A summary listing of higher-ed-related news from around the nation
Texas Nursing School Must Boost Pass Rates
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A South Texas community college cannot accept new nursing program students as it seeks to improve lagging passing rates for the state licensing exam.
Texas Southmost College in Brownsville has seen its nursing program passing rate dip as low as 46 percent in the last three years, The Brownsville Herald (http://bit.ly/1TxhVXo ) reported.
A program must have a passing rate of 80 percent or higher to receive a “full approval” rating from the Texas Board of Nursing. Texas Southmost College had its status downgraded by state regulators to “conditional approval” earlier this year.
The rating means no more new students until the problems are fixed and the school has partnered with Texas A&M University to address help turn the program around.
“I have confidence that A&M will get the program back into shape and in compliance with any applicable deadlines,” Texas Southmost College Trustee Trey Mendez said. “We can’t afford to screw this up. It’s too important.”
Current students enrolled in the nursing program will not be affected. Trustee Art Rendon said the school recently extended President Lily Tercero’s contract and the board is confident she will help turn around the faltering program.
“Future students should be very comfortable and rest assured that the program will be very effective,” Rendon said.
Lake Michigan College Fires New President
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The board of a college in southwestern Michigan has voted to terminate the contract of the school’s new president because of unapproved spending and improper management.
The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph and WSJM-AM report the decision about Jennifer Spielvogel followed a hearing at Lake Michigan College. Trustees cited policy violations, a lack of professionalism and more than $20,000 in unauthorized costs.
Spielvogel says she was targeted after trying to address financial aid compliance issues at the school. She says the board didn’t have “the desire to support my success.”
Spielvogel last month was suspended with pay. She started in January after working at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.
Struggling Pa. Mall Getting Satellite Campus
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A struggling northeastern Pennsylvania mall will soon be the home of a satellite campus of a college in the region.
The (Scranton) Times-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1rDj74Z ) reports that Luzerne County Community College will open a campus at the Mall at Steamtown in Scranton.
Mall spokesman Joe Gibbons confirmed the plan and said the college will be on the second floor of the former Bon-Ton store.
The college which has been looking for a satellite campus location in Lackawanna County since 2014.
Lansing Event Raises $1.1M For Scholarships
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — About $1.1 million has been raised to help Lansing high school graduates pay for their college educations.
The Lansing State Journal reports that $620,000 was collected in ticket sales, sponsorships and donations from last month’s Cele bration of the Lansing Promise dinner.
Former Michigan State University basketball star and NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson and his friends donated the rest. Johnson is a graduate of Lansing Everett High School.
About 1,300 people attended the second annual dinner.
The money can be used for up to 60 credits at Lansing Community College or up to $5,000 in financial assistance to attend Michigan State University.
More than 400 students have received assistance since the Lansing Promise began in 2012.
Fallen Soldier Recognized with College Diploma
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A U.S. paratrooper who was killed fighting in Iraq 10 years ago has been honored with a diploma from Bishop State Community College.
WKRG-TV (http://bit.ly/- 1ryhq8Y ) reports that the parents of Corporal Chris Mason walked across the stage of the Mobile Civic Center to collect their son’s diploma.
Prior to becoming a paratrooper, Mason had been an instructor at Bishop State, working in the commercial truck driving department.
Garlend Mason says his son joined the armed forces at the age of 30 after being “tired of watching other men and women die for his freedom.”
The 32-year-old soldier was killed on Nov. 28, 2006 when his military vehicle came under attack outside of Bayji, Iraq.
Minn. Colleges Bar Team Travel To N. Carolina
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s higher education system is prohibiting athletics teams from traveling to tournaments in North Carolina this spring after that state passed a law limiting LGBT protections.
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system communications director Doug Anderson said no teams will participate in tournaments in North Carolina this spring. The NCAA Division II national baseball tournament and National Junior College Athletic Association Division III World Series are set to take place in North Carolina.
Anderson said system presidents met this week, concluding “that athletics-related travel is nonessential.”
Nevada College Names New President
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada’s Truckee Meadows Community College has named a new president.
According to a press release, Karin Hilgersom will take over as president in June. The 52- year-old Hilgersom was recently president of the State University of New York at Sullivan in Sullivan County, New York.
She says she’s eager to hit the ground running and wants to be settled into the job ahead of the 2017 legislative session. Community colleges are expected to be a major talking point in that session as lawmakers discuss how to develop a workforce for companies like Tesla Motors.
Hilgersom has a doctorate in educational policy and management. She is married with three grown children.
Hilgersom was unanimously approved by the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents.
N. Dakota Prez Foresees More Budget Cuts
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The president of Bismarck State College says further cuts are likely as state budgets continue to be affected by a drop in oil drilling and depressed crude prices.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple in February mandated that all state agencies cut budgets by 4.05 percent. The governor later directed agencies to plan for 10 percent reductions in their budgets over the next two years in an effort to deal with a slowing economy.
Bismarck State College President Larry Skogen said school leaders will have to comb through the budget and continue to find additional savings in the areas cut earlier this year.
“We’re just going to have to do more of the same. It’s always a heck of a lot easier to have money, but we have what we have,” Skogen told the Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1QUW7TJ ).
The school’s total budget cut was $1.56 million. Skogen said the college has so far been able to address a portion of cuts through several retirements and consolidation of senior staff positions.
He has also taken on the dual role of president and provost for the short term. Bismarck State College will begin a search this fall to fill the provost position for a July 1, 2017, start date.
Rockford Lands NCJAA Soccer Tournament
ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — The National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III women’s soccer championship is coming to Rockford.
Rock Valley College will host the 2018 tournament at MercyRockford Sportscore 2 in Loves Park, one of four large facilities the city operates to boost sports tourism in northern Illinois.
John Groh, president of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the fourday NJCAA tournament in November 2018 was expected to draw around 750 people and have an economic impact of more than $130,000.