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2014 May 13 - 02:06 pm

News Briefs

Va. ‘Dreamers’ Eligible for In- State Tuition

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) —- Attorney General Mark Herring is telling Virginia colleges that they can grant in-state tuition to thousands of students who were previously considered ineligible because of their immigration status.

The policy change, announced at Northern Virginia Community College, is a change from the Democrat's Republican predecessors.

In the past, the attorney general's office had advised that students who entered the country illegally were barred from receiving in-state tuition, even if they were children when they immigrated.

Herring says students can qualify for the reduced tuition under a special immigration status created by the Obama administration for certain young people brought to the country as children.


Enrollment at Ore. College Plummets

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — With an economic recovery underway, students are going into the workforce instead of Lane Community College classrooms, and enrollment has dropped by nearly a third.

President Mary Spilde said that means a budget shortfall, and it could get large enough to warrant layoffs of faculty and staff members.

When the nation went into the Great Recession, enrollment surged 40 percent and peaked four years ago at 15,417. It’s off by 30 percent from that.

Higher education enrollment typically spikes during an economic downturn and then falls when times get better. Spilde says the cycle is tougher these days because the school’s budget relies more heavily on tuition payments and less on state appropriations.


Miss. College Offering New Programs

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — At a time when community college enrollment across the nation is trending down, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is getting creative in its efforts at attracting students and teaching them.

Mary Graham, MGCCC president, tells The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1jKveC6 ) that means teaching something that’s never been taught before — the gambling industry.

The classes will begin in the fall, and the gambling element will be added to six existing programs.

Beginning as early as this summer, Graham says MGCCC will start a new aerospace and aircraft training package aimed at preparing students for jobs at such employers as Airbus in Mobile.


NH Colleges Lowering Tuition This Fall

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Community colleges in New Hampshire are lowering their tuition this fall by 5 percent starting this fall.

The in-state per credit cost will be reduced to $200, down from the current price of $210. For an instate student taking a minimum full-time course load of 12 credits per semester, annual tuition costs will drop from $5,040 to $4,800.

The reduction came after the state Legislature restored funding to the community college system that had been cut in the previous state budget.

Paul Holloway, chairman of the board of trustees of the community college system, said tuition was frozen last year. He said the system has invested in programs like advanced manufacturing and health professions.

New Hampshire’s seven community colleges have frozen tuition in four of the past nine years.


Ky. System President Receives Award

VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) — The president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System has been honored with a lifetime achievement award from Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Michael B. McCall was among 10 recipients of the Michael Bennett Lifetime Achievement during Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention in Orlando, Fla. The award is named in honor of the late president of St. Petersburg College in Florida.

McCall’s career spans 44 years in comprehensive community colleges. He announced last year he is retiring Jan. 15 after 16 years of leading the Kentucky system.

McCall said in a release from KCTCS that he is honored by the award and proud of the system for its commitment to improving education quality and access in the state.


Ark. Colleges Planning Higher Ed Center

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Pending state approval, Hot Springs will soon have its first four-year university presence this fall when Henderson State University opens an education center in partnership with a local community college.

The Arkadelphia school is partnering with National Park Community College for the new education center, which will be located in the Landmark Building in downtown Hot Springs.

The Landmark Building will house classrooms, seminar rooms, a computer lab and office space.

Officials told The Sentinel- Record (http://bit.ly/QgK1Ns ) that plans for a Henderson location in Hot Springs had been in the works for years.

“We hope that this is going to be the beginning of an incredible relationship, not just with Henderson and National Park (Community College) and the downtown community, but with all of Hot Springs and all of Garland County,” said Henderson State University President Glen Jones.


Interim President Chosen for Gwinnett Tech

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Officials from the organization governing Georgia’s technical colleges say an interim president has been appointed to serve at Gwinnett Technical College.

David H. Welden has been named interim president of the school in Lawrenceville. Officials say Welden is currently the school’s vice president for finance and administration.

The college’s president, Sharon Bartels, announced plans to retire earlier this year and said in a statement that Welden is in a good position to direct the college and continue the school’s commitment to student success.

Officials say Welden earned a bachelor and master of business administration at Georgia State University, and is a certified public accountant.

College system officials say GTC is the state’s second largest technical college, with an enrollment of about 20,000.


Miss. College Hiking Tuition For 2014-15

SEBATOBIA, Miss. (AP) — Northwest Mississippi Community College is increasing tuition for the 2014-15 academic year.

Full-time in-state students will see an increase of $150 per semester in tuition, to $1,275. Part-time in-state students will pay an additional $15 per semester hour as the cost increases to $110 per semester hour.

Out-of-state full-time students will pay an additional $100 in nonresident tuition fees in addition to the new base tuition of $1,275. Part-time students from out of state will pay an additional $20 per semester hour.

Northwest President Gary Lee Spears told The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/1h3XdPL ) costs have risen with maintaining new facilities and providing the programs those facilities will offer.

“The college is trying to meet the changing needs of our district,” Spears said.


Philanthropist Helps Waitress Become Nurse

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A chance encounter with a customer who’s a major Harrisburg philanthropist is paying for the education of a waitress who now works as nurse in a hospital facility that bears the man’s name.

WHTM-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1hclKhj ) that Benjamin Olewine III became impressed by Melissa Manier’s personality and determination when she waited on him at a suburban restaurant a few years ago.

She took him up on the offer to help with her school costs, and Olewine’s paid off her debt, along with tuition and book costs.

Manier has earned a degree through a local community college and now happens to be working at a wing named in October for Olewine at PinnacleHealth’s General Osteopathic Hospital.

Olewine is chairman emeritus of Sysco Food Services of central Pennsylvania.


NC College Gets Grant To Expand Beer Program

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College has received a grant from Duke Energy to expand its craft beverage program.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports (http://avlne.ws/1kJem2r) the school’s Craft Beverage Institute is getting a $195,000 grant that will buy a 7-10-barrel brew house, a canning machine, a distillation system and a micro winery.

Program director Scott Adams says the equipment should be on the Enka campus by fall.

Adams said two dozen students are now in the program, and another two dozen will begin in August. He said some students have traveled to the school from as far as Oregon.

A-B Tech would eventually like to open a tasting facility similar to what’s offered by Surry Community College’s wine program in Dobson. Brewmaster Jeff Irvin said that would involve a change in state law.


‘Game of Thrones’ Pic Got Prof Suspended

PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey professor claims he was suspended over an online photo containing a quote from “Game of Thrones” that he says a school official perceived as a threat.

Francis Schmidt, who teaches art and animation at Bergen Community College, says he was suspended for eight days after posting a photo in January of his 7-year-old daughter wearing a T-shirt with a quote from the graphic HBO show that read: “I will take what is mine with fire and blood.”

Schmidt said school officials questioned whether the reference was meant as a threat against a dean, who was one of the people who viewed the post on Schmidt’s Google Plus social media feed.

The school has been embroiled in labor negotiations and Schmidt said he wondered if his suspension had to do with him filing a grievance after being denied a sabbatical about two months prior to the incident.

Schmidt says he was ordered to consult a psychiatrist as one of the conditions of being reinstated with back pay.

School spokesman Larry Hlavenka told The Associated Press the school had followed its safety protocols in the case, which he called a private personnel matter.


W.Va. To Develop New Credit Transfer Policy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s public higher education governing bodies have agreed to work together to make it easier for students to transfer credits from one school to another.

The Higher Education Policy Commission and the Council for Community and Technical College Education plan to develop a statewide agreement that will enable associate programs to be accepted and fully credited to related baccalaureate programs.

A resolution adopted by the agencies last week also calls for development of a reverse transfer policy. Students will be able to transfer final credits earned at a four-year institution back to the community college where they started.

A joint commission will be created to hear and resolve transfer disagreements between students and institutions.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says the agreement will make the credit transfer process easier.

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