A summary of higher education news from around the nation
Ind. Dual Credit Teachers Get Reprieve
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A regional accrediting agency says Indiana teachers who teach courses that allow high school students to earn college credit hours will have five years to complete new coursework requirements.
Lawmakers and education officials were stunned in 2015 when the Higher Learning Commission unveiled new educational requirements for instructors who teach the dual credit classes. Those include requiring teachers to earn 18 credit hours in master’s-level courses in the subject they plan to teach.
Those requirements were supposed to take effect in 2017.
But The Indianapolis Star reports (http://indy.st/2hu9IfM ) the commission that’s the regional accrediting agency for 19 states says Indiana teachers who teacher dual credit courses will have five years to complete the new requirements.
That’s good news for about 30,000 Indiana high school students who are earning college credit.
Ga. College Ordered To Fix Aviation Program
ATLANTA (AP) — Officials at Atlanta Technical College say they’re working to resolve issues found in an inspection by the Federal Aviation Administration, which recently ordered an emergency suspension of the school’s aviation maintenance program.
Atlanta Technical said in a statement that the college is on track to become fully compliant with FAA requirements “and anticipates the restoration of its Air Agency Certificate.”
In a Nov. 29 letter to the school, the FAA said it found that instructors at the college failed to maintain proper reports involving students, grades and attendance.
The school says it will again accept students into its aviation maintenance program once the FAA restores its aviation maintenance certificate.
Ore. Woman Guilty of $200K Embezzlement
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A Eugene woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling over $200,000 from a nonprofit that promotes career and technical education programs for Oregon high school and community college students.
The Register-Guard reports (https://goo.gl/benc6t ) 74-yearold Thelma Clemons pleaded guilty to wire fraud related to her attempt to cover up thefts that she carried out over a seven-year period.
A plea agreement calls for her to receive probation. An attorney says Clemons has paid back $100,000 and will make her best effort to raise the remainder.
Clemons served as executive secretary of the Salem-based Oregon Association for Career and Technical Education, now known as Oregon ACTE, Inc., until the thefts were discovered last year.
Miss. Lawmakers Eyeing College Budget Cuts
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Top lawmakers are proposing a Mississippi budget that would be 3 percent smaller for the coming year.
House Speaker Philip Gunn says most state agencies should plan to operate on “the leanest levels possible” during fiscal 2018, which begins July 1.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee met Thursday. Members adopted a recommendation for the state to spend almost $6.2 billion — a reduction of just over $195 million from the current year.
The committee recommends an increase in funding for schools that show academic improvement.
Among the programs that could see spending cuts are Medicaid, universities, community colleges, mental health and prisons.
This is just an early plan, though. The House and Senate face a deadline in late March to agree on final details of the budget.
Iowa Voters OK Bond Issue for College Security
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Voters have approved a bond issue aimed at improving safety and security at Iowa Western Community College.
The Daily Nonpareil reports (http://bit.ly/2hgMBor ) that more than 63 percent of voters in the seven core counties the college serves backed the measure Tuesday.
College spokesman Don Kohler says the $14.5 million from the bonds will pay for new cameras, doors, locks and other security improvements at the main campus in Council Bluffs and four satellite sites in Atlantic, Clarinda, Harlan and Shenandoah.
The improvements also will include computer equipment and other behind-the-scenes items that are designed to improve safety during campus lockdowns.
Wyo. Seeks Enrollment Boost Via Transfers
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming is looking to boost enrollment by increasing transfer students.
The Laramie Boomerang reports (http://bit.ly/2ibr9Rb ) that Outreach School Interim Dean Alyson Hagy said at a public listening session regarding the school’s five-year strategic plan that there's been a considerable dip in the number of transfer students attending UW in recent years.
Transfer student numbers peaked in 2010 with 1,159, but that number steadily dropped before bottoming out in 2015 at 930. Of 12,366 students accounted for on the fall 2016, 967 were new transfer students.
Though UW's student population has been adequate for its size, UW President Laurie Nichols says enrollment for the last nine years has been flat, with little to no growth.
Hagy says UW needs to focus on recruiting from community colleges across the state.
Eastern Idaho Moves Closer To New College
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Eastern Idaho is one step closer to getting a community college.
The Bonneville County Elections Office last week certified 2,852 signatures for a petition proposing that Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls be turned into a community college.
Now, the State Board of Education will review the proposal and determine whether Eastern Idaho needs a community college. If approved, the initiative will proceed to the Bonneville County Commission, which will decide whether to place it on the ballot.
The Post Register says (http://bit.ly/2iEqGom ) Citizens for Affordable Higher Education, the group backing the effort, expects the measure to reach the May ballot.
The group’s spokesman says the “College of Eastern Idaho” would cost the average Bonneville County homeowner $13.37 per year. Bonneville residents would have access to cheaper tuition than non-residents.
Ala. College Aims To Help Students Land The Big One
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama community college is casting a wide net for students hoping to learn how to land a monster crappie.
Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/ 2iMhX2W ) that Crappie University is an eight-hour continuing education course beginning in February at Jefferson State Community College.
Crappie University founder Gary White said the crappie is gaining on bass as a sport fish. Crappie University, he said, is an accelerated course in the strategies and techniques for becoming a better crappie angler.
Instructors include Barry Morrow, a full-time crappie guide in Oklahoma and Missouri.
The cost is $89 per person, which covers all course materials, including samples of crappie lures.
Umpqua Shooting Probe Continues
ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The FBI says its work on an analysis of the events and issues that may have led to the 2015 mass shooting at Umpqua Community College is holding up the release of an investigation report.
The News-Review reports (https://goo.gl/eZglW9 ) the work is ongoing and there is no timeline for its completion. Once the report is completed, it will be sent to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to be incorporated into other related documents.
FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele says the analysis is a law enforcement sensitive analysis intended to help understand behavioral patterns, warning signs and other factors.
Despite previous plans to release the report in 2016, the sheriff's office says it now anticipates it will be able to release the investigation sometime in early 2017.
NC College President Announces Retirement
WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (AP) — The president of Martin Community College has announced her retirement, a move that comes in the wake of an audit that criticized the school's fiscal and administrative practices.
WITN in Greenville reports (http://bit.ly/2gWOF15) Ann Britt said she plans to step down on March 14.
In November, the North Carolina Community College System released an audit which noted fiscal mismanagement, long-term vacancies in leadership positions, college president micromanagement, and that the trustees' executive committee has too much power.
The report found that seven of the college’s 16 top positions are held by people serving on interim, part time or extra duties basis.
NM College Board Approves 13% Tuition Hike
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The Community College Board has approved a tuition hike at Eastern New Mexico University- Roswell.
The Roswell Daily Record reports (http://bit.ly/2hgDaFs ) that the board voted Tuesday to approve increases in both percredit-hour tuition and fees. Indistrict students will pay $78 a credit hour instead of $69 an hour, a 13 percent increase. Out-of-district and out-of-state student will also see tuition increases.
All students will also see fees increase from $12 to $16 per credit hour. Fees primarily pay for internet service throughout the campus and for maintaining computer labs.
The tuition increase comes as the school faces increased cuts in state funding. ENMU-R President John Madden says the increases should cover about 36 percent of appropriation cuts from the state.