A summary listing of higher education news from around the nation
New Dental Assistant Program Offered in NH
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A new dental assistant program is starting next year at the New Hampshire Technical Institute.
The Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary certificate program starts in May.
The New Hampshire Dental Society, the American Dental Association and Northeast Delta Dental are providing financial support to help make this program possible.
Dental assistants who have completed the program would be allowed to place restorations under the supervision of a licensed dentist. EFDAs currently work in more than two dozen states.
The curriculum includes 50 hours of classroom training and 100 hours of pre-clinical training. Once training is complete, the student can register with the Board of Examiners to begin working as an EFDA.
“Once they complete their training, EFDAs can perform a number of restorative and preventive procedures. Operating under the supervision of a dentist and as part of the dental team, EFDAs’ impact will be statewide.” said Peter Welnak, president of the dental society.
Neb. Group Asks Probe Of For-Profit Colleges
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A public interest group wants the Legislature to examine the practices and performance measures of for-profit colleges operating in Nebraska.
The U.S. Department of Education has accused some for-profit colleges of predatory practices, including fraud in some cases.
Nebraska Appleseed said in a report that more information is needed to determine whether the colleges operating in the state are “engaging in problematic practices that have been discovered in other areas of the U.S.”
Nebraska Appleseed says tuition costs at Nebraska’s for-profit colleges are nearly seven times higher than that of community colleges and twice as high as the state’s public college and university system.
Audit Finds Students Owe La. College $2.9M
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — An audit finds students owe South Louisiana Community College $2.9 million as a result of the college’s inadequate collection procedures.
The Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s report says failure to establish adequate collection procedures increases the risk that the accounts will become uncollectible.
Auditors found that while the college does have a policy to send students three collection letters prior to reporting them to the Attorney General’s Office for nonpayment, the policy wasn’t always followed.
Personnel turnover and a switch to a new payment system played a role in some of the auditors’ findings, SLCC Vice Chancellor for Student Services David Volpe wrote in the college’s response to the findings.
Volpe says new process should be in place by March 31.
Mass. Colleges Collaborate on Degree Programs
BOSTON (AP) — Anna Maria College and Quinsigamond Community College are offering future students a 2-for-1 deal of sorts.
The Worcester-area schools recently announced an agreement in which students can first earn an associate degree in public service majors at Quinsigamond, then be guaranteed admission to Anna Maria for their junior and senior years and a chance to complete a four-year degree.
Majors include criminal justice, fire science and emergency management, human services and social work.
The schools say the total cost to students for both degrees would be $40,000, a relative bargain.
The initiative is called Higher Education and Active Responsiveness through Transfer, or H.E.A.R.T. for short. The schools plan to begin accepting students into the program for the fall 2016 semester.
Miss. College Hires Jeffries as Athletic Director
PERKINSTON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has hired Robin Jeffries as its new athletic director.
Jeffries has been at St. Patrick Catholic High School, where she is athletic director and girls basketball coach, since 2012. She has previous collegiate experience which includes serving as women’s basketball coach at both Millsaps College and Sprint Hill College.
She also worked as senior women’s administrator during her tenure at Millsaps.
Jeffries graduated from Brookhaven Academy and played basketball at Mississippi State University from 1985-1988.
Kansas College To Build Fire Training Tower
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A south-central Kansas community college is building a training tower for aspiring firefighters.
The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1TQdIPV ) reports that the Butler Community College’s Board of Trustees approved a more than $170,000 investment in a training tower last month.
The tower will be three stories tall with a rooftop. The school said in a news release that it will allow fire science students to train more extensively in a realistic environment.
El Dorado Fire Chief Steve Moody said previously, firefighters had to train in houses that were in the process of being demolished.
The tower is expected to be completed and in use by midspring.
La. Fundraising Shortfall Delays Building Plans
THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — Fletcher Technical Community college has raised less than 40 percent of the money it needs for a planned $5.1 million career center.
Administrators tell The Daily Comet (http://bit.ly/1RygX0W ) that means a delay is likely in plans to begin construction next year.
Plans started in 2013, after the state Legislature allocated money to 13 community and technical colleges statewide. The law requires a 12 percent match — or $550,000 to get $4.5 million in state money.
Fletcher’s new chancellor, Kristine Strickland, says the college has raised about $200,000.
She says raising the remaining $350,000 is one of her top priorities. She’s the third chancellor since the law was passed.
Officials say the proposed center would include advising offices, study labs, a bookstore, testing and other student-related services.
Sign Language Program Earns Accreditation
WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Oakland Community College’s sign language interpreter program has been awarded national accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education.
The program offered at the school’s Highland Lakes campus in Waterford Township is one of one five sign language interpreter degree programs in Michigan and the first to be accredited. The Detroit News (http://detne.ws/1PjtzaH ) reports that the accreditation comes as advocates for the deaf community say Michigan faces a pressing need for sign language interpreters.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights says more than 1.2 million deaf people live in Michigan, which has some of the nation’s toughest testing requirements for interpreters, and only one in every three sign language interpreter positions is filled.
Oakland Community College’s sign language interpreter degree program lasts three years. About 1,300 students are currently enrolled in the program.
Study: Half of Ill. Students Need Remediation
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — New data shows about half of Illinois high school graduates going on to the state’s community colleges need remediation in at least one subject.
That data was released by the Illinois State Board of Education.
It shows 48.7 percent of graduates who enrolled in the community college system needed remedial instruction to prepare them for entry-level college coursework.
The highest remediation rate was in math, with about 41 percent needing additional preparation in the subject.
For the first time, that information is being reported with Illinois Report Card data.
State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith says that information, along with the test known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, will help educators address the college readiness of their students.
Tenn. Panel Seeks To Expand Training Program
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is asking lawmakers to expand a $10 million grant program that paired employers with colleges to develop academic programs tailored to the needs of local job markets.
According to The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1RayFb9 ), the commission said in a report released that Labor Education Alignment Program has grown substantially, but needs to receive more funding and attention during the upcoming legislative session.
The program doled out the grant funding to 12 different coalitions late in 2014.
The report says that thousands of students across 51 counties were reached by the first wave of grant funding, including 13,363 students who participated in extracurricular programming, including internships, clubs or training.
The commission says that funding a larger number of coalitions moving forward would help expand the program’s impact.