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2013 March 18 - 12:00 am


  • Texas Mulls Tying College Funds To Completion, Grad Rates

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers are working on a proposal to tie higher education funding to completion rates at state universities.

Under current policy, much of the funding for colleges is based on enrollment figures. Branch, who’s a Dallas Republican, has filed legislation to link more appropriations with measures of student success.

The state Higher Education Coordinating Board says college enrollment has increased by more than half a million students statewide since 2000. But an advocacy group called Complete College America says college completion rates have changed little since 1970.

The Legislature cut $1 billion in higher education funding during the last session in 2011.

  • Pima CC Cuts Tuition for Some Young Illegal Immigrants

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Pima Community College is reducing tuition for Pima County residents enrolled in a new federal program for illegal immigrants brought to the United States at a young age.

The college board’s 4-1 vote night provides resident tuition rates to students in the program, with the change expected to start next fall.

Without the change, those students would continue paying higher non-resident tuition rates.

The Arizona Daily Star reports the change reduces the cost for a full-time college education from over $9,000 a year to about $2,000 annually.

The Maricopa County Community College District previously approved a similar tuition approach. However, the three state universities interpret state law differently and are not doing so.

The immigration program provides those enrolled with work permits and deferments from deportation.

  • $16M Project on La. College’s Wish List

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A new $16 million, 60,000-square-foot health and sciences building for South Louisiana Community College is on a list of more than $245 million in community and technical college projects proposed for legislative approval in the upcoming session.

The Advocate reports Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Joe May made the comment about the project during a visit to the SLCC campus for meetings with staff and faculty to explain the system’s goals for the upcoming session.

May said the Lafayette project is one of 24 planned at 14 campuses across the state to increase space for in-demand workforce training programs.

The cost of the proposed construction package is $245.5 million with campuses required to find private donors to fund at least $18.5 million toward the projects.

  • Board Starts Search For New Ill. Director

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state coordinating board for community colleges has started searching for a new executive director.

The Illinois Community College Board announced that its chairman, Alexi Giannoulias , is leading the search committee.

The board’s current executive director announced earlier this month that he plans to retire at the end of June.

Illinois has 48 community colleges in 39 districts and has the nation’s third largest community college system enrollment.

The executive director reports directly to the board and is the chief community college system representative working with the governor’s office, legislative committees, the state board of higher education and other state agencies.

  • Ariz. Audit Faults Financial Practices

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Pima Community College’s financial accountability practices get low grades from a legislative watchdog agency.

The Auditor General’s Office reports that the Tucson-based school is deficient in using competitive bidding to award contracts and is lax in tracking employees’ work hours.

The auditors’ report for the school year that ended last June also says the college may have overpaid for legal services and consulting services.

A spokesman for the college says it is fixing or has already fixed the shortcomings cited in the report.

According to the Arizona Daily Star an accrediting organization is separately reviewing the college’s practices.

A team from the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission has visited the college and the commission is expected to report its findings soon.

  • Ky. Initiative Aims To Help Neighborhood

NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) — An initiative led by Northern Kentucky University’s Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement seeks to help improve a northern Kentucky neighborhood.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports the project will have students from NKU and Gateway Community & Technical College work on service learning projects over the next three years that will help Newport’s Westside neighborhood capitalize on its strengths and improve upon its weaknesses.

The 505 Initiative is the first step in Project Hope, a regional collaboration by the Greater Cincinnati Service Learning Network which plans to launch several similar projects in the region this fall.

  • ND Colleges Start Public Service Center

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Presidents of three Bismarck colleges have launched a joint effort to promote public service.

The Institute for Culture and Public Service will utilize the resources of Bismarck State College, the University of Mary and United Tribes Technical College to provide training and degrees in public service.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Mary President James Shea, BSC President Larry Skogen and United Tribes President David Gipp late last year signed a charter creating the institute.

  • Wyo. Colleges Starts Memorial Scholarship

POWELL, Wyo. (AP) — A new scholarship program will benefit students at Northwest College in memory of a soldier who was killed while serving in Afghanistan last year.

Suicide bombers killed 45-year-old Army Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin and two other service members. All three were members of units at Fort Carson, Colo. The attack also killed a foreign service officer.

Griffin graduated from Riverton High School in 1985 and attended Northwest College. He excelled as a wrestler in high school and college.

The Powell Tribune reports the new scholarships will go to wrestler and veterans studying at the community college starting in 2014.

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