A Summary Listing of Higher-Ed-Related News from Around The Nation
WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — The Community College of Rhode Island has experienced a significant boost in enrollment from the state’s free tuition program.
The Providence Journal reports CCRI experienced a 43 percent enrollment increase last semester, the first since the start of the Rhode Island Promise scholarship program.
The program covers tuition and fees for high school students graduating between 2017 and 2020.
CCRI also reported that 83 percent of the students returned for the spring semester.
CCRI Vice President for student affairs Sara Enright says a similar Tennessee program was a model for the state’s Promise program.
Enright says the college is already working on recruiting a second cohort of students for the program, adding that she believes there will be even more students who take part next year.
DC Police To Learn About Black History
WASHINGTON (AP) — A partnership aims to educate sworn and civilian members of a police department on African-American history in Washington, D.C., along with the history of the district’s neighborhoods.
News outlets report Metropolitan police is partnering with the University of the District of Columbia Community College.
The department’s sworn and civilian members will participate in the program led by the college’s history professors, which begins with a tour and discussion at the National Museum of African American History and Culture followed by guided neighborhood walks.
Police Chief Peter Newsham says he thinks there are some that would like to ignore that troubling history of law enforcement in the country. But, he says they believe it’s critically important that it remains a part of their education and understanding.
NH Colleges Dropping Application Fee
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s community colleges say they will no longer charge an application fee.
Applicants no longer have to pay $20 to apply to any of the state’s seven community colleges.
The community colleges also won’t charge an orientation fee, which is usually $30 to $40. College officials say students are encouraged to attend orientation in order to help them successfully transition to college, but many choose not to attend because of the fees.
NY College Building $14.5M Training Center
TROY, N.Y. (AP) — Ground has been broken for a new manufacturing technologies training facility at an upstate New York community college.
Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, says work has begun on the construction of the Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.
Officials say the $14.5 million facility will enable the twoyear school to double enrollment in its advanced manufacturing technology degree program as well as support the demand for skilled employees in the Albany area.
The program trains machinists, toolmakers and computer programmers and is the only community college training program of its kind within 125 miles.
The project is being supported with funding from the state and federal governments and from private companies and donors.
Ala. College Gets $1.5M for Auto Center
DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama community college has been awarded a $1.5 million federal grant for its planned automotive technology training center in Decatur-annexed Limestone County.
Decatur Daily reports the grant was announced for the Calhoun Community College’s center, which is expected to cost more than $7 million. Calhoun officials said in September that they had already received a $1.5 million grant from the state for the center, which will offer students a two-year associate’s degree.
Calhoun spokeswoman Janet Kincherlow-Martin says the school plans to use reserve funds to pay for costs not covered by the grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the state. She says the college hopes to begin construction this summer and have the 23,400-square-foot building ready for classes in fall 2019.
Fairbanks Praised for Workforce Training
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development says the Fairbanks North Star Borough is a shining example of training and workforce development.
The Fairbanks Daily News- Miner reports the department, in the April edition of Alaska Economic Trends, its monthly publication, cites the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center as a chief example of the job training programs.
The training center provides training in several trades including mining, military, government and oil and gas.
Department of Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas points in the publication to additional area training programs, such as the Fairbanks Construction Academy, a school-to-apprenticeship program; University of Alaska Fairbanks Career and Technical College; Hutchinson Career Center; Helmets to Hardhats; and Women in the Trades.
Most WV Colleges Hike Tuition and Fees
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — All but one of West Virginia’s public community and technical colleges are planning to increase tuition and fees for associate’s degrees.
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission official Matt Turner tells The Charleston Gazette-Mail that the Community and Technical College System presumes the colleges have already approved the average increase of 2.6 percent. CTSC data shows the average yearly cost will increase to $4,040 next academic year.
Eastern West Virginia is the only school that will not raise tuition and fees.
Mountwest is implementing the highest proposed increase, at 7.2 percent, which comes around to $270. That hike brings its annual cost to $4,014, still slightly below the average.
Despite passing the state Senate, a bill to make such colleges tuition-free failed in the House of Delegates this legislative session.
NC Colleges Reduce Holiday Time Off
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s community college leaders have reduced paid time off for workers on dozens of local campuses.
The State Board of Community Colleges approved a policy requiring local colleges to offer no more 12 paid holidays per fiscal year to eligible full-time employees.
The policy came after a January state auditor’s report found over half the 58 community colleges gave workers more than the 12 holidays state and local government employees receive.
The audit said one school gave workers 23 paid holidays, many of which coincided when students were on break. That resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in expanded employee benefits.
The audit recommended the state board adopt a uniform holiday-leave policy. Workers now must use other types of paid leave to get additional time off.
College Settles Lawsuit over Free Speech Rules
CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago community college has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a student who alleged the school violated her freespeech rights by prohibiting her from handing out flyers that read, “Shut Down Capitalism.”
Ivette Salazar, who gets $30,000 from Joliet Junior College, claimed the college limited political expressions to a small campus “free speech zone.”
Salazar saw other students distributing flyers outside the zone Nov. 28 advocating capitalism with a poster reading, “Socialism Sucks.” When she began distributing her flyers, campus police allegedly stopped her.
The school has since updated its free speech and expression policy. It allows for expressive activity throughout the college.
The college says in a statement it has a long-standing commitment to free speech and its former policies “were consistent with the First Amendment.”
Tribal College Approves Tuition Waivers BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) —
United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck has approved a permanent tuition waiver program.
The Bismarck Tribune reports that the waivers began in 2016 as a temporary fix after the school dropped out of a federal student loan program. Members of the institution’s board of directors believe the move was a factor in boosting grade point averages and improving class completion.
Eligible recipients must be fulltime degree-seeking students who are members of a federally recognized Native American tribe. They must also meet certain academic standards.
College president Leander “Russ” McDonald says the program provides “critical financial aid” to help primarily lowincome and first-generation students complete their degrees without out piling up debt.
NJ College Apologizes for Profanity
MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (AP) — A community college in New Jersey has issued an apology after one of its professors was captured on video cursing at a student who considers himself a conservative.
Howard Finkelstein used the vulgarity to Christopher Lyle during a sociology debate about sexual harassment, saying “f--- your life.”
In a statement, Brookdale Community College said “the faculty member acted in an uncivil manner.” The school says the matter remains under investigation and it will determine “an appropriate course of action.”
Lyle tells the Asbury Park Press he was singled out because he’s conservative and supports President Donald Trump. He says he doesn’t want the professor fired or to lose retirement benefits.