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2015 June 26 - 04:55 pm

News Briefs

A summary listing of higher-ed-related news from around the nation

NH Develops New ‘Dual Admission’ Transfer Program

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A new “dual admission” program has been developed for students to take courses at New Hampshire community colleges, then transfer to state colleges and universities to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Students can enroll for the fall 2015 semester at any of New Hampshire’s seven community colleges and be jointly admitted to pathway programs at the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, UNH-Manchester, Keene State College, and Granite State College. Advisers will work with each student to map out a course of study.

Students will earn an associate degree at a community college. If they maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average and meet the program requirements, they could continue at the university system to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Tobacco Bans Put In Place on Illinois Campuses

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Two central Illinois schools are getting ready for a new state law that prohibits smoking on public college campuses starting July 1.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports (http://bit.ly/1d68dNz ) that Heartland Community College banned tobacco earlier this month. School officials say the start date coincided with the start of summer school. “Tobacco-free campus” signs have been posted on campus.

Meanwhile, Illinois State University is waiting until the July 1 deadline but instituted stricter smoking rules in January 2013. Those rules included no smoking on the school’s quad and other areas with high foot traffic.

At ISU smoking only will be allowed in personal vehicles driving through campus or parked in an unenclosed lot.

Both schools say they’ll rely heavily on voluntary compliance.

Neb. OKs Aid for Non-Credit Training Programs

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A program recently approved by the Legislature will provide tuition assistance for those seeking worker training through non-credit programs at Nebraska community colleges.

The Community College Gap Assistance Program will receive funding from the Nebraska Lottery to help provide financial aid to low-income students and employees, the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1RumnaA ) reported. High school graduates seeking professional certificates or training in non-degree programs can’t apply for financial aid from federal or state governments.

A 2014 survey of an estimated 1,200 business leaders by the Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce indicates that a lack of aid for those programs has placed a strain on the state’s economy. More than half of the companies surveyed say hiring qualified employees remains their biggest challenge. At least 25 percent indicated not enough available skilled labor was preventing them from growing their business.

“It’s truly filling a gap,” said state Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln, who introduced the bill for the program. “Federal financial aid does not extend to these short term programs despite the fact they add significant value to the workforce.”

Nebraska’s program will start with $1.5 million of lottery funds in 2016 and will help pay, tuition, fees and equipment costs for those accepted. Officials say each applicant must agree to meet regularly with a faculty adviser, attend business classes and develop a job search plan.

They also must seek employment in career fields deemed “in-demand” by lawmakers. They include financial, computer, engineering or health services and manufacturing.

Delaware Tech Unveils New Nursing Facility

STANTON, Del. (AP) — Delaware Technical Community College hosted an official unveiling ceremony to showcase the school’s new nursing wing that drew a crowd of state and New Castle County leaders.

The News Journal of Wilmington (http://delonline.us/1BFK7zv) reports Gov. Jack Markell and other officials toured the new nursing wing in the Stanton campus.

Students have been working in the wing, which features labs, simulators and study spaces, since last August.

School officials say the expansion was sorely needed. The nursing program had worked in the same 10,000 square-foot space even though the number of students it served has almost doubled over the last decade.

Markell said the investment was an important way to open up good health care jobs and to staff the state’s medical facilities with the best-trained workers.

Tenn. Regents Name Leaders to 4 Institutions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Board of Regents has appointed three new community college presidents and a Tennessee college of applied technology director.

The board oversees six state universities, 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology.

Flora Tydings will assume the leadership role at Chattanooga State on July 13. Also that day, Tracy D. Hall will become the president of Southwest Tennessee in Memphis, and Anthony G. Kinkel will take over as president of Motlow State in Moore County on Aug. 1.

Youlanda Jones-Wilcox will become the new director of the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology at Covington and Ripley on July 1.

The board met via telephone this week to consider TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for each of the campus leaders.

Ariz. Initiative Aims To Limit Tuition Hikes

PHOENIX (AP) — College tuition in Arizona could increase by no more than the cost of living every year and corporations could see tax hikes under a proposed voter initiative.

A group called Save Arizona’s Students and Public Universities filed the initiative late last week. It has until July 2016 to collect more than 150,000 valid signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

If enacted by voters, universities could not increase tuition or fees more than the annual increase in the cost of living. Universities also would be barred from increasing charges during the first four years an undergraduate student attended.

The initiative would add a 2 percent surcharge to corporate tax rates starting in 2017 if the Legislature failed to fund universities at the 2015 level after adjusting for inflation.

Expanded Dual Enrollment Plan Advances

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — High school students across California would be able to take community college classes under proposed state legislation.

The Assembly unanimously approved AB288 to expand socalled dual enrollment in high school and college.

Sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Chris Holden, the bill is meant to make it easier for students to do college-level work, including having community college classes taught at high schools.

The Pasadena lawmaker says his bill would help struggling students better prepare for college. It also calls for technical education for students who plan to work after graduating from high school.

High-achieving students looking for a challenge can already get permission to attend community colleges.

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