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2013 October 30 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Philanthropist Gets Top Award From NACCE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Massachusetts entrepreneur Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. The award was presented during the group’s 11th annual conference in Charlotte, N.C.

Deshpande heads the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The center supports entrepreneurs in their efforts to bring innovative technologies from the lab to the marketplace in terms of breakthrough products and new companies.

He has founded a number of technology companies, including Cascade Communications, whose products were important in routing the early Internet. In 1997, the company sold for $3.7 billion. The venture capitalist and entrepreneur is best known for co-founding Sycamore Networks, an Internet equipment manufacturer.

“The NACCE Lifetime Achievement award is presented to an individual who has achieved entrepreneurial success and played a pivotal role in the community through involvement and support of civic and philanthropic activities,” said Heather Van Sickle, CEO of NACCE.

Since 2002, the Deshpande Center has reviewed 500 proposals and funded more than 90 projects with over $11 million in grants. The Deshpande Foundation also has established three other centers to encourage entrepreneurship: the Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in India, the Merrimack Valley Social Entrepreneurship Sandbox in Massachusetts – which includes two community colleges — and the Pond-Deshpande Center at the University of New Brunswick in Canada.

  • Vt. College Launches Own Take on MOOCs

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Community College of Vermont is launching its own take on the trend of massive open onlinecourses.

The college has opened registration for its first LOOC, or “little open online course.” Titled “On the Hunt for the Perfect Job,” the course is aimed at students seeking help looking and applying forjobs.

The class is modeled after large online courses in which materials and instructions are delivered to students free via the Internet. The five-week class starts includes video lectures, reading material and online discussionforums.

  • Suspect Indicted In Shooting at Va. College

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a man accused of shooting two women at a community college inside a Christiansburg mall.

Neil MacInnis, 19 and a former student at New River Community College, is charged with two malicious wounding counts and two firearms counts stemming from the April 12 shooting at a satellite campus of the college inside the mall.

A Montgomery County grand jury issued the indictments. A plea hearing is set for Nov. 13.

Police have said part-time employee Taylor Sharpe and student Kristina Bousserghine were in the lobby when a gunman entered the building. An off-duty security guard and Christiansburg police officers subdued the suspect after the women were shot.

Neither woman appears to have been targeted, Christiansburg police have said. Both were recovering from their injuries. Police said they were pursuing the wounding charge because its maximum penalty of 20 years in prison is stiffer than the 10-year maximum for a charge of attempted murder.

MacInnis is being held without bond at the Western Virginia Regional Jail.

  • RI’s Colleges Seek $19 Million More in Funding

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Higher education is asking for $19.4 million more than its budget to maintain the services at the state’s three public colleges.

The increase assumes no increases in tuition and fees at the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island for fiscal 2015. It also assumes no increases in salaries for faculty and staff.

Susan LaPanne, chief financial officer for the Office of Higher Education, tells the Providence Journal that most of the budget increases are due to costs over which the colleges have little or no control. They include benefit rate increases, utilities, insurance premiums, building maintenance and lab supplies.

If the spending increase is approved by the Board of Education on Monday, this would be the second straight year without raising tuition and fees.

  • Metro College System Gets $12M Grant

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City’s Metropolitan Community College system is receiving $12 million in federal grants to better support students.

College officials said in a release the grants come from the U.S. Department of Education.

Some of the funds will be used to improve remedial courses designed to catch students up and prepare them for regular coursework. Money also will be used for enhanced tutoring, expanded peer mentoring and improved advising.

Nancy Russell, who heads the system’s Institute for Workforce Innovation, says the intensive support systems are proven to be effective and will be of great value to students.

Metropolitan Community College has five campuses in the Kansas City area, including a Business and Technology campus.

  • Tuition Mixup Benefits La. College Students

SORRENTO, La. (AP) — River Parishes Community College students caught a break last year when school administrators miscalculated a tuition increase and ended up charging students less money than they should have.

A report from Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office says the foul-up cost the Sorrento school $102,540 in tuition revenue.

In June 2012, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System board approved a 10 percent tuition increase on all of its campuses across the state.

The audit report says the problem occurred when administrators at River Parishes Community College incorrectly calculated the 10 percent increase, resulting in the school undercharging students by $2 per credit hour.

The Advocate reports LCTCS Director of Budget and Planning Joe Marin chalked up the situation on a mixture of timing and staff turnover.

  • Ga. College, Carpet Industry Plan Job Training

ATLANTA (AP) — State officials are partnering with a group of carpet companies in northwest Georgia to launch a job training program.

Officials with the Governor’s office of Workforce Development said that the 10-week program will be offered to individuals selected by companies including Beaulieu of America and Shaw Industries Group.

The program will be launched in conjunction with the Northwest Regional Commission and Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

Those selected to participate will be trained to fill entry-level industrial maintenance jobs within the carpet industry. Training will include computer-based learning and lab instruction at the college.

  • La. Colleges Sign Faculty Swap Agreement

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — Louisiana State University at Alexandria and Central Louisiana Technical Community College have signed an agreement for faculty at the two institutions to receive training at the other at discounted tuition.

It’s a small step, but part of an ongoing dialogue that LSUA officials hope will result in CLTCC’s new main campus being located alongside its four-year counterpart on U.S. Highway 71 south of Alexandria.

The Town Talk reports LSUA is one of four parties that has expressed serious interest
in being the home of the
new CLTCC Alexandria-area campus.

  • Simulation Center Opens on Miss. Campus

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has opened its Healthcare Simulation Center at its Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center in Gulfport.

The new center will be the only simulation center with public access on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Part of the master plan for MGCCC’s Nursing and Allied Health Division, the center will be available to Nursing and Allied Health students as well as clinical affiliates, community partners and public/private organizations not affiliated with the college.

The center will contain state-of-the-art simulators designed to help students and practitioners develop preparedness and insight that is best learned and practiced in realistic conditions.

  • 3 Arrested in Thefts from NC College

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in Halifax County say three former community college workers are charged in connection with equipment thefts from the school.

Interim Sheriff Wes Tripp said the State Auditor’s Office began an investigation in June 2012 after discrepancies were found in Halifax Community College’s inventory of media equipment.

During the investigation by the sheriff’s office, five of nine missing iPads were recovered.

Officials said 62-year-old former vice president of curriculum Harriett Morrison, 33-year-old administrative assistant Tuwana Jones and former instructional designer Shauna Jones turned themselves in at the sheriff’s office.

They are charged with felonious larceny by employee and possession of stolen property. They’re free under $1,000 bond each and are due in court Dec. 11.

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