arabia signed the agreement during a ceremony in Atlanta on May 29.

  • Highway Project Worries Ohio College Officials

CINCINNATI (AP) — Leaders of an Ohio college are worried about a highway project that could choke off easy access to the campus for many students.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is a commuter school near Interstate 75 that has about 10,500 students. All live off campus, and most work.

A project meant to make I-75 safer and less confusing for drivers would eliminate some ramps. One is a Central Parkway ramp used by many for school access.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports officials think making access more complicated will reduce enrollment that has been growing in recent years.

The ramp elimination doesn’t begin until 2024, and there is a potential alternative connector. But it would cost at least $20 million, and there’s no funding lined up.

  • Toyota, W.Va. College Partner On Training

GLADE SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP)—A new education-to-work program will give students hands-on experience in manufacturing while they earn a two-year degree.

The Toyota Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program is a partnership between Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia and Bridgemont Community and Technical College.

Bridgemont President Jon Harris says students will attend classes two days a week and work at Toyota’s plant in Buffalo, W.Va., three days a week. They will receive a starting salary of $17.78 an hour.

The first class will have 20 students.

Officials announced the program during the West Virginia Manufacturers Association’s annual meeting in Glade Springs.

  • Missouri College To Use Former Military School

BOONVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The city of Boonville is betting that a deal with State Fair Community College will bring fresh life to a former Missouri military school campus.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reported that Boonville has struggled to find new uses for the 168-year-old campus. The city had purchased the former Kemper Military School for $480,000 in 2003 after it abruptly closed.

But last month, Boonville succeeded in finalizing the lease of one of the campus’ buildings to the Sedalia-based community college.

Under the deal, State Fair will lease the Library Learning Center building from the city for $24,000 a year for five years. In turn, the city will renovate the basement to accommodate two classrooms and a computer lab. The main level will house the college’s administrative offices.

  • CCRI Announces ‘Skills Gap’ Program

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — The Community College of Rhode Island has announced a new program funded with federal grant money to provide specialized job training to the long-term unemployed, veterans and others.

Details of the Pathways to Advance Career Education were announced at the school’s Knight Campus in Warwick.

CCRI President Raymond Di Pasquale says the first two classes are enrolling now and will begin next month. The courses are designed to make sure students are trained in career-specific skills over a relatively short period of time.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin and state Department of Labor and Training Director Charlie Fogarty attended the announcement.

  • 2 Colleges CollPartner on Education Degree

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Bluefield State College and New River Community and Technical College are collaborating to help students obtain a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

The schools’ presidents signed a memorandum of understanding for an elementary education collaborative program.

Under the agreement, New River students can transfer to Bluefield State’s School of Education and complete their coursework for a four-year degree close to home.

One to four courses will be offered as needed by Bluefield State per semester. The courses will be delivered on weekends, weekdays or evenings at New River’s Greenbrier Valley Campus in Lewisburg and at the Public Higher Education Center in Beaver. Courses also may be delivered through distance learning technologies.

  • Memphis Tech Schools See Enrollment Increase

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Vocational-technical schools in Memphis are seeing an increase in students.

The Memphis Daily News reports that thousands of students have signed up at different schools as job prospects for college graduates dim.

Vatterott Career College said it had 1,159 graduates last year at its Dividend Drive campus, almost double what it had in 2008. A smaller campus has gone from 13 students in 2008 to 479 last year.

Many vocational schools have job placement rates of between 70 and 100 percent in some skill areas.

“It’s nice when people are calling you looking for your students, and that’s what we have,” said Ralph Fitzgerald, director of Delta Technical College. “Everybody’s not meant to go to a four-year college and we’re just a different avenue.”

  • Kan. Regents OK Plan To Transfer More College Credits.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents has made it easier for college students to transfer credits among the state’s colleges.

The Regents approved 17 general education courses that will transfer among the state’s 32 public institutions of higher education.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that, depending on the credit hours taken and awarded, students may be able to transfer up to 59 credit hours between universities, community colleges and technical colleges.

The courses approved for transfer include basic courses in government, history, English, science, psychology, economics, geography and public speaking.

Regents Chairman Ed McKechnie says barriers to easily transfer credit hours stopped some students from achieving their higher education goals.

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