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2013 November 11 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Judges Imposes Probation in La. Financial Aid Fraud Case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 46-year-old woman who had pleaded guilty in July to federal financial-aid fraud has been sentenced to three years of probation by U.S. District Judge Lance Africk.

The Times-Picayune reports Shanera Washington-Sylve was charged with lying about her marital status, claiming to be single when filling out an application for financial aid for her daughter. She got over $23,000 in aid, which she has started to pay back.

Because she had worked in financial-aid offices at Delgado Community College and Our Lady of Holy Cross College, Africk said during sentencing she should have known better.

In addition to being illegal, Africk said, Washington-Sylve’s fraudulent application could have put her daughter in legal jeopardy, and could have taken the money from a student who needed it to go to school.

“You made a tremendous mistake,” Africk said. “This will follow you for the rest of your life.”’

  • Federal Grant To Finance New Nursing Building At Ark. College

POCAHONTAS, Ark. (AP) — A technical college in northeast Arkansas will build a new nursing and science facility, thanks to a $9.5 million loan from the USDA Office of Rural Development.

Black River Technical College says the new 44,000-square-foot facility should be open before the fall term of 2015. Now, the college can train up to 120 certified nursing assistants, 72 practical nurses and 40 registered nurses.

The new facility will allow the school to train at least 40 more certified nursing assistants, eight additional practical nurses and 10 more registered nurses.

  • Kan. College Considers Going Tobacco-Free

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — Garden City Community College is closer to becoming a tobacco-free campus.

The school’s Board of Trustees voted to direct the administration to make the campus tobacco free by Jan. 1 of next year.

The trustees suggested that college President Herbert Swender use his discretion to implement the policy.

Sender told the trustees a survey found that students and employees were about evenly split on the proposal. Some people at the meeting raised concerns that a proposed policy was too restrictive or questioned how it would be enforced.

Swender says the school would enact a policy that would ensure that it would be enforced with increased consequences for each violation.

  • Former College VP Charged With Wire Fraud

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former Harrisburg Area Community College vice president has been charged with wire fraud.

Federal officials said that 55-year-old Nancy Rockey of Harrisburg has agreed to plead guilty and pay full restitution.

Rockey is charged with purchasing $228,000 worth of gift cards on a college credit card to buy items for herself, her family and her friends.

Federal prosecutors say she submitted bogus invoices to the Harrisburg Area Community College finance office in order to conceal the unlawful purchases.

She worked at the school from 1980 until her resignation in February 2012.

Rockey was charged by the Dauphin County prosecutors in January. They turned over the case in March to federal investigators.

At the time of her initial arrest, investigators said Rockey admitted to stealing the funds.

  • La. College Seeks Help from School Board

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — South Louisiana Community College’s chancellor has asked the Lafayette Parish School Board to put up $1 million toward a $17 million building on the college campus.

What the school district would get in exchange is the opportunity to expand its Early College Academy, a high school on the college campus.

The Advocate reports students at the academy can earn an associate degree from SLCC at the same time they are earning a high school diploma.

About 250 Lafayette Parish students are enrolled in the program and the additional space would allow the program to expand to 1,000 students, Chancellor Natalie Harder said.

“There is nothing like that on the drawing board for any parish in this state,” she said.

The program is housed in the college’s main academic building, which the college outgrew years ago. The school board’s $1 million investment would provide about 20,000 square feet of space in the new building for the Early College Academy.

  • Wash. State Taking Over Consortium

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Washington State University is taking over administration of a center at Everett that offers classes through several colleges.

WSU President Elson Floyd talked about the expansion at a meeting with officials and business leaders at Everett Community College. The college has been managing the University Center of North Puget Sound, but the Legislature approved WSU administration by the summer of next year.

The center currently has about 430 students in 14 programs offered by a consortium including Western Washington University, Central Washington University and the University of Washington Bothell.

Plans call for a new building and 1,200 students by 2021.

  • Colo. College Student Privacy Breach Revealed

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — Student records from Pueblo Community College from 2006 that include Social Security numbers have been found by a Pueblo woman in a box of office supplies purchased at a yard sale.

College President Patty Erjavec says the institution has strict rules on handling records and school leaders and staff have been reminded of that policy. The unidentified woman who found the records says they are secure.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports the community college is trying to determine how the mistake occurred.

  • Ind. Commits To Expanding Trucker Training

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann is hoping a new training program will supply more certified truck drivers for Indiana’s growing logistics industry.

Ellspermann announced the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Ivy Tech Community College and the Wells County Economic Development agency will help pay for 20 students to earn their commercial driver license certification.

Workforce Development will issue grants covering the $4,000 needed for certification. Candidates must be unemployed, underemployed or have recently earned a GED.

  • $843K Grant To Bolster Tenn. Tech Training

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has announced an $843,000 grant for Northeast State Community College to pay for equipment at the school’s advanced technology programs.

The money comes out of a $16.5 million pool that the Legislature approved this year as part of the governor’s effort to boost higher education attainment in Tennessee. About 32 percent of Tennesseans currently have certificates or degrees beyond high school. Haslam wants to increase that number to 55 percent by the year 2025.

The equipment will allow the community college to expand its robotics manufacturing training lab, add a mechatronics training lab and upgrade welding and machine tool equipment.

According to the governor, more than 200 advanced technology students a year will benefit from the equipment upgrades funded through the grant.

  • Schulz Chosen As New Leader Of Iowa College

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines Area Community College administrator has been chosen as president of North Iowa Area Community College.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reports the North Iowa Area Community College board of directors approved a contract for Steven Schulz. His salary will be $165,000.

Schulz has worked as provost at the Carroll campus of Des Moines Area Community College since 2006.

He replaces Debra Derr, who left North Iowa for a position in Oregon.

  • Ark. College President To Retire

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — The first female president of National Park Community College is retiring next summer.

Sally Carder announced her retirement from the two-year school in Hot Springs. The college has seen just three presidents in its 40-year history.

Carder served as director of Quapaw Technical Institute from 2000 to 2003. She led the charge for the institute to merge with National Park Community College, and took over as president of the combined schools in 2005.

Her retirement takes effect June 30, 2014.

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