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2013 August 19 - 12:00 am


  • Ohio Immigrants Soon Eligible for In-State Tuition

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Immigrants living in the U.S. with temporary legal status will soon be able to pay in-state tuition rates at Ohio’s public colleges as long as they meet other residency requirements, according to Ohio’s higher education chief.

Most of the state’s two- and four-year public colleges previously charged students who are in the country illegally tuition rates that were much higher than what other Ohio students pay.

John Carey, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, sent a letter to the state’s public college presidents notifying them of the changes. His letter followed a determination by Attorney General Mike DeWine that students in the country illegally now may qualify for in-state tuition.

Immigration advocates asking Carey for the change cited the 2012 federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Under that program, immigrants who got to the U.S. before they turned 16 may receive two years of a legal status that may be renewed. The status lets them work and drive without fear of deportation.

“We are future nurses, teachers, attorneys, engineers and technicians who are being denied the fair educational access and affordability granted to our classmates,” according to a letter sent to Carey on Monday from Dream Activist Ohio.

“We may not be U.S. citizens on papers, but we are no less Ohioans than any of our high school classmates,” the letter said.

In-state students will pay $10,037 in tuition and fees at Ohio State University this fall, compared with $27,000 for international students, a rate that immigrants have been charged in the past.

  • Ariz. College Trustees Headed Back to School

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Pima Community College is responding to poor grades from its accreditor by sending longtime members of its Board of Trustees back to school.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the board members are to be taught about topics that include procurement, sexual harassment and community engagement.

An investigation by the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission found corrupt hiring and contracting practices as well as mishandling of sexual harassment claims. The commission put the college on probation, saying its board is dysfunctional and ethically challenged.

A plan drafted by a consultant calls for the board members to attend workshops and retreats over the next two years

  • Former Staffers Charged with Bilking College

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Two former employees at LSU-Eunice face are accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars while employed at the two-year college.

The Advocate reports U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s office charged Marvette J. Thomas and Carra Sergent with one count each of stealing federal funds. The document alleges Thomas stole $68,464, and that Sergent stole $74,653, during the years they worked at the public institution, which receives federal money.

Both women worked in LSU-E’s Office of Academic Affairs, where they are alleged to have taken advantage of the school’s procurement system. The college is a community college that enrolls about 3,300 students.

  • STLCC Trustees Decline Contract Extension

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A divided Board of Trustees at St. Louis Community College has voted not to extend Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey’s contract.

The contract ends next June. Dorsey earns about $220,000 annually and has a car and housing allowance.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the motion to extend Dorsey’s contract failed on a 3-3 vote. The results were disclosed after people aware of the meeting requested the outcome under the state Sunshine Law.

The vote came months after the college’s handling of an attack on a female student in a restroom was criticized. The attack happened on the Meramec campus. Opinions were divided on Dorsey’s handling of the April 18 attack.

Days after the attack, Meramec campus president George Wasson resigned.

  • Virginia Colleges Ink Admission Agreement

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — Emory & Henry College has adopted a guaranteed admission agreement with a neighboring community college.

The private liberal college in Abingdon announced the agreement Friday. It guarantees admission to Virginia Highlands Community College graduates who earn an associate of arts and sciences degree with a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher. The agreement is effective immediately.

Virginia Highlands also has guaranteed admission agreements with several other schools, including Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia.

  • Construction Starts on Mich. Tech Center

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Wayne State University has broken ground on a facility that expands its relationship with Macomb Community College.

The Detroit-based university kicked off construction of its Advanced Technology Education Center in Warren. The project involves renovating a former retail property across from the Macomb County college north of Detroit.

Ahmad Ezzeddine is Wayne State’s associate vice president for educational outreach and international programs. He says the center creates opportunities for both schools’ students to complete four-year degrees in engineering, computer science, advanced manufacturing and other fields.

Ezzeddine says Wayne State has existing programs at the community college and the new facility further integrates them. The center also intends to work closely with nearby automotive- and military-related research and production facilities.

The center plans to open in the fall of 2014.

  • Former Calif. Administrator Pleads Guilty

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A former California community college administrator has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge for stealing more than $45,000 in student-aid money she gave to family members and others.

The Orange County Register reports 35-year-old Anna Catalan pleaded guilty in federal court as part of a plea deal reached with prosecutors. The agreement recommends a 21-month prison term and restitution of about $88,000. Sentencing is set for Dec. 2.

Federal prosecutors say Catalan, who worked for Santiago Canyon College, stole legitimate student-aid checks and fraudulently signed and endorsed them

She had dozens of $600 checks cut to ineligible students with money intended to aid migratory farm workers and their children.

Prosecutors say Catalan also withheld checks from current students who should have received them.

  • Vt. Tech College Program Gets Federal Grant

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Small Business Development Center, a program of Vermont Technical College in Randolph, is getting a $95,000 grant from the federal Small Business Administration.

The money from the SBA’s Federal and State Technology Partnership program is expected to help Vermont entrepreneurs with innovation and commercialization of new technology.

The SBA, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation reviewed panel recommendations and made awards based on the merit of the proposals.

R&D Magazine reports that the grant program supports about a quarter of the country’s top innovations each year.

  • ECU Receives $2.2M Grant for Teacher Program

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — East Carolina University has received a $2.2 million foundation grant for its rural teacher education program.

The school in Greenville announced that the money is coming from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation.

Under the university’s Partnership East program, students can complete their first two years of a teaching degree at one of 20 participating community colleges in eastern and central North Carolina. They can then transfer to ECU where education classes can be taken online and part-time.

The program is designed to educate new teachers at home so they remain to teach in their communities after graduation.

  • Ark. Instructor Announces Run For Congress

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — A community college teacher has announced her bid for the southwestern Arkansas congressional seat currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

Janis Percefull, a Democrat, said that she submitted papers to the Federal Election Commission to run in the 4th District, a sprawling district that spans most of southern and western Arkansas. Percefull, 61, teaches at National Park Community College in Hot Springs and also writes history and historical fiction.

Percefull teaches geography, Arkansas history and Western civilization. She said her students have engaged in heated classroom discussions about current events, and believe they aren’t being heard.

“My students don’t think that their voices count. They don’t think the people in Congress represent them,” Percefull said.

She said those discussions led her to decide to run for Congress.

  • Ga. Board OKs Merging Two Tech Colleges

ATLANTA (AP) — The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia has approved plans to merge Altamaha Technical College and the Okefenokee Technical College.

Technical College System of Georgia spokesman Mike Light said the consolidation is expected to happen by July 1, 2014.

Officials say the current President of Okefenokee Technical College, Glenn Deibert, will serve as president of both institutions after they’re merged.

Officials say there were 33 technical colleges in the Georgia system in 2009 and the state has merged some of them to reduce administrative costs and increase efficiency.

After the merger, officials say there will be 23 technical colleges in the state’s system.

  • Alabama College Makes Change In President

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — The president of Gadsden State Community College is out on paid administrative leave and an interim president is taking over.

The chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, Mark Heinrich, announced that President Ray Staats was placed on paid administrative leave. Heinrich named William Blow acting president.

Blow is a retired executive from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. He served as interim president at Gadsden State before Staats was hired in 2011. His appointment is effective Aug. 1.

The change comes after a no confidence vote by Gadsden State employees in May. The vote among employees at campuses in Gadsden, Anniston and Centre was 312 expressing no confidence in Staats and 34 expressing confidence.

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