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2012 October 1 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • League Plans New Excellence Awards

The League for Innovation in the Community College has announced the establishment of the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards, recognizing excellence in teaching at League colleges.

Nominations are now being accepted for the awards, which will be distributed during the League’s annual Innovations conference, set for March 10-13, 2013, in Dallas. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 8, 2012. They can be made online at http://www.league.org/exawards/process. Nominations are open to faculty, administrators and staff at League colleges.

John E. and Suanne D. Roueche are longtime leaders in the community college field and early proponents of the idea that teachers have major responsibility for how well students perform in the classroom.

John Roueche retired earlier this year after leading the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas for 42 years. He is now president of the Roueche Graduate Center at National American University.

While heading the CCLP, Roueche founded the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) as an outreach affiliate. Since 1989, NISOD has been distributing NISOD Excellence Awards to reward and recognize effective community college teachers.

But Roueche’s departure from UT and his severing of ties with NISOD prompted the League to establish the new Roueche awards. NISOD plans to distribute its excellence awards during its annual conference, set for May 26-29 in Austin, Texas.

  • Wyo. Nursing Program Loses Accreditation

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Western Wyoming Community College has lost its national nursing accreditation, which could affect the careers of almost a dozen students who graduated in May.

College president Karla Leach tells The Casper Star-Tribune the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission told the school it lost accreditation because not all the faculty had a master’s degree. She says the group had previously not enforced the provision, and adds that all of the nursing teachers will have their master’s by next year.

The paper reports graduation from an unaccredited school can limit career and educational opportunities, and the class of 2012’s nursing students won’t be able to work at Veterans Administration hospitals. Leach, who says the loss of accreditation came as a surprise, notes other hospitals may also deny employment, depending on hiring policies.

  • Expansion Starts On Campus of Roane State CC

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — Work has begun on a major expansion of Roane State Community College’s Oak Ridge campus.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the site for the college’s new three-story Health Sciences and Technology Building has been cleared, and drilling for geothermal wells has started.

A Roane State spokesman says the building should be finished by January 2014, but it’s uncertain if spring 2014 classes will start there.

The school says the project has been launched as other improvements to the campus are being completed.

The college library’s computer lab has been enlarged, a new study room added and a new student parking area is nearly ready for use.

Roane State’s Oak Ridge campus opened in 1999 and was designed for 1,800 students. About 2,500 students attend classes there now.

  • Ill. Gives $8M for National Guard Campus Site

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — The state of Illinois is contributing $8 million to build an Illinois Army National Guard facility on the campus of Heartland Community College in Normal.

Gov. Pat Quinn’s office announced the state funding for the Illinois Department of Military Affairs and the central Illinois college. The $8 million will be in addition to $10 million in federal construction money.

In a statement, Quinn says the new National Guard facility will lead to better educated students and soldiers.

When it is completed, 22 full-time and about 200 part-time soldiers will work there. Heartland College also plans to use the facility for several programs, including law enforcement training.

  • Pima CC Sees 11% Decline In Enrollment

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Enrollment at Pima Community College has declined by 11 percent from a year ago.

The Arizona Daily Star quotes college spokesman C.J. Karamargin as saying the decline is due in part to an improving economy.

Community college enrollment tends to rise when unemployment is high, then tapers off as the economy improves.

Karamargin says changes to admission rules may also have contributed. The changes initially required applicants to prove they can read, write and do math at a minimum seventh-grade level to enroll in degree-seeking programs.

The main test that the college uses to measure proficiency has been criticized as unsuitable.

The college has backed off the new rules somewhat, for example, by allowing students weak only in math to take credit courses that aren’t math-based.

  • First Students Welcomed to Ark. Campus

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — Local leaders have welcomed the first class of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope-Texarkana.

Chancellor Chris Thomason greeted the class on the new campus in Texarkana. The chancellor tells the Texarkana Gazette that about 285 students are enrolled on the new campus, including high school students who are taking concurrent classes at Arkansas, Fouke and Genoa high schools.

Thomason says it’s the second-largest class that the community college has seen in its 47-year history.

Last summer, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the property to allow the Hope community college to open a facility in Texarkana.

Thomason says he hopes the Texarkana campus will expand educational offerings throughout Miller County.

  • Miss. CC To Train More Commercial Truck Drivers

RAYMOND, Miss. (AP) — Hinds Community College and KLLM Transports of Richland will partner to provide training for more commercial truck drivers.

KLLM Transport Services is offering $4,000 scholarships to cover the cost of training for students enrolled in the commercial truck driving program at Hinds in Raymond.

The eight-week training program is followed by a paid eight-week internship with KLLM.

The students commit to one year of employment with KLLM, and after one-year have the opportunity become an owner/operator of their own truck, financed by KLLM.

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