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By CCW Staff  /  
2009 February 9 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • University To Establish CC Campus in  Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) — The University of the District of Columbia is planning to establish a community college campus geared toward workforce training.

The two-year program would be open to everyone. The school’s four-year degree program will have a more academically focused campus.

The university hasn’t yet acquired a site for the community college, but it hopes to have the program in place for the fall semester 

  • Wis. College Will Not Observe  Good Friday After Complaint

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The president of a Wisconsin Rapids technical college says he plans to comply with a court order that bars state schools from observing Good Friday as a campus holiday.

Mid-State Technical College President John Clark said he wasn’t aware of the 1996 court order until the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation lodged a complaint.

Clark says the designation of Good Friday as a holiday was an artifact that got carried over from year to year during negotiations with unions on campus. He says now that he knows the law and the school will take steps to comply.

A federal judge in 1996 overturned the state law that declared Good Friday a state holiday. Good Friday this year is April 10.  

  • Pa. Ed Chief Says Many College Students Unprepared for Studies  

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s top public education official says tens of thousands of the state’s high school graduates aren’t adequately prepared for college.

Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak said his department’s findings demonstrate a need for more rigorous statewide graduation requirements.

According to Zahorchak, one-third of all high school graduates enrolled in community colleges and state-owned universities needed remedial help in subjects like math and English during the 2007-08 school year.

Zahorchak says the cost of remedial courses amounts to more than $26 million annually for roughly 20,000 students — averaging $1,300 per student. He says that cost is shared by students and state and local taxpayers.

The department presented its findings to the State Board of Education, which oversees state academic standards.

  • W. V. College Launches Power Plant Worker Partnership 

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) _ Pierpont Community & Technical College is launching a new one-year certification program to recruit and train power plant operators.

The Power Plant Technology program is a partnership with Allegheny Energy.

Pierpont President Blair Montgomery says that with an aging workforce, power plants need more entry-level operators in West Virginia and nationwide.

Ed Dudzinski, a vice president for Allegheny Energy, says the program will help provide a source of skilled workers for many years to come. But students who complete the program are not obligated to work for Allegheny Energy.

Pierpont is offering hands-on training, paid internship opportunities and financial aid for those who qualify.

  • Pa. Unemployed Getting Free Tuition from State Colleges

NANTICOKE, Pa. (AP) — A community college in eastern Pennsylvania is the latest to try in its own way to ease the impact of rising unemployment.

Luzerne County Community College says anyone in its area who’s lost a job in the past year can take up to 12 hours of classes tuition free. Twelve hours normally would cost $1,200.

The school calls it the Employment Retraining Opportunities Program.

College President Thomas Leary says the economic downturn has left some people without hope and the program attempts to remedy that.

College opportunities for the unemployed may be an idea whose time has come.

The Community College of Allegheny County and Northampton County Community College also are offering tuition breaks for the increasing ranks of laid-off workers.

  • Bogus E-Mail Spurs Nebraska College To File Libel Lawsuit

MADISON, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska college is suing the unknown person or people who sent an e-mail to state officials and the news media that college officials say was intended to embarrass the school.

The lawsuit filed in Madison County District Court says the e-mail signed by ``necc_student’’ complained that a Northeast Community College student was caught hacking into the college’s computer system. The e-mail said students were not properly informed of the breach.

College officials say the e-mail is libelous and they’re seeking compensatory damages.

The e-mail was sent to reporters at the Norfolk Daily News, Omaha World-Herald and Sioux City, Iowa, television station KTIV as well as the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and state Sen. Mike Flood.

  • Miss. College Sees Spike in Enrollment as Economy Sags

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Hinds Community College is reporting a 4 percent increase in enrollment from spring 2008. 

Total enrollment for the spring semester at the state’s largest community college is 9,481.

Classes swelled 8 percent over last spring at the Rankin campus in Pearl, the largest increase among its five campuses and the Jackson-based Nursing and Allied Health Center. The main campus at Raymond grew by 107 students, to 3,525.

Hilton Dyar, dean of the Vicksburg-Warren campus, says the recession has more people enrolling in community colleges, reflecting a national trend.

More students are taking part-time classes in trades such as electrical and construction.

  • Olympic Swim Trials Likely To Bypass Oregon  College  

GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) — Mt. Hood Community College may lose out to Omaha, Neb., as the 2012 Olympic Swimming Trials host.

The school spent a year trying to bring the trials to Gresham, and for a while it seemed like a strong contender.

The college’s pool is one of the fastest in the nation because of its depth and complex gutter systems. Last year, USA Swimming certified the college to bring in top-tier national events.

But Omaha, Neb., which hosted the Olympic swimming trials last year, has stepped forward, saying it’s interested in hosting the event again. The trials drew 96,000 spectators last year.

Jamie Fabos-Olsen, a spokeswoman for USA Swimming, says the organization is moving negotiations forward with the Omaha Sports Commission instead of taking bids.

  • Job Losses Swelling Ranks Of Unemployed   Seeking GED

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Interest in GED programs at Ozarks Technical Community College is surging to record levels, with nearly half of the students in the prep classes identifying themselves as unemployed.

The increase is in response to a slipping economy that has seen thousands of jobs lost in the Springfield area.

Unemployed workers are coming to the realization that low-skill jobs that had provided their livelihoods in the past are either scarce or nonexistent.

Many of those working toward their General Educational Development diploma are picking up textbooks for the first time in decades.

“It’s hard,” said Michelle Gray, 36, whose last job was gutting turkeys at Willow Brook Foods in Springfield. “I’m not good at math.”

Gray is among hundreds of unemployed workers who are boosting the ranks of the program at Ozarks Technical Community College and other schools.

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