Seattle’s tuition-free community college program comes to the rescue during the pandemic | Momaha

Two years ago, Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved an education levy giving the city’s public high-school graduates two years of free community college.

But just as the program was gearing up to start its first year at full capacity, the pandemic hit.

Schools shut down. And the recruitment and enrollment specialists stationed at each Seattle high school to raise awareness and help students apply could only work from home.

A summer session meant to help prepare students for college life? That had to be entirely redesigned.

And the students already enrolled in the program? They suddenly needed Wi-Fi, devices and a space to learn on their own.

And yet, in some ways, Seattle Promise couldn’t have come at a better time. Despite the hurdles, the program has exceeded its pandemic-era enrollment projections. That’s even as nationally, community colleges saw a 22% dip; statewide, community college enrollment is down 13.5% this year.

This fall, Seattle Promise counted 846 students, including 699 in their first year, and 147 in their second. That represents about one-third of Seattle Public Schools’ class of 2020. And 62% are students of color.

“There’s a pervasive narrative out there that some students don’t want to go to college. Our students and data suggest that students overwhelmingly want to go to college,” said Nicole Yohalem, opportunity youth initiatives director at The Community Center for Education Results, a nonprofit that provides data, research and other supports for schools in South King County. “They understand how critical some education post-high school is.”

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Tuition-free community college will continue in Connecticut in the spring, but long-term funding not yet secured

Tuition-free community college will continue in Connecticut in the spring after the Board of Regents for Higher Education’s finance committee voted Wednesday to spend $3 million in reserves to fund the program for the upcoming semester.

Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, had warned in September that, given the system’s coronavirus-driven budget woes, “unless the state follows through on its promise to students and appropriates funding” the program would have to be canceled or postponed.

At Wednesday’s meeting, committee members were shared a letter Ojakian received from legislative leaders on Oct. 23 committing to $12 million in funding toward tuition-free community college for this year and the next, including $6 million to reimburse CSCU for money it borrowed from its reserves to pay for the program’s first year.

“While funding for the PACT program has been a challenge, it is clear that the program is meeting a real need for affordable college tuition, and we acknowledge the risk that the Board of Regents took by funding it this fall,” Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney, D-New Haven, House Speaker-elect Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, and leaders of the legislature’s higher education and appropriations committees wrote to Ojakian. “We also recognize that the pandemic has hit CSCU very hard, with steep drops in enrollment, half-full dormitories, and new costs to bear as you adapt to remote and hybrid teaching. In light of these budget issues you face, we understand that our community colleges cannot afford to continue to fund this program without the state after this semester.”

Ben Barnes, the CSCU system’s chief financial officer, said there remains risk “that the legislature will not be able to pass such an item or that the governor will not sign such an item or that other events will get in the way and we won’t see the $12 million.”

But “we have a group of heavy hitters who should hold the authority and the ability to deliver on the commitment they’ve made in this letter.”

“I think it’s pretty solid having the letter rather than having the verbal commitment by the leadership so I would think that is going to happen … I think the dollars will be there, hopefully,” said Richard J. Balducci, chairman of the regents’ finance committee.

A total of 3,040 students across the state’s dozen community colleges received grants for the fall semester under the Pledge to Advance Connecticut, according to budget documents shared with the committee. The total amount awarded was roughly $3.2 million.

Lawmakers approved the tuition-free community college program in 2019 but did not allocate funding for it; the money was initially expected to come from a new online lottery that was never launched. The regents voted this summer to borrow $3 million from community college reserves to fund the program’s first semester.

Students from all financial backgrounds are eligible for the program, but they must be a graduate of a public or private high school in Connecticut and they must also be

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Loyola University New Orleans honors Orleans Parish judge, and more metro college news | Crescent City community news

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS: Judge Robin Pittman ‘91, J.D. ‘96,  is recipient of the 2020 Adjutor Hominum Award from the Alumni Association of Loyola University New Orleans. This award recognizes a Loyola graduate whose life exemplifies the values and philosophy of Jesuit education: moral character, service to humanity and unquestionable integrity. Pittman is a criminal court judge and former assistant district attorney in Orleans Parish. She spends much of her time out of chambers in the community, engaged in service to Loyola and visiting local schools to mentor young students. In lieu of a party to celebrate her accomplishment, Pittman has established a sociology scholarship to benefit high-achieving sociology majors with financial need. To contribute, visit giving.loyno.edu/adjutorhominum.

DELGADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE CYBERSECURITY TRAINING: A 4.5-month cybersecurity career training course begins Dec. 7 at Delgado Community College with support from the Capital One Foundation. Those who complete the program will receive credentials qualifying them for entry-level positions and can also receive up to nine credit hours in Delgado’s associate degree program in computer information technology. The cost is $500; $300 will be due Dec. 4. For an application and payment information, contact Troy L. Baldwin at [email protected]

DELGADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE WINTER REGISTRATION: Registration is open through Dec. 11 for the winter session at Delgado Community College, which begins Dec. 14 and ends four weeks later. Fast-paced courses are available in business, science and technology, arts and humanities, and other interests. Credits are transferrable to other colleges and universities. For details, visit www.dcc.edu/go/wintersession.

UNIVERSITY OF HOLY CROSS: Registration for the spring 2021 semester at University of Holy Cross is open. Housing applications for the university’s new residence hall are also available. To register or apply for housing, visit www.uhcno.edu or call (504) 394-7744.

NUNEZ COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Registration is open for the winter intersession at Nunez Community College, which will run from Dec. 14-Jan. 8. The schedule currently includes 11 fully web-based courses; additional courses will likely be added. To see the schedule of classes, visit www.nunez.edu/future-students. Registration assistance is available by calling (504) 278-6467. Registration for Nunez’s spring 2021 semester opened Oct. 26.

 

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Xavier University of Louisiana appoints manager, and more metro college news | Crescent City community news

XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA: Kimberly Reese has been promoted to the position of associate vice president for institutional advancement at her alma mater, Xavier University of Louisiana. Reese was previously Xavier’s associate vice president for institutional advancement. 

DELGADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE CYBERSECURITY TRAINING: A 4.5-month cybersecurity career training course begins Dec. 7 at Delgado Community College with support from the Capital One Foundation. Those who complete the program will receive credentials qualifying them for entry-level positions and can also receive up to nine credit hours in Delgado’s associate degree program in computer information technology. The cost  is $500; $300 will be due Dec. 4. For an application and payment information, contact Troy L. Baldwin at [email protected]

DELGADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Registration is open through Dec. 11 for the winter session at Delgado Community College, which begins Dec. 14 and ends four weeks later. Fast-paced courses are available in business, science and technology, arts and humanities, and other interests. Credits are transferrable to other colleges and universities. For details, visit www.dcc.edu/go/wintersession.

UNIVERSITY OF HOLY CROSS: Registration for the spring 2021 semester at University of Holy Cross is open. Housing applications for the university’s new residence hall are also available. To register or apply for housing, visit www.uhcno.edu or call (504) 394-7744.

NUNEZ COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Registration is open for the winter intersession at Nunez Community College, which will run from Dec. 14-Jan. 8. The schedule currently includes 11 fully web-based courses; additional courses will likely be added. To see the schedule of classes, visit www.nunez.edu/future-students. Registration assistance is available by calling (504) 278-6467. Registration for Nunez’s spring 2021 semester opened Oct. 26.

 

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Bin-shaming: the fine line between recycling education and community alienation | Sydney

A Sydney council has come under fire for a program in which staff inspect residents’ garbage bins and leave notes with information on how they can better recycle.

In Australia, where all household recycling is collected in one bin, contamination is a huge problem, when a few nonrecyclable products can cause entire trucks’ worth of goods to go to landfill.

To try to reduce contamination, Randwick council, home to Coogee beach, began a program on 16 November in which inspectors look in residents’ bins and, if nonrecyclables are found, “tags” are left behind with information on how the resident can improve.

“Until February 2021, council has engaged a consultant to conduct red and yellow lid bin inspections to gather information so that we can measure current waste minimisation and resource recovery levels,” a council spokeswoman said.

“These consultants conduct visual inspections only, they don’t move or remove any items from the bin.”

The program is part of the council’s plan to divert 75% of waste from landfill by 2022.

The mayor of Cumberland city council, Steve Christou, condemned the approach as “councils spying and intruding on their residents’ privacy” while speaking to Sydney’s the Daily Telegraph.

Assoc Prof Ruth Lane, a recycling expert at the University of Monash, said social pressure could be an effective tool.

“You need to make it normal, that it’s ‘just what you do’,” she said. “People need to feel like the odd one out if they aren’t doing it. That’s how behaviours shift.”

But Lane said Randwick council’s scheme could be too punitive despite the absence of penalties.

“You need to be careful,” she said. “If you are a local government, you need to bring people along with you. I think a punitive approach might not work, you will always have people who just don’t respond to the messaging.”

Lane said transparent recycling bins, which have been suggested or trialled on a small scale in several locations around Australia, might strike the right balance between social pressure and community collaboration.

Adelaide City area councillor Robert Simms proposed their use in June last year, aiming to make the city a leader in recycling.

“If we want to encourage behavioural change, I think this is something that will really encourage people to do the right thing,” Simms told the Advertiser. “In a way, it is kind of naming and shaming.”

Cities around the world are experimenting with how to avoid recycling contamination, many utilising shame.

Christchurch city council in New Zealand has been placing a large gold star on the kerbside wheelie bins of successful recyclers.

Warnings are left on the bins of residents who fail to sort their waste three times and if they still cannot be trusted the council will confiscate the bin. This has led to the percentage of recycling trucks able to head to the sorters nearing 80%.

Ross Trotter, Christchurch city council’s manager for resource and recovery, said the threat of public shaming was usually enough for residents to address the problem.

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Bin-shaming: the fine line between recycling education and community alienation | Australia news

An eastern Sydney council has come under fire for a program in which staff inspect residents’ garbage bins and leave notes with information on how they can better recycle.

In Australia, where all household recycling is collected in one bin, contamination is a huge problem, when a few non-recyclable products can cause entire trucks’ worth of goods to go to landfill.

To try to reduce contamination, Randwick council, home to Coogee beach, began a program on 16 November in which inspectors look in residents’ bins and, if non-recyclables are found, “tags” are left behind with information on how the resident can improve.

“Until February 2021, council has engaged a consultant to conduct red and yellow lid bin inspections to gather information so that we can measure current waste minimisation and resource recovery levels,” a council spokeswoman said.

“These consultants conduct visual inspections only, they don’t move or remove any items from the bin.”

The program is part of the council’s plan to divert 75% of waste from landfill by 2022.

The mayor of Cumberland city council, Steve Christou, condemned the approach as “councils spying and intruding on their residents’ privacy” while speaking to Sydney’s the Daily Telegraph.

Assoc Prof Ruth Lane, a recycling expert at the University of Monash, said social pressure could be an affective tool.

“You need to make it normal, that it’s ‘just what you do’,” she said. “People need to feel like the odd one out if they aren’t doing it. That’s how behaviours shift.”

But Lane said Randwick council’s scheme could be too punitive despite the absence of penalties.

“You need to be careful,” she said. “If you are a local government, you need to bring people along with you. I think a punitive approach might not work, you will always have people who just don’t respond to the messaging.”

Lane said transparent recycling bins, which have been suggested or trialled on a small scale in several locations around Australia, might strike the right balance between social pressure and community collaboration.

Adelaide City area councillor Robert Simms proposed their use in June last year, aiming to make the city a leader in recycling.

“If we want to encourage behavioural change, I think this is something that will really encourage people to do the right thing,” Simms told the Advertiser. “In a way, it is kind of naming and shaming.”

Cities around the world are experimenting with how to avoid recycling contamination, many utilising shame.

Christchurch city council in New Zealand has been placing a large gold star on the kerbside wheelie bins of successful recyclers.

Warnings are left on the bins of residents who fail to sort their waste three times and if they still cannot be trusted the council will confiscate the bin. This has led to the percentage of recycling trucks able to head to the sorters nearing 80%.

Ross Trotter, Christchurch city council’s manager for resource and recovery, said the threat of public shaming was usually enough for residents to address the

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Purdue University Global, Maricopa Community Colleges form partnership

INDIANAPOLIS — A partnership between Purdue University Global and the Maricopa Community Colleges will facilitate students’ transfer from Maricopa to Purdue Global.

Qualifying students will maximize, as much as possible, the application of their community college coursework and credits to their bachelor’s degree program, with guaranteed admission into Purdue Global and their preferred school of study.

“Purdue Global and the Maricopa Community Colleges are committed to providing greater educational opportunities and services for students transferring between institutions,” Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley said. “This commitment strongly supports the concept of seamless transfer that embraces the principle that transfer students should not be required to repeat courses for learning they have already demonstrated and achieved.”

The maximum number of lower-division credits that can be accepted and applied to a bachelor’s degree at Purdue Global is 86 semester credits. This transfer credit limit will be the difference between total credits required for bachelor’s degree completion and university upper-division requirements. Furthermore, the majority of transfer pathways from Maricopa to Purdue Global will facilitate the application of at least 60 credits when students complete an associate degree and transfer to complete a complementary bachelor’s degree.

“The Maricopa Community Colleges are thrilled to begin this partnership with Purdue Global, which allows our students access to a quality education through an effortless transfer experience,” said Steven R. Gonzales, Maricopa Community Colleges interim chancellor. “Over a third of our students intend to transfer to a university after MCCCD, and through our partnerships with Purdue Global and other four-year universities, we can better serve students with options for continuing their journey in higher education.”

Purdue Global will provide materials, catalogs, and other information to Maricopa Community Colleges advisors to facilitate their understanding of university requirements and academic programs.

“We look forward to welcoming Maricopa students to the Purdue family,” Dooley said.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom, enabling them to develop essential academic and professional skills with the support and flexibility they need to achieve their career goals. It offers a hyper-tailored path for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global serves nearly 35,000 students (as of October 2020), most of whom earn their degree online. It also operates several regional locations nationwide. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates two regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest, Indiana, as well as serving close to 6,000 science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, please visit purdueglobal.edu.

About the Maricopa Community Colleges

The Maricopa County Community College District includes 10

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Morgan State University, Northern Virginia Community College receive grants for job training programs

At Morgan State, a historically Black university that serves more than 7,700 students in Baltimore, the gift will support academic programs in cryptocurrency, blockchain and mergers and acquisitions, said David Wilson, the school’s president.

“You would have to look long, very long, and hard to find African Americans, in particular, in those areas,” Wilson said. “Bank of America has recognized that and has raised its hand to say, ‘We have to do something about this, and it has to go beyond checking a box.’ ”

Anne Kress, president of the more than 51,000-student Northern Virginia Community College, said the grant will fund scholarships and provide support for FastForward — a short-term workforce credential program that trains students for jobs in the health care and information technology fields. Most programs take between six and 12 weeks to complete.

Kress said short-term programs have gained popularity “because people can plan for that length of time.” The unpredictability of the pandemic has made it difficult for many students to plan their lives around traditional 15-week semesters.

“This is an incredible investment by Bank of America,” Kress said, adding that her students — more than half of whom are people of color — are overrepresented in industries hit hardest by the pandemic, including retail and service jobs. She said she plans to use the grant to lead students into higher paying, more stable careers.

“If you’re a first-generation student and you’re from a neighborhood where no one’s worked in cybersecurity before . . . you don’t know those careers exist,” Kress said.

The Bank of America grant comes as corporations and philanthropists look to invest in historically Black universities and other schools with large minority enrollment in a year marked by protests over police violence and racial inequity. Amid a reckoning of racism has come a financial one, aimed at reversing decades of underinvestment in communities of color.

But the track records of these corporations can raise skepticism. At Bank of America — which just last year paid a $4.2 million settlement after being accused of discriminating against Black, Hispanic and female jobs applicants — about 19 percent of executive and senior-level managers at the company are minorities, according to 2019 data from the company. The company denied allegations of discrimination.

This year, Bank of America unveiled plans to change course, committing $1 billion over the next four years to assist communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, invest in minority-owned small businesses, promote affordable housing and support students of color.

“We can help address the widespread inequities in our communities by providing students with the resources they need for future employment and advancing economic mobility,” said Sabina Kelly, Greater Maryland market president for Bank of America.

Campus leaders say the investment is welcomed. It’s also overdue.

“Institutions such as Morgan, have long served as valuable pipelines to an overabundance of brilliant and highly capable African American talent,” Wilson said, “often untapped and underrepresented.”

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Redemption Rock Brewing Co. creates African-inspired corn lager to debut at African Community Education gala

Redemption Rock Brewing Co. in Worcester will release its latest brew next week, but to try it, beer connoisseurs will first have to buy a ticket to African Community Education’s year-end gala.

As part of celebration for the virtual gala, Redemption Rock created a corn lager called “Burudika,” which is the equivalent to “Cheers” in Swahili.

“We wanted something that was a little inspired by African ingredients and some of the more traditional brewing techniques on the continent,” CEO and co-founder of Redemption Rock Dani Babineau said.

When ACE moved its in-person gala to a virtual version, it reached out to small businesses in Worcester to help make the annual event memorable. While others in the city provided wine and food, Redemption Rock partnered with ACE to provide beer for the at-home event, including “Burudika”, a beer made specifically for the gala.

It will debut at the ACE gala on Nov. 12 and then be available in the taproom.

Traditionally, many African brews are produced with Sorghum, a flowering plant found in Africa, Australia and Asia, but Redemption Rock had little to no experience working with the ingredient.

Instead, it produced a corn lager since maize is also well known within African breweries.

In addition to corn the brew will highlight rooibos, which is popular in South Africa. The leaves from rooibos are often used to create an herbal tea.

“It’s a very common thing on the continent,” Babineau said of rooibos. “So having that as a bridge to a beer and one of our beers is going to be really neat. When you connect the dots of something that people are familiar with and something they’re not familiar with, that’s one of my favorite things to do with people in the taproom is bring people together that way.

Babineau described the beer as a smooth-tasting lager similar to the brewery’s “Three Decker” beer. Many breweries use corn to lighten the flavor of beer, Babineau said. Used in large quantities, like with “Burudika,” the beer will have a corn forward taste.

“It will be a pretty light, easy drinking beer,” Babineau said. “With a little bit of that corn flavor to it.”

The artwork for “Burudika” was inspired by Abu Mwenye, an artist in Worcester who is from Tanzania.

“My favorite things are reaching new people,” Babineau said. “Whether it’s a single individual who has never had craft beer before or didn’t like it or reaching a wider community like the ACE community. That to me is some of the most exciting things you can do with beer.”

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Elite marine scientist named fellow in her field | East Jefferson community news

Slidell resident Laurie Jugan’s passion and effort as a marine scientist have earned her an award that highlights her as an elite member of her field.

The Marine Technology Society named her as a 2020 fellow, a lifetime achievement award given to members who have distinguished themselves in the field.

Jugan is president of the Gulf Coast section of the organization, an area that spans from Louisiana through the panhandle of Florida. She is the first woman from the section to receive the award.

Jugan has spent nearly 30 years connecting the latest technology advancements with the marine science industry to solve problems in waters around the globe but especially in the Gulf Coast.

She spent 25 years as an oceanographer, working for a small company that developed technology for underwater projects. In her position, she wrote proposals, managed contracts and supervised teams at Stennis Space Center and across the globe.

One project that she is especially proud of created software that helped divers see better underwater or stay protected by knowing where they shouldn’t venture. The tool became an instrumental technology for the U.S. Navy during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Divers went into that area of the world, and we were able to keep them safe,” she said.

The software, developed for naval research at Stennis, is one example of “how much technology happens in our own backyard,” Jugan said.

Jugan is now an independent consultant supporting the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology, a nonprofit located at Stennis. Her technical roles include at-sea exercise direction and the creation of environmental products that assist the Naval Fleet in navigating global waters.

She said she loves making matches between the companies or entities that are developing technology and problems that need solving.

Many such connections have been made, she said, during the Marine Technology Society’s annual OCEANS conferences which brings together professionals in the marine science and technology field. She served three times as organizer for the OCEANS conference.

In 2009, she chaired the event, which was held in Biloxi, Mississippi, and brought more than 2,000 attendees and an economic impact of $3 million to the area, she said. The conference was slated to again be held in Biloxi in 2020, but in response to COVID-19 the meeting became a virtual event.

But she also saw the need to connect technology and projects on the Gulf Coast on a more regular basis. So, she co-founded the Oceans in Action workshops held annually since 2011. She helped to bring in the Advanced Naval Technology Enterprise as part of the workshop.

“Research is great, but an operational project is where that research goes into a tool that gets implemented and helps a mission. At Stennis, so many research tools go into missions. That is what Oceans in Action is about,” she said.

She said one outcome from Oceans in Action is that underwater drones are being used more in Gulf waters, and states across the Gulf Coast are working together to solve problems that are

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