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2012 July 23 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • SF City College Could Close in 8 Months

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The financially struggling City College of San Francisco could close after state accreditation evaluators gave the school just eight months to prove it has a viable survival plan.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges ordered the state’s largest college to “make preparations for closure.”

The commission cited the 90,000-student school’s failure to address leadership and fiscal planning issues, and could vote as early as June to pull the school’s certification.

Schools must be accredited to receive public funding, and the college would likely close without those funds.

City College Trustee Steve Ngo said he was surprised by the commission’s action, and that the school will work its way out of the predicament.

  • Maricopa Colleges Starts Anniversary Celebration

PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa Community Colleges have launched a yearlong celebration of its 50th anniversary.

The community college district that now oversees 10 colleges was established in a vote by county voters in 1962.

The college system has set up a website that details key moments in the history of its schools and the system itself. The website also includes videos of students, teachers, employees and community members reflecting on the colleges.

  • Student Apartments Planned for Ivy Tech, IU Branch Campus

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) — A developer is planning to build apartments in an eastern Indiana city targeted at students attending the neighboring campuses of Ivy Tech Community College and an an Indiana University regional branch.

Kyle Bach, president and CEO of Mecca Companies, told the Richmond planning commission that his firm expected to spend $10 million on constructing three three-story buildings comprising 126 apartments, the Palladium-Item reported..

``We think this project will be great for the universities and great for the community,’’ Bach said. ``Not only will it increase the tax base but it will also offer important housing options for IU East and Ivy Tech.’’

Planning commission members said they believed the project could spark more commercial development in the area and help attract students, particularly to the 3,700-student IU East campus.

“I think it will bring more life to the area and agree that that might be very good to locate it there,” commission member Benny Young said.

  • Va. College Launches Initiative To Improve Student Assessment

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Central Virginia Community College is launching an initiative to improve how it evaluates students’ academic success after an accrediting body put the school on probation.

Media outlets report that President John Capps announced the Focus ‘14 initiative Thursday. The initiative is designed to ensure the Lynchburg school meets compliance standards by 2013.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools put Central Virginia on probation last week. The accrediting body said the school failed to sufficiently evaluate its educational programs’ effectiveness.

The association will review Central Virginia’s probationary status in 2013 and conduct a full review in 2014.

  • Minn. Colleges Fined For Mishandling Hazardous Waste

BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has penalized the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system for hazardous waste violations at two schools.

The violations occurred at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

In St. Cloud, contaminated waste and chemicals from surgical, dental, chemistry and microbiology labs were disposed of in the trash or down drains.

In Brainerd, the marine and small engine repair departments failed to evaluate waste rags to see if they needed to be handled as hazardous waste.

MnSCU paid a $25,700 penalty and corrected violations. MnSCU also is assessing all of its campuses statewide to make sure staff is properly trained in hazardous waste management.

A MnSCU spokeswoman says the system takes its responsibility seriously to properly handle hazardous waste.

  • Ex-Bursar To Stand Trial in $156K Theft From Pa. College

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The former bursar of a western Pennsylvania community college will stand trial on charges she stole $156,000 from the school.

Fifty-two-year-old Teresa Pelow waived her right to a preliminary hearing on theft charges filed by Richland Township police based on an audit of her work for Penn Highlands Community College near Johnstown.

The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown reported that an audit showed Pelow didn’t deposit tuition payments and other money into a college bank account on 452 occasions, and then changed computer records to make it appear as though she made the deposits.

Those alleged thefts added up to more than $156,000 and occurred from January 2007 until she was fired in February.

The college says it is reviewing its financial policies.

  • Tuition Freeze Means Maine Retains Rank As Least Costly in NE

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Board of Trustees of the Maine Community College System has voted to keep tuition and fees at current levels for the coming academic year.

The vote means that Maine’s seven community colleges will continue to have the lowest tuition and fees in New England. For a full-time student, the average cost to attend will remain at roughly $3,300 a year. Maine’s seven community colleges serve more than 18,500 students.

The board also approved new associate degree programs in autism spectrum disorders and education, and approved a new one-year collective bargaining agreement extension with the Maine State Employees Association Supervisory Services Bargaining Unit.

  • Michigan Colleges Getting $300M for Campus Projects

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan will invest more than $300 million in infrastructure projects at colleges and universities under a new law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The governor signed the legislation at Wayne State University, which is getting $30 million toward construction of a biomedical research building. In all, the plan includes a commitment of $304 million to fund 18 construction projects statewide.

Other projects include $25 million to replace Jamrich Hall at Northern Michigan University, $750,000 for building renovations at Gogebic Community College, $30 million for a bio-engineering facility at Michigan State University and $30 million for renovations to the G.G. Brown Memorial Laboratory at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“These investments allow higher education in Michigan to stay on the cutting edge,” Snyder said in a statement. “Our colleges and universities play a critical role in Michigan’s future. I am pleased that we are able to support these worthwhile projects.”

  • Fire Science Program At Volunteer State CC Gets National Award

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) — The Volunteer State Community College fire science technology program in Gallatin, Tenn., has received a Certificate of National Recognition.

According to a news release from the school, Vol State is one of only eight schools in the country to qualify for the honor.

It was presented at the Fire and Emergency Services in Higher Education Conference in Emmitsburg, Md.

The certificate recognizes Vol State as an official Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education Institution.

The school was honored for promoting the standardization of fire science courses and other achievements.

  • La. College Looks to Satellite Location for Boost in Enrollment

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Southern University will compete for a share of Baton Rouge’s community college market this fall as part of a strategy to boost sagging enrollment.

The student numbers have dipped during the past several years with the introduction of tougher state admissions standards.

The Advocate reports the state has warned the strategy could backfire when it comes time to assess the performance measures used to divvy up state funding for schools — a concern a spokesman within the Southern System downplayed.

The plan calls for Southern University at Shreveport, a two-year community college, to operate a satellite location in Baton Rouge.

Students who don’t meet the admissions criteria to get into Southern can still get on campus by enrolling in remedial, or developmental courses through Southern-Shreveport.

  • College Archaeology Project Returns to Fort in Upstate NY

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) — A team of archaeologists-in-training is returning to a French and Indian War site in upstate New York to resume searching for artifacts at the site immortalized in “The Last of the Mohicans.”

Students in Adirondack Community College’s Archaeology Field School started digging at Fort William Henry, a reconstructed fort overlooking Lake George’s southern end.

The program has dug at the fort five previous times under the leadership of archaeologist David Starbuck of New Hampshire’s Plymouth State University.

Starbuck has been excavating 18th-century military sites in the upper Hudson River-Lake George corridor since the early 1990s.

His summertime projects in Lake George have uncovered numerous artifacts dating back to when the fort was destroyed by the French after a siege and massacre by France’s Indian allies in August 1757.

  • NH College Plans Manufacturing Center With Federal Grant

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Great Bay Community College is taking the next step toward New Hampshire’s goal of establishing advanced manufacturing training programs across the state.

The college has signed a lease in Rochester, where it plans to open a new Training and Academic Center in January. The center will include classroom and administrative space, as well as a 4,000-square-foot lab where students will be trained for high tech manufacturing jobs.

The new center is being funded in part by a federal grant, as well as matching funds from an initiative coordinated by the state economic development department.

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