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By CCWeek Staff  /  
2014 June 23 - 03:51 am

News Briefs

  • Va. Colleges Resolve Free Speech Lawsuit

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Community College System has agreed to pay $25,000 to resolve a student’s free-speech lawsuit.

Thomas Nelson Community College student Christian Parks sued the college system in March. The lawsuit said Parks’ freespeech rights were violated when campus police ordered him to stop preaching in a courtyard at the Hampton school.

A proposed final decree was filed earlier this month in federal court. As part of the decree, the college system promised to not place unreasonable limits on student speech.

Attorney Travis Barham with the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom tells The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/1p- CgUTy) that the case resulted in greater freedom of expression for students. The group represented Parks.

The college system’s governing board voted in April to eliminate so-called free speech zones, which confined student expression to designated areas.

Two Ga. Colleges Planning To Merge Administrations

ATLANTA (AP) — Two technical colleges in southwest Georgia will merge administrations by 2015.

The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia approved the merger of Moultrie Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College at a meeting in Atlanta.

None of the schools’ campuses will be closed. Officials at both schools will recommend a new name. About 5,100 students enrolled in classes at the schools last year.

System Commissioner Ron Jackson says the merger will make the schools stronger financially and give students more access to resources.

The merger is part of an ongoing effort to cut administrative costs at Georgia’s technical colleges. The technical college system will have 22 colleges once the merger is complete, down from 33 in 2009.

Man Charged With Hacking School Computer

BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a 25-year old New Bedford man has agreed to plead guilty in a computer hacking case in which he’s accused of breaking into police records, credit card accounts and a local college, where he allegedly altered his grades.

Prosecutors announced the charges against Cameron Lacroix and said he agreed to plead guilty to two counts of computer intrusion and one count of access device fraud. If a judge approves the deal he would face four years in prison.

Lacroix allegedly changed his grades along with those of two others at Bristol County Community College. The school says it has changed its security measures.

Prosecutors said Lacroix repeatedly broke into law enforcement records, including arrest warrants and sex offender information. They say he also stole credit card information for more than 14,000 accounts.

  • ‘Lapsed’ Conn. Students Can Get Free Classes

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A new program is being launched to help encourage “lapsed” college students in Connecticut return to the classroom.

In-state residents who have started but not yet completed a degree could begin participating in the “Go Back to Get Ahead” program, proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and approved by the General Assembly earlier this year.

Under the initiative, individuals who took college courses before Dec. 1, 2012, but left before completing their degree can get up to three, free three-credit courses at one of the state’s 17 community colleges or universities. The program will be available for a limited time.

About 65,000 potentially eligible students will be contacted by mail and through a public media campaign.

  • Chicago Colleges Expand Tutoring, Career Program

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s network of community colleges is expanding its partnership with a nonprofit group that provides students one-on-one tutoring, skills training and career guidance.

The organization One Million Degrees currently serves about 100 students in the City Colleges of Chicago system. Under the expansion, those numbers will grow to 6,000 students over five years.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the program helps students graduate, transition to fouryear colleges and universities and make the leap to the workforce.

The one-on-one help includes guidance from professional volunteers and tours of local companies.

City Colleges of Chicago is the largest community college system in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation. It serves 115,000 students annually at seven colleges and six satellite sites.

  • Ivy Tech Offers New Computer Programs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College says software development is among seven new programs it will offer in its School of Computing and Informatics beginning in August.

Ivy Tech announced that the Indiana Commission for Higher Education has approved the new programs and they’ll be offered at select campuses across the state.

The new programs also include informatics, information technology support, network infrastructure, database management, server administration and cyber security-information assurance.

Ivy Tech says a task force of business and industry information technology leaders helped guide development of the programs.

It says the programs have options for students to transfer to four-year universities so they can pursue bachelor’s degrees.

  • College To Offer Digital Media Studies Degree

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — South Louisiana Community College plans to offer an associate degree program in digital media design starting in the fall to replace its technical graphic design program.

Students in the graphic design program can transfer into the associate degree program or complete the technical diploma option, The Advocate reported (http://bit.ly/1knFKnq ).

The Louisiana Board of Regents has approved the program and the college is awaiting final approval from its accrediting agency.

The graphics program was revamped to align with the regional workforce demands, said Micheal Glisson, the college’s vice chancellor for academic.

“We are continually evaluating our program offerings to be sure they align with workforce needs in our communities. Employers are looking for qualified candidates in digital media who not only understand technical aspects, but also know how to prepare projects and develop content. This revamped program will offer all of this,” Glisson said.

The program will teach technical skills in digital media, including courses in print and web design and digital video production.

It will include two tracks of study: an associate of applied science and a technical diploma track. Four certificate options also will be offered in digital printer design, web design, digital video editing for 3-D art and a 3-D artist certificate.

The college developed the program with input from local digital media companies.

  • Miss. College Holding the Line On Tuition

DECATUR, Miss. (AP) — Authorities at East Central Community College say tuition will not increase this year.

College President Billy Stewart tells WTVA-TV (http://bit.ly/1ms6Szu ) the decision to hold tuition at current levels was approved by the college Board of Trustees.

The action came after the Mississippi Legislature increased funding for community colleges. East Central officials expect enrollment to increase by about 100 students over the next year.

Tuition for in-state students will remain at $990 per semester. Students who reside out of state or out of country will continue to pay an additional $1,050 per semester.

  • Iowa Court Reporters Hail In-State Classes

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa court reporters are expressing relief that a college in the state will offer a training program in the occupation this fall.

The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1nuXii7 ) an estimated 60 percent of court reporters in Iowa are expected to retire within the next 10 years. Filling those vacancies was going to be difficult because the AIB College of Business in Des Moines ended a longtime court reporter program after the Iowa Supreme Court supported switching to digital audio reporting.

The courts changed course and decided court reporters were a better option, but with the business college ending its program, people had to travel to Minneapolis or St. Louis to take classes.

Reporters say they’re pleased to hear Des Moines Area Community College will offer court reporting this fall.

  • Taylor Named Vice President of Miss. College

PERKINSTON, Miss. (AP) — Ladd Taylor has been named vice president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Perkinston campus and George County Center.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1iuIBGy ) Taylor, an MGCCC alumnus, has served as interim vice president since January.

Working at MGCCC since 2002, Taylor most recently served as dean of athletics for six years.

He was named MGCCC’s athletic director in 2008 and college dean of athletics in 2011. He served as department chair of the HPR department from 2009 to 2014 and held a two-year term as NJCAA Region 23 director for women’s athletics.

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