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2013 September 2 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • St. Louis CC Weighs Disbanding Campus Police Department

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The board of St. Louis Community College is considering whether it should do away with its own campus police force in the wake of a bungled investigation.

In a scathing report commissioned by trustees, investigators recommended that the board consider having local law enforcement cover the campus. Board chairman Craig Larson said that part of the next step in the process is figuring out how to implement the recommendations in the report.

The report came nearly four months after student Blythe Grupe was attacked in a restroom on the college’s Meramec campus by a fellow student. Her alleged attacker was released hours later, even after he reportedly admitted he was trying to kill her.

Grupe’s family became frustrated with the police response and went public. In the fallout, Meramec campus president George Wasson resigned and the board voted not to renew Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey’s contract when it expires in 2014.

Then, the college announced that Meramec campus police chief Paul Banta, Community College District chief of police Robert Stewart and Vice President of Student Affairs Linden Crawford were “no longer in their prior positions.”

Stewart told reporters he had taken retirement. A college spokeswoman declined to discuss details, but both Banta and Stewart were criticized in the report.

The report said Banta and Stewart waited five days after the attack to seek an arrest warrant when “it appeared probable that a warrant for a serious felony could have been obtained the day of the attack.” The report said the two ``lack knowledge of basic police procedures.”

  • NAU Offers New Leadership Program

AUSTIN, Texas — A new doctoral program in community college leadership has been established by National American University and will begin offering classes next spring.

The new program will be headquartered at the Harold D. Buckingham Graduate School, at the Roueche Graduate Center in Austin, Texas, with student cohorts convening around the country through online and face-to-face instruction.

The program will be led by John E. Roueche, who moved to NAU last year after retiring as director of the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin, which he led for more than 40 years.

The new program was announced soon after NAU learned that it had been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency that oversees degree-granting programs in Midwestern and South-Central states.

“We are very excited to have the Community College Leadership doctoral program as a significant addition to our curriculum at National American University,” Roueche said. “The (program) is designed for senior administrators and aspiring leaders who want to pursue a doctoral program that prepares them for senior leadership in community and technical colleges. This opportunity comes at a critical time as community colleges are experiencing a watershed turnover in leadership that is projected to continue as retirements increase over the next ten years.”

Said Terry O’Banion, president emeritus of the League for Innovation and Chair of the Graduate Faculty at National American University: “Accreditation of this program opens the door for a new era in preparing community college leaders.”

National American University is a regionally accredited, proprietary, multi-campus institution of higher learning offering associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in health care and business-related disciplines. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, NAU has been providing technical and professional career education since 1941.

  • Ala. College Transitioning To E-Books

TANNER, Ala. (AP) — A northern Alabama community college plans to transition from traditional textbooks and offer students more digitally-based education opportunities.

Calhoun Community College president Marilyn Beck told the Decatur Daily 32 courses at the community college will focus on tablet and e-book education materials although students will still have the option to purchase textbooks.

The newspaper reports instructor Scott Throneberry gave emergency medical services students the option of going completely digital or buying textbooks over the summer. He said all of his students bought tablets instead of the books, which could have cost up to $400. Throneberry said some of his students bought used tablets online for as little as $50.

E-books with supporting technology can cost about $100, which Throneberry says is a major cost break from what students typically spend on textbooks.

Beck says it’s unclear how some sections focusing on digital education materials will impact the school’s bookstore.

“It will probably have to change to selling more supplies, uniforms and computers,” she said.

Despite the school offering students the change to ditch textbooks for e-books, Beck said instructors will still be required to supply traditional textbooks for students who either can’t afford or don’t want to use a digital version.

  • Tenn. College Hatches Plans To Get Rid of Geese

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Chattanooga State Community College will try different tactics to prevent the campus from being overrun by Canada geese.

Officials of the college were upset earlier this summer when they learned that about 100 geese they asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to trap last month were euthanized.

College Associate Vice President Eva Lewis said a growing population of the birds will be made to feel “uncomfortable.” That discomfort will come from playing strobe lights on the lake, placing dummy coyotes made of wire and putting down wire mesh along the lakeshore. Geese don’t like to walk on it.

Lewis said noisemakers are not an option.

Officials are also considering painting eggs the geese lay with vegetable oil, which blocks oxygen and keeps the eggs for developing.

  • Minn. Colleges Report Slowing Enrollment

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Several colleges in northeastern Minnesota say enrollment is flat this year, perhaps because the economy is improving.

The University of Minnesota Duluth is expecting smaller overall enrollment. The College of St. Scholastica expects a smaller freshman class. The Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College expects little or no growth.

The Duluth News Tribune says enrollment at Lake Superior College was down 10 percent in June, so the school took action. Mailings, Facebook reminders and phone calls to previous students who hadn’t registered brought that decline down to 3.5 percent.

Lake Superior College spokesman Gary Kruchowski says the height of the recession caused a big jump in enrollment. But now some of the institutions that saw double-digit increases are seeing similar decreases.

  • Miss. Colleges Reach Deal on Degree Program

BOONEVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Northeast Mississippi Community College and Blue Mountain College have reached an agreement on an accelerated degree partnership program to be based on the Northeast Mississippi campus in Corinth.

Under the agreement, an undergraduate transfer student or graduate of Northeast or a graduate of Northeast may take courses offered by Blue Mountain at the Northeast campus in Corinth.

After completing the academic requirements of both institutions, the student would be awarded a bachelor’s degree from Blue Mountain.

“We look forward to continuing our association with Blue Mountain College with this partnership that is not only a benefit to both institutions, but also, and most importantly, a benefit to those seeking higher education opportunities in north Mississippi,” said Northeast President Johnny Allen.

Goals of the partnership include enabling students earn college credit applicable to degrees at both colleges and expanding student options for educational services.

  • Ky. Grants Will Fund Satellite Campus

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A northeastern Kentucky town is receiving $860,000 in grants to convert a former school into a public library and college satellite campus.

The new Olive Hill Community Educational Arts Center will be housed in the former Olive Hill High School, which was built in 1929.

The renovated center will serve as a library and a satellite campus for Ashland Community & Technical College.

Gov. Steve Beshear’s office said Olive Hill currently has no public library or public technology center for residents to access computers or the Internet. It says the closest public library is 40 minutes away in Grayson.

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